BohoMamma’s Weekly Reading List
The articles that had us thinking, talking and shaking our heads from our Weekly Reading List.
Campaigns Mine Personal Lives to Get Out Vote by Charles Duhigg at The New York Times
Did you know that President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s reelection campaigns know whether you watch porn, visit religious sites or spend part of your day reading feminist material? It turns out that the presidential campaigns are utilizing cookies to track the online habits of potential voters.
The issue over the use of tracking cookies has long been debated in the U.S. and Europe. Most people get a little uneasy with the idea of corporations and businesses having access to their online personas…I don’t think many of us stopped to think about presidential campaigns engaging in the habit. The idea of politicians knowing if we get our freak on after midnight is a little too Nineteen Eighty-Four for some (rational, clear-thinking Americans).
The article quotes a Romney campaign official as saying, ““You don’t want your analytical efforts to be obvious because voters get creeped out.” We think that is putting it mildly.
If you’re curious about the information politicians know about you and how they use that information to sway your thinking, it’s an article to read.
Assad’s House of Torture by Anna Therese Day of The Daily Beast
We are paralyzed by the images of abuse and death in Syria (both by the government and rebel forces). The images of children dead and dying, the tortured, and the centuries old monuments destroyed, have left us speechless. Everyday, I ask myself, “What can be done? What should be done? Turkey and Syria are now embroiled?”
And then we see an image of a child and think, “Enough…someone – some government – must stand up and stop this destruction.”
Assad’s House of Torture is one of those articles that leaves a reader closer to helplessness than is comfortable (but by comparison to what civilians in Syria are experiencing, we admit that uncomfortableness is quite mild). The article by Anna Therese Day tells the story of Ahmad, a Syrian who found himself tortured by government forces twice: the first because of his innocent interest in an album that he hadn’t recognized as being titled as The Road to Freedom.
At the end of the day, we think countries must apply pressure to Russia to end its support (possible arms support) of Syria. This is a “conflict” (18-month war which has killed approximately 20,000 civilians; subjected adult and child victims to torture; and allowed children to be raised in terror and torment) that needs to end. It requires Americans and Europeans to stand up and voice their horror to their politicians.
How Psychopaths Take Over by Kevin Dutton at Salon
And speaking of psychopaths, it turns out, we may have something to learn from our cool and collected brethren. Perhaps not the psychopaths who end up in prison, but the psychopaths who are non-violent – the ones who are are “mad without being mad”, the ones who are cool under pressure and the ones who don’t feel pressure to conform. Kevin Dutton shares a few personal stories of his life with his father (a psychopath), recounts a story of his roommate (also a psychopath), which must be included in a book or movie soon, and other tales of psychopaths who function within society.
Mr. Dutton offers some fairly sane reasoning of why there may be psychopathic traits the rest of us thinking, guilt-ridden, feeling beings might want to incorporate into our way of dealing with the world.
For example, fearlessness is a trait common among psychopaths and while most of us do feel fear (which inhibits our actions in life), psychopaths do not and it puts them at a unique advantage over the rest of us. The anecdotes alone are worth the read, such as a bar scene where a psychopath stops a knife attack on a woman and his reasoning behind why he acted.