Good Reads: From the CIA to Tinder

October 13, 2017—5 minute read


From the Guardian's coverage of the CIA's interrogation to data on how online dating is effecting relationships, these are our recommended reads for the weekend.

A deeply disturbing report published in the Guardian this week, based on hard-fought access to discovery material in a lawsuit, reveals how two discredited officials of the CIA were responsible for the death of a terror suspect at an agency black site near Kabul, Afghanistan, where detainees were routinely beaten, waterboarded and exposed to freezing temperatures.

Reporter Larry Siems got documents the CIA and Pentagon were "forced to declassify" on the case, which resulted in an out-of-court settlement for two surviving prisoners, and fresh scrutiny over how the CIA handles suspected members of ISIS and al-Qaida.  

No matter how you feel about the ethical and moral questions of harsh interrogation, most of us would agree that whatever techniques are employed should be legal and produce valuable intelligence. But at the compound known as Cobalt, the physical abuse of prisoners was not only an embarrassment to the CIA; it failed to turn up any actionable leads, Siems' story suggests.

We also loved two deep-dive pieces in the New York Times: how Russia used the anger and frustration many Americans feel toward Congress to undermine the presidential election with a disinformation campaign; and the dramatic rise of Richard Thaler, an economist and new Nobel Prize winner whose contrarian theories and reliance on common behaviors to explain markets once were scoffed at by top colleagues.

A fascinating new study, reported in MIT Technology Review, suggests that dating sites aren't just the most significant new way people find partners. They're actually strengthening marriages and increasing interracial unions.

The proof is in the data, according to these two researchers, one British, one Austrian, who studied responses from couples who met using sites such as, Tinder and OKCupid.

The reason? These relationships begin between two complete strangers.