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Entries Tagged as 'Art & Culture'

CEOs in Comics: Villains Earn, Heroes Inherit

September 21st, 2011 · 66 Comments

While the ruthless corporate CEO as villain is pretty much a stock character in modern pop culture, superhero comics have always conspicuously placed successful businessmen on both sides of the hero/villain divide. Yet an interesting, and perhaps counterintuitive, pattern recently occurred to me. Just off the top of my head, here are some of the […]

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Tags: Art & Culture

He’s My Favorite Fictional Character!

September 19th, 2011 · 30 Comments

As a young boy, I was an avid reader of a series of biographical picture books called ValueTales, which illustrated such virtues as confidence, kindness, and imagination through lightly fictionalized accounts of the lives of historical worthies ranging from Confucius to Louis Pasteur and Harriet Tubman. At the same time, I was enamored of ancient […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Religion

Quick Thought on the Netflix Split

September 19th, 2011 · 9 Comments

As the Internet scratches its Hydra-head over Netflix’s announcement that it’s splitting off its DVD-by-mail rental service under the unlovely heading of “Qwikster,” Tim Lee tweets that Bill Gurley’s speculation is the most plausible explanation he’s seen for a move consumers seem to be universally panning: So here is what I think happened with Netflix’s […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Economics

Why We Need (Openly) Gay Muppets

August 12th, 2011 · 65 Comments

The makers of Sesame Street released the following message today, in response to a Facebook petition that had called for Bert and Ernie to finally come out and get married: Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Journalism & the Media · Sexual Politics

An Action Movie That Will Never Get Made

August 10th, 2011 · 10 Comments

Reading Jeremy Waldron’s new paper on torture and “moral absolutes”, the following setup for an action movie that will probably never get made sprang more or less full-formed into my head. The film follows two protagonists: One is a recent recruit to an elite antiterrorism unit (think 24), the other has just stumbled upon (and […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · General Philosophy

The Teleporter Library: A Copyright Thought Experiment

July 11th, 2011 · 21 Comments

Suppose that, back in the 70s, DARPA had developed two revolutionary networks. In addition to the precursor to the Internet we all know and love, they had also developed a teleportation network enabling small, inorganic objects to be instantly transmitted via miniature wormholes from any point on the network to any other point. The effect […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Economics · Law

Quick Thoughts on Google Plus

July 1st, 2011 · 29 Comments

(1) One of my first thoughts upon getting my hands on an iPad was: “You know, once they get a camera in this thing and come up with a well-tailored group video chat client, this could really change the way people socialize.” At present, in-person, face-to-face socialization and digital communication with people not present are […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Journalism & the Media · Privacy and Surveillance · Sociology · Tech and Tech Policy

The Inevitable Top 10 List

December 22nd, 2010 · 11 Comments

I (somewhat hastily) rattled out my 10 favorite albums of 2010 for a GQ musical poll of political “hacks” (hey!), which reveals that there’s at least substantial bipartisan convergence on the FM side of the radio dial. Or would be if people listened to music on the radio anymore. ANYway, for the three of you […]

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Tags: Art & Culture

Earworm: Wikileaks Edition

December 8th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Some of the lyrics to Blur’s “Pressure on Julian” are eerily appropriate to this week’s big story:

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Tags: Art & Culture · Journalism & the Media · Privacy and Surveillance

Movie Snobbery Begins at Home

October 22nd, 2010 · 18 Comments

Tyler Cowen Alex Tabarrok considers some economic explanations for the recent inversion of the traditional dominance of movies over television as “elite entertainment,” primarily the rise of pay-TV and the growing importance of the international market for movies. (Explosions don’t need to be translated, after all.) That’s surely part of it, but I’d be more […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Economics