As mentioned previously, I fly this morning to Mobile, Alabama, so expect posts to be sporadic and/or abbreviated for the next week or so.
Majority Support Gay Marriage? Department
Read this article and then extend the trend lines in the following graph.
If the statistics and polls are correct, by this time next year a majority of American’s should approve the concept of gay marriage. The Mormons and other conservative Christians are on the wrong side of history.
America vs. The Little People Department
A new book that will be of interest to those who consider the U.S. a bully: A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, by Amitava Kumar, a professor of English at Vassar College. Review in The NY Times.
At its heart, [the book] is about the ordinary men and women, brown-skinned in general and Muslim in particular, who have had their lives upended by America’s enraged security apparatus. Mr. Kumar calls them the “small people,” and to them he extends his own impressive and trembling moral imagination.
Mr. Kumar returns again and again to his small people and his bunglers. He suggests that America, unaware of the image it is projecting in the Muslim world, has been the biggest bungler of all. He quotes the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, who asked us to understand “why millions of people in poor countries that have been pushed to one side, and deprived of the right to decide their own histories, feel such anger at America.”
On the Web You Live Forever Department
I missed noting this quickly after my return from vacation, but prolific law professor and author, Jeffrey Rosen, wrote a long and insightful piece for the July 21 The NY Times Sunday Magazine entitled “The Web Means the End of Forgetting.” If you’ve left chicken tracks all over the web, in blogs, on Facebook or MySpace, or any number of other places, some of the stories and precautions — as well of some of the proposals for forcing selective amnesia on the web — will definitely be of interest.
According to a recent survey by Microsoft, 75 percent of U.S. recruiters and human-resource professionals report that their companies require them to do online research about candidates, and many use a range of sites when scrutinizing applicants — including search engines, social-networking sites, photo- and video-sharing sites, personal Web sites and blogs, Twitter and online-gaming sites. Seventy percent of U.S. recruiters report that they have rejected candidates because of information found online, like photos and discussion-board conversations and membership in controversial groups.
We’ve known for years that the Web allows for unprecedented voyeurism, exhibitionism and inadvertent indiscretion, but we are only beginning to understand the costs of an age in which so much of what we say, and of what others say about us, goes into our permanent — and public — digital files. The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is threatening, at an almost existential level, our ability to control our identities; to preserve the option of reinventing ourselves and starting anew; to overcome our checkered pasts.
[T]he hope that we could carefully control how others view us in different contexts has proved to be another myth. As social-networking sites expanded, it was no longer quite so easy to have segmented identities: now that so many people use a single platform to post constant status updates and photos about their private and public activities, the idea of a home self, a work self, a family self and a high-school-friends self has become increasingly untenable. In fact, the attempt to maintain different selves often arouses suspicion.
Using the built in sideboard/hutch in an arts & crafts era Minneapolis house.