Create an Account
username: password:
  MemeStreams Logo

ubernoir's MemeStream


Picture of ubernoir
My Blog
My Profile
My Audience
My Sources
Send Me a Message

sponsored links

ubernoir's topics
   Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature
Health and Wellness
Home and Garden
Current Events
Local Information
  Events in Washington D.C.
  International Relations

support us

Get MemeStreams Stuff!

Current Topic: Society

naked capitalism: Why You Should Hate the Treasury Bailout Proposal
Topic: Society 9:28 am EDT, Sep 22, 2008

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Another crisis, another massive power grab.

naked capitalism: Why You Should Hate the Treasury Bailout Proposal

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Beautiful, perfect, supreme chunk of paper
Topic: Society 8:28 am EDT, Sep 17, 2008

Another electronic book reader has arrived, ready to do battle with its paper cousins. But, writes cultural critic Stephen Bayley, it faces an uphill struggle against a truly beautiful knowledge delivery platform.

What is the most flexible, intelligent, interactive data retrieval system yet to appear?

It's the book.

i love books

plus i love that he wrote "books are not going to disappear in a Gotterdammerung of pixellation." That made me laugh "Gotterdammerung of pixellation" what a great expression!

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Beautiful, perfect, supreme chunk of paper

Op-Ed Columnist - The Social Animal - Op-Ed -
Topic: Society 5:39 am EDT, Sep 12, 2008

Near the start of his book, “The Conscience of a Conservative,” Barry Goldwater wrote: “Every man, for his individual good and for the good of his society, is responsible for his own development. The choices that govern his life are choices that he must make; they cannot be made by any other human being.” The political implications of this are clear, Goldwater continued: “Conservatism’s first concern will always be: Are we maximizing freedom?”

Goldwater’s vision was highly individualistic and celebrated a certain sort of person — the stout pioneer crossing the West, the risk-taking entrepreneur with a vision, the stalwart hero fighting the collectivist foe.

The problem is, this individualist description of human nature seems to be wrong. Over the past 30 years, there has been a tide of research in many fields, all underlining one old truth — that we are intensely social creatures, deeply interconnected with one another and the idea of the lone individual rationally and willfully steering his own life course is often an illusion.

Op-Ed Columnist - The Social Animal - Op-Ed -

Abroad - Watching ‘Friends’ in Gaza - A Culture Clash -
Topic: Society 8:13 am EDT, Sep  7, 2008

In a dingy storefront on a noisy block in the middle of Gaza City, metal shelves bulge with dusty audiotapes extolling Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad. Alongside them, a pouty Jennifer Lopez beckons from the cover of a CD. DVDs are also on offer, of not-yet-officially-released movies like “Wanted,” “Hancock” and “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” the Adam Sandler comedy about a Mossad agent turned hairdresser in a New York City salon run by a Palestinian woman.

Amer Kihail, 32, a slender man with an elastic, hangdog face, runs the store, called New Sound. Do Gazans living under Hamas buy much Western music or many Western movies? Mr. Kihail looked baffled, and maybe even a little annoyed, by the question.

“Of course,” he said.

Abroad - Watching ‘Friends’ in Gaza - A Culture Clash -

Magazine Preview - I’m So Totally, Digitally Close to You - Clive Thompson -
Topic: Society 5:33 pm EDT, Sep  5, 2008

In essence, Facebook users didn’t think they wanted constant, up-to-the-minute updates on what other people are doing. Yet when they experienced this sort of omnipresent knowledge, they found it intriguing and addictive. Why?

Social scientists have a name for this sort of incessant online contact. They call it “ambient awareness.” It is, they say, very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does — body language, sighs, stray comments — out of the corner of your eye. Facebook is no longer alone in offering this sort of interaction online. In the last year, there has been a boom in tools for “microblogging”: posting frequent tiny updates on what you’re doing.


Psychologists and sociologists spent years wondering how humanity would adjust to the anonymity of life in the city, the wrenching upheavals of mobile immigrant labor — a world of lonely people ripped from their social ties. We now have precisely the opposite problem. Indeed, our modern awareness tools reverse the original conceit of the Internet. When cyberspace came along in the early ’90s, it was celebrated as a place where you could reinvent your identity — become someone new.


(Indeed, the question that floats eternally at the top of Twitter’s Web site — “What are you doing?” — can come to seem existentially freighted. What are you doing?) Having an audience can make the self-reflection even more acute, since, as my interviewees noted, they’re trying to describe their activities in a way that is not only accurate but also interesting to others: the status update as a literary form.

Magazine Preview - I’m So Totally, Digitally Close to You - Clive Thompson -

RE: Keep the Cheap Wine Flowing - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog
Topic: Society 9:08 pm EDT, Aug  5, 2008

CypherGhost wrote:

The bottom line is that in blind wine tastings, there is a zero or even slightly negative correlation between the ratings of regular people and the price of the wine they are drinking; for experts the relationship between rating and price is positive.

I enjoyed this short article, and the first blog post it links.

