Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
6

How to Plagiarize a Fart Joke

There is yet another plagiarism scandal afoot. I declare it a silly one, and therefore predict that what I am writing here will raise a mini-foofaraw in journalistic circles. It may well get me targeted by the same journalism Internet sleuths who broke this “scandal,” and they might comb my oeuvre trying to prove that I am a plagiarist myself, which might explain why I am daring to question the agreed-upon level of public tsk-ing, using the agreed-upon hair-trigger definition of what constitutes theft in our a shabby new world of frantic Internet journalism that, in its very DNA, happens to encourage and reward theft.

To make A Point [...]

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4

The Cost of a World Trade Center Image

According to the Port Authority: Fishs Eddy, a well-known housewares store at Broadway and 19th Street, is “unfairly reaping a benefit from an association with the Port Authority and the attacks” of Sept. 11. How? By selling two lines of goods — “212 New York Skyline” and “Bridge and Tunnel” — that are adorned with fanciful, cartoonish depictions of the twin towers, the new 1 World Trade Center and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, labeled with their names, all of which the agency claims as its own assets.

The Port Authority, the steward of the very idea of 9/11, and all that surrounds and permeates it, is [...]

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1

Filtering Technology Advanced

Whisper's advanced technology to reduce the amount "meanness" floating around on its service, otherwise known as "libel," has a high cost: The company, based in this city’s Venice neighborhood, says it has built filters to reduce celebrity gossip and everyday name-calling. "We have a huge layer of technology that detects proper names and puts those posts in a different queue for evaluation by 130 full-time human moderators," Mr. Heyward said. "At least in the short term, these policies have been growth inhibitors for us."

What a terrible thing this at least passing interest in making people less savage hath wrought: an inhibition of growth, a startup's only [...]

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0

The Gee Whiz Train

The thin, fragile, and (oft unfairly) maligned conduit between Brooklyn and Queens is shutting down for five weeks so that the MTA can repair lingering damage from Hurriance Sandy. This has provided occasion to air out moldering anxieties about the G train and the area it serves, one too ripe for Uber to resist exploiting: While the MTA does their thing, we’re here to bridge the gap with one free transfer between the Nassau Av and Court Sq G train stops.

The MTA's "thing" is maintaining vital physical infrastructure. Uber is beloved by its investors precisely because it does not perform that kind of costly work, but [...]

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0

Noodles Manufactured

A thing that may disappoint you (or not, idk): Like your clothes, electronics, mass-produced groceries, culture, and cigarettes, while the variety appears to be infinite, the noodles at the vast majority of high-end ramen joints, from Momofuku to Ivan Ramen, all come from the same place.

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1

Balance of Power

Equilibrium in nature: The proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, announced in February, has set off a wave of activity in the media industry, with AT&T Inc. announcing a $48.5 billion deal for DirecTV that would rival Comcast’s heft in the cable and satellite business. One rationale for the deals is that they would give the cable and satellite groups more leverage in negotiations with entertainment companies and help contain rising programming costs.

In turn, the $80 billion offer that 21st Century Fox made for Time Warner, which was disclosed last week, would restore some leverage to the entertainment groups.

Why worry about the endless series of mergers, consolidations, [...]

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13

All the New Yorker Story Roundups You Should Read While the Stories Are Still Unlocked, As Well As All the New Yorker Stories They Link To

Featured Collection: Profiles, New Yorker

"Isadora," January 10, 1927

"Secrets of the Magus," April 5, 1993

"Covering the Cops," February 17, 1986

"Two Heads," February 12, 2007

"The Man Who Walks on Air," April 5, 1999

"Delta Nights," June 5, 2000

Love Stories, by Deborah Treisman, New Yorker

"What Is Remembered," Alice Munro, February 19, 2001

"The Love of My Life," T. C. Boyle, March 6, 2000

"Reverting to a Wild State," Justin Torres, August 1, 2011

"Jon," George Saunders, January 27, 2013

"The Surrogate," Tessa Hadley, September 15, 2003

"Clara," Roberto Bolaño, August 4, [...]

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0

Toward a Theory of Manhattan's Surrender to Brooklyn

Nearby, Nick Krevatas, one of the workers who were to hoist the new 12-by-18-foot red, white and blue flags that arrived in a Transportation Department truck by early afternoon, pulled on an elaborate harness.

"I feel we’ve been tampered with on our soil," he said, a fat cigar clamped in the corner of his mouth. (He was still smoking it as he walked up the suspension cable to the towers.)

His theory?

“Something political, I guess," he mused. "It’s got to mean something."

The supposed mystery of the white flag over the Brooklyn Bridge is itself deeply mystifying: While bleaching the stars-and-stripes to produce an all white [...]

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5

Everything You Have Needed to Know in 2014 (So Far)

Today, in the Washington Post, Eve Fairbanks asks: Could "all you need to know" be the most insidious, reductive, and lame story formula currently conquering our reading life? Everywhere you turn there’s another purported ne plus ultra explainer purporting to tell us "absolutely everything we could possibly need to know" about some current event, some curiosity of history, some deep mystery of life on Earth.

