The 6 Best Reads About Geniuses In 2013

Bound 2
Bound 2

1. Dave Chappelle: “If He Hollers Let Him Go” – Rachel Jaadzi Ghansah

Believer Mag

Chappelle did such a good job of truth-telling, on every subject, that nobody knew what to do when he just stopped talking. In no way did his quitting conform to our understanding of the comic’s one obligation: to be funny. To talk to us. To entertain us. To make us laugh. We aren’t used to taking no for an answer, to being rejected, especially not by the people who are supposed to make us smile. Especially not by black men who are supposed to make us smile. And yet Chappelle did just that.

2. Jai Paul: “Maximum Distortion: The Peculiar Case of Jai Paul” – Lindsay Zoladz

Pitchfork

Listening to a Jai Paul song sounds like a tuning into a pirate radio station being broadcast directly from someone’s brain. Unexpected sounds interrupt like interference from the next stop on the dial, and the vocals and instruments fade in and out like you’re one town over from where the signal comes in clear. Occasionally, a Jai Paul song can also sound like a live DJ set– kinetic, free-flowing, and a little off-the-cuff. But you often get the feeling that you are the only person listening to this radio station, or the only person at this club. That’s probably the most interesting contradiction at the heart of Jai Paul’s music: It’s at once distant, unknowable, and somehow feverishly intimate.

3. Aaron Swartz: “Why They Mattered: Aaron Swartz” – Lawrence Lessig

Politico

Aaron was not just, or even primarily, a computer geek. His defining feature was a constant struggle for what he believed was right.

4. Kanye West: “Lou Reed <> Kanye West” – Lou Reed

The Talkhouse

No one’s near doing what he’s doing, it’s not even on the same planet.

And it works.  It works because it’s beautiful — you either like it or you don’t — there’s no reason why it’s beautiful.  I don’t know any musician who sits down and thinks about this.  He feels it, and either it moves you too, or it doesn’t, and that’s that.  You can analyze it all you want.

5. George Saunders: “George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year” – Joel Lovell

The New York Times

Junot Díaz described the Saunders’s effect to me this way: “There’s no one who has a better eye for the absurd and dehumanizing parameters of our current culture of capital. But then the other side is how the cool rigor of his fiction is counterbalanced by this enormous compassion. Just how capacious his moral vision is sometimes gets lost, because few people cut as hard or deep as Saunders does.”

6. Satoshi Nakamoto: “The Bitcoin Boom” – Maria Bustillos

The New Yorker

I think if the U.S. government decided that Bitcoin was a bad thing and told me, “Stop doing what you’re doing,” I’d stop doing what I’m doing, quite frankly. But that wouldn’t be very effective, because there are people all over the world who could pick up and reimplement it, for example in different programming languages; if you browse the Bitcoin forums you’ve seen the enormous chaos and energy there. There’s all sorts of people doing all sorts of things—many of them crazy things that will never succeed, but some of those will be the next big things in Bitcoin. TC mark

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