Saturday, June 16, 2012

Longform Reads #2

I'm back for another review of longform essays! This week, apart for one essay on Japan, I seemed to have focused on crime. Hmmm.....

Until Proven Innocent by Andrew McLemore:  This is a three part essay(s) about the Michael Morton case, where Mr Morton was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. What I thought was interesting was that during the essay called "the trial", most of the jury members still stand by their verdict. Does that mean that they just don't want to admit they made a mistake about something so huge, or was the prosecution really that persuasive?

Psychology of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things by Alix Spiegel. This essay looks at why people (who believe themselves to be decent people), can commit crimes. There's an argument that the tendency of people is to rationalise their actions (especially if doing so 'helps' someone, and the harm is to an abstract entity like the economy). Or, we could just say that ever since The Fall, it's human tendency to sin.

The Killer Cadets by Skip Hollandsworth: This is a crime case about how a brutal murder was committed. And when looking at this case, it becomes a look into how love can become obsessive and unhealthy. It's kinda creepy and for some reason, reminds me of Twilight (I don't need to read the book to know what it's about :p).

Watching the Murder of an Innocent Man by Barry Bearak: This sad essay is about mob violence. To be specific, it's about mob 'justice' can be so horribly wrong. Sometimes, when you watch criminals walk free, there's a collective urge to do something about it. Something that when not examined closely passes for justice. But how do we know who is guilty and who is innocent? And who gives us the right to judge?

Made Better in Japan by Tom Downey: The 'unrelated' article of the bunch, this is about how Japan not only faithfully adapts, but also improves on things from the outside. There are a bunch of case studies, and really, just makes me want to specialise in the "production" aspect of business management because it seems like Japan is really good at this.

Have you read any good longform reads lately? If you do, please recommend some! And see you next week(:

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