Doha, Qatar, with the dallah, or coffee pot, monument in the foreground, 2010 1.
The Man Who Inspired Jobs by Christopher Bonanos New York Times | Oct 2011 Discuss story
Peter Neufeld is the co-director and one of the two founders of the Innocence Project – the organization I mentioned earlier that uses DNA evidence to overturn wrongful convictions. In addition to trying to free innocent people from prison, he and his colleagues work to improve criminal justice procedures so that fewer mistaken incarcerations occur in the first place. This means Neufeld spends a lot of time telling people that they’re wrong, or that the way they do their work is unjust and dangerously error-prone. As you might imagine, dealing with denial is a de facto part of his job description. When I met Neufeld in his offices in lower Manhattan, one of the first things he did was walk me through the many different stages of denial he routinely encounters. He was quick to point out that not everyone goes through all these stages, or even through any of them: many people working in law enforcement support the work of the Innocence Project and cooperate fully in its efforts to free the wrongfully convicted.
PUBLISHED: Sept. 22, 2011
LENGTH: 43 minutes (10777 words)
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there,’’ wrote L.P. Hartley in the first sentence of his 1953 novel, “The Go-Between.’’ If you’d like to read more, you can buy “The Go-Between’’ in paperback, a 2002 reissue by New York Review Books. You can also borrow it from the library, or read large amounts of it on Google Books for free.
When it comes to profanity, I hail from what you might call a mixed background. My father swears freely and exuberantly—although, when I was a child, he did so exclusively in Polish. In moments of paternal irritation, an entire shtetl sprang to life in our suburban home. Psia krew, cholera, curwa, szmata: excrement, cholera, whores, rags. (Predictably, that gritty archipelago of my father’s native tongue is all the Polish I ever learned.) My mother, by contrast, swears approximately never. Moreover, some years ago, she confessed that she hates it when I do so.
It is difficult now to call up the particular mood that prevailed in the AIDS epidemic’s early years. I am not talking about the first rumblings, when no one knew enough to be afraid, but further in. In those post-AZT, pre-ARV-drug days, there was very little one could do if infected. Primitive prophylaxes against certain diseases offered one’s best bet but certainly no guarantee that one wouldn’t die of Kaposi’s sarcoma or cytomegalovirus or pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. The idea of life without AIDS, much less of being alive in thirty years, was almost unimaginable. Which is why in the late eighties, coworkers and I at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation came up with an idea to get people—gay men, in particular—thinking about the future. We decided to create a time capsule.
PUBLISHED: June 6, 2011
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2769 words)
Sociologists often argue that apocalyptic creeds appeal primarily to the poor and the disenfranchised – those for whom the afterlife promises more than life itself has ever offered. But on that day in 1844, judges, lawyers and doctors, farmers and factory workers and freed slaves, the educated and the ignorant, the wealthy and the impoverished: all of them gathered as one to await the Rapture
PUBLISHED: May 20, 2011
LENGTH: 23 minutes (5939 words)