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In Tubes, Andrew Blum, a correspondent at Wired magazine, takes us on an engaging, utterly fascinating tour behind the scenes of our everyday lives and reveals the dark beating heart of the Internet itself. A remarkable journey through the brave new technological world we live in, Tubes is to the early twenty-first century what Soul of a New Machine—Tracy Kidder’s classic story of the creation of a new computer—was to the late twentieth.
On sale on Amazon for $1.99
Sometimes a book is worthwhile for one good line in the book.
This line from the book "Old Glory : A Voyage Down the Mississippi by Jonathan Raban" made the entire book worthwhile to me.
The man smiled with exaggerated patience. It was the smile of a lonely realist stranded in the society of cloud-cuckoos.
Old Glory : A Voyage Down the Mississippi by Jonathan Raban (page 19)
It's been said that money is the root of all evil. Does money make people more likely to lie, cheat and steal? Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on new research from the University of California, Berkeley about how wealth and inequality affects us psychologically.
Sidewalk poetry box wins more fans for free verse
Poetry boxes at the library?
Book: To Save Everything, Click Here
In the very near future, “smart” technologies and “big data” will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life. Technology will allow us to solve problems in highly original ways and create new incentives to get more people to do the right thing. But how will such “solutionism” affect our society, once deeply political, moral, and irresolvable dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency?
Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World
May 2nd posting at the 2013 Book Calendar
A PIONEER in what has become a hot trend on Madison Avenue — going beyond the realm of traditional advertising and into the world of editorial and entertainment known as content marketing or branded content — is hoping to ramp up its efforts by joining forces with a content specialist.
Moises Naim's new book, "The End of Power," aims to track the history of political power and answer why being in charge isn't what it used to be. Ray Suarez talks with Naim, also a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about why power is both harder to use and to keep today.
Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am
George Saunders, a former MacArthur Fellow, talks to Jeffrey Brown about his latest collection of stories, "Tenth of December," and his unique voice and approach to capturing contemporary American culture in a compressed, short form.
Books by Saunders:
Meet dot dot dot, an organizational app for all your digital reading
Instant: The Story of Polaroid
In the ballad, told countless times over more than a century, the railroad worker John Henry wins a race against a new steam-powered drill, but the victory is Pyrrhic: he collapses, saying “Give me a cool drink of water before I die.” “Did he win? Did he lose?,” wonders novelist Colson Whitehead. “By the '60s,” remarks Scott Nelson, a professor of history who wrote Steel Drivin’ Man, “John Henry is looked down on, as being an Uncle Tom character. ... The black man who’s always willing to do what the white man wants. There’s a division between brain and brawn.”
Whether or not the story has historical roots — it’s uncertain — his race has come to represent the heroic struggle of men and women to maintain the dignity of their labor against encroaching technology. A chess grandmaster going to battle against Big Blue is compared to John Henry, and The Onion headline reads, “Modern-Day John Henry Dies Trying to Out-Spreadsheet Excel 11.0.”
But it wasn't always so. Studio 360's David Krasnow traces the ballad back to its origins as a cautionary tale, and finds the answer song: a blues about a railroad worker who wants no part of martyrdom. “John Henry was a steel-driving man. He went down,” the song goes. “Take this hammer and carry it to the captain. Tell him I’m gone.”
Listen to full radio piece stream or download MP3 here:
Book Calendar 2013
Now that January is done you can see all the books that were selected for January at once.
The current day can be seen here.
The author of this book also wrote a book on a completely different topic: Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation