The Reading List – July 2018

Presented for your amusement and intellectual enrichment: the best pieces of writing the Octopus Group Copy Team have read in the past month. Be inspired, disgusted, entertained, or a combination of the three.

From the high flying to the low-brow (i.e., the inherent implications of loving beef and onion crisps), July’s reading covers a full spectrum of humanity.

Too old to be a millennial. Too young for Generation X. What am I? (Hugo Rifkind, The Times)

Marketers (and everyone journalist with a 1000 word op-ed piece to fill) love to consider society through the generational lens. Millennials love this, Baby Boomers think that. But what about the in-betweeners – or as Hugo Rifkind puts it, the Xennials? Read it now!

Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet (Jacob Mikanowski, The Guardian)

Another insightful long read from The Guardian, exploring the global reach of the English tongue. Is the spread of English oppressive, or an undoing of the curse of Babel? Either way, there’s no denying its dominance. Read it now!

‘The discourse is unhinged’: how the media gets AI alarmingly wrong (Oscar Schwartz, The Guardian)

A discussion of the media hype around AI, the problems involved in AI reporting, and the disconnect between researchers and writers. A must read for anybody with an interest in tech. Read it now!

Obituary: Mary Ellis the air pioneer (BBC)

A celebration of spirit. After a lifetime of literally flying in the face of expectations, this heart-warming obituary tells the story of Mary Ellis, who delivered planes from factories by flying them to airfields during the Second World War. Read it now!

What Your Choice of Crisps Says About You (Joel Golby, The Vice)

If you’ve ever fancied a 4,500 word deep-dive into the world of potato-based snacks, this is the article for you. Unless your go-to crisp choice is a packet of quavers, in which case prepare to be gently insulted. Read it now!