It is very easy to sound like a cheeseball when talking about social media. This is especially true if you’re talking about how it’s changing the world, or how it’s making all of us more creative, or how it’s opening up previously unimaginable ways of relating to others. There are lots of people who talk this way, and for the most part, they are cheeseballs. READ MORE >>
Perhaps you have a coworker with a tendency toward oddball musings that everyone tolerates because he’s exceptionally intelligent and generally confines his weirdness to the lunch hour. Now let’s imagine he embraces his ruminative streak, and after spending a month at an Indonesian ashram he gives a speech to the whole office that contains the sentence “Don’t you see what’s happening here?” Jaron Lanier is that coworker. Only he’s operating on a larger scale. READ MORE >>
What can the revolutionary teach us if the revolution is dead?
Biographies come in two kinds. The first and more conventional kind portrays the hero as an exception, a genius or a rebel against his time. (I say “his” time because traditional biographies celebrated great men; the arrival of biographies about women has been painfully slow.) We are all familiar with the exceptional biography because it has been and remains the most popular genre on the market—alongside that other study of the dead, the murder-mystery. READ MORE >>
There is no greater obstacle to progressive change than the idea of austerity. It has dominated economic policy in Europe, resulting in continued slow growth (or outright contraction) and high unemployment. These conditions have produced demoralized electorates that lack faith in all politicians—a cynicism that has only deepened when leftist parties have attained power and failed to revive growth. In such an environment, progressive change is not possible, and the left is reduced to purely defensive actions. READ MORE >>
The President promised not to undercut the rule of law for expedience's sake. He did. Now we face the consequences.
In the conflict against Al Qaeda that began in 2001, American military forces have conducted operations in more countries than in any war except World War II. Most of these countries are probably in the Middle East and North Africa, and the number (based on press reports) is likely in the ten to thirty range. But the public doesn't know, because the government hasn't told it. READ MORE >>
Pity the poor soul who one day decides to write a biography of Janet Malcolm. She has little patience for “the arrogant desire to impose a narrative on the stray bits and pieces of a life that wash up on the shores of biographical research.” But oh, what tantalizing bits are on offer! READ MORE >>
The wisdom of a poet in nature and in war
“We are at the beginning of another ‘Georgian period,’ which may take rank in due time with the several great poetic ages of the past,” wrote Edward Marsh in 1912. And for a brief moment, such confidence seemed plausible. READ MORE >>
The Birth of Political Rhetoric in an Ancient Democracy
Greece has had a troubled history since the start of the debt crisis in 2009. The people of the country, quite understandably, feel resentful at having to defer to the bureaucratic power of the European Union: it represents an undignified loss of their autonomy and freedom. The current troubles have re-opened old, even ancient wounds. READ MORE >>
Politico's piece about Mark Leibovich's book is exactly what's wrong with 'this town'
It's not fun, having to apply a therapeutic reading to some of the Washington press corps's most inscrutable minds. We really don't want to know—and don't have the requisite time to learn—about the fears haunting Politico senior writer Mike Allen, a man in his 40s who refuses to show or tell any of his friends where he lives. READ MORE >>
Startups are morale boosters for our economic self-image. The entrepreneurs behind them are like lottery winners and gold prospectors combined: self-made but lucky, glamorous but hardworking, delusionally optimistic by definition. READ MORE >>