Why did the Greenland Norse prefer to starve rather than copy the ways of the Inuit? How did the Anasazi fail to notice that by squandering their piñon on structures, they were eliminating a precious food source? And how do we, in this 21st-century global village, continue to live in denial about impending climate change, something every credible climatologist has confirmed?
Judith Lewis: What Did the Last Easter Islander Say as He Chopped Down the Last Tree? "Jared Diamond, The best-selling author of Guns, Germs and Steel, asks whimsical questions with grave answers. In his latest book, he turns his attention to the collapse of civilization."
Arthur Magazine issue 15 is available as a free pdf: Meditation as a subversive activity; Jessica Yu talks about her Henry Darger documentary; "Hotel and Farm" by Ben Katchor and a special feature with lots of other comics; new columnist Douglas Rushkoff; Ian Svenonius has a conversation with the Secret Service. Ok!
On "Countdown," a nightly news hour on MSNBC, the anchor, Keith Olbermann, led off with a classic "Daily Show"-style bit: a rapid-fire montage of sharply edited video bites illustrating the apparent idiocy of those in Washington. In this case, the eight clips stretched over a year in the White House briefing room - from February 2004 to late last month - and all featured a reporter named "Jeff." In most of them, the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, says "Go ahead, Jeff," and "Jeff" responds with a softball question intended not to elicit information but to boost President Bush and smear his political opponents. In the last clip, "Jeff" is quizzing the president himself, in his first post-inaugural press conference of Jan. 26. Referring to Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, "Jeff" asks, "How are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?"
If we did not live in a time when the news culture itself is divorced from reality, the story might end there: "Jeff," you'd assume, was a lapdog reporter from a legitimate, if right-wing, news organization like Fox, and you'd get some predictable yuks from watching a compressed video anthology of his kissing up to power. But as Mr. Olbermann explained, "Jeff Gannon," the star of the montage, was a newsman no more real than a "Senior White House Correspondent" like Stephen Colbert on "The Daily Show" and he worked for a news organization no more real than The Onion. Yet the video broadcast by Mr. Olbermann was not fake. "Jeff" was in the real White House, and he did have those exchanges with the real Mr. McClellan and the real Mr. Bush.
"Jeff Gannon's" real name is James D. Guckert. His employer was a Web site called Talon News, staffed mostly by volunteer Republican activists. Media Matters for America, the liberal press monitor that has done the most exhaustive research into the case, discovered that Talon's "news" often consists of recycled Republican National Committee and White House press releases, and its content frequently overlaps with another partisan site, GOPUSA, with which it shares its owner, a Texas delegate to the 2000 Republican convention. Nonetheless, for nearly two years the White House press office had credentialed Mr. Guckert, even though, as Dana Milbank of The Washington Post explained on Mr. Olbermann's show, he "was representing a phony media company that doesn't really have any such thing as circulation or readership."
How the ... what the ... did they really do this? What the hell is wrong with these people?!
originally posted by zagg
The blogosphere is no substitute for face-to-face conversations. It's just another journalistic tool limited by, if nothing else, the amount of time you're willing to spend reading and clicking. I like the way folks like "Professor Kim" and George Kelly feed me quick glimpses at a wide range of thought from mainstream journalism and blogs. I'm also acutely aware that the same dialogic dysfunction that leapt from the solid world to the virtual one, from living room chats to chat rooms, infects the blogosphere.
There has been much talk about consumer greed in the wake of the Ikea riot, about the depravity of people crushing one another for a £45 sofa. But there is less talk about Ikea's greed, and in particular about the way in which this giant of a corporation manipulates its customer's emotions, sending them into ever more hysterical cycles of rage and frustration.I've always thought the IKEA shopping experience was built to disorient shoppers. The sharp corners between sectons, broken line of vision and the "light room" at the end of the "path" all seem built to break the concentration of the consumer. I have a good six hours of true IKEA stories, including a destroyed relationship and a run-in with the Staten Island mob.
There’s no U.S. in America anymore. What’s on the map instead? Well let’s just start with territoralities often delineated in treaties of fact—territoralities of 500 indigenous nations imbued with an inalienable right to self-determination, definable territoralities which are jurisdictionally separate. Then you’ve got things like the internal diasporic population of African Americans in internal colonies that have been established by the imposition of labor patterns upon them. You’ve got Appalachian whites. Since the U.S. unilaterally violated its treaty obligations, it forfeits its rights—or presumption of rights—under international law. Basically, you’ve got a dismantlement and devolution of the U.S. territorial and jurisdictional corpus into something that would be more akin to diasporic self-governing entities and a multiplicity of geographical locations. A-ha, chew on that one for awhile.
Tod Maffin shares "the perfect iPod setup for listening to podcasts." I plan to implement it post haste.
Ossie was a tireless advocate for social justice his whole life speaking out against racism and the criminal justice system.
He was gracious enough to speak on anti-death penalty panels my wife organized in New York City on several occasions. In 1965, he delivered a Eulogie for Malcolm X.
He will be missed.
originally posted by zagg
Tagging, as seen on Flickr and other sites, allows you to organize things in a way that makes sense to your brain. You may also notice that tagging photos on Flickr is the first time that organizing something has made perfect sense.
He was arguably the best breaking-news editor of his generation. He had incredibly sharp instincts about the real news angle of any story. He was a writer's editor as well and made substantial improvements to a story without changing the writer's voice or tampering with the style. Rather, he would get the writer to make the changes the story needed and then he would organize the rewritten prose logically so that it really flowed.
Lucien Carr was one of several fascinating real-life characters, like Neal Cassady, Carl Solomon, and Herbert Huncke, who became legendary through their association with the Beat writers. Lucien holds a special position here: he introduced Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs to each other.
When I consider that a good deal of my time is spent running applications like Disk Defragmenter, Scandisk, Norton AV, Windows Update and Ad-Aware — none of which are available for the Mac platform — it doesn't make sense for me to "switch" to a Mac at this time.
I would like to have a penis. My very own penis.I want one too. I've always wanted one. Only for a day, mind.
A dick, a cock, a shlong, a nob, a whatever you choose to call it. It certainly sounds better than a vagina - that passive, pathetic and powerless receptacle with other revolting names used mainly as expletives or declarations of others' weakness: twat, cunt, pussy, or worst of all, gwat.
Some birds can play games in which they intentionally tell lies. New Caledonian crows design and make tools. Scrub jays can recall events from specific times or places -- a trait once thought unique to humans. And perhaps most impressive, parrots, hummingbirds and thousands of other species of songbirds are able to teach and learn vocal communication -- the basic skill that makes human language possible. That's a variant of social intelligence not found in any mammal other than people, bats, and cetaceans such as dolphins and whales.
Heed the Avian Brain Nomenclature Consortium, and please begin using more accurate terminology when describing bird brains.