Favorite Articles

The Real Heroes Are Dead – The New Yorker – James B. Stewart – February 2002

A Betrayal – ProPublica – Hannah Dreier – April 2018

A Pale Blue Dot – Carl Sagan – October 1994

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. […] It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Who Was the Falling Man? – Esquire – Tom Junod – September 2016

But the only certainty we have is the certainty we had at the start: At fifteen seconds after 9:41 a.m., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky—falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame—the Falling Man—became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew’s photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves. The picture is his cenotaph, and like the monuments dedicated to the memory of unknown soldiers everywhere, it asks that we look at it, and make one simple acknowledgment.

That we have known who the Falling Man is all along.

Split Image – ESPN – Kate Fagan – May 2015

The Lonely Death of George Bell – New York Times – N. R. Kleinfield – October 2015

Questions for Me About Dying – The New Yorker – Cory Taylor – July 2017

A Tragedy in Yemen, Made in America – New York Times – Jeffery Stern – December 2018

How an Ivy League School Turned Against A Student – The New Yorker – Rachel Aviv – April 2022

The Photochemistry of the Future** – Science – Giacomo Ciamician – September 1912

On the arid lands there will spring up industrial colonies without smoke and
without smokestacks; forests of glass tubes will extend over the plains and glass
buildings will rise everywhere; inside of these will take place the photochemical
processes that hitherto have been the guarded secret of the plants, but that will
have been mastered by human industry which will know how to make them bear
even more abundant fruit than nature, for nature is not in a hurry and mankind is.
And if in a distant future the supply of coal becomes completely exhausted,
civilization will not be checked by that, for life and civilization will continue as
long as the sun shines! If our black and nervous civilization, based on coal, shall
be followed by a quieter civilization based on the utilization of solar energy, that
will not be harmful to progress and to human happiness.

The photochemistry of the future should not however be postponed to such
distant times; I believe that industry will do well in using from this very day all
the energies that nature puts at its disposal. So far, human civilization has made
use almost exclusively of fossil solar energy. Would it not be advantageous to
make better use of radiant energy?

** this one is unlike the rest in that it’s a journal article and may be behind a paywall – here is a PDF link