Conning Culture: Hype in the Social Media Age

Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet―and Why We're Following The story of the Fyre Festival, which saw Instagram influencers tricked into promoting a music festival on a private Bahamian island with luxury accommodations, gourmet dining and a picturesque setting, only to turn out to be a few rain-soaked tents... Continue Reading →

Recent Release Minis: Nobody’s Normal, Made in China, You’ll Never Believe What happened to Lacey

Psychiatry, prison-camp manufactured Chinese goods, and racist tales from Nebraska. What a grab bag today. Let's dive in! Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness, by Roy Richard Grinkerpublished January 26, 2021 by W.W. Norton Only recently did mental illnesses brand the whole person, not just his or her behavior, with what['s...]... Continue Reading →

The Dirty Deeds of Deutsche Bank

Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction, by David Enrich (Amazon / Book Depository) This is the story of Deutsche Bank’s rise and fall. It is about the men who transformed a sleepy German lender into what was, for a time, the largest bank in the world, but who also... Continue Reading →

Fast Food and the American Dream

Book review: Drive-Thru Dreams, by Adam Chandler (Amazon / Book Depository) Drive-Thru Dreams opens with an affecting story about how a prank inspired one of those benevolent gestures from a big company, leading to a feel-good video for social media and wins all-around for everyone involved -- on the surface, at least. It establishes an... Continue Reading →

The Mystery of a Clairvoyant and a Con

Book review: A Deal with the Devil, by Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken (Amazon / Book Depository) We knew that many people thought of all psychics as frauds. We'd heard plenty of horror stories about people who lost thousands of dollars to storefront psychics or psychic hotlines. But we had never heard of a psychic scam... Continue Reading →

The Fall of a Too-Good-to-Be-True Medical Startup

Book review: Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou Amazon Her emergence tapped into the public’s hunger to see a female entrepreneur break through in a technology world dominated by men. Women like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg had achieved a measure of renown in Silicon Valley, but they hadn’t created their own companies from... Continue Reading →

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