James M. Scott W. W. Norton & Company
A brand new book, Rampage, details the absolutely barbaric behavior by the Japanese during the World War Two battles for control of the Philippines. Don’t read it unless you have a strong stomach for barbarity against civilians. Which brings us to a couple questions. First of all, how can a culture that is thousands of years old change so quickly? We’ve lived in Japan, and, even a generation ago, even their biggest cities like Tokyo were, and are, super safe. It’s impossible to imagine the white collared salarymen of Japan engaging in violence. Japan is now a country with a diminishing birthrate, in part because the people seem more interested in porn than actual sex. Japanese men now seem most interested in getting drunk with their office workers, reading comic books, and maybe groping a woman on the subway. But just a few generations ago Japanese soldiers were barbaric, engaging in gruesome violence and rape. This occurred not just in the Philippines, but even more notably in the Rape of Nanking. Have the Japanese people changed at some fundamental level as a result of their defeat in World War Two and the complete dismemberment of their society? Or are all the changes a result of changed circumstance? Interesting questions explored in this book, but with more of a commercial angle. Secondly, there is an almost endless stream of American books and movies about the evils and barbarities of Nazism during World War Two, but far fewer about the equally savage activities of the Japanese. Why?(View More...)
Halsey Hopeless Fountain Kingdom
If you listen to rap - and we hope you don't - you'll notice that the overriding theme is basically "How great I am! No one thought I would be anything, but now I'm just so great". Halsey has a different approach; She's telling you you'll be disappointed if you actually meet her, even if you're a big fan. More importantly, the song is captivating.(View More...)
Michael Bentt, Surya Bonaly, Mauro Prosperi
Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo Terry George
This is the kind of adult movie we like, with real-life themes; love of children, guilt, the cruelty of fate. What would you do if you were a decent man who accidentally hit a child with your car? What if you knew the child couldn't be saved? What if you had your own child to raise?(View More...)
We are not thinking critically enough about where and when transparency works, and where and when it may lead to confusion…
Attitude Media: Despite the fact that we live in a democracy, where people are trusted to elect their public officials, voters are, according to Lessig, too stupid to really understand what is going on. So the government should only be transparent on occasion, when smart people like Lessig think you may be able to understand what is going on, and it won't confuse your little head.
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Used to be, a few guys got together, had a few drinks, told a few lies, and generally tried to impress each other. Back in the day, and we mean about the mid-1700s, the guys did the same thing at the local tavern. But they were a whole lot smarter than your friends, and actually had a lot to say. Read the book and listen in.View all Books
Big Tech and Big Media have long had a world view that "the world", or the part that mattered, is really New York and San Francisco. Our study contains a joke made by a journalist that pretty well makes this point. Now some big-time tech investors are trying to expand tech to the rest of America to bridge the great digital divide.View all Television
The Great Recession was caused by, among other things, massive debt related to housing. At the time, rating agencies thought the debt was no big deal. Debt has once again taken off, with China and the US leading the way. Why should you be worried? Because, once again, the rating agencies aren't worried.View all Web