Sorry I’m a little late with this one everyone, but there’s plenty of reading for you in this one…
The long read of the week has to be Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Case for Reparations.” It’s so long, in fact, that I’m only about 40% of the way through it, but I’ve already learned a lot.
Elsewhere: by now you’ve probably heard of the rock star economist Thomas Piketty. Of course the right disgrees with his policy suggestions, but no one has quibbled with quality of his data research. Until this week, that is, when Financial Times economics editor Chris Giles claimed that Piketty made serious errors that undercut his work. But The Economist isn’t sure there are actually any errors in the data, and says that even if there are, they probably aren’t important enough to undermine Piketty’s conclusions.
This week in tech: Quinn Norton told us that everything is broken and I was like just wait until the Internet of Broken Things, and then Michael Rogers and Eleanor Saitta were like hey, we’re trying to fix it. Actually the chronology of that was competely different but you might as well read it in that order anyway.
I also read that in an alternate universe the Internet of Things debuted around 2001 in the form of a keychain thingy that connected you to your web portal of choice. Instead we got the Danger Hiptop (aka the T-Mobile Sidekick), one of the first smart phones on the market (I got one of the original models the day it came out. Long-time readers may remember me complaining about it). Fun aside: The founder of Danger, Andy Rubin, also founded Android which was acquired by Google and, well, you know the rest. Danger itself was acquired my Microsoft and became the basis of the doomed Kin.
And speaking of broken things, Wikipedia may also be broken, but historian Stephen W. Campbell has a plan to fix it.
This week in stuff from the depths of my Pocket: How Tyrants Endure, from the New York Times in 2011.
Warning: if you have epilepsy or any other condition where rapid blinky things affect you do NOT watch this vid:
I’ve watched the new M.I.A. video almost every day this week. And if you thought I was done throwing stuff to read at you, you were wrong because here’s Adam Rothstein’s essay about the video.
I finally saw the Jodorowsky’s Dune documentary this week, which was amazing (just like Tim Maughan said). I also watched the Milius documentary, which is on Netflix, which was good but not quite amazing, but maybe that’s just because I’m comparing it to Dune.