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City in a Bottle, by Raghu Karnad. Caravan.
The story of booze and Bangalore.
Alcohol printed the city's newspapers, produced its movies, put down hospitals and schools and sports teams -- and ruled the men who ruled its people. It caused the worst medical emergencies, sweetened the long evenings and created the brands to which Bangaloreans feel truest loyalty. Yet Bangalore's identity as a liquor city has always stayed in the realm of folklore.
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How Anonymous Picks Targets, Launches Attacks, and Takes Powerful Organizations Down, by Quinn Norton. Wired.
Inside the hacker ecosystem.
The possibility that Anonymous might be telling the truth -- that it couldn't be shut down by jailing or flipping or bribing key participants -- was why it became such a terrifying force to powerful institutions worldwide, from governments to corporations to nonprofits. Its wild string of brilliant hacks and protests seemed impossible in the absence of some kind of defined organization. To hear the group and its defenders talk, the leaderless nature of Anonymous makes it a mystical, almost supernatural force, impossible not just to stop but to even comprehend. Anons were, they liked to claim, united as one and divided by zero -- undefined and indefinable.
A Brief History of Money, by James Surowiecki. Spectrum.
The evolution of currency as "a complete abstraction."
Kublai Khan was ahead of his time: He recognized that what matters about money is not what it looks like, or even what it's backed by, but whether people believe in it enough to use it. Today, that concept is the foundation of all modern monetary systems, which are built on nothing more than governments' support of and people's faith in them. Money is, in other words, a complete abstraction -- one that we are all intimately familiar with but whose growing complexity defies our comprehension.
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