It's going to be a flimsy consumption list this time, because I forgot to track the stuff I read on the net recently, but they are all worth reading nonetheless.
Most recommended: Can a film about apes represent the struggle of the black community in the US better than one allegedly about this struggle itself? Yes it can, says Max Gordon, and provides great commentary about the way racism and the struggle against it are depicted in movies. Holywood cannot show the real extent of racism and violence before the Civil Rights movement, because it doesn't sell; you can't show lynch mobs, burning crosses, police dogs tearing away people and expect to make a profit. So what happens is that a pretified version of the era gets propagated through films like The Help, where opression is nearly a matter of choice. In case the above link does not work, try it here.
Famed animator Miyazaki gives a rare interview. He sounds exactly like the intelligent but pessimist man you would expect to be behind the films coming out of Studio Ghibli. On why he makes films for children: "I believe that children's souls are the inheritors of historical memory from previous generations. It's just that as they grow older and experience the everyday world that memory sinks lower and lower."
"When you pay $199 for Fire, you’re not buying a gadget—you’re filing citizen papers for the digital duchy of Amazonia." When you surf on the Fire, your data first goes through Amazon's servers. Isn't that cute? This interview profiles Bezos, who has apparently been working on solving the innovator's dilemma since a long time now. A nice look into the driving forces of a company which will codetermine the direction the web will take.
Welcome to the real post-industrial economy! We don't want more work anymore, we want autonomy. Many highly-educated people are preferring a post-materialist lifestyle in which they work less, earn a little above a threshold, and spend their time rather with their families or hobbies than with their boss.
Nasa engineer compares the shuttle project to Lysenko biology, which is pretty much the biggest insult a scientist can make. He argues that the project was an expensive, dangerous and inefficient failure from the beginning. So why did NASA kept on operating it? Because the US needed "a national phallus".
The Transformers films are all bullshit, we all know it, and don't watch them. But the last film is making such a deliberate effort to debase women, especially those with power, that parts of it deserve to be watched to remember how far we haven't come. The film goes through pretty much all the possible stereotypical ways of mocking and objectifying women.
Finland gives good teachers freedom, and creates the best primary education system in the world. Who would've thought, right? If you're too lazy to educate good teachers and give them responsibility, just create another central testing authority and put students through another round of grueling test routine, and things will certainly improve. As measured by another central testing authority.
Astonishing presentation about the workflow and tools at Github. I think Zach Holman's slides give a solid glimpse at the emerging work environment of the future: asynchronous, issue-based, extremely flat hierarchies, and automating the shit out of every process. A bit of a wordy article that is linked from this page and captures my unexpressed sentiments about task lists and prioritizing them: "A priority is observed, not manufactured or assigned. Otherwise, it's necessarily not a priority."
Clay Shirkey: the newspapers were not in the news business; they have to get into it if they want to survive. But who will give them the money for good investigative journalism? That's right, no one, or at least not enough people, so we should subsidize news, says Shirkey.
From the read and weep department: Man gets sent to death row on flimsy evidence, prosecution hides evidence from his lawyers, and he waits for death for 14 years. He sues the prosecution when he gets out, prosecutor's office is ordered to pay 14 million dollars, but this decision gets thrown out by the supreme court. What kind of a prosecutor sends someone to his death knowing that he is innocent? Oh yeah, the prosecutor was also Harry Conick Jr.'s father.