Bill Keller of NYT expresses ire against Twitter, Facebook etc. He lists the common reasons you usually hear; internet is making us dumb (he actually tweeted "#TwitterMakesYouStupid. Discuss."), internet friends are not real friends, stuff you hear on the net goes in through one ear and exits through the other etc.
And Zeynep Tufekci responds to him. As with all good criticism, she elaborates Keller's points and makes them better than he does. The crux of her criticism: oral culture is making a comeback, and this scares people who rely on their literacy to be heard and taken seriously.
There's a better, more scary Sarah Palin in the circuit. Read and astound at the new first lady of the tea party.
Automatic war continues, now on the langugage front. IARPA (a successor to DARPA) has a branch named "Office of Incisive Analysis". This office heavily funds research into automatic analysis of texts to discover metaphors, so that the Pentagon can "understand" what the natives in a country which they are trying to "liberate" think about "democracy".
Stories of overworked americans. A human face to the financial crisis.
An introduction to the world of Berlusconi by the New Yorker. The eighth largest economy in the world is ruled by a sex-crazed half-mafioso. And sex-crazed does not even go half way in describing this man. This article tries to find out how something like this is possible, and the underlying reasons from the Italian society.
Another Berlusconi article, this one from Vanity Fair. I went into something like a Berlusconi binge right at the beginning of my holiday. This article makes the outrageousness of the situation even more tangible by providing the history of Berlusconi's rise to power. Just a foretaste: "Berlusconi was still facing a serious charge of accounting fraud related to illegally transferring millions of dollars to Craxi. So Parliament decriminalized that kind of false accounting, rendering the charge moot. He stood accused of tax evasion. Suddenly there was amnesty for tax evaders. He was facing the charge of having bribed a judge: Parliament passed a new law granting immunity to Italy’s highest-ranking leaders."
Don't understand why the economic crisis in a comparably small economy like that of Greece is so important for the Euro? Read this, and you might get a bit closer to understanding it. Spoiler:
Ze Germansare to blame.
Adam Michnik, a polish intellectual, argues that you can't come out pure and clean out of a dictatorship. It's a very short review of a book, but Michnik's point is a very important one: Opression wounds everybody, and you can't simply purge the society and keep on living happily.
abominationa number of times. CoffeeScript also gets mentioned.