Tag Archives: newspapers

Sunday, 22nd Jan 2012

Long reads for a Sunday morning

Some of the articles of significant length I’ve enjoyed over the last few weeks.

Apropos Appropriation – The culture of sampling and copyright infringement for creative gain is hitting the art world. (NY Times)

Clear Lines – One of the nice side-effects of the big Tintin movie is Americans need to be educated as to what the hell is so important about Herge and his creation. This article is a nice concise attempt. (LA Review of Books)

All The Single Ladies – Massive, and I gather quite controversial, essay on being a single woman in your 40s in American. A lovely roller-coaster of personal memoir, sociological study and historical context. (The Atlantic)

Newspapers, Paywalls and Core Users – Clay Shirky’s overview of the online news market starts like this: “This may be the year where newspapers finally drop the idea of treating all news as a product, and all readers as customers.” To which everyone outside the news business replies “you mean they do that?” (Clay Shirkey)

Navigating Love and Autism – A lovely article about two Aspie college kids trying to build a relationship when emotions don’t make sense. “Parents always ask, ‘Who would like to marry my kid? They’re so weird,’ ” she said. “But, like, another weird person, that’s who.” (NY Times)

Can we reach the stars without breaking the bank? – A detailed look at the different options, practical and theoretical, for interstellar space travel. (BoingBoing)

How to get a nuclear bomb – In short, it’s kinda impossible. But the many different ways in which it’s really really hard to blow up New York makes for a highly entertaining read. (The Atlantic)

The first sexual revolution: lust and liberty in the 18th century – An excerpt from a new book by Faramerz Dabhoiwala. (Guardian)

The Torturers Apprentice – Cullen Murphy compared the Medieval Inquisition and the CIA’s interrogation guidelines and finds the Catholics coming out best. The final section is the most interesting, casting torture chambers as “intensely moral places” where “those who wish to justify torture don’t do so by avoiding moral thinking; rather, they override the obvious immorality of a specific act by the presumptive morality of the larger endeavor.” (The Atlantic)

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Monday, 25th Jul 2011

The death of the News of the World is a punishment for violating images of the sacred

Most of the good writing on the News of the Word / Hacking / News Corp saga has been of the moment as events moved so quickly, but this one from Gordon Lynch is pretty timeless, presumably because it’s dealing with timeless issues.

The trangression of the News of the World and News Corp is not simply that they acted “unethically” (in a narrow professional sense), or even illegally. In itself, this would be enough to create the mild sense of scandal that had surrounded the phone-hacking story until this week.

The tipping point came when the actions of people associated with the News of the World became profanations, an evil polluting the cherished sacred significance embodied in the stories of Milly Dowler, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, and the 7/7 bombings. It was after this that public figures felt compelled to speak in terms of their “horror” at the “sickening” allegations, that advertisers fled, and the paper was sacrificed.

The moral narrative which the paper had done so much to create turned back on its creator.

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Wednesday, 20th Jul 2011

New York Times Lapse

Created accidentally by not stopping an automated screen grab for 10 months from September 2010 to July 2011, an interesting point about archiving emerged.

Having worked with and developed on a number of content management systems I can tell you that as a rule of thumb no one is storing their frontpage layout data. It’s all gone, and once newspapers shutter their physical distribution operations I get this feeling that we’re no longer going to have a comprehensive archive of how our news-sources of note looked on a daily basis. [...]

This, in my humble opinion, is a tragedy because in many ways our frontpages are summaries of our perspectives and our preconceptions. They store what we thought was important, in a way that is easy and quick to parse and extremely valuable for any future generations wishing to study our time period.

It was interesting, during the week when the News of the World went under, that the best way of measuring News Corp’s temperature was to look at the front pages of the Sun and the Times.

via Kottke

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