I’d like to spend 750 words linking three books I think are worthy for political and social science, something I’m much more comfortable with than yesterday’s Samuel Jackson wannabe tirade against Governor Brown. I hadn’t written in forever, I didn’t want to do it, my health has gone to hell and nothing generates more scathing contempt in me than a perception of running from a fight, especially against Republicans. Whatever, I should be a studious, deliberatively calm social scientist advancing truth for the little people like Professor Silva trained me, yes I remember, perhaps one decade the goal will be reached.
The Master Switch: The Rise & Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu. The little people and the internet had an immensely gratifying recent win by defeating PIPA and SOPA in Congress, but as this fascinating and surprisingly gripping tale of communication technology and industry brilliantly illustrates those Hollywood hosers will be back, like the sun rises it is assuredly so.
As Atrios so often reminds us, had the telecommunications industry grasped the concept and potential of http from the beginning our internet experience would be vastly different today. Very unfortunately in the past that’s precisely what happened, dominant players in the telegraph and radio industries squashed emerging technologies and grossly distorted their structures to suit their ends, FM radio and television could be so vastly different now with just a few different decisions in their emerging environments. A must read.
People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil by Scott Peck. Not so much on the must read list, I suppose, and perhaps off the beaten path of social science a bit, but this interesting and insightful work by the legendary author of A Road Less Traveled holds some good insights, I think, on what the human mind does and does not perceive as evil, what it is (if it exists) and how we respond to it.
Good knowledge to have and think about, I believe, in this Age of Terror where we construct such vast technologies to kill The Evil Ones. Also, too, always good to keep in mind that Peck’s thesis of evil always rests on a foundation of lying, deception, and denial of the truth.
With Liberty & Justice for Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful by Glenn Greenwald. Certainly on the must read list for any politically aware citizen, this is an infuriating work of how the rule of law has been chucked out the window to the immense, horrifying harm to the Republic.
[sigh] It’s depressing how the most simple, vital precepts for democracy like the rule of law have to be enunciated and quoted by the founders, it’s certainly instant, common knowledge for any little person what the law means should we so foolishly disregard it.
There are persistent rumors that very soon a deal will be reached in the finance and mortgage industries that lets them off the hook for the flaming inferno mess that the housing market has become. That’s how far the rule of law has been squashed for those who own Congress (Dick Durbin said it, not me) and the Executive branch, how disastrous it would be for the Republic and the Democratic Party should that happen.
There has to be a limit on how much this gross lawlessness in the housing market can be ignored and excused. To push the issue in an election year carries the most extreme risk, even if the Republicans are spectacularly imploding, and I so fervently hope the rumored deal never comes to pass.
I promised Glenn a real review of the book, but the content and a grossly irrational reaction to Glenn’s work kept me from doing it. This is not the time and place for discussing the hysteria surrounding Glenn, suffice to say he is my people, I’ve been dismayed by it all far too many times to stir it up again. Again, if you are a politically aware person this is a must read, if any mental precepts exist that Glenn is the anti-Obama jihadist please put them aside and read the book, I assure you it will not be time wasted in any sense.
Well, here we are at 710 words and it’s time to go. I'm currently reading About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang by Adam Frank, it's really good. Please have a great Wednesday.