blogTO notes that the Global Village Backpackers building on the northeast corner of King and Spadina is up for sale.
Centauri Dreams and the Planetary Society Blog both comment on the almost last-minute search by the Hubble space telescope for Kuiper belt objects to be targets for the New Horizons probe after it passes Pluto.
Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin speculates that the alleged boredom of Obama in office might be taken as a marker for imminent revolutionary sentiment.
The Dragon’s Gaze notes that the protoplanetary disk of protostar IRAS 16293-2422 is composed of two segments, both rotating in opposite directions.
Lawyers, Guns and Money approves of Mattherw Yglesias’ argument that some wars, like a proposed intervention in Iraq, are unwinnable.
Marginal Revolution has more on the court decision against Argentina for the benefit of its creditors.
Registan describes what the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is doing in Pakistan. (Putting down roots.)
Savage Minds features a post by a pair of anthropologists advocating that the discipline take part in a boycott of Israel.
Torontoist profiles the #parkdalelove Twitter campaign mounted after Mammoliti’s ridiculous statements.
The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a lawsuit by a convert to the church that converted him, alleging that because they publicized his conversion from Islam contrary to his request his life was threatened in Syria.
Window on Eurasia suggests that Russia annexed Crimea because it thought alternative separatist movements in Ukraine were budding.
The Big Picture shares photos of Iran 25 years after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Crooked Timber continues its seminar on the ethics of open borders.</li
D-Brief notes the discovery of two new classes of planets not found in our solar system, Earth-mass gas dwarfs and rocky super-Earths.
The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that red dwarfs’ solar wind would significantly heat exoplanets in their circumstellar habitable zones and links to another paper concluded that Kepler-10c is a giant rocky world.
The Dragon’s Tales notes drama in Canada regarding the possibility or not of a F-35 purchase.
The Financial Times‘ The World blog wonders about the future of the monarchy in a securely democratic Spain.
Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis concludes that poverty isn’t clearly the cause of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, notwithstanding the relative poverty of the Muslim north.
Lawyers, Guns and Money is rightly upset that Confederate general and defender of slavery Robert E. Lee is positioned in a new book as an American patriot.
The New APPS Blog considers the issues associated with democracy in the European Union after the recent elections.
Savage Minds’ P. Kerim Friedman considers the shooting ratio of ethnography. How much raw material do anthropologists need to collect to come up with something compelling?
Window on Eurasia traces the genealogy of Eurasianism in the Soviet era.
At Savage Minds, Adam Fish and John Carter McKnight have an extended essay arguing–convincingly, I think–that the elaboration of online life and social networking is extending capitalism to altogether new areas of private life.
As kids growing up in Nancy Reagan’s “just say no” 80s we endured a lot of propaganda regarding drugs. One was the myth of the “gateway drug.” We were told that drugs like marijuana with few medically provable harms were highly dangerous because they were gateways to harder more evil drugs. Gateway drugs are like linkbait, hooks that bring unwitting subjects from a one innocuous practice to one more pernicious.
Morozov claims that social media is a gateway drug for the financial sector to hook us on a new range of products and services, while increasing its control over our lives. We hear that the dark insides of our mouths, fridges, rubbish bins, and cars will be scrutinized by networked and image-recognizing surveillance cameras. Videos will be algorithmically analyzed producing “data portfolios” which will be automatically used (for a fee) by third parties to adjudicate our credit worthiness, employability, and romantic fitness. As longtime admirers of Morozov’s guts and wit we’ve been pleased to see him begin (finally) to use the name and identify the problem head-on—neoliberal capitalism galvanized by ubiquitously networked humans.
In making this argument, Morozov brings together two academic terms and says that they are co-constituting: mediatization and financialization. Mediatization claims that social practices are increasingly linked to media performance. We do it for the camera. Presidential elections, of course, are a key example of mediatization, in which every utterance, campaign stop, handshake, and tweet is delicately engineered towards manipulating the 24-hour news cycle. Mediatization assumes a new level of embeddedness in encounters with persistent, searchable, archivable, user-generated social media, a process we call social mediatization. The “social” qualifies the “mediatization” by identifying a new phase in which information is not broadcast from corporations or politicians to a passive audience, but generated and shared constantly among people, businesses, and governments.
Financialization works much like social mediatization: both identify the ways that foreign logics (financial or mediated) find their way into once-private and domestic spheres. Classic examples of financialization include online banking at home, stock investing as a hobby, and other forms of money management which were once “work” but are now billed as necessary and mature forms of personal responsibility and risk management for the middle classes.
Basically, late capitalism. The authors end their article by sharing Evgeny Morozov’s vision of an “all too likely future of trying to level up our gamified toothbrushes to lower our dental insurance premiums.”
At Antipope, Charlie Stross wonders why we need to work so long when productivity and per capita wealth have skyrocketed.
At the Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly describes a week in her life as a writer.
The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that ancient Population III stars could, in theory, have rocky planets.
The Dragon’s Tales warns that the Japanese economy is about to tank.
Joe. My. God. notes that young conservative Ben Shapiro is now boycotting Mozilla after Brandon Eich’s departure.
Savage Minds has an essay by anthropologist Elizabeth Chin suggesting that Lamilly, a new anatomically-correct doll, won’t take off because issues with beauty are much more deeply embedded in the culture than the designers believe.
The Signal examines the proliferation of E-mail storage formats.
The Volokh Conspiracy’s Jonathan Adler doesn’t like the pressure applied to Brandon Eich.
Window on Eurasia has two posts warning that Crimea’s annexation to Russia will destabilize the Russian Federation, one arguing that ethnic minorities and their republics will be put in a state of flux, the other arguing that Russian nationalists will be upset by the concession of so many rights to Crimean Tatars.
io9 links to an online version of a 1984 text game, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
After disproving the existence of Tyche, Centauri Dreams meditates on the rich data provided on the interstellar neighbourhood by the WISE infrared telescope.
The Dragon’s Tales maps the distribution of Russian and Ukrainian military forces.
Eastern Approaches visits the western Ukrainian village of Chervone, a community dependent on remittances from guest workers that finds itself getting along increasingly well with Poland and Poles. (Russia and Russians, not so much.)
Joe. My. God. notes that seven billionaires on Forbes’ famed list are openly gay.
Language Log has issues with the reported sensitivity of the new test for Alzheimer’s.
Marginal Revolution follows up on Edward Hugh’s suggestion that all Abenomics in Japan has been doing is boosting the Japanese trade deficit.
Livejournal’s pollotencheggmaps the demographics of Ukraine. Despite a significant recent improvements, the west and cities in the center of the country are the only ones avoiding population shrinkage.
Savage Minds features a post from anthropologist Robin Bernstein talking about how she likes grant writing.
Strange Maps notes a Dutch doctoral thesis arguing that the portolan charts of the early modern period are much too good to have been done in the medieval period. Are they legacies of Greco-Roman civilization?
Towleroad notes the testimony of a gay singer-songwriter Justin Utley before a state committee in Utah as to the persecution he has experienced on account of his sexual orientation.
Transit Toronto’s Robert McKenzie notes the expansion of parking at the Pickering GO station.
Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell complaints that his Firefox is crashing repeatedly and with frequency aren’t things I’ve experienced yet, fortunately.