Excuse the impolite language; Nilay Patel makes a series of important points in this essay from_The Verge_:
Here’s a simple truth: the internet has radically changed the world. Over the course of the past 20 years, the idea of networking all the world’s computers has gone from a research science pipe dream to a necessary condition of economic and social development, from government and university labs to kitchen tables and city streets. We are all travelers now, desperate souls searching for a signal to connect us all. It is awesome.
And we’re fucking everything up.
Former TSA agent and once-anonymous blogger Jason Edward Harrington for Politico:
Most of us knew the directives were questionable, but orders were orders. And in practice, officers with common sense were able to cut corners on the most absurd rules, provided supervisors or managers weren’t looking.
Then a man tried to destroy a plane with an underwear bomb, and everything changed.
George Packer explores the pros and cons of Amazon’s domination of books for The New Yorker:
In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value—it’s a widget.”
David Remnick profiles the president in The New Yorker:
Obama’s Presidency is on the clock. Hard as it has been to pass legislation, the coming year is a marker, the final interval before the fight for succession becomes politically all-consuming.
Emily Shur writes a love story—cute, not creepy—for Wired:
Mathematician Chris McKinlay hacked OKCupid to find the girl of his dreams.
Stocked up. #butwherearethecrumpets
David Gordon writes about his brush with Japanese fame for The New York Times Magazine:
You might not know me, but I’m famous. Don’t feel bad. Until recently, I didn’t know I was famous either, and most days, even now, it’s hard to tell.
On a recent Sunday morning at a small target range in rural Frederick, Md., a handful of teenagers are shooting .22 caliber rifles. Inside an adjacent clubhouse, Perrin Lewis, a crane operator and part-time firearms instructor, presents a fact-packed, six-hour lecture about guns, gun safety and gun laws to a dozen men and one woman, each of whom paid $100 for a course that—assuming they pass a federal background check—will entitle them to receive a license to carry a concealed weapon.
The license, though, will be issued not by their home state of Maryland, but by Utah, thousands of miles to the West.
Ariel Levy beautifully writes about her heartbreaking adventure to motherhood in The New Yorker. Prepare the tissues; it’s going to be an emotional ride.
But as my friends, one after another, made the journey from young woman to mother, it glared at me that I had not. I would often listen to a Lou Reed song called “Beginning of a Great Adventure,” about the possibilities of imminent parenthood. “A little me or he or she to fill up with my dreams,” Lou sings, with ragged hopefulness, “a way of saying life is not a loss.” It became the soundtrack to my mulling on motherhood. I knew that a child would make life as a professional explorer largely impossible. But having a kid seemed in many ways like the wildest trip of all.
David Levinson Wilk, former writer for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, reveals the hidden toil behind every quiz show question in the New York Times:
The word “only,” an adverb that portends disappointment for the hopeful theatergoer (“standing room only”) and an adjective that mocks the sibling-deprived (“only child”), is a trivia writer’s best friend. Shortly before he died, Dr. Seuss confessed that “Green Eggs and Ham” was “the only book I ever wrote that still makes me laugh.” The actor Bruce Dern, after appearing alongside the Duke in the 1972 western “The Cowboys,” correctly boasted that he was “the only actor who ever killed John Wayne.”