In this week’s New Yorker

July 20, 2014

wrong answer
I read with interest Seth Mnookin’s “One of a Kind,” about how blogging has helped patients with extremely rare diseases find each other and more treatment options, and Nicholas Lemann’s profile of Janet Yellen, which explained a lot about the mysterious institution known as the Fed which has already evaporated from my brain. The reporting piece that hit me hardest was Rachel Aviv’s “Wrong Answer,” which details how well-meaning teachers get snared in the insane negative consequences of testing-based No Child Left Behind education bullshit. And Greg Jackson’s remarkable short story, “Wagner in the Desert,” contained my single favorite sentence in the issue: “Eli walked over to ask if I wanted lunch, or anything, or what did I want, and I said ‘no,’ ‘maybe,’ and ‘later,’ in some order, and then I realized that there was something I wanted, though it wasn’t exactly a group activity, which was to lie on the bathroom floor and masturbate until I died.”

 

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