Archive for March 2009

#  Listening to Boredom →

March 30th, 2009 at 16:50 // In Worth Considering 

A nihilistic counterpoint to the previous post:

What’s good about boredom, about anguish and the sense of meaninglessness of your own, of everything else’s existence, is that it is not a deception. Try to embrace, or let yourself be embraced by, boredom and anguish, which are larger than you anyhow. No doubt you’ll find that bosom smothering, yet try to endure it as long as you can, and then some more. Above all, don’t think you’ve goofed somewhere along the line, don’t try to retrace your steps to correct the error. No, as W. H. Auden said, “Believe your pain.” This awful bear hug is no mistake. Nothing that disturbs you ever is.

(via kottke)

#  “An Unboring Life” →

March 30th, 2009 at 16:11 // In Worth Seeing 

Jessica Hagy knows the secret.

#  Ruthenia →

March 29th, 2009 at 17:29 // In Worth Knowing 

This Economist story’s a bit stale, but I feel a need to document such errata about obscure places.

#  Black Dog Bias →

March 29th, 2009 at 17:21 // In Worth Knowing 

I had no idea.

(via ToMu)

#  The American Dog →

March 29th, 2009 at 17:12 // In Worth Considering 

I think there’s something to Michael Schaffer’s thesis that the burgeoning pet industry owes something to American alienation, but really it’s this statistic — whose statistical rigor I doubt — that got my attention:

A 2001 survey for the American Animal Hospital Association revealed that 83 percent of pet owners call themselves their animal’s “mommy” or “daddy.”

#  American Migration →

March 18th, 2009 at 18:13 // In Worth Knowing 

The most interesting part is the list of magnet and sticky states. I’m shocked to see New York at the bottom of their magnetic list. I’d expect NYC would at least make it most magnetic state in the Rust Belt, but I guess not.

(via kottke)

#  America’s Defense Budget Compared →

March 18th, 2009 at 17:42 // In Worth Seeing 

This chart is impeccably executed.

#  Shirky on Newspapers →

March 14th, 2009 at 14:31 // In Worth Reading 

Shirky should be required and regular reading for anyone involved in the transmission of ideas. His latest has a number of good lines. A severely pruned list of the quotes I pulled from it:

“When a 14 year old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you but because he loves you, then you got a problem.”

…the core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.

The newspaper people often note that newspapers benefit society as a whole. This is true, but irrelevant to the problem at hand; “You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone!” has never been much of a business model.

(via Waxy)

#  Insults Around the World →

March 13th, 2009 at 11:11 // In Worth Knowing 

While explaining that “motherfucker” is a popular insult worldwide,

Anthropologists note that, across cultures, the most severe insults tend to involve a few basic themes: your opponent’s family, your opponent’s religion, sex, and scatology.

No part of that really surprises me, but I’d just like to congratulate anyone who gets paid to discover stuff like this.

#  The Top Tax Brackets →

March 13th, 2009 at 10:46 // In Worth Considering 

It’s wonky and probably — to most — pretty boring, but I think Nate Silver makes a good point:

The question, of course, is why there isn’t a millionaires tax bracket now … or even a multi-millionaires tax bracket. I haven’t run the numbers, but I’m guessing that if you established a new tax bracket at, say, 40.5 percent, that started at incomes of $1,000,000 or more, this would bring in as much revenue to the government as restoring the $250K tax bracket (which is really $360K now given indexing to inflation) to 39.6 percent, as it was under Clinton.