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Entries from November 2008

Introducing Law & Disorder

November 4th, 2008 · Comments Off on Introducing Law & Disorder

So, as readers have noticed, I don’t blog here nearly as often as I once did; daily journalism is time consuming. But I got my start as a writer blogging, and in a lot of ways that’s probably still my comparative advantage. So I’m happy to announce that, starting today, I’ll be blogging about the […]

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Tags: Privacy and Surveillance · Self Promotion · Tech and Tech Policy

The Greatest Thing Ever. Ever.

November 4th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Via BoingBoing, I think I can say without fear of contradiction that this is the greatest work of genius ever struck off by the mind of man:

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Tags: Random Cool Link

I’m the Greatest Secret Agent in the World

November 4th, 2008 · 5 Comments

With my boys on Halloween: And yes, Tim Lee is dressed as a “Mailer Daemon.” Geektastic.

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Tags: Personal

Media Elites

November 3rd, 2008 · 5 Comments

Median Mean annual wage for a journalist, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: $43,170 Median Mean annual wage for a plumber: $47,350 Obviously, the TV talking heads and New York Times columnists are in another league altogether, but perhaps it bears noting on occasion that most reporters are also, you know, “working people” in […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

Open-Source Dirty Tricks

November 3rd, 2008 · 2 Comments

So, having written a fair amount about new media and deceptive political tactics, my friend Angela Valdez’s piece in Salon today raises a question that’s been on my mind for a while, but that I’ve been a little wary of writing about. Most of the folks who’ve written about the prospects for exploiting network technology […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics

Types of Redistribution

November 2nd, 2008 · 21 Comments

I’m late to the ball here, but there have been an enormous amount of silly things written about redistribution in the past week or two. First, we have the claim that Barack Obama’s agenda is “socialist,” which is just sloppy. Words mean things, and “socialism” is about centralized economic planning and state control of the […]

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Tags: Economics · General Philosophy · Libertarian Theory · Moral Philosophy

There Will Be a Song of Jubilee Waiting for Your King

November 2nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

Per a conversation with some friends last week, I certainly hope that all these larger-than-life, “OBEY Giant” style Shepard Fairey posters of Obama’s face come down when and if he’s actually president. Campaigning is campaigning, but I’m going to be hugely creeped out to live in a city where the countenance of the Dear Leader […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics

Recommended Reading

November 2nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

It’s been referenced a fair amount already these past few years, but this is an excellent time to reread Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.”

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Tags: Sociology

Kantian Journalism

November 2nd, 2008 · Comments Off on Kantian Journalism

Here’s what seems especially puzzling about all the whining over the L.A. Times‘ refusal to release a tape of Barack Obama at Rashid Khalidi’s farewell dinner—aside from the fact that what we’ve read of Obama’s remarks there make it fairly clear that Obama found their conversations interesting and useful because they disagree about Israel. The […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media · Moral Philosophy

“The country is centrist”

November 1st, 2008 · 6 Comments

I feel like I’ve read that line a few times in the last week, as though it counted as some kind of empirical observation about the electorate. Isn’t it just, you know, a tautology?  France is “centrist” too, relative to the distribution of political opinion there. Update: A commenter suggests that “the country is centrist” […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Language and Literature