found my people in the new york review of books. this is our work.
thought the life i hope to lead would look good in cartesian coordinates.
wonder, if an alien spacecraft appeared in the sky, how quickly currency would become worthless?
got puppeee linux working on my asus eee pc 701sd netbook. fast. light. $100.
realized the misleading nature of two-dimensional maps, especially when comparing distances in equatorial vs. more polar regions. for example: the way the crow flies, miami to seattle is only about one hundred miles further than the east-west length of brazil.
caught up with every nyrb and lrb to the end of 2010..
tony judt on confidence in language
the communicative shorthand of their hardware has begun to seep into communication itself: “people talk like texts.”
sheer rhetorical facility, whatever its appeal, need not denote originality and depth of content.
shoddy prose today bespeaks intellectual insecurity: we speak and write badly because we don’t feel confident in what we think and are reluctant to assert it unambiguously (“it’s only my opinion…”)
if words fall into disrepair, what will substitute? they are all we have.
..and on the way to run an education system
my supervisors were supremely uninterested in public performance of any sort. it was not that they were indifferent to exam results; they simply took it for granted that our natural talent would carry us through.
universities are elitist: they are about selecting the most able cohort of a generation and educating them to their ability—breaking open the elite and making it consistently anew. equality of opportunity and equality of outcome are not the same thing.
..and his obituary.
hell is a nontransferrable experience.
death should not be allowed to define life.
speaker pelosi's face conveyed abject horror, as if she had just seen a favorite family pet slaughtered.
peace between individuals, why not nations?
"they kept saying i was a shitty arab, and i said, 'you may shit all over me, but that doesn't make me shitty.'"
"i've got five demographic problems," he would cheerfully tell anyone who asked
effective north korean propaganda
security forces are said to have staged a number of public executions to quell building unrest.
dogs in china ate better than doctors in north korea.
a rather distinct brand of exclusionary racialism modeled closely on the mystical nationalism of hirohito's imperial japan.
the top of the food chain
when scientists disagree among themselves, everyone else stops listening.
that conservation is not about managing wildlife as much as it is about managing ourselves
if huey long were still governor
desserts of a decade of sanctions
kashmir off the front pages
when it comes to reporting crimes committed by states considered friendly to the west, atrocity fatigue rapidly kicks in.
the kennedy-johnson transition of power
beginning with the first reports that kennedy had been shot and up until the funeral three days later..90 per cent of american households watched the coverage, for an average 31.6 hours each.
war in lebanon
the rivals are israel and syria, neither of which can afford to let the other win uncontested control of the country.
a vast area of the ocean is now the scene of a cover-up
governing back to reality
politifact.com..had catalogued 502 promises that obama made during the campaign. at the one-year mark the totals showed that he had already kept 91 of them and made progress on another 285.
american boys in afghanistan
war is a lot of things and it's useless to pretend that exciting isn't one of them.
today's supreme court
ruled that the first amendment permits congress to imprison human rights activists for up to fifteen years merely for advising militant organizations on ways to reject violence and pursue their disputes through lawful means.
hacking and journalism
an international disgrace that so few western journalists have been killed in the course of duty, or have been arrested in the course of duty.
the most influential museum in the history of the world
a science museum shouldn't be pretty and under glass
more on the middle east
rabbi ovadia yosef, the spiritual leader of the shas party, a member of netanyahu's coalition - recently called for the annihilation of the arabs.
what does clinical research look like when everyone is in it for the money?
drug companies need 'treatment-naive' subjects who, like the 'ready to recruit', are easier to find in the developing world.
some people even manage to make a living as professional guinea pigs..prostitution. 'they are penetrating your body..and they don't care about what you are thinking.'
the world's worst deliberative body
about 8 percent of major senate bills in the 1960s were subject to filibuster..in our decade..70 percent.
the current sixty-vote senate makes the prospect of most serious liberal change unthinkable. what we have now, as madison and hamilton warned, is minority rule
unions, environmental groups, and liberals should confront the fact that it's not a lack of presidential will that is the chief impediment to their agenda. they should mobilize accordingly.
family history of the washington post
a millennium of yemeni politics
if we are going to reduce the cost of medical care significantly, physicians will have to change the ways they now use all medical resources, whether drugs, diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, or hospital facilities.
the use of medical resources in the us is not determined by the interplay between supply and demand, but mainly by supply.
a nation of forgetful immigrants
if the catholic experience in the united states holds any lesson it is that becoming american also means asserting one's constitutional rights, fully and forcefully
david simon's new creation
baltimore as a total system, in which every neighborhood and every institution exist in some relation to every other and people behave according to the incentives and choices they find set before them, more than according to whether they are good guys or bad guys.
kashmir's line of control
an agreement must be favorable enough to kashmiris for pakistan's army to save face, but not so favorable as to provoke an unmanageable backlash from hindu activists in india.
a century of kabul
in a single battle lasting 21 days..kabul is destroyed as a functioning city, and as a consequence 'culture in all its forms dies. the theatre dies and the magazines and newspapers die, the bookshops and the archives and the museums die'
thank you baltimore
the unholy bargains everyone makes in the maelstrom of societal injustices
home of edgar allan poe, h.l. mencken, babe ruth, and billie holiday
they open season four using a nail gun..snoop and chris fill up abandoned row houses with bodies, creating a charnel house straight out of poe.
