What’s particularly interesting is the sort of cluttered presence of both the model of the real figure and the real figure himself, whereas generally a writer will content himself with one of the two. Do the inhabitants of this fictional world ever get suspicious, I wonder, concluding as they must that one of the two global celebrity leakers is clearly an unfair literary depiction of the other? Do they also notice that all of their mothers are psychotic and that their marriages tend to slowly collapse in the course of long, grueling flashbacks, and do they conclude that they’re living in a Jonathan Franzen novel? This raises all manner of ethical questions that I will leave to others.

Stop Sending Me Jonathan Franzen Novels - Barrett Brown

The best book review I’ve read in a long time.

For the last generation and more, serious people in suits bearing white papers about economic development have been one of the greatest threats to world prosperity. It was serious, sober technocrats, sporting elite education and wide experience, who laid waste to Russia after the collapse of the USSR. Similar people created the eurozone — now an economic disaster area suffering through a crisis worse than the Great Depression. It was sensible economists — sometimes literally the exact same ones — who demanded that nations disembowel themselves with austerity after the financial crisis.

Why Hillary Clinton deserves credit for changing her mind about TPP - Ryan Cooper

via @interfluidity
The fact that something doesn’t seem “practical” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think or talk about it. But if something isn’t even a something, just a vague idea about Awesome Coolness, it poisons the readers’ minds, people
- The “high-level CPU” challenge - Yossi Kreinen
It’s understandably extremely hard to believe that any American would deliberately bomb a hospital: it’s the exact opposite of everything that America stands for. But wherever there is war, there are war crimes, no matter who is doing the fighting. Any investigation into this bombing has to start from the assumption that it’s at least possible a dreadful war crime was committed. Given that so far no American has even admitted the possibility, the U.S. self-investigation really does look like a joke.
- The Kunduz hospital bombing: Terrible accident, or war crime? - Felix Salmon
It would be much simpler and more effective to impose the equivalent of a carbon tax on garbage, as Thomas C. Kinnaman has proposed after conducting what is probably the most thorough comparison of the social costs of recycling, landfilling and incineration.
- The Reign of Recycling - John Tierney
For the moment, anybody who writes about sports who chooses to boycott American football because of the inherent and inevitable damage it does to the individuals who play the game is doing only half of their job. American football is the great, gravitational force at the center of the universe in which our spectacle sports operate. It is fine to operate from the moral high ground, but the fact remains that the existential crisis of physical destruction in American football is an existential crisis at the heart of American sports.
- The Death of Evan Murray - Charles P. Pierce
The ever-present fear that besets the vast poor, the economically and socially insecure, is a fear of still a different breed. It is a climate closing in; it is like the fog in San Francisco or in London. It is nowhere in particular yet everywhere. It is a mood which one carries around with himself, distilled from the acrid conflict with which his days are surrounded. It has its roots deep in the heart of the relations between the weak and the strong, between the controllers of environment and those who are controlled by it.
- Howard Thurman via <a href=“http://chrisblattman.com/2015/09/29/fear-and-what-a-centuries-old-theologian-can-teach-the-modern-social-scientist/”>Chris Blattman
The very complexity and opacity that make daily fantasy sports legal also make it more likely that the casual fan will lose money. There is a truism in investing that complexity favors the big guy and disadvantages the little guy, and it applies here as well. If securities laws were like gambling laws, it would be illegal for people to buy shares of Google or a United States Treasury bond, because that would be gambling, but legal for them to invest in currency swaps that pay a return if the Swiss franc, Argentine peso and Vietnamese dong together outperform the Swedish krona, Mexican peso and South Korean won.
- Daily Fantasy Sports and the Hidden Cost of America’s Weird Gambling Laws - Neil Irwin

When the Snowden revelations first came to light, it felt like we might be heading towards an Orwellian dystopia. Now we know that the situation is much worse.

If you go back and read Orwell, you’ll notice that Oceania was actually quite good at data security. Our own Thought Police is a clown car operation with no checks or oversight, no ability to keep the most sensitive information safe, and no one behind the steering wheel.

- What Happens Next Will Amaze You - Maciej Ceglowski

“Proprietary software is an unsafe building material,” [Eben] Moglen had said. “You can’t inspect it.”

That was five years ago. On Tuesday, Volkswagen admitted it had rigged the proprietary software on 11 million of its diesel cars around the world so that they would pass emissions tests when they were actually spreading smog.


Mandate open source.

Volkswagen’s Diesel Fraud Makes Critic of Secret Code a Prophet - Jim Dwyer