Magazine Rack

Mike Dash in The Smithsonian on a Russian family of six who escaped to Siberia in 1936, and only re-established contact with the society in 1978http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/For-40-Years-This-Russian-Family-Was-Cut-Off-From-Human-Contact-Unaware-of-World-War-II-188843001.html

In GQ, Wells Towers takes his dad to Burning Man http://www.gq.com/news-politics/mens-lives/201302/burning-man-experiences-wells-tower-gq-february-2013?printable=true

Rebecca Solnit takes a ride through San Francisco on Google’s commuter bus in The London Review of Books http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n03/rebecca-solnit/diary?src=longreads

George Chidi on what it’s like to be a corporate spy in Inc.http://www.inc.com/magazine/201302/george-chidi/confessions-of-a-corporate-spy.html?src=longreads



Compiled by Tomas Ruta

Magazine Rack | selected longer reads for the weekend

Jon Rosen visits the pygmy Mbuti people of northeastern Congo, on Roads & Kingdoms

Steve Danning analyses the fall of Michael Porter’s MonitorGroup consultancy, in Forbes

Julia Phillips takes part in a dog sled race in Siberia, in The Morning News

David Runciman reviews Nassim Taleb’s latest book in The Guardian

Compiled by @TomasRuta

If the press is to serve the people, Parliament should not seek to be its master.

The report from the Leveson Inquiry into the conduct of the press will be released on Thursday. Today, James Harding, Editor of The Times, sets out his alternative vision for press regulation; a middle ground between self-regulation and statutory regulation. Click here to read the article for free

Magazine Rack | selected longer reads for the weekend

Joshua Foer learns a language in 22 hours in The Guardian

Stephen Faris on cyberwar in Syria in Businessweek

Carl Hoffman profiles Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SpaceX in The Smithsonian

James Crabtree on the social responsibility of India’s new billionaire class in The Financial Times Magazine

Compiled by @TomasRuta

Magazine Rack | selected longer reads for the weekend

William Langewiesche in Vanity Fair on what it’s like to serve in the French Foreign Legion

Misha Glenny on attempts at community policing in Rio’s favelas in The Financial Times Magazine

In Boston Magazine, Patrick Doyle on becoming a priest in Boston amid the sex abuse scandal

Cynthia Gorney reports from post-Fidel Cuba in National Geographic

Compiled by @TomasRuta

Magazine Rack | selected longer reads for the weekend

Sarah Maslin on cheap thrills in Queens in The New York Times

Shane Bauer on solitary confinement on Mother Jones

Evan Osnos on corruption in China in The New Yorker

Tom Sleigh reports from a Somali refugee camp in Nairobi in The Virginia Review Quarterly

Compiled by @TomasRuta

Classic was Jimmy Savile’s use of the cloak of authority and kindness. Savile’s celebrity allowed him to acquire this authority. As we consider the regulation of the media and the legal right to privacy it is worth reflecting on how the Savile scandal happened. It happened because the aura of Sir Jimmy’s celebrity protected him from scrutiny by the press.

Daniel Finkelstein on celeb power and the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal. Read more

Three years ago mephedrone was a legal high; sold as plant food. Possibly dangerous, it was a public health issue. Now illegal, it’s a criminal issue, too; a new challenging problem recast as part of an old intractable one. Who gained?

Remove criminality from drug-taking and treat the issue as one of public health instead: it’s the only way, says Hugo Rifkind. Read more

Alex Salmond would not be the first politician to find his defining political objective defeated in a poll for which he had long campaigned. Nick Clegg was humiliated on AV, having insisted on putting the question of electoral reform to the nation. Although politicians are trying to match the speed of Twitter and blogs with more instant “democracy”, the tactic seems to have a tendency to backfire. According to a study of referendums worldwide, voters almost always reject change: if the campaign starts with opinion evenly balanced, the status quo wins in 80 per cent of cases.

Scotland has its yes-or-no vote on independence set for 2014 but the Scottish First Minister should remember the lesson of the 2011 referendum on the alternative vote, says Rachel Sylvester. Read more

In no area of public policy but drug-taking is there such a mismatch between political expectation and public reality. Roughly one third of adult Britons have used controlled drugs at some point in their lives, nearly 1 in 10 in the past year. Many of these have used Class A drugs, risking up to seven years in prison for possession and life for supplying. People who wouldn’t dream of committing armed robbery or grievous bodily harm are carrying out offences that potentially carry similar sentences. This level of disregard for the law should be a powerful signal to politicians that the present approach is not respected.

As a major report is published recommending the decriminalisation of drugs, Colin Blakemore, Professor of Neuroscience and Philosophy at the University of London, suggests that politicians need to take a step back and look at the scientific evidence. Read more

Magazine Rack | selected longer reads for the weekend

Patrick Symmers on Argentine football violence in Outside

David Wise on the CIA burglar who went rogue in The Smithsonian Magazine

In Scientific American, Morgen Peck on the state of Bitcoin, the alternative currency, three years after its inception

Peter Frase on how design will get disrupted by 3-D printing in The Jacobin Magazine

Compiled by @TomasRuta

The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good healthcare, lack of freedom, lack of respect for human lives and, finally, the many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people.

And these dictators’ atrocities against their own citizens “are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars,” says Abdulateef al-Mulhim, a former commodore of the Saudi Navy. Read more

Some 53 per cent of households in Britain are now receiving more in benefits than they pay in taxes. Most of us receive some kind of handout that we are determined to keep. We justify it by saying we pay extortionate taxes but are we morally superior to the jobless teenager who gets pregnant to escape an abusive step-parent? These benefits are infantilising, not just for those who have been on welfare for three generations, but all of us.

If the Tories cut £10bn from welfare they must take benefits from the middle classes too, says Alice Thomson. Read more

Public morality in Britain today lurches between the liberal and puritanical, seemingly at random. The public is shocked and disgusted by the abuse of teenagers, and scarcely less so when a 15-year-old girl runs away with her teacher. Yet it’s not even a decade since girls just a few months older than Megan Stammers could be found posing naked in national newspapers.

Even when set against a backdrop of soaring godlessness and collapsing social institutions, our morality has reached a conclusion that is “palpably right”, writes Hugo Rifkind

This Rothko attacker is a pathetic wimp. They should film him being given a good thrashing outside Tate Modern, call it a ‘conceptual video’ and enter it for the Turner Prize.

So says David Lee, editor of arts magazine The Jackdaw, of the “barely sane ‘artist’ of no discernible ability” who scrawled graffiti on Mark Rothko’s painting at the Tate Modern. In May, a Rothko sold for $90 million (£53 million) in New York

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