*The Google-Verizon plan: why you should worry Salon's Dan Gillmor has a nice nuts-and-bolts piece about exactly why the Google-Verizon deal to massively derail net neutrality is a really bad thing. Indeed it is. Should you fight it? Absolutely.
Ars Technica has dubbed it a betrayal, and goes in even more depth about how Google Now differs drastically from their previous stance and their touted "don't be evil" ideals.
I am reminded of the old story of the Scorpion and the Frog in which, as the frog dies from the scorpion's sting in the middle of a river, the predator calmly explains that it is in its nature to sting.
This is why I don't quite understand all the "betrayal" anger, other than to (rightly) point out that Google is acting contrary to its stated ideals.
But let's be honest, Google is a company, and a very big one. Companies aren't designed for altruism, no matter how new and innovative their product. Companies are designed to make money and further their own power. That is their primary purpose and anything they tell you to the contrary is nothing but windoew-dressing. Companies, even large ones, fulfill a role and sometimes end up accomplishing good things, but that isn't what their built for.
They're built to sting, and big tech is no different from any other big business in that regard. I hope it's time that people learned that and treated them accordingly.
* The Three Musketeers as Gangbangers Mark Kleiman, filling in for Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The Atlantic, has an excellent, witty little piece on how D'Artagnan would be dubbed a gangbanging thug in today's world, while Dumas would be ridiculed as irresponsible for such literature extolling tribal loyalty, whoring and murder.
Tongue thoroughly in cheek, and well worth a read.
* Dopey, Buzzy, Smoky—and Stupid Speaking of Kleiman, this in-depth proposal for reforming drug policy (in everything from prohibition to enforcement to rehabilitation) is also a must-read. I don't agree with all of its proposals (the alcohol tax or ban on commercial weed in particular), but it's a serious attempt at tackling a policy that's increasingly (finally!) being recognized as massively dumb in mainstream discussion.
* The New Monogamy One of the key features of this particular Breaking Time is how thoroughly the way society regards exclusivity in relationships has been thrown into disarray. Tammy Nelson takes a crack at defining how it's all — especially monogamy and marriage — shaping up under the cultural vicissitudes. A refreshing, ground-level — she's a therapist — view on an important topic.
* Chris Mohney strikes a blow against bullshit, especially of the "freedom means telling Muslims where they can pray" variety:
"Continuing the chain of imaginary offensiveness to stereotypes, I plan to open a Babies R Us next to the gay bar next to the mosque next to Ground Zero. Next to the Babies R Us I will open a pornographic bookstore, and next to that I will open a police station. Next to the police station I will open a hip-hop recording studio, and next to that I will open an Applebees. Next to the Applebees I will open a TGI Fridays (those guys HATE each other) and next to the TGI Fridays I will open a methadone clinic. Next to the methadone clinic I will open a crack house, and finally, next to that, I will open a Catholic church adjoining a daycare center for attractive boys, adjacent to which I will just blow up whatever’s there so I can erect a memorial, and next to that memorial I will open a community center dedicated to a locally inconvenient ethnicity that I hired to blow up the original structure on the memorial site. Next to that I’m just going to put up some condos."