Friday, September 25

We hear a thousand objections of this sort throughout history: Thoreau objecting to the telegraph, because even though it speeds things up, people won't have anything to say to one another. Then we have Samuel Morse, who invents the telegraph, objecting to the telephone because nothing important is ever going to be done over the telephone because there's no way to preserve or record a phone conversation. There were complaints about typewriters making writing too mechanical, too distant -- it disconnects the author from the words. That a pen and pencil connects you more directly with the page. And then with the computer, you have the whole range of "this is going to revolutionize everything" versus "this is going to destroy everything."

Wednesday, September 16

“I was a kid when the Beatles came to America. Soon they were followed by the Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark Five, the Kinks, and other groups. The press dubbed it the British Invasion, and it was a big deal for about a year and a half. It was everywhere in the media, with saturation coverage. Yet in spite of all that coverage, at that time I had no idea that the biggest influence on that music, the real root of that music, was African-American rhythm and blues. Because although the media coverage was a mile wide, it was an inch deep. There was no effort to understand the history or the evolution that produced the music.”

Of course he’s talking about mainstream coverage of the financial crisis but he could be talking about health care, or any complex topic that moves in and out of popularity.
On Reddit: A message to Christians who oppose Public Health Care, from a fellow Christian: Read more Bible. Watch less Fox News.

Thursday, September 10

"My hunch is that the Times’ editors see Friedman aiming the gun at his foot, but watching a man stupid enough to actually pull the trigger is so fun they hate to intervene. That or they’re trying to explode the myth of American meritocracy."