My, it has been a bit, hasn't it? Plenty of interesting items out there lately. Let's let loose a horde, shall we?
* Lost Exile An excellent Vanity Fair article on the rise and fall of The Exile, Russia's ballsiest and most asinine paper, which also launched Matt Taibbi's journalistic career. A fascinating reveal of a particularly anarchic time in recent Russian history. As Taibbi's gone onto bigger things, it's also an enlightening glimpse into what's right, and vastly wrong, about his "FUCK YOU!" style of journalism.
* Scrapheap Transhumanism In which the author cuts himself open with a scalpel and inserts an RFID chip. The first successful Grind? You be the judge.
* How a new jobless era will transform America Don Peck wraps economic upheaval, the Great Depression, sociological trauma and the perils of helicopter parents up in one neat package in this tour de force Atlantic article. Read it. You might need a drink afterwards.
At the same time, consider that a generation desperately searching for a purpose might be awesome if it can chuck a bullshit sense of entitlement and that a better awareness of how the vicissitudes of class drive many political battles might be sorely needed.
* The mystery of Zomia Does the vast land stretching from Vietnam through Tibet offer a radically different lesson in societal organization? Or are some academics slathering their own theories on top of vastly different societies? Either way, this article touches on some interesting debates about exactly what civilization is, and how desirable we find it.
(thanks to m1k3y for this one)
* Search the world's government data Courtesy of the wonderful people over at The Guardian. A great resource, right at your fingertips.
* The New Caveman lifestyle The New York Times finds Gotham crawling with people embracing the new caveman lifestyle, trying to eat and exercise in a fashion closer to our distant ancestors (raw meat and lots of jumping).
I'm always interested to see how experiments play out, and I'd be interested in the results of such a change, as well as more research on the cultural factors fueling it. At the same time, these modern primitives are working in fields like online advertising and live in one of the largest cities on the planet, so I have to ask: does just a diet and exercise routine define a lifestyle?
If only there were a blast-from-the-past lifestyle more up my alley. But what would such a thing look like?
* Machiavelli 2.0 Fuck yeah! That's what I'm talking about! I want to go to that conference (with my own food taster, a bulletproof vest and a good knife). Joking aside, that article in the Harvard International Review has some interesting things to say about applying good 'ol fashioned manipulation to a modern, "networked" society. In casting Machiavelli as a prophet of the modern state, it misses many of the deeper lessons about power that he observed (there's a reason 'ol Niccolo used ancient examples), but it's worth a read.
* Ask me anything Still answering questions, and loving it. Guilt, individualism, transhumanism, blogging and more. Keep 'em coming.
Thanks for your patience over the last week, readers. While it was unfortunate that work and life put me out of the blogging realm for a bit, I returned to find all sorts of interesting suggestions, links and more. So thanks, y'all are awesome.