TouchStone Reads - June 23rd, 2023


We often set aside articles that are longer, deserve a re-read, are broader in scope…or just for fun — for weekend reading. Below are some from this week — pour yourself a hot cup of coffee & enjoy...

  • The Next Crisis Will Start With Empty Office Buildings: Commercial real estate is losing value fast (The Atlantic)

  • The Horse Isn’t Real. People Are Betting on It Anyway (Vice)

  • Power companies quietly pushed $215m into US politics via dark money groups: Donations have helped utilities increase electricity prices, hinder solar schemes and helped elect sympathetic legislators. (The Guardian)

  • Don’t let them fool you: The fear of being duped is ubiquitous, but excessive scepticism makes it harder to trust one another and cooperate (Aeon)

  • How a dose of MDMA transformed a white supremacist: Brendan was once a leader in the US white nationalist movement. But when he took the drug MDMA in a scientific study, it would radically change his extremist beliefs – to the surprise of everyone involved. Rachel Nuwer investigates what happened (BBC)

  • Why it’s so hard to fix the information ecosystem: Misinformation is a job; correcting misinformation is a hobby (Noahpinion)

  • Shiny Happy People is a great reminder of why cult documentaries should exist: Even more importantly, in these docs that deal with fundamentalisms of all stripes (Latter-day Saints, Protestant, or even “secular,” in the case of NXIVM), a question arises: Why didn’t you just leave? (Vox)

  • Tax Cuts Are Primarily Responsible for the Increasing Debt Ratio: Without the Bush and Trump tax cuts, debt as a percentage of the economy would be declining permanently (Center For American Progress)

  • The hottest new perk in tech is freedom: How small tech companies are using remote work to compete with the big guys (Vox)

  • What the Scientists Who Pioneered Weight-Loss Drugs Want You to Know (Wired)

  • Parrots Are Taking Over the World: Smart, adaptable and loud, parrots are thriving in cities far outside their native ranges (Scientific American)

What are you reading or listening to?