The reading list – October 2017

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.

Harvey Weinstein paid off sexual harassment accusers for decades (New York Times)

Arguably the most important piece of journalism published in the past month. This account of Weinstein’s predatory behaviour, as well as the power structures that enabled and shielded it, is chilling. Sadly, this issue isn’t just limited to Hollywood. Read it.

From aggressive overtures to sexual assault: Harvey Weinstein’s accusers tell their stories (The New Yorker)

One of the few encouraging things about the Weinstein story is that it has forced the conversation about how prevalent sexual assault is. With articles like this, and the wider #MeToo movement, a greater spotlight is being put on the victims of harassment, allowing them to tell their stories. Read it.

The horizon of desire (Longreads)

Continuing with a bit of a theme here. This article posits the radical notion that women should be fully in charge of anything that happens in, on, or to them. Read it.

The Uber game (The FT)

Pushing the boundaries for what constitutes journalism, this game puts you in the shoes of an Uber driver trying to make enough money to live in San Francisco. Based on interviews with dozens of Uber drivers, it’s a remarkably effective way to tell a complex story. Play it.

Facebook’s CV tool is a lamentable mixture of business and pleasure (The Times)

A really interesting piece about the blurring of work and personal lives on social media. Plenty of good reasons to delete Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in favour of a less connected life. Read it (paywall).

Behold the winners of the 280-character story contest (Electric Literature)

The introductory paragraph sums it all up perfectly: “We asked you to write 280-character short stories, in honor of the unasked-for, unappreciated, and frankly awful increase in Twitter’s tweet length restrictions … the Electric Literature editors chose five winners, and New Yorker writer and cartoonist Sara Lautman illustrated them.” Read it.

Have you ever heard of the Dark Twitters? The Twitters that can only be found on broken laptops at midnight via shitty train station wifi (@skelicopter, Twitter)

Not really sure how to explain this bizarre Twitter thread, but it’s curiously compelling. Read it.

Tory power is only sustained by cruel confidence tricks (The Guardian)

This piece by Frankie Boyle is included primarily for some fantastic Tory-bashing. On Boris Johnson: ‘what if a hero, instead of a single tragic flaw, had all of them?’ On David Davis: ‘a man who seems to suffer from the same lack of imagination as his parents.’ On Jacob Rees-Mogg: ‘a man who has taken the phrase “stalking horse” rather too anthropomorphically.’ Read it.