How Gülen triumphed. Turkish Sufi cleric Fethullah Gülen has topped Prospect magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 intellectuals after Turkish media and Gülen’s followers voted en masse in the online poll. In one respect, Gülen’s crushing win merely exhibits the organisational ability of one movement’s followers. On the other hand, perhaps we can see through Gülen’s victory the emergence of a new kind of intellectual—one whose influence is expressed through a personal network, aided by the internet, rather than publications or institutions. — Prospect
Cultural evolution. Using evolution we can understand how organisms generally change their stores of genetic information (DNA and RNA), alter their observable characteristics, and diversify. We do not understand how cultures evolve nearly so well. The majority of human evolution does not involve changes in our DNA, but rather alterations in the gigantic library of nongenetic information, the culture, that our species possesses. — Seed
My dinner with a cannibal. In 2001, Armin Meiwes placed an online ad seeking a “well-built man, 18–30, who would like to be eaten by me.” He videotaped himself slaughtering Brandes a few days later. The transcript of the online chat between the two men has been published in Interview with a Cannibal: The Secret Life of the Cannibal from Rotenburg, by Günter Stampf and there’s an extract in this article. — Harper’s
Can I resist the new iPhone? I knew I had to have one. On the first day the phone went on sale, I woke up early and went to an AT&T store in Washington, D.C., with some snacks, some homemade lemonade, a couple of spy thrillers, my MacBook Pro, and a DVD of Miss Austen Regrets, a touching tale about Jane Austen’s life as an aging spinster. — Slate
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