no small questions no big answers

15th January 2010

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More than 11 percent of those hospitalized with a mention of amphetamine use were pregnant women admitted to the hospital for a delivery

8th January 2010

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i didnt realize that ebert was so sick →

8th January 2010

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punters gettin respect →

8th January 2010

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7th January 2010

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Eurasia groups top global risks →

7th January 2010

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HP is racist →

7th January 2010

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most expensive liquid update

most expensive liquid update

7th January 2010

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easterly on collier →

7th January 2010

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Reporters in Texas, in 2007, discovered that more than 750 juvenile detainees across the state had alleged sexual abuse by staff over the previous six years. That number, however, was generally thought to under-represent the true extent of such abuse, because most children were too afraid to report it: staff commonly instructed their favorite inmates to beat up kids who complained.
— nyrb. now i am sad.

7th January 2010

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obama thizz face

obama thizz face

7th January 2010

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what happend in rwanda? →

7th January 2010

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DAMN YOU, REALISTIC THINKERS!

thomas brenton on why graduate school sucks:

who tends to choose it:

  • They are excited by some subject and believe they have a deep, sustainable interest in it. (But ask follow-up questions and you find that it is only deep in relation to their undergraduate peers — not in relation to the kind of serious dedication you need in graduate programs.)
  • They received high grades and a lot of praise from their professors, and they are not finding similar encouragement outside of an academic environment. They want to return to a context in which they feel validated.
  • They are emerging from 16 years of institutional living: a clear, step-by-step process of advancement toward a goal, with measured outcomes, constant reinforcement and support, and clearly defined hierarchies. The world outside school seems so unstructured, ambiguous, difficult to navigate, and frightening.
  • With the prospect of an unappealing, entry-level job on the horizon, life in college becomes increasingly idealized. They think graduate school will continue that romantic experience and enable them to stay in college forever as teacher-scholars.
  • They can’t find a position anywhere that uses the skills on which they most prided themselves in college. They are forced to learn about new things that don’t interest them nearly as much. No one is impressed by their knowledge of Jane Austen. There are no mentors to guide and protect them, and they turn to former teachers for help.
  • They think that graduate school is a good place to hide from the recession. They’ll spend a few years studying literature, preferably on a fellowship, and then, if academe doesn’t seem appealing or open to them, they will simply look for a job when the market has improved. And, you know, all those baby boomers have to retire someday, and when that happens, there will be jobs available in academe.

Who should:

  • You are independently wealthy, and you have no need to earn a living for yourself or provide for anyone else.
  • You come from that small class of well-connected people in academe who will be able to find a place for you somewhere.
  • You can rely on a partner to provide all of the income and benefits needed by your household.
  • You are earning a credential for a position that you already hold — such as a high-school teacher — and your employer is paying for it.

I think im probably all of the first and know that im none of the second.

fuck.

7th January 2010

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7th January 2010

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Afghanistan has been above all a project not of force but of patience. It would take decades before Afghanistan achieved the political cohesion, stability, wealth, government structures, or even basic education levels of Pakistan. A political settlement requires a reasonably strong permanent government. The best argument against the surge, therefore, was never that a US operation without an adequate Afghan government partner would be unable to defeat the Taliban—though it won’t. Nor that the attempt to strengthen the US campaign will intensify resistance, though it may. Nor because such a deployment of over 100,000 troops at a cost of perhaps $100 billion a year would be completely disproportional to the US’s limited strategic interests and moral obligation in Afghanistan—though that too is true.

Instead, Obama should not have requested more troops because doing so intensifies opposition to the war in the US and Europe and accelerates the pace of withdrawal demanded by political pressures at home. To keep domestic consent for a long engagement we need to limit troop numbers and in particular limit our casualties. The surge is a Mephistophelian bargain, in which the President has gained force but lost time.

— Rory Stewart, NYRB

7th January 2010

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Why, then, should we be bothered by our literary lions’ continuing obsession with sex? Why should it threaten our insistent modern cynicism, our stern belief that sex is no cure for what David Foster Wallace called “ontological despair”? Why don’t we look at these older writers, who want to defeat death with sex, with the same fondness as we do the inventors of the first, failed airplanes, who stood on the tarmac with their unwieldy, impossible machines, and looked up at the sky?