hamid karzai has two brothers who live in the baltimore area
a good churchman is always up in everybody's shit
questions for educators
how little we truly know about how children learn
the lives of modern pirates
our meal of spaghetti and camel meat
by their own admission, they are driven by one thing only: cash.
the entire local economy revolves around hijacking ships
hands al-qaeda a propaganda victory
chiang kai-shek's wife
a one-night stand with wendell willkie, roosevelt's republican opponent in the 1940 presidential election
the war in mexico
the struggle over drug distribution
reagan..declared the narcotics trade a threat to national security
cheap and highly subsidized american corn flooded the mexican market. local farmers were unable to compete: 1.1 million small farmers and 1.4 million others dependent on the agricultural sector lost their livelihoods.
if the government ran google books
thomas jefferson.."knowledge is the common property of mankind."
equip the smallest junior college in alabama and the remotest high school in north dakota with the greatest library the world has ever known.
before the 2010 election
nearly a third of americans actually agreed that it was "definitely" or "probably" true that obama "sympathizes with the goals of islamic fundamentalists who want to impose islamic law around the world."
sainted reagan ran deficits in six of his eight presidential years.
from 1950 to 1963..the top marginal rate on very-high-income earners..was just over 90 percent.
development failure in afghanistan
the enemy is being scattered, not decimated
like trying to hold on to and bathe a soap-covered, aquaphobic toddler who's in the midst of a raging temper tantrum
the fate of a species
american aggression started in 1812
an american invasion of canada
the closest vote for a declaration of war in american history
the acquisition of canada would be "a mere matter of marching."
a deceptive documentary about charter schools
77 percent of public school parents award their own child's public school a grade of a or b, the highest level of approval since the question was first asked in 1985
there are twice as many failing charters as there are successful ones
foolish to believe that teachers alone can undo the damage caused by poverty and its associated burdens
charter schools compete to get higher test scores than regular public schools and thus have an incentive to avoid students who might pull down their scores
50 percent of those who enter teaching leave within five years
the resurgence of npr
"driveway moments," because listeners were so hooked that they would linger in their cars to hear the end of a piece even once they'd gotten home.
the most trusted source of news in the nation.
lincoln's wartime policy shifts
one pilot project supported by the lincoln administration to colonize several hundred black volunteers on a haitian island was a failure
the death penalty
the fifth circuit..upheld the death sentence of an inmate whose lawyer had literally slept through the trial
the state's demand for finality wins out over truth
the world that most americans have found it convenient to ignore
the hitch with development work
the international aid system..still actively supports dictators
the average cameroonian is poorer today than when biya took power in 1982
benevolent autocrats have the distressing habit of not staying benevolent
the real zuckerberg's eyebrows never move
is it possible he just loves programming?
the movie places him in the roman world of betrayal and excess, but the real zuckerberg may belong in the greek, perhaps with the stoics
the opponents of intellectual property
makers of ideas would henceforth have to live on prestige alone
the torture spark
a fearful symmetry: the training routines undergone in boot camp by soldiers themselves. recruits who 'screw up' undergo stress punishment: they're forced to hold heavy weights, to stand for prolonged periods, complete demanding numbers of push-ups, to crawl. when interrogating prisoners, soldiers turned to techniques they had experienced themselves.
jack bauer..cited by the supreme court justice antonin scalia
a former us marine..charged with premeditated murder (then dubiously acquitted for lack of evidence) after firing 60 rounds into two unarmed iraqi detainees in april 2004, has just stood for congress in north carolina's seventh district (he lost).
causal links between very different sorts of things
in the world of science, there is physics. everything else is just stamp-collecting.
make sure that the strategy we choose can be undone or altered with reasonable ease.
jon stewart and the sanest population in the western world
if we amplify everything, we hear nothing
moderation or death
glenn beck's libertarianism
when challenged on the o'reilly factor in august, beck reiterated his libertarian credo that "if it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?" when o'reilly insisted that gay marriage was a menace, beck mugged a frightened face, stared into the camera, and asked, "will the gays come and get us?"
the privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses
reactions to november 2nd 2010
if someone has burned down your house you would not fire your new contractor because he has not rebuilt it overnight and then hire the arsonist to finish the job.
one powerful symbol the democrats could capture..fairness
a high degree of economic inequality is not compatible with political democracy
the advertising on google's search engine was responsible for 98 percent of the company's $22 billion in revenue
had the internet not been neutral back in the 1990s, "barnes and noble would have destroyed amazon, [and] microsoft search would have beaten out google"
irrational exuberance about the potential of social media
the future of the newspaper industry
hard to be depressed by the thought that your product has a huge new audience
the wikileaks episode(s) shows both what the digital media can and can't do. its release of information is unprecedented: but it is not journalism.
more on the state of burma
in our rural areas people are still using oxcarts. oxcarts are in museums in thailand. if you take a photo of a village in burma with its thatched huts and rutted roads, it looks exactly as it would have a hundred years ago.
the state spends less than 1 percent of its budget on education and health care combined.