Swift’s Modest Proposal

I took some time to re-read Jonathan Swft’s “A Modest Proposal” this weekend. Weirdly, it reads like something you could either publish on McSweeny’s or the Libertarian blog of your choice,


For preventing the children of poor people in Ireland, from being a
burden on their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to
the publick.

by Dr. Jonathan Swift


New in The Journal of Possible Things…


No Country for Old Milk by Rebecca Flint Marx

“In the twelve years I have lived in New York, I have moved nine times. On each of these occasions, I have stared at my assorted foodstuffs with equal parts tenderness and abject annoyance, knowing full well that my aversion to wasting food means that it all will be going with me. As a result, I have items in my refrigerator and pantry that are older than the Obama administration, provisions that I convinced myself I would finally eat because it would be such a travesty not to, and yet, here they are still.”

Does Reading Make You A Better Person? by Cody Delistraty

“In a recent study from Emory University, researchers found that people who read stimulating novels had lasting neurological changes. The study only checked the participants’ brains up to five days after the test, but it appeared that their brains had been permanently rewired. Fascinatingly, these changes were found mostly in the left temporal cortex, which is the area in charge of language receptivity. Neurons in this part of the brain have been known to create “grounded cognition,” which is when your brain tricks your body into doing something just based on thinking. For instance, if you’re thinking about eating, your mouth may begin to produce saliva with the expectation that it will soon be processing food. When reading, your brain can be tricked into thinking you, the reader, are genuinely part of the story, deeply connected with the protagonist and his/her plight.”

My Father Used to Kidnap Me by Brianna W

“One time, my brother and I were playing hopscotch outside mom’s house when my father pulled up in his car. “Get in,” he said. I was six years old, but I knew it was mom’s weekend and I wasn’t supposed to see dad for another couple of days. Before I could get mom’s attention, my father yanked my brother and me into the car and drove away. Mom chased us down the street screaming until her legs gave in.”

Looking for more? Subscribe to the Journal on Medium.