“The rich think of themselves as good people. All of this wicked excess must therefore be balanced out somehow. Gifting lounges do it by inviting some charities to set up tables for free, where they can try to talk famous people into supporting their causes. Holly Robinson’s foundation gave me a free children’s book. In one room, amid the organic snack products and the Lumeria Maui retreat space, Worldteam Foundation had set up a table with a large sign reading, “LET’S TEAM UP TO ABOLISH SLAVERY.” Rather ambitious goal for the gifting lounge crowd, but worth a shot.”—
“It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”—
A 718-page digital document obtained by Mother Jones contains names, phone numbers, neighborhoods, and alleged activities of thousands of dissidents apparently targeted by the Syrian government. Three experts asked separately by Mother Jones to examine the document—essentially a massive spreadsheet, whose contents are in Arabic—say they believe that it is authentic. As Bashar Al-Assad’s military continues a deadly crackdown on dissent inside the country, the list appears to confirm in explicit detail the scale of the regime’s domestic surveillance and its methodical efforts to destroy widespread opposition.
“If you don’t have $1 million in assets or $200,000 in annual income, you don’t qualify and can’t invest. Until now, venture capital has been a game only for the 1%. A new petition circulating on the Internet seeks to change all that by encouraging Congress to pass a law (Democratizing Access to Capital Act) that would make it possible for anyone to invest small amounts”—Dominic Basulto
“Power resides only where men believe it resides. It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”—George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
“Technology stories involve blinking lights, whirring sounds, and someone foursquaring from Silicon Valley while they update their Tumblr. It doesn’t involve, in Mr. Pogue’s view, such unsightly things as labor, work, and the real cost of an actual device.”—Mike Daisey’s response to David Pogue’s dispatch on Apple/Foxconn is very much worth reading. (via cnnmoneytech)
“I think news organizations have to get really, really serious about creating a social software product that leverages their product in a value-add way. This is basically what a few dozen startups are doing, and somebody is going to figure this out; if I were the owner of a news organization, I would put $10 million towards funding a few of my own startups to get a better shot at owning the winning solution. Because none of the existing ‘old media’ news brands are going to do it. Anyway, within a decade, we’ll have a social news powerhouse brand that can sit comfortably next to the New York Times, Economist, CNN, etc. That seems inevitable to me.”—Khoi Vinh
Kazemi’s coverage provides a window into Afghanistan from a native writer’s eyes that simply can’t be matched by foreign writers. He manages this all while building an online following and readership the way any web-savvy journalist would: through interaction and engagement. He’s got just less than 3,000 followers, but that number’s going up every day. Kazemi makes it a point to respond to his Twitter followers, providing his views on the Afghani news of the day.
Once upon a time, way back in the stone ages, when Noam Chomsky was first writing about these propaganda techniques in Manufacturing Consent, our leaders felt the need to conceal – or at least sugar-coat – these Orwellian principles. It was assumed that the American people genuinely needed to feel like they were on the right side of things, and so the foreign powers we clashed with were always depicted as being the instigators and aggressors, while our role in provoking those responses was always disguised or at least played down.
But now the public openly embraces circular thinking like, “Any country that squawks when we threaten to bomb it is a threat that needs to be wiped out.” Maybe I’m mistaken, but I have to believe that there was a time when ideas like that sounded weird to the American ear. Now they seem to make sense to almost everyone here at home, and that to me is just as a scary as Ahmadinejad.
“Serious questions emerging about the behavior of Representative Michael Grimm, Republican of New York, deserve a thorough inquiry by the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Department of Justice. Mr. Grimm, who highlights his previous service in the military and the F.B.I., denies any wrongdoing. But a detailed tracking of his campaign fund-raising activities by The Times has uncovered a pattern of donations that, as described by donors, would be illegal for exceeding federal limitations, or being paid improperly in cash, or coming from foreigners barred from giving.”—New York Times Editorial
Pew’s report underscores the fact that many of us have written about: Digital advertising, once the little sister, is surpassing print (newspaper and magazines) in the U.S. and Europe, and will pass whatever we mean when we say “TV” by 2016 or so. So news companies’ failure to get a larger piece of the fastest-growing ad segment — perhaps the fastest-growing ever — is a big problem. And the problem is growing: Three years ago, the top five digital companies took 63 percent of U.S. digital ad revenue; this year, they’ll take 72 percent, eMarketer estimates. Those companies: Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, and AOL. That 9 percent differential is worth about $3.5 billion a year. Yes, it’s getting worse, by so many standards, as we’ll continue to see over the next month as final 2011 financials come in and more jobs go away.