Good question! "All you need to know" can be distilled down further to the no-less-demanding formulation of "need to know." It's still just as chiding, just as exhaustive, just as needy, when you consider the full range of its implications: You are required [...]

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3

Question Hrmm

An example of the insightful questions that some venture capitalists must ask before they decide to shower an app with money, so much money: Robyn Exton, the founder and chief executive of Dattch, a location-based dating app aimed at lesbians, once pitched her product to a venture capitalist who asked a colleague, ">Do you think if I invest, people will think I’m gay?"

Obviously, the answer is super.

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5

The Airbnb Hole

It is not the fault of Airbnb that its new logo looks like an anatomical negative space, a hole, its chief technology officer, Nathan Blecharczyk, would like to everyone to know: We wouldn’t want to design a logo that caters to the lowest common denominator. This was a yearlong undertaking for dozens of people, it’s something meaningful, and no one pauses to really understand that.

But when one gazes into the hole—for how can one not—the tumble begins almost immediately, through the hole, beyond the hole. The world and every possible concern, hope, fear, or dream dissolves completely, leaving just you and the hole—you are [...]

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2

The Pathos of Pageviews

"We are, absolutely, a page-view-driven site even though we don’t want to be," said Mr. Magnin of Thought Catalog. "Every writer wants to do well, and 'do well' means get more Twitter followers."

Imagine the day that the highly emotional new new internet completes its project to convert share metrics into the only acceptable form of currency. Go ahead, just revel in it. Renting this apartment requires forty thousand Twitter followers, with fewer than twenty-five percent of them being bots. The price for this dinner is a thousand Instagram followers and thirty-seven likes per photo. You can enter the Jeff Koons retrospective after sending Yos to six friends, three [...]

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0

The Inevitability of Space, Time, and Acquisitions

"While the talks between the two companies have thus far been considered friendly, people involved in the discussions said that Mr. Murdoch is determined to buy Time Warner and is unlikely to walk away." — The experience of truly cheating Death comes with an awareness, a soft, white noise that never quite recedes wholly into the background, that one has not acquired a permanent injunction barring further contact, but merely extracted a non-binding promise—an intimation, really—that while the evasion was fair play, the momentary lapse will be remedied in the fullness of time, the enabling loophole closed, completely and utterly. So Death circles, endlessly, the curve unbroken.

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1

Man Has Point

"I'm ashamed of you. You're what’s wrong with this country." — Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, not incorrectly, to executives from companies that manufacture or market e-cigarettes.

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0

A Flood Flash

A flash flood warning has been issued for New York City and the surrounding areas: Now the flood was on the earth long enough to be annoying. The waters increased and lifted up the refuse piled along the curb, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the streets, and the garbage moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered, except in parts of Brooklyn, where the hills are higher still. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits or whatever upward, and the sidewalks were [...]

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5

Reasons to Weep

“You know what makes me want to cry? I think whoever the next Facebook is, why would you ever start that company here in the United States?” — Heather Bresch, the daughter of West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, and C.E.O. of the Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical giant Mylar, who is "reluctantly" acquiring Abbott Laboratories in order to re-incorporate in the Netherlands where it will pay an eventual tax rate in the "high teens," rather than the 25 percent it pays now.

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4

Pity the Incoherent Youngs

Young people, it seems, "have totally incoherent political views" that "don't make any sense." How very Millennial.

For instance, "something interesting happens when Millennials start making serious dough. They start getting much more squeamish about giving it away." Like "69 percent think the government should guarantee health insurance… 55 percent are 'unwilling to pay more for health insurance in order to help provide coverage to the uninsured.'" Not at all like other, presumably older people.

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0

Monopolies of the Future Past

The thought of the future is often terrifying because we are biologically programmed to be frightened by dim uncertainty. But, as we've made steady progress toward the construction of a time machine, some pieces of the future have inadvertently slipped into our own time, providing a comforting sense of probability, if not certainty, about the fate of certain key elements of civilization: Mr. Zandri, an author of mystery and suspense tales, is published by Thomas & Mercer, one of Amazon Publishing’s many book imprints. He is edited by Amazon editors and promoted by Amazon publicists to Amazon customers, nearly all of whom read his books in electronic form on [...]

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3

Dog Maligned

Tom Junod, noted potential fucker of hot forty-two-year-old women, on the American pit bull crisis: Every year, American shelters have to kill about 1.2 million dogs. But both pro- and anti-pit-bull organizations estimate that of these, anywhere from 800,000 to nearly 1 million are pit bulls. We kill anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 pit bulls a day. They are rising simultaneously in popularity and disposability, becoming something truly American, a popular dog forever poised on the brink of extermination.

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1

Steak Expensive

If you enjoy going to restaurants to order enormous slabs of meat cut from the flank of large animals that is then to left to rot (in a good way lol) for many days before being slapped under a flaming broiler, you have probably noticed something in recent months, as international demand for beef has intersected with drought that has ravaged cattle herds: It now seems "a bit like buying a diamond, doesn't it? Well that's the direction things are going in. During my years of reviewing steakhouses at Bloomberg News, I rarely spent less than $150 per person on any given visit. Enjoy your beef while you [...]

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