Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 5
10 of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress.
We’re back with another collection of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress! You can find our past collections here — and you can follow Longreads on WordPress.com for more daily reading recommendations.
Publishers, writers, keep those stories coming: share links to essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and WordPress.com by tagging your posts longreads.
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1. What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making (Tim Maly, Quiet Babylon)
After a successful “creators’ conference” in Portland, Maly asks some tough questions about whether the creators are taking into account the factories and anonymous services that help them succeed in the first place.
2. The Secret Life of Max Stern (Sara Angel, The Walrus)
The Nazis stole his family’s paintings. He emigrated to Canada and became one of the country’s foremost gallery owners. And now, twenty years after his death, he is changing the rules of restitution.
3. Interview: Vanessa Grigoriadis on Writing Fast, Putting Stories Away, and Documentary-Style Writing (Meagan Flynn, Beyond the New Yorker)
Journalist Meagan Flynn chats with New York Magazine and Rolling Stone writer Vanessa Grigoriadis:
I just really try to write fast. And I think it’s so much better for my writing. When I used to agonize over every sentence and every section, the stories were so much worse. My problem is, if the content is not interesting to me, I don’t want to go back and revise it.
4. Wasting Our Time (Jenny Diski)
The London Review of Books writer reflects on childhood diversion:
In spite of The Poet and me being pretty old, we’re still young enough to remember from our childhood being told off for watching too much television and not, like the parents, making our own entertainment.
5. Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Spreadsheet (Chadwick Matlin, FiveThirtyEight)
How Christian Rudder, the 39-year-old president and co-founder of the online dating site OKCupid, found himself at the intersection of dating and Big Data.
6. The Last Amazon (Jill Lepore, The New Yorker)
The little-known story behind Wonder Woman’s origins:
Wonder Woman’s debt is to feminism. She’s the missing link in a chain of events that begins with the woman-suffrage campaigns of the nineteen-tens and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later. Wonder Woman is so hard to put on film because the fight for women’s rights has gone so badly.
7. Blind Curve (Debbie Hagan, Brain, Child)
A mother visits her young son in a psychiatric ward:
Kids with mental illness stand out profoundly, and, thus, become bullying targets. That’s why Connor is a victim no matter where he goes—even here.
8. The Lightning Rod (Molly Petrilla, The Pennsylvania Gazette)
Dr. Robert Lanza has racked up a slew of scientific accolades—and generated an equal amount of controversy—for his pioneering work on cloning and stem cells. He also lives alone on his own island, collects dinosaur bones, and is often the subject of Good Will Hunting comparisons.
9. How to Teach a Young Introvert (Kate Torgovnick May, TED)
A conversation with Susan Cain, who speaks out about what we need to do to make classrooms more accommodating for introverted students.
10. The Women of ENIAC (Walter Isaacson, Fortune)
A look back at the pioneering group of women who worked on one of the earliest computers:
Shortly before she died in 2011, Jean Jennings Bartik reflected proudly on the fact that all the programmers who created the first general-purpose computer were women: “Despite our coming of age in an era when women’s career opportunities were generally quite confined, we helped initiate the era of the computer.”
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Photo: dennissylvesterhurd, Flickr