From FLYP, Brewster Kahle wants to give you digital access to every book, film, video, song, TV show and periodical ever published; if he succeeds, the world will be a different place. Anis Shivani reviews Chris Anderson’s Free and Mark Helprin’s Digital Barbarism. The landscape of 2009 has become to a large extent the same wired, information-saturated, absurdist, multicultural, hardscrabble future predicted in Neuromancer and other cyberpunk works. Huffington Post + Facebook = the future of journalism — should we be giddy or terrified? After the boom, is Wikipedia heading for bust? Melissa Hart on the trouble with Twitter (and more). What Would Warhol Blog? Fifteen minutes is a long time on the Internet. A history of blogging: A review of Say Everything by Scott Rosenberg. A review of David D. Perlmutter's Blogwars: The New Political Battleground. Farhad Manjoo on This Is Why You're Fat and other great single-topic blogs. Lolcats: Building a media empire around I Can Has Cheezburger.com. From The Big Money, an article on the crack cocaine of auction sites, Swoopo.com; Yelp and its discontents: Why does a simple review site drive people so crazy? The Web's dirtiest site: Douglas Rushkoff goes inside 4chan (and an interview with founder Christopher Poole).
Worst and dimmest: Benjamin Wallace-Wells on learning the wrong lessons from David Halberstam. John Koblin on how the Gilded Age of Conde Nast is over. Emily Joffe on how the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting — and why that's dangerous. Is it time to burn this book?: When Fahrenheit 451 becomes a comic book, it's time to worry. Christopher Hitchens on how Yale University Press capitulated to religious extremists. Creationism for liberals: Jerry Coyne reviews The Evolution of God by Robert Wright. Why the public option isn't dispensable: Health reform may not work without it. An interview with Wendell Potter, former mouthpiece for insurance giant Cigna, on his role in misleading the public, his whistle-blowing, and what should really scare you. With deliberative polls, rather than town halls, participants come away better informed, and the accompanying confidential questionnaires show real majorities in large constituencies. Political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has become wealthy (and controversial) by forecasting for governments and corporations. Rick Perlstein on how our media will not — cannot — explain the slow, steady work that produces election victories. Here's a bittersweet journey through the prehistoric world of politicians' MySpace pages.
From M/C Journal, James Newman (Bath Spa): Save the Videogame! The National Videogame Archive: Preservation, Supersession and Obsolescence; Jason Thompson (Wyoming), Ken S. McAllister (Arizona), and Judd Ethan Ruggill (ASU): Onward Through the Fog: Computer Game Collection and the Play of Obsolescence; and Christopher Luke Moore (Wollongong): Digital Games Distribution: The Presence of the Past and the Future of Obsolescence. The dailies say they must attract new readers, so why are they virtually ignoring millions of gamers? The people behind the burgeoning field of serious games aim both to get people to care about solving world problems while learning that all answers have their consequences. Does video game criticism need a Lester Bangs? At 25, Tetris drops into place as gaming icon. Are we smart enough for today's sports games?: They look better each year, but soon every player's going to need pro-level strategy knowledge. Simmin' the Good Life: They live, love, strive, and thrive, but they don’t scrimp, save, hate, or discriminate — is it rapturous capitalism, or virtual virtue? Video games and violence: How do our choices of amusements affect our behavior? Playing video games can make you a better person. Playing too many video games is bad for you too, grown ups.
A review of Kingmakers: the Invention of the Modern Middle East by K. Meyer and S.B. Brysac. An interview with Rashid Khalidi, author of Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East. From Al-Ahram, while imperialism has left its mark on the Arab region, it alone cannot be blamed for the failure of the Arabs to build modern states. The fifth Arab Human Development Report is a bold intellectual contribution to the Arab world’s deadlocked reform debate — but will anyone read it? (and more and more) The first chapter from Barriers to Democracy: The Other Side of Social Capital in Palestine and the Arab World by Amaney A. Jamal. Hamas 2.0: The Islamic resistance movement grows up. From Dissent, Tim Goot-Brennan on why Kurdistan matters. How the Pentagon bought stability in Iraq by funneling billions of taxpayer dollars to the country's next generation of strongmen. From The Economist, waking from its sleep: A quiet revolution has begun in the Arab world; it will be complete only when the last failed dictatorship is voted out (and a special report on the Arab world). A review of Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East by Gilles Kepel. Nathan Deuel tweets up with Riyadh’s burgeoning generation of micro-bloggers.