Every Thursday Brings Us Closer to the End of Thursdays Links
* John Liu has a new pet issue in this mayoral race: Just ahead of Tuesday’s mayoral debate, the city comptroller proposed changing the city’s marijuana laws to make the drug legal for recreational use, then taxing it and using the revenue to help pay for the City University of New York. A study Liu commissioned on marijuana economics in New York found that legalizing the possession of one ounce of weed could increase city revenue by $400 million.
* Forbes lists its ranking of the most and least financially fit schools in America.
The Oxford English Dictionary says the first published use of “hello” goes back only to 1827. And it wasn’t mainly a greeting back then. Ammon says people in the 1830’s said hello to attract attention (“Hello, what do you think you’re doing?”), or to express surprise (“Hello, what have we here?”). Hello didn’t become “hi” until the telephone arrived.
* U2′s Bono: Capitalism is only way to end poverty. Well, I guess that settles it.
Fine print has a habit of eliciting just such a moralizing tone. If somebody is caught out by terms contained in a section of fine print, our first thought is usually that it’s the person’s own fault for being so inattentive, reckless, or even downright lazy. “Always read the fine print.” With its definite article serving at once to distance and to universalize the practice, the old adage is deemed fair warning. And yet fine print asks specifically not to be read. It is a deliberately non-communicative speech act, erasing itself by miniaturization, accumulation, and esotericism.