When my friend Mark first started exposing me to decent wine I was subject to numerous blind taste tests in which I was asked to select the more expensive bottle. I was consistently wrong when I first started. I am fooled less easily today, but wine is a very complicated thing and it takes a long time, and a lot of bottles, to get good at it and to have a good appreciation for a wide array of variatals. Thats part of what makes it fun. There is always something new to discover. Something else to learn.

There are some potential problems with running these kinds of blind taste tests particularly with two decanters that contain the same bottle. The first is that the character of a wine changes as it oxidates. If you had the same bottle appearing twice in a taste test, and you tried it first, just after it was opened, and then again after it had been sitting out for half an hour, it would taste much better the second time, particularly if it was higher quality or older.

The second is that your perception of wine is contextual. This is why people pair particular foods with particular kinds of wine, and why wine in general goes well with some kinds of food (like pasta) and terrible with other kinds (like hot wings). What you have tasted before tasting the wine effects your perception of how the wine tastes.

My advice is to always drink your cheapest bottle first. (More expensive does not always mean better, but it often does.) You'll appreciate a really good wine after a glass of average wine even more than you would if you started with that good bottle and you had nothing to compare it to. In the blind taste test if you had tried the repeating bottle first, with no context, you might have given it a medicore rating, and then if you tried it again immediately after having tried a cheap wine, you might have found it singing!

Of course, my sister suggests that I am more impressed with the quality of my wines as the evening goes on and I get more drunk. I insist that this cannot be the case. :)

The economist's suggestion, that ignorance is bliss, is a perfect example of why accounting is the opposite of art. I've found getting better at drinking wine to be very fun and rewarding. Really great wine and really great gourmet food can provide an experience that is completely different than ordinary eating -- its not about satisfying hunger but more about experimenting with the range of flavors that you are capable of experiencing... Its worth knowing why cooking can be considered an art, but you can't just roll up to an ex... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

RE: Keep the Cheap Wine Flowing - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog

How people flip houses.
Topic: Society 12:06 am EDT, Aug  5, 2008

In October, the house sold at auction for $304,500.

It resold in January for $625,000.

"They lied to us," he said of the sellers. "They said the house was really $500,000, but when I bought it, the papers said $625,000."

Gomez said someone else – he's not sure exactly who – paid the $125,000 down payment.

"I didn't pay any money down," Gomez said. "The man who sold it to me said, 'No money, no problem.' And later he told me I would get $30,000 for buying the house."

From an envelope containing his loan papers, Gomez produced a two-page document titled "Addendum to contract" signed by Praslin. The memo, mostly handwritten, said that if the purchase went through, Praslin would pay Gomez $30,000, cover the first three mortgage payments and throw in a 52-inch LCD television.

How people flip houses.

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education
Topic: Society 8:51 am EDT, Jul 14, 2008

William Deresiewicz:

There’s been much talk of late about the loss of privacy, but equally calamitous is its corollary, the loss of solitude. It used to be that you couldn’t always get together with your friends even when you wanted to. Now that students are in constant electronic contact, they never have trouble finding each other. But it’s not as if their compulsive sociability is enabling them to develop deep friendships. “To whom can I expose the urgency of my own passion?”: my student was in her friend’s room writing a paper, not having a heart-to-heart. She probably didn’t have the time; indeed, other students told me they found their peers too busy for intimacy.

What happens when busyness and sociability leave no room for solitude? The ability to engage in introspection, I put it to my students that day, is the essential precondition for living an intellectual life, and the essential precondition for introspection is solitude. They took this in for a second, and then one of them said, with a dawning sense of self-awareness, “So are you saying that we’re all just, like, really excellent sheep?” Well, I don’t know. But I do know that the life of the mind is lived one mind at a time: one solitary, skeptical, resistant mind at a time. The best place to cultivate it is not within an educational system whose real purpose is to reproduce the class system.

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

McCains Defaulted On Home Taxes For Last Four Years, Newsweek To Report - Politics on The Huffington Post
Topic: Society 12:00 pm EDT, Jun 29, 2008

Newsweek is set to publish a highly embarrassing report on Sen. John McCain, revealing that the McCains have failed to pay taxes on their beach-front condo in La Jolla, California, for the last four years and are currently in default, The Huffington Post has learned.


McCains Defaulted On Home Taxes For Last Four Years, Newsweek To Report - Politics on The Huffington Post

Here's Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They're Banned -
Topic: Society 3:12 am EDT, Jun 18, 2008

The A.P. doesn't get to make it's own rules around how its content is used, if those rules are stricter than the law allows. So even thought they say they are making these new guidelines in the spirit of cooperation, it's clear that, like the RIAA and MPAA, they are trying to claw their way to a set of property rights that don't exist today and that they are not legally entitled to. And like the RIAA and MPAA, this is done to protect a dying business model - paid content.

So here's our new policy on A.P. stories: they don't exist. We don't see them, we don't quote them, we don't link to them. They're banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.


Here's Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They're Banned -

(Last) Newer << 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 ++ 17 >> Older (First)
Powered By Industrial Memetics