Suggested readings, #127

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

The new Puritans. “It was no great distance, in those days, from the prison-door to the market-place. Measured by the prisoner’s experience, however, it might be reckoned a journey of some length.” So begins the tale of Hester Prynne, as recounted in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter. As readers of this classic American text know, the story begins after Hester gives birth to a child out of wedlock and refuses to name the father. … (Atlantic)

The real reason fans hate the last season of Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones, in its eighth and final season, is as big as television gets these days. More than 17 million people watched the season’s opening. Judging by the fan and critic reaction though, it seems that a substantial portion of those millions are loathing the season. Indeed, most of the reviews and fan discussions seem to be pondering where the acclaimed series went wrong, with many theories on exactly why it went downhill. … (Scientific American)

Fact-checking works to undercut misinformation in many countries. In the wake of the flood of misinformation that’s drowning the US, lots of organizations have turned to fact-checks. Many newsrooms set up dedicated fact-check groups, and some independent organizations were formed to provide the service. We get live fact-checking of political debates, and Facebook will now tag material it deems misinformation with links to a fact-check. … (Are Technica)

Do surgeons who wear N95 masks have lower oxygen levels and make more mistakes? An individual who was both an anti-vaxxer and anti-masker claimed that “studies were done that show that surgeons who wore N95 masks for extended periods of time were shown to have decreased oxygen levels and were more prone to mistakes.” His argument was “imagine what that would do to kids who were forced to wear masks all day in school.” … (Skeptical Inquirer)

Fact check: false claim of an extraterrestrial satellite near Earth. A social media post shared on Facebook is claiming that the births of 10 Democratic politicians is tied to the alleged crash of a UFO in New Mexico in 1947. “It seems to make sense so I am asking my friends if they think this could be true?” the post states. “This is a well-known incident that many say has long been covered-up by the U.S. Air Force, as well as other Federal Agencies and Organizations.” … (USA Today)

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Massimo

Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at platofootnote.org and howtobeastoic.org. He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.

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