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2012-06-12 (Tuesday)


  1. Killing Our Citizens Without Trial by David Cole | The New York Review of Books

    On drone killings: “As long as the Obama administration insists on the power to kill the people it was elected to represent — and to do so in secret, on the basis of secret legal memos — can we really claim that we live in a democracy ruled by law?”

  2. Escape into Whiteness by Brent Staples | The New York Review of Books

    Some of the details of 19th and early 20th century courts etc deciding whether specific mixed-race individuals count as white or coloured are bizarre, as if part of some kind of epic theatre piece.

  3. The Brilliant Music of Ravel by Charles Rosen | The New York Review of Books

    As someone who’s only awareness of Ravel is what I think of as the flouncy Torville & Dean ‘Bolero’, I love the descriptions here (especially in section 3) of exactly why Ravel’s music was avant-garde. Unfortunately, subscribers only.

  4. Predators and Robots at War by Christian Caryl | The New York Review of Books

    “The US Air Force now trains more UAV operators each year than traditional pilots.” “There are already more [military] robots operating on the ground (15,000) than in the air (7,000).” “…a pilotless aircraft … ‘has the same rights as if a person were inside it, … official policy.’”

  5. The Court: A Talk with Judge Richard Posner by Eric J. Segall | The New York Review of Books

    Interesting (and subscribers only) but saving it for this quote: “We have a political system in which the definition of a gaffe is telling the truth.” Also, for some reason I love reading about the American judicial system.

  6. What Happened at the Macondo Well? by Peter Maass | The New York Review of Books

    I like the parallels drawn between the oil and banking industries: “lax government regulation, corporate profits despite the risks, a fawning press”, disasters blamed on rogue companies rather than industry-wide problems.

  7. School ‘Reform’: A Failing Grade by Diane Ravitch | The New York Review of Books

    I suspect much of this angry-making article applies to UK education too. Surely anyone working on, or funding, policies for education really should spend at least a few weeks with a variety of teachers and children.

  8. Elif Batuman · Diary: Pamuk’s Museum · LRB 7 June 2012

    I hadn’t heard of this. Orhan Pamuk made a museum of objects belonging to characters from his novel ‘The Museum of Innocence’, which he’d originally intended to be written as a museum catalogue. Now he’s writing the catalogue for this museum.


  • philgyford’s avatar

    @spaceboy *applause*

  • philgyford’s avatar

    @gnat I love them all once I'm told the answers. One day I shall tame those beasts!

  • philgyford’s avatar

    Top news in 'cityview' ("News and key issues for the City of London"): "New Policy Chairman elected" Ooh, exciting, tell me more!

  • philgyford’s avatar

    Just realised I must brush up on my cryptic crossword skillz before spending a couple of weeks at BERG. I was never great, now very rusty.

  • philgyford’s avatar

    @paul_regan Oooh, congrats!

  • philgyford’s avatar

    @paulpod Apple could totally make iTunes look like a 1970s music centre! Smoked glass, wood veneer, mp3s looking like cassettes. They would.

  • philgyford’s avatar

    @esinclai I wish they made it obvious when the audio isn’t from the live footage… feels a bit deceptive at times. But still great.

  • philgyford’s avatar

    @mattsheret There’s another set of Twitter followers that love ‘Sliding Doors’.

  • philgyford’s avatar

    Still wide awake. Thanks punk, you rotters.