A report from the freediving word championships.
Tuesday, February 14
Idleness is not just a psychological necessity, requisite to the construction of a complete human being; it constitutes as well a kind of political space, a space as necessary to the workings of an actual democracy as, say, a free press.
Monday, February 13
On a young Arnold Schwarzenegger and the body-building culture of Venice Beach in the 1970s.
What happens when top universities focus on careers rather than minds.
The search for an anonymous amateur philosopher.
Sunday, February 12
"Look, people's lives are people's lives, and some of them can't cope or be as organized as some of us might like. But it's only in the area of sex that we get involved in the ethics of promoting risk-taking, the idea that we should withhold information or devices because we don't want people to need them. Would you make the same argument about cholesterol drugs? Saying, If we give people a drug that will reduce cholesterol, they won't be as likely to exercise and eat properly like they really should?"
An essay on “how we ignore the long-term effects of violence on children, adults and our communities.”
On the popular iPhone app.
Just the day before, President Barack Obama had signed on and begun sending out photos. This seemed like a real sign that Instagram had arrived. Obama already has accounts on Flickr and Facebook. He (or his people) must have seen something unique and wonderful in Instagram's audience, some way to reach people via that channel that it couldn't through others. When the President joins your network, it's news. And while it's great news, it can be the kind of thing a company isn't prepared for. But as it turns out, Obama is a fractional compared to Justin Bieber.
Saturday, February 11
A visit to the newly on-the-market Jamesburg Earth Station, a massive satellite receiver that played a key role in communications with space, and its neighbors in an adjacent trailer park.
On Alison Winter’s Memory: Fragments of a Modern History, and issues of memory in the 20th century.
Underlying the compelling feeling that we are our memories is a further common-sense assumption that our entire lives are accurately retained somewhere in the brain ‘bank’ as laid-down memories of our experience, and that we retrieve our lives and selves from an ever expanding stockpile of recollections. Or we can’t, and then that feeling that it’s on the tip of our tongue, or there but just out of range, still encourages us to think that everything we have known or done is in us somewhere, if only our digging equipment were sharper.