Reading List: “Distractible Doofuses”, Pheromone Fantasizing, Big Brother’s Benevolent Businesses

Darlings! How are you? Have you eaten breakfast? What are you doing for yourself today? Are you drinking enough water? Have you taken a deep breath this morning? How's that cold brew treating you?

As I mentioned yesterday, there will likely not be a Missive tomorrow, as I am taking the day off to start slowly heading north to go watch the Perseid meteor shower with Friend of the Missive and co-founder of Odd Salon Tre Balchowsky (um yea, that's me full-on humblebragging about a cool friend.) That being said, who knows? Maybe my body will wake me up at 5:15 without an alarm and I’ll have something I just NEED to tell you. Stranger things have happened. And a reminder that this reading list is for me as much as it is for you, as these are the longer pieces languishing in my Instapaper queue that I am hoping to get to this weekend :) So send me those opinions on this shit!


Miranda Carter, What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus Runs an Empire? (The New Yorker) - Y’all know I’m a history nerd for the WWII era, but did you know that I’m ALSO a history nerd for the WWI era? Quelle surprise, I imagine! Anyhoo, if you’re like me and think listening to Dan Carlin’s six-part, twenty+ hours-long Hardcore History WWI episodes “Blueprint for Armageddon,” is a sexy way to spend an weekend, you’ve probably already clicked so hard on WWI historian Carter’s comparison of Kaiser Wilhelm II to a certain current orange menace. I know there are a few amazing historians subscribed to this Missive - that’s right darlings, I see your emails - so send me your favorite historical hot takes! SEND THEM!

Caroline O’Donovan, This "Creepy" Time-Tracking Software Is Like Having Your Boss Watch You Every Second (BuzzFeed) - O’Donovan has been responsible for some of the best critical coverage of the quote unquote “sharing” economy, and this look at the algorithmic means by which online labor brokers monitor their army of freelancers is straight up bonkers. As I remind you frequently, I am not an attorney, but if the argument is that we can call them contract workers and not pay them full wage or benefits because they have the “freedom” to create their own schedules, but then online firms enforce work speeds via screenshot and keystrokes tracking…

Gabriel Pogrund, How white supremacists split a quiet Rust Belt town (Washington Post) - If the contrasts captured in the first graf are any indication (Nazi memorabilia displayed in a quaint Pennsylvania town,) I’m going to find this piece fascinating.

And finally,

Lisa Bonos, Does my sweaty T-shirt turn you on? At a pheromone party, singles try to match using only their noses. (Washington Post) - Hell, seems like compatible smells could be a better love match indicator than a nano-second judgement of one photo via swipe, but y’all know I’m just a fan of anything that gets people out from behind their phones and smashing faces IRL.

Love you tons. Be kind to each other.