Libraries under threat
“A free public library service was one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. Literature opens doors, and here we are shutting them. It is so very sad and demands a U-turn from government, not just for the children and old people who use them, but because we have a cultural tradition to protect. The Government talks about people power; well, the people don’t want libraries...
What democracy needs
“To stay smart and accurate in changing times, democracy needs to recruit.” - Anne Herbert, from her website Peace and Love and Noticing the Details
Freedom of information...or not
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has had it with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who has just created “essentially two Internets” with weak net neutrality rules and who this week signed off on the mega-merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. A common thread unites the two decisions: both highlight the “growing threat of corporate control” over information… …As...
Love your Public Library
Public libraries everywhere seem to be in the news lately, as cities try to cope with shrinking budgets. But really, slashing libraries? You’ve got to know (and hope) that people will be upset about that. People might even mobilize. In the UK, citizens are starting to campaign against cuts that would see 375 branch libraries and mobile book-lending services close. Love those book-loving citizens...
“I don’t feel free,” she says. “I think, I don’t feel free to do what I want. It’s not in my nature. I could never just do anything for fun. I mean, it’s such a waste of time to do something for fun. I feel like I’ve got to be productive. I can’t live the rest of my life like this, but for now I have to justify any pleasurable time that I...
On PhDs and Time-wasting
The Economist posted an article about why PhDs are often a waste of time: Whining PhD students are nothing new, but there seem to be genuine problems with the system that produces research doctorates (the practical “professional doctorates” in fields such as law, business and medicine have a more obvious value). There is an oversupply of PhDs. Although a doctorate is designed as training for a...
When the Score is House: 1, Job: 0
From n+1, which coauthored “Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager” along with this, well, anonymous Hedge Fund Manager: “n+1: Can we talk about the situation? What’s going on in the economy? HFM: …I felt like there was this credit heart attack, a real collapse of economic activity, and that after the restoration to normal, of the basic...