Madonna was right.
It’s a material world.
Didn’t take long after I started covering the materials beat for TR until I fully realized this.
Now, the following headlines and links are presented without further editorial comment.
Are We Really on the Verge of the Napster-fication of Physical Objects? (Ok, one editorial comment. The answer to this question is NO.)
Michael Lewis, in his Vanity Fair profile of Obama, on the immediate aftermath of the President’s decision to secure a UN resolution and begin bombing operations in Libya last year.
My question: is there really a reality machine in the same way there is one for controversy? Hard to tell sometimes.
I know it has been a rough week, so I wanted to reach out. Players dying, players suing and on top of that my peers are just going off on you in the media. It does not help that ESPN has all of a sudden become Medical TV with damn near every brain expert on the planet. This has got to be the worst week ever. Since no one is showing any support, I figured I would be the first. You are in one big ass catch 22 and quite frankly, I am not sure there is any solution. One thing I think can help is killing the NFL PR machine.
Y’all do a darn near perfect job at portraying this game as one played by heroes. But let’s be real dad. This is a nasty, dirty and violent game with consequences. Sign up or go get a regular job. Watch it or turn off the TV and go fishing with your kids. It is really that simple. I know there are probably legal and financial implications that prevent this blunt depiction, but am not sure if you have a choice. If you don’t say it now, the mounting evidence being revealed publicly will say it for you very soon. In all, I love you and if anyone can lead us out of this mess, it will be you. Oh by the way, I have a deal for you. Am having a rebound year and plan to do a lot of celebrating in the end zone. Can my fine money go to supporting ex-players suffering?
Chad Ochocinco, in an open letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, with whom the talented wide receiver formerly named Chad Johnson apparently has a “father-son relationship.”
Ochocinco says he wrote the letter because “we are at a crucial point in the history of football,” and “the foundation of the game is in jeopardy.” He’s right.
“Climate change is not so much a reduction in productivity as a redistribution,’’ Caldeira said. “And it is one in which the poorest people on earth get hit the hardest and the rich world benefits”—a phenomenon, he added, that is not new.
“I have two perspectives on what this might mean,’’ he said. “One says: humans are like rats or cockroaches. We are already living from the equator to the Arctic Circle. The weather has already become .7 degrees warmer, and barely anyone has noticed or cares. And, yes, the coral reefs might become extinct, and people from the Seychelles might go hungry. But they have gone hungry in the past, and nobody cared. So basically we will live in our gated communities, and we will have our TV shows and Chicken McNuggets, and we will be O.K. The people who would suffer are the people who always suffer.
“There is another way to look at this, though,’’ he said. “And that is to compare it to the subprime-mortgage crisis, where you saw that a few million bad mortgages led to a five-per-cent drop in gross domestic product throughout the world. Something that was a relatively small knock to the financial system led to a global crisis. And that could certainly be the case with climate change. But five per cent is an interesting figure, because in the Stern Report’’—an often cited review led by the British economist Nicholas Stern, which signalled the alarm about greenhouse-gas emissions by focussing on economics—“they estimated climate change would cost the world five per cent of its G.D.P. Most economists say that solving this problem is one or two per cent of G.D.P. The Clean Water and Clean Air Acts each cost about one per cent of G.D.P.,” Caldeira continued. “We just had a much worse shock to our banking system. And it didn’t even get us to reform the economy in any significant way. So why is the threat of a five-per-cent hit from climate change going to get us to transform the energy system?” Ken Caldeira on climate change economics, in the New Yorker, on geoengineering.
Let’s start with the premise that absolutely any sitting President who made a high stakes choice to order a commando raid that killed one of the most notorious enemies of the United States in American history would make that decision a center point in his or her campaign for a second term. To pretend otherwise is not only ludicrous; this is actually what a president should do. So much of what goes into a presidential campaign are indiciators - some bogus, others acute - about what a president would do in impossible to foresee, high stakes moments. Obama made a high stakes call. He proved right. And he’ll bring that before the electorate to make his argument to keep him as president.
But as I first argued back in 2004, national political campaigns are only loosely about ‘issues’ as news obsessives construe them. Contemporary American campaigns are much more meta-battles over power, masculinity and dominance, what I once called “bitch-slap politics.” Not pretty perhaps but you’ll never understand campaigns without understanding things through this prism. And that’s very much what’s happening with the Obama campaign’s latest fusillade against Mitt Romney. This isn’t simply - maybe not even mainly — about the actual decision to risk so much to kill bin Laden. It’s a dance to - let’s not run away from what it really is - unman Romney in his contest with the president. Josh Marshall, TPM
(Subsequent) revolutions will not be televised?
Josh Marshall is right. There is nowhere near the cable news coverage of the several additional Arab World uprisings that there was in Egypt. Why? Egypt is by its nature a bigger story and the networks already had reporters stationed in Cairo, so coverage was easier, says Marshall, and these are good points. But, unfortunately for the people of these countries, so is this one:
To some significant extent, if it’s not on Al Jazeera or CNN or the BBC and on in a saturation way, it’s just not happening.
I disagree with many of the president’s policies, but I believe he is a patriot sincerely intent on using his time in office to advance our country’s cause. I reject accusations that his policies and beliefs make him unworthy to lead America or opposed to its founding ideals. And I reject accusations that Americans who vigorously oppose his policies are less intelligent, compassionate or just than those who support them.
Our political discourse should be more civil than it currently is, and we all, myself included, bear some responsibility for it not being so. It probably asks too much of human nature to expect any of us to be restrained at all times by persistent modesty and empathy from committing rhetorical excesses that exaggerate our differences and ignore our similarities. But I do not think it is beyond our ability and virtue to refrain from substituting character assassination for spirited and respectful debate. Sen. John McCain in January 17 op-ed in the Washington Post