Quick Hits and Update

Hello all. I have recently finished Chris Hedges’ book Empire of Illusion and am in the process of writing my next piece on some of its themes. I plan to have that up as early as tomorrow or at the latest by the end of this week (Friday). Life has gotten quite busy lately and it is sucking my capacity to blog a bit, but I will be at it again sure and soon enough. In the meantime, here are some pieces from around the web that I found interesting and which you might enjoy as well. Take care for now and I’ll be back with new material soon.

Tim Parks has a piece up at the NYRB blog about the various instances of unfairness that occurred throughout this last World Cup. It was pretty shocking to hear that some shifty business might have been at play in some of the more executive decisions, but I suppose that shouldn’t be shocking these days. Either way, it’s a well written piece and very much worth reading.

Armine Nalyizan has written a piece for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives concerning the decision to restrict Canada’s upcoming census. Filling out one’s census will no longer be mandatory and will cover a lesser number of Canadian households. The whole piece thoughtfully discusses the implications this decisions might have on the ability for policy-makers at all levels to make effective decisions and policies given the information which they have at hand. The Globe and Mail has more here, and according to the Globe the decision was opposed by both Tony Clement and Jim Flaherty, though this is unconfirmed.

More and more material seems to be emerging all over the place regarding the effect of the web on our ability to think deeply. Once again, I feel it’s just a matter of striking a balance in our lives and making time for reading print and long-form materials like novels and more complex academic material. Too much of anything, after all, is bad for you. Nonetheless, Patrick Kingsley has this great piece in the Guardian concerning the “slow reading” movement. Once need not be a zealous luddite to appreciate the need to read more than our friends’ status updates and tweets. I previously talked a bit more about the web and its effects on my thinking here.

Having recently finished Chalmers Johnson’s book Nemesis, this project by Dana Priest and William Arkin in the Washington Post is especially alarming and intriguing. After two years of investigation, the reporters conclude that the operations put in place after 9/11 for counterterrorism purposes are so large that their costs simply cannot be measured and that transparency or accountability are virtually nonexistent. Johson’s book is a great account of how big the American military industrial complex has gotten and what it means for that country’s future.

I suppose that’s about it for now. I’ll see you all back here very soon with new material. All the best until then.

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