NYTimes interactive graphic on wage discrepancy between men and women. (thx Kirstin Cummings)
The investigation into the 2005 assassination of the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri is nearing its end…
Today the UN investigators live and work in 50 drably furnished rooms spread out over the five floors of the Monteverde. They work in total secrecy—no communication with the press, little association with outsiders.
“How far apart are Barack Obama and John McCain on the expansion of executive power—whether or not to shrink down the presidency on steroids that has characterized the Bush administration? What’s the evidence that one or the other would pump the other branches of government back up rather than pounding them down?”
I was thinking how useful a mobile version of Yahoo Answers would be. Email or text a small question and get responses from people on the Internet. They could be paid fractions of a dollar as on Mechanical Turk, or just get “community points” (isn’t it great that a site can run on community points?) as on Yahoo Answers.
Brendan points out it is already in the works: Amazon’s NowNow. Anyone have an invite?
I think a mobile Yahoo Answers will have unpredicted use cases, similar to Twitter vs. blogging. I imagine also sending camera phone pictures. What is this animal? What does this sign say?
I’m visiting home for a week. Here are some quotes I’ve been reading, mostly from this collection of essays from Foreign Affairs.
From a 1935 essay by H. G. Wells, “Civilization on Trail”:
I continually try to see whether there is not a way of dealing with the civilized man in Germany and getting past that extraordinarily ugly Nazi mark which he has to wear because the alternative to the wearing of it would have meant submission to some foreign influence as dishonoring and even more humiliating.
George F. Kennan in “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”, 1947:
It is an undeniable privilege of every man to prove himself right in the thesis that the world is his enemy; for if he reiterates it frequently enough and makes it the background of his conduct he is bound eventually to be right.
It’s funny…Kennan is talking about the Bolsheviks, but it reads like an attack on neoconservatives.
Edward Gibbon from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1776:
From enthusiasm to imposture the step is perilous and slippery; the demon of Socrates affords a memorable instance how a wise man may deceive himself, how a good man may deceive others, how the conscience may slumber in a mixed and middle state between self-illusion and voluntary fraud.
Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., 1978:
Little has done more harm to human affairs than illusions on the part of leaders and of nations of their infallibility. Reinhold Niebuhr has warned of “a deep layer of Messianic consciousness in the mind of America” and of “the depth of evil to which individuals and communities may sink particularly when they try to play the role of God in history.”
Kissinger in an interview with the Financial Times this past week:
It is imperative to realize that we cannot do in China in the 21st century what others thought to do in the 19th, prescribe their institutions for them and seek to organize Asia. The Chinese peole have undergone huge changes since 1971. The China of 2008 is totally different from the one I first visited. The Communist party is different and though we need not agree with every action taken by Chinese leaders, we cannot simply set ourselves up as their critics.
I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more about this story…from Washington Post:
At one point, FBI agents went so far as to collect allegations of abuse in what they labeled a “war crimes file,” the inspector general’s report said, but the file was closed without action shortly afterward.
Two major policy splits are highlighted in the report’s account of the long to-and-fro over the tactics. One reflected a clash of cultures between the experienced interrogators at the FBI who were looking to prosecute terrorism crimes, and military and CIA officials who were seeking rapid information about al-Qaeda and were willing to push legal boundaries to do it. The report shows that FBI agents appeared more concerned about the long view, while others wanted detainees to break immediately in the panicked days after Sept. 11, 2001.
I’m at IFTF’s Future of Making conference, and got to chat with Hideo Tamura, editor of the Japanese edition of Make Magazine. Make: Japan is a selection from the US Make plus some original Japanese content. He showed me a bunch of videos from the recent Maker Faire in Japan, including this weird barrel input device for making music.
Babelfish’s attempt at translating: “You can adjust also volume with the strength which pushes. It is the truly rational musical instrument.”