Sunday Reading

Frank Pasquale:


An Open Letter to the Mainstream English Media:

At 8pm, I rush out of the house with a saucepan and a ladle, and as I walk to meet my fellow protesters, I hear people emerge from their balconies and the music starts. If you do not live here, I wish I could properly convey to you what it feels like; the above video is a start. It is magic. It starts quietly, a suggestion here and there, and it builds. Everybody on the street begins to smile. I get there, and we all—young and old, children and students and couples and retirees and workers and weird misfits and dogs and, well, neighbours—we all grin the widest grins you have ever seen while dancing around and making as much noise as possible. We are almost ecstatic with the joy of letting loose like this, of voicing our resistance to a government that seeks to silence us, and of being together like this.

Police or Prosperity:

"Chicago is projecting a cost of $65 million for policing NATO (and such official projections are often dwarfed by actual expenditure, only ever revealed long after the fact). As a result of a 2012 budget deficit, however, this year Chicago libraries will be closed Mondays and almost all of the book shelvers who work in the system will be laid-off. Savings? $10 Million. Does it seem possible that $55 million would adequately police the 2 day Nato summit, saving $10 mil for all those libraries? Realists will argue that this is not how budgeting is done, that it’s never that simple; and while literally that’s true, politicians rarely say “give the library money to the police”, at least in public, it’s also besides the point."

Bint Battuta:

A few links stolen from Jillian York's "Reading":

The al-Assad regime’s surveillance of telecommunications–cell phones, text messages, email, and Internet traffic–is remarkably extensive. Using equipment built in the West by companies such as BlueCoat, the Syrian government censors the Internet, blocks websites, and snoops on traffic using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).

Some links stolen from Sahelblog:

And from Scott Ross:

From the moment the invasion of Afghanistan was launched, how to deal with the actual American war dead was always considered a problematic matter. The Bush administration and the military high command, with the Vietnam War still etched in their collective memories, feared those uniformed bodies coming home (as they feared and banished the “body count” of enemy dead in the field). They remembered the return of the “body bags” of the Vietnam era as a kind of nightmare, stoking a fierce antiwar movement, which they were determined not to see repeated

Universities are still Super-White, and they could get whiter:

My point with all of this is to highlight the power of definition. When admissions offices take race into consideration it is defined as “affirmative-action” and therefore a betrayal of American ideals of meritocracy; when they take where your parents went to school into consideration it is simply a legacy admission, protecting the unique “traditions” of each school. Schools take lots of things into consideration: but somehow the act of taking race into consideration gets picked out, put into a separate category of decision making, and subjected to a separate critique and logic than do those processes which benefit white people. One of the privileges of whiteness, then, is its invisibility, as society naturalizes and normalizes the very processes that give white people advantage, sewing white privilege into the unexamined fabric of social reproduction, while subjecting to the most strict and withering examination any systems that try to remedy existing inequality by benefiting black or Hispanic students.