Ramblings & ephemera

David Pogue’s insights about tech over time

From David Pogue’s “The Lessons of 10 Years of Talking Tech” (The New York Times: 25 November 2010): As tech decades go, this one has been a jaw-dropper. Since my first column in 2000, the tech world has not so much blossomed as exploded. Think of all the commonplace tech that didn’t even exist 10 […]

Matthew Arnold’s 4 words that describe Homer

From Edwin Frank & Andrew McCord’s interview of Robert Fagles in “The Art of Translation No. 2” (The Paris Review: Summer 1999, No. 151): I think it’s through that effort, trying to turn Homer into poetry, that we just may come a little closer to Matthew Arnold’s unforgettable touchstones—Homer is simple, direct, swift, and above […]

14 governments the US has overthrown in 110 years

From Robert Sherrill’s “100 (Plus) Years of Regime Change” (The Texas Observer: 14 July 2006): [Stephen Kinzer’s] Overthrow is an infuriating recitation of our government’s military bullying over the past 110 years – a century of interventions around the world that resulted in the overthrow of 14 governments – in Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto […]

Why structureless is not only impossible, but counterproductive

From Jo Freeman’s “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” (1970): During the years in which the women’s liberation movement has been taking shape, a great emphasis has been placed on what are called leaderless, structureless groups as the main form of the movement. … The idea of ‘structurelessness’, however, has moved from a healthy counter to these […]

Religious moderates legitimize fundamentalism

From Steve Paulson’s “The disbeliever” (Salon: 7 July 2006): In perhaps his most daring rhetorical gambit, Harris seeks to undermine religion by denouncing not just jihadis and fundamentalists, but moderates. “Religious moderates are, in large part, responsible for the religious conflict in our world,” he writes, “because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural […]