‘Man, Jared Goff Loves Brands,’ and 4 Other Stories You Should Read
Here’s what you missed while you celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a taco bowl…
The New York Times: Inner Peace? The Dalai Lama Made a Website for That
Selected by Ann Fabens-Lassen, communications manager
One of the most interesting aspects of the tech industry is the desire to use data to change the way we relate to personal things, like Spotify’s fancy algorithm that makes those fire Discover Weekly playlists. Now the Dali Lama is getting into the act.
Emotions are the most personal thing we have, which is why this new website, called Atlas of Emotions, is so cool:
The Dalai Lama said he hoped the Atlas could be a tool for cultivating good in the world by defeating the bad within us. ‘Ultimately, our emotion is the real troublemaker,’ he said. ‘We have to know the nature of that enemy.’
Columbia Journalism Review: A better way to report on sexual assault
Selected by Jordan Teicher, senior editor
This is the story behind a story, a look at how Washington Post reporter John Woodrow Cox worked his way through a topic full of landmines. If you’ve ever decided to write a piece of journalism—whether about sexual assault or not—you’ll want to read this and remember it when you’re starting your next draft.
Whether reporters walk, skip, or jump to a conclusion, they have to get there at some point. Cox, whose story covers a complicated case about a marine accused of rape, ultimately turned in a mesmerizing 8,000 words by shutting off easy answers and preconceived notions until the very end.
As CJR writer Damaris Colhoun puts it:
If conviction itself creates bias, uncertainty can be a powerful tool. When reporters embrace how little they know, resist forming conclusions, and share their doubts with their readers in a form that breaks with convention, they may wind up getting closer to the truth.
Selected by Dillon Baker, associate editor
This Adweek cover story is a pretty awesome[note]My definition of awesome may be different than yours[/note] look into the inner-workings of the platform wars.
This article sums up a lot of reasons why YouTube is, in my opinion, going to win the battle for TV ad money: It has sophisticated algorithms; high-quality standards (a view is only counted after 30 seconds, versus three on Facebook); unique content that can only be found on YouTube; and a young, passionate audience. The platform has even convinced me it’s possible that ad personalization can be good. It’s the only place where I consistently don’t skip ads, because the platform knows my tastes so well.
Selected by Erin Nelson, marketing editor
Nitasha Tiku’s piece about Arianna Huffington’s new book on sleep, The Sleep Revolution, sums up the many things that are wrong with today’s corporate “feminism.”
Instead of addressing structural adjustments for the current sleep epidemic, which could include new corporate policies and labor laws that create an environment where people—women, in particular—would be protected from the ills of sleep deprivation, Huffington places the responsibility on the individual. The result is a kind of pseudo-activism packaged as a self-help book, similar to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. For anyone disenchanted with the rich, white, and corporate version of self-help feminism taking over the shelves at Barnes & Noble, this is a worthwhile read.
The Los Angeles Times: For True Healing to Begin, Simply Turn Off Your Western Mind
Selected by Ines Tamaddon, client support representative
“You must heal them with words. Literature is medicine too,” Luis Alberto Urrea was told by a curandera (healer woman) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, while researching his 2005 breakout novel, The Humingbird’s Daughter. The novel is a fictionalized account of Terresita Urrea, the “Saint of Cabora” (the author’s great aunt), who gains the power to heal during turn-of-the-century Mexico. As she enters into sainthood, her life is turned upside down, and she is forced to shift perspectives.
In this LA Times article, Urrea discusses a similar challenge as he explores the captivating history of this distant relative and experiences what is possible when we break into the other side of the so-called “Western mind.”
Deadspin: Man, Jared Goff Loves Brands
Selected by Joe Lazauskas, editor-in-chief
In many ways, we are living in a dystopian novel where all children are raised to pursue a singular ambition: become an attractive vessel for brands.
How you get there is up to you. Become a football star! Eat weird food on Vine! Jump off trampolines while conducting makeup tutorials on Snapchat! But the end game, ultimately, is becoming the same. (If you’d like to sponsor this rant, please tweet me @joelazauskas.)