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/.
Precisely. I've had a Twitter account since 2007, but aside from one-line jokes by people like John Hodgman, I've never found much value in the thing, presumably because I'm not famous and don't have stuff to sell. And I'm fine with that.
On Ear Pierced
Huge props for the Becker quote, which is one of my favorites.
"Anyway, it can be polluted irreparably. Let's preserve the Internet for our children and our children's children": Oh Choire, it is so very much too late. There are many gigabytes of YouTube comments alone, and because they are Google's, they will last even longer than plastic trash or radioactive waste.
Also, why would you use Medium when you can write Awl posts?
"For those who like to collect stories of Mayor Mike being a dick," better set aside a whole lot of space, because Hosni Bloomberg is a whole lot of a dick.
Basic courtesy is for the little people.
"we have to share the world with our ideological opponents, and we just don't want to kill them": Well, you may not want to kill them, but some of them certainly do want to kill you (and me). Spend awhile browsing right-wing websites if you're in any doubt about that. It's just that killing you isn't practical, for now.
By the way, a devil's advocate - and if ever that term fit an argument, it fits this one - might say the problem with old-fashioned purges is that they were so uninformed and therefore clumsy. Too many people got killed just for being from the "wrong" family or in the "wrong" occupation or whatever. The great thing about a new-fangled purge is that thanks to things like Facebook and Twitter, it could be ever so much more precisely targeted. And guess who has a treasure trove of that kind of information just waiting to be seized by extremist politicians? (Hint: see Snowden, E. J.)
Guillotines might be more appropriate, but yes, I'd settle for some nice, long prison sentences, and no getting out early for good behavior, either. Some nice, big fines, not just of the banks but of the banksters themselves, would be good too. The ones who go to jail shouldn't walk out still rolling in stolen money.
I suppose it would be asking too much to throw in the banksters' media toadies, but maybe some of them could at least be tarred and feathered.
@Abe Burnett: There's nothing you could tell me about undergraduate careerism that I don't already know. On the way to my master's and doctoral degrees, I spent years teaching undergrads in three departments on two campuses of the University of California. However, you presume the careerism is something we should just accept, rather than living and encouraging any alternative. Little as I loved my teaching experiences, I'd be cynically dishonest if I didn't acknowledge that some of my students, including some initially pretty unreceptive ones, got genuinely interested in the material and stopped just wanting to know "Will this be on the exam?" Moreover, the careerism is substantially a product of those same people who've dominated American politics for the past 30 years or so, with their idiotic every-man-for-himself-ist rhetoric, their relentless attacks on organized labor, and more generally their vigorous promotion of a society in which most people who attend college nonetheless spend much of their lives in dread of destitution. (By the way, before you scoff - as I suspect you will - at mention of organized labor in this context, a personal anecdote: I spent two years as a guest at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science, a research-and-development shop staffed mostly by Ph.D.s. And, like my colleagues, I was a union member. It's the norm in Sweden, even for highly educated workers, and strangely enough, it hasn't prevented Sweden, a country with fewer people than North Carolina, from being a formidable scientific and technological power.) There's no good reason at all for academics to just accept this state of affairs. Finally, the dichotomy you assert is simply false. There's no necessary divide between material that teaches you to think well and material that helps you get a job. Even English courses, the go-to example of impracticality for people who express the kind of attitude you've expressed, can be practical. Smart employers of college graduates know they need people who read and write well, who can explain things clearly, concisely, and persuasively. (Another personal anecdote: my domestic partner is a research scientist at a big agbiotech company. She spends most of her time in meetings, writing things, or reading things other employees write. It isn't really what she had in mind - she likes lab work - but it's typical for modern professionals.)
A day without snark? Dream on, PR flacks. A day without snark for me would be like a day without alcohol for Alex Balk: unendurable. Unless maybe I were camping in the wilderness, somewhere far, far away from every form of PR...
In all seriousness - no really, I'm serious - not all "snark" is created equal. I suspect much of what these people call snark should simply be called bitching or carping or similar. Snark, as practiced by masters like Balk, Ken Layne, and Alex Pareene, is a subspecies of satire, which promotes happiness by puncturing the pretensions of the pretentious, exposing the venality of the venal, etc. It hurts only those who deserve to be hurt. As it happens, that category does often include employers of PR flacks. Consider it an occupational hazard, or maybe consider another occupation.
There's a lot I could say about these fools, but I'll cut to the single most appalling sentence in the post, the very first one:
"Before he goes to sleep, between 11 and midnight, Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, typically checks in by e-mail with the same reporter: Mike Allen of Politico, who is also the first reporter Pfeiffer corresponds with after he wakes up at 4:20."
Politico is toxic drivel. Calling it "Tiger Beat on the Potomac," as Charles Pierce does, is erring on the side of kindness. It's #1 on Alex Pareene's Hack 30 (http://bit.ly/Wxydb3), and for very good reasons. That Politico's Clown-in-Chief is the White House communication director's main man says a lot, and none of it flattering, about the Obama administration's approach to communication.
American Exceptionalism for the win! Yee ha!