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MemeStreams combines the power of weblogs and social networking. The members of our community work together to find interesting content on the web. As you use the site, it learns your interests, and provides new links it thinks you will like. Read more about MemeStreams or create an account!

what we wanted

Andrew Solomon:

Perhaps the immutable error of parenthood is that we give our children what we wanted, whether they want it or not.

Penelope Trunk:

If you want to raise a really successful child, you should let them quit things. Often.


Think telling your children they're special will help them reach higher, work harder and bravely pursue their dreams? Maybe. But you might also be making them narcissists.

Francis Fukuyama:

One of the most sobering graphs in Our Kids shows that while the proportion of young children from college-educated backgrounds living in single-parent families has declined to well under 10 per cent, the number has risen steadily for the working class and now stands at close to 70 per cent.

Jim Tankersley:

About 25 percent of American families are now headed by a single mom, according to Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution, double the rate from 1970. Nearly half the children of single mothers live in poverty.

the black hole is still there, patiently waiting to swallow us

George W. Bush White House:

The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction -- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act pre-emptively.

Yuval Noah Harari:

The state has stressed so many times that it will not tolerate political violence within its borders that it has no alternative but to see any act of terrorism as intolerable. The citizens, for their part, have become used to zero political violence, so the theatre of terror incites in them visceral fears of anarchy, making them feel as if the social order is about to collapse. After centuries of bloody struggles, we have crawled out of the black hole of violence, but we feel that the black hole is still there, patiently waiting to swallow us again. A few gruesome atrocities and we imagine that we are falling back in.

Michael S. Schmidt:

Tactics that began as a response to terrorism have become part of the government's approach to more routine crimes.

Andrew Keatts:

When does smart policing become a police state?

David Graeber:

The police, then, are essentially just bureaucrats with weapons. Their main role in society is to bring the threat of physical force -- even, death -- into situations where it would never have been otherwise invoked ...

If you see a policeman and you feel more safe, rather than less, then you can be pretty sure you're middle class. Yet for the first time since polling began, most Americans in 2012 indicated they do not, in fact, consider themselves middle class.

relatively unconcerned with the potential for harm

Evgeny Morozov:

Nicholas Carr's oeuvre is representative of contemporary technology criticism both in the questions that it asks and the issues it avoids. Thus, there's the trademark preoccupation with design problems, and their usually easy solutions, but hardly a word on just why it is that startups founded on the most ridiculous ideas have such an easy time attracting venture capital. That this might have something to do with profound structural transformations in the American economy -- e.g., its ever-expanding financialization -- is not a conclusion that today's technology criticism could ever reach.

David Remnick:

Kleptocracies rarely value theoretical tracts. They value numbered accounts. They value the stability of their own arrangements.

Danny Sullivan:

Someone getting a lot of VC investment isn't a sign they're successful at anything other than getting VC funding.

Eric Giannella:

Most investors would rather not see their firms get mired in the fraught issue of defining what is morally better according to various groups; they prefer objective benefits, measured via return on investment (ROI) or other metrics. Yet, the fact that business goals and cultural sentiments go hand in hand so well ought to give us pause.

Everyone can, at a minimum, ask whether they are doing more harm than good. The trouble in Silicon Valley is that many talented, highly educated young people seem relatively unconcerned with the potential for harm. To be more aware of not harming people, much less helping them, we need to cultivate moral intuitions by discussing the consequences of our work for specific people.

Penelope Trunk:

You should always negotiate a way to buy each other out if you start hating your co-founder. But at the beginning of a startup you are so enamored that you cannot imagine what you will want to do ... when your electricity is cut off.

the workings of the system

Humera Khan:

The communities that are least inclined to engage are often the ones that need the outreach the most.

Dana Tamir:

Trusteer's services team discovers massively distributed APT malware such as Dyre and Citadel in virtually every customer environment it works with.

Siobhan Gorman, in 2012:

Companies aren't obligated to disclose a breach to another company as part of an acquisition deal, said Jacob Olcott of Good Harbor Consulting, a firm that advises companies on national-security issues. It is up to the acquiring company to ask, he said.

Joel Warner:

He's stopped listing his master's degree from Indiana State on his resume. He's been told it's better to have it appear as if he was doing nothing at all during that time than to be associated with a low-prestige school.

Damian Paletta:

Mr. Burr said the bill would allow companies to share information with intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency, but only if the data wasn't provided in "electronic form." He didn't provide more details.


The measures offer corporations liability protection if they share information with intelligence agencies. Data handed over also would be "scrubbed" twice to remove personal information.

Mark Seaborn:

History has shown that issues that are thought to be 'only' reliability issues often have significant security implications.

The Economist:

The architecture of Estonia's system is poorly documented, and that rules for classification of data as sensitive, personal, secret or public were not suitable for digital continuity: "frequently only a small number of experts understand the workings of the system," the report notes.

creative destruction in a nutshell

The Economist:

Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity.

James Hamblin:

Each almond requires 1.1 gallons of water to produce.

Alex Tabarrok:

In short, we are spending thousands of dollars worth of water to grow hundreds of dollars worth of almonds and that is truly nuts.

Eduardo Porter:

Despite California's distress, about half of the homes in the capital, Sacramento, still don't have water meters, paying a flat fee no matter how much water they consume.

the burden of being fully appreciated

Benjamin Clymer:

Whether the case is gold or platinum, the price of a Philippe Dufour watch remains (roughly) static -- you are not paying for materials, you are paying for Mr. Dufour's time and touch. The Apple Watch has minimal human value, and that is the biggest difference between it and its mechanical counterparts.

Ian Parker, on Jony Ive:

His manner suggests the burden of being fully appreciated.

Nick Foulkes:

If only more fanatics were like Jony Ive.

it takes remarkable courage and candor

Charles Blow:

Our allegiance needn't -- mustn't -- be blind to be true. We must acknowledge our warts if we are to proclaim our beauty. Our aggrandizement must be grounded. We must be willing to laud America where it has soared and rebuke it where it has faltered.

Marianne Williamson:

The entire American News establishment would be fired if telling the truth was the minimum standard.

Dr. Leonard Wong and Dr. Stephen J. Gerras:

Untruthfulness is surprisingly common in the U.S. military even though members of the profession are loath to admit it. Further, much of the deception and dishonesty that occurs in the profession of arms is actually encouraged and sanctioned by the military institution. The end result is a profession whose members often hold and propagate a false sense of integrity that prevents the profession from addressing -- or even acknowledging -- the duplicity and deceit throughout the formation. It takes remarkable courage and candor for leaders to admit the gritty shortcomings and embarrassing frailties of the military as an organization in order to better the military as a profession. Such a discussion, however, is both essential and necessary for the health of the military profession.

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