Archive for June 2010

#  The Afghanistan We Don’t See →

June 18th, 2010 at 20:06 // In Worth Seeing 

This isn’t done often enough. Foreign Policy got a batch photos taken by Kabul teens which shows the day-to-day life of the people. While this may be antithetical to the traditional notion of news photography, regularly undertaking this practice would be an invaluable compliment to that.

(via Reddit)

#  Visions of Muhammad →

June 17th, 2010 at 19:14 // In Worth Considering 

It feels a little silly, but I’d never thought much about the similarity between the current heat surrounding images of Muhammad and the idol breaking that played a role both in the “Great schism” and reformation. The logic of the offended believers is similar:

“The prohibition is intended to protect the faithful from that sin [of polytheism]. The fear was that intense reverence for the prophet might if unrestrained cross over into worship. In the 8th and the 9th centuries a general consensus banning such depictions arose among the clerics, but not all Muslims knew of it, paid attention, or obeyed.”

(via Big Contrarian, who also links an internet exhibit of images of the prophet)

#  Ayn Rand Considered →

June 5th, 2010 at 10:46 // In Worth Reading 

I’ve never been a Randian, or done much study of the stuff, but I quite enjoyed this review of the author and the merits of her work:

Finally, there was the cult surrounding Rand that developed during the 1960s. Reasoned discourse with Rand became impossible unless you began by accepting her pronouncements about everything—then you could argue the logic of your position. What had been lively back-and-forth explorations of ideas in the early 1950s became sessions at which the students sat at the feet of the master, “shivering, scared children who dared not say the wrong thing lest they incur her wrath,” in the words of John Hospers.

(via ALD)

#  Why We Do What We Do →

June 3rd, 2010 at 16:52 // In Worth Knowing 

Shirky: Right—because television crowded out other forms of social engagement. Look, behavior is motivation filtered through opportunity. So if you see people behaving in new ways, like with Wikipedia and whatnot, it’s very unlikely that their motivations have changed, because human nature doesn’t change that quickly. It’s quite likely that the opportunities have changed.

The emphasized sentence was a new frame for me. There’s other good stuff is this conversation between Clay Shirkey and Dan Pink, but that sentence was a mini-revelation.

(via Idea of the Day)

#  No Good News Today →

June 2nd, 2010 at 17:51 // In Worth Considering 

This is a potent point:

One of the themes in my forthcoming book is that there are huge vested interests trying to prevent good news reaching the public. That is to say, in the ruthless free-market struggle that goes on between pressure groups for media attention and funds, nobody likes to have it said that `their’ problem is not urgent and getting worse.

(via Lone Gunman)