Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Malcolm Gladwell

Monday’s Links Has Learned to Tie Its Bootlace

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* Wes Anderson’s The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.

A billion-year storage medium that could outlive the human race.

New drugs could extend cancer patients’ lives—by days. At a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars. Prompting some doctors to refuse to use them.

* Friendship Is Magic: Malcolm Harris on branding the left.

Maryville, Missouri Is a Lawless Hellhole, And Other Things You Can’t Say About Small Towns.

* The rich are different: Filthy Lucre.

* The wisdom of markets: Pinterest is now valued at $3.8 billion after its most recent round of fundraising generated $225 million. It’s an impressive feat for a company without any revenue. Note: that’s not no profit. That’s no revenue whatsoever.

Milwaukee police use-of-force reports more than double.

A City Or A Swamp? One Year Later, Hoboken Still Struggling With Sandy.

With a $100 million endowment and annual revenues approaching $300 million, TFA is flush with cash and ambition. Its clout on Capitol Hill was demonstrated last week when a bipartisan group of lawmakers made time during the frenzied budget negotiations to secure the nonprofit its top legislative priority — the renewal of a controversial provision defining teachers still in training, including TFA recruits, as “highly qualified” to take charge of classrooms.

* Abolition never happened: There could be slaves in the supply chain of your chocolate, smartphone and sushi.

* Decadence watch: Mixed Martial Arts for kids.

Malcolm Gladwell’s New Book Asks Us To Pity the Rich.

* Editorial: F**k Jared Diamond.

* Douglas Hofstadter, The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think. The Rapid Advance of Artificial Intelligence. Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence.

More Than 15 Million Americans Now Live Within One Mile Of A Fracking Well. Nearly 300 Oil Spills Went Unreported In North Dakota In Less Than Two Years.

* Someone should put this guy in charge of a hypertrophic, paranoid security state. He’d do great.

* A California woman who received a life sentence for killing her abusive pimp at age 17 will be released after a mere 19 years in prison.

How to Turn Robert’s Rules Into a Force for Good.

* And RIP, Lou Reed. The Neil Gaiman interview.

Tuesday Night!

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* Hard to say which is more shocking: that a male worker born in 1973 retiring at age 70 can expect to live a full year less than the expected length of retirement for a worker born in 1912, or that Richard Shelby apparently has evidence that by 2025 “America will be burned … and a lot of us will be dead.”

* Catholic Church approves iPhone confession app. Not an Onion hotline…

* Paul Campos tries to read Laurence Tribe’s mind.

* The Tea Party Movement has driven out Colorado state party chairman Dick Wadhams. Because I am an adult, I will leave the man’s absurd name out of this, and just bid him adieu…

* Behold the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator.

* Wolverine or 2 Batmen: a duckrabbit for our time.

* Academic Cliche Watch: “I want to argue that . . .”

* Fox News draws ever closer to its Fort Sumter moment.

* HuffPo’s Achilles Heel: Search engine optimization won’t work forever.

* Provocative claim of the day:I find myself slightly gratified that one consequence of the now-dying post-Thatcher free-market consensus is that it made nuclear power development in the Anglosphere more or less economically impossible.

* And a quick note on how beer commercials work.

Beer commercials are designed around certain dominant themes, but the people who sell the beer would prefer that the dominant themes be misunderstood. What are beer commercials about? The two central premises are these: 

1. Beer—cheap, common, domestic beer—is a rare commodity that drives men mad with the desire to have it, at any cost.

2. Women are the great obstacle between men and the fulfillment of this desire.

Taken literally, this is baffling. Beer is cheap and easy to find. The only cost should be $6.99 for a six pack, at any convenience store. And rather than hiding from women to drink their beer, many single adult heterosexual men seek out female company when they’re drinking. “Drink our beer and avoid contact with women!”—who could possibly be the target for that pitch?

But it makes perfect sense if the target audience is—and it is—16-year-olds.

The girls aren’t really girls; they’re Mom. And Mom is the first hurdle in the thrilling obstacle course that makes up the world of the teenage beer drinker.

Good Writing from Other People

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I have a few projects I’m desperately behind on at the moment, so here in lieu of actual content is good writing from people who aren’t me:

* My friend Lisa on the intellectual proletariat.

* Aaron Bady on Franzen’s Freedom and the project of unfinished realism. (Having actually read Freedom [it’s all right, even pretty good] instead of done the things I was supposed to do I may post about it someday soon myself.)

* Socialism and/or Barbarism on Swamp Thing, scarcity, and “green politics.”

* Easily Distracted on what it might mean to really take responsibility.

* And Crooked Timber, against Malcolm Gladwell, on blogs, bullets, and bullshit.

Miscellany

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Malcolm Gladwell gets a smackdown from The Morning News. Whedon says more Dr. Horrible on the way. What happens when a space elevator breaks. How exactly it was you came to fall in love with the majesty of colors. 3-D representations of 2-D video games. Scenes from Gaza. Bush White House precisely as dickish as originally thought.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 7, 2009 at 7:55 pm