I'm an entrepreneur and scientist. As an entrepreneur, I founded CardVine. As a scientist, I study evolution, ecology, genetics, and genomics. Learn more about me at http://ralphhaygood.com/.
This "channeling each hack's unique voice" thing Pareene is doing this year is brilliant but disorienting. Some of these pieces (e.g, the one on noted smarmer Malcolm Gladwell) leave me feeling like I've gone so far down the rabbit hole I'm not sure I can find my way out.
"And it's also very suspicious that so many 1960s antiwar musicians died with such regularity.": I wonder whether this has anything to do with why certain songwriters who came of age in the 1960s have strong tendencies toward allusion, insinuation, and bitter, sardonic mockery.
Great, Balk, just great. Thanks to you, I now know that emoji art exhibits are an actual thing.
So, maybe the depiction of that Romanian village in "Borat" (you know, the village that sued Cohen and company for misrepresenting them) wasn't so inaccurate after all.
It's worth noting, in this era of "government is the problem," "you didn't build that," and other such sociopathic blather, that Myriad did not in fact figure out the risk associations. Like most biomedical progress, that came about through publicly funded research, mostly in universities, especially the laboratory of Mary-Claire King at Berkeley (cf. J. M. Hall et al., 1990, "Linkage of early-onset familial breast cancer to chromosome 17q21," Science 250:1684-1689, http://bit.ly/18YaKGU). Public institutions played significant roles all along the way to the diagnostics. Even the patents were awarded not only to Myriad but also to the University of Utah and NIEHS. Beyond the absurdity of a patent on a natural kind, the fact that Myriad didn't figure out the risk associations is among the reasons why it should never have been allowed to monopolize the use of the genes for diagnostic purposes.
Ooh, gag me with a spoon.
But the Post and its editors, like much of the right-wing noise machine, seem to think it's their job to add as much insult to injury as possible.
But what I've really been wanting is the "F*ck off and die" button.
Okay, I've read it. It's magnificent. I don't think any other single essay I've ever read has managed to capture so much of what I find horrifying and repulsive about American society. I expect it will be met with a greasy tsunami of smarm, and I hope, as Scocca presumably hopes, that "smarm" will become at least as widely used as "snark." We've had terms for various aspects of smarm - concern trolling, Pollyannaism, etc. - but Scocca not only helps us see the whole that is grosser than the sum of its parts but also gives us a nice, evocative term for it. I expect this essay will eventually be anthologized alongside such dreadfully "negative" - and therefore, according to Gladwell, Denby, et al., of no enduring interest - works as Orwell's "Politics and the English language." (It will be a pity if the anthologizers omit the recurring image of Thumper, although I suppose Gawker may hear from Team Rodent's army of lawyers about that.)
By the way, against my better judgment and risking outrage overdose, I read the comments on that stupid WaPo piece. And they're actually good! For example: "Everyone is writing about the success of these sites. Meanwhile, an article you NEVER see is: People Just LOVE Social News Sites. People don't. People, by and large, HATE them." And: "This stuff is ADD chicken nuggets. Social spam. And it's not going to drive sales to any of their advertisers."