A review of The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Data overload: Our culture’s reluctance to hit the delete button has economic costs — plus, all that data is hard to access. What do worldwide flu trends, wind power and robot car drivers have in common? The answer is Google Inc., which, in its quest to innovate, may be setting itself up for a fall. From Google's magazine Think Quarterly, the first issue is dedicated to data, including an interview with Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google; an interview with data superstar Hans Rosling; Simon Rogers picks the 10 best places to see "sexy" data online; and from sticks to clouds, here is a visual history of data capture through the ages. An HTML for Numbers: Is Google's Public Data Explorer the first step toward a universal data format? David Carr on how Google is evolving into a media company. Can he topple Google? Stephen Wolfram had a dream — to invent a search engine that could work stuff out for us. If the Internet disappeared: Finding answers without Google. n+1 editor Charles Petersen reviews The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry) by Siva Vaidhyanathan (and more and more and more and more and more and more). Now that a judge has curtailed Google’s ambitions to create a giant digital bookstore and library, the company is left with few appealing options — and it should teach the company humility, but it won't. A digital library better than Google’s: Don’t let a for-profit company monopolize knowledge; create a public — and free — online collection of our books (and an interview with Robert Darnton). Books Without Borders: Dominic Basulto on the Digital Infinite Library. The Internet is the world’s largest library, you asshole — have you been to a local library lately? A memory of webs past: The Web is a rollicking, revealing record of life in the 21st century — but preserving it for future historians is a monumental technical challenge. The open Internet is worth saving: Evgeny Morozov reviews Barbara van Schewick's Internet Architecture and Innovation and Tim Wu's The Master Switch (and more and more). Can Tim Wu save the Internet? He fears a corporate takeover of the Web — now, as a senior adviser at the Federal Trade Commission, he's in a position to fight that.
Marco Fanara (UPeace): Cultural Relativism Versus Sexual Rights as a Coherent Set of Human Rights. Can anything strike a harsher blow to a celebrity’s standing, dead or alive, than the thoughts of his close friends? Christopher Hitchens has an army of those. From Men’s Journal, an article on Daniel Kish, the blind man who taught himself to see. From Wired, 1 million workers, 90 million iPhones, 17 suicides — who’s to blame? Sometimes beauty is just business: Malcolm Gladwell on Helena Rubinstein and the business of beauty. Capitalism's Dismal Future: Capitalism has been so vital for so long that it seems irreplaceable — but it is played out, as encroaching fiscal and environmental horrors will show. The science of making decisions: The Twitterization of our culture has revolutionized our lives, but with an unintended consequence — our overloaded brains freeze when we have to make decisions. The introduction to The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography by Donald S. Lopez, Jr. Why some people steal content: Outside U.S., digital piracy not just easy, but often necessary. Phosphate with a twist: A long-forgotten soft drink is helping create surprising new cocktails. A review of Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World by Tina Rosenberg (and more). Steven Heller on the design practices of the Third Reich. Hey Jimmy Wales, what do you think of content farms? From FDL, a book salon on Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson's Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer-and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (and more). From First Things, Joe Carter on what the poor need most: Christian charity. Just what does it mean to be "anti-business"? Justin Fox wonders. The riddle of what underlies handedness remains; its proportions — roughly 90 percent of people are right-handed and 10 percent left-handed — stay consistent over time. My life cruising online: As a gay man, Erich Nagler's dating world evolved on the Internet — from the innocence of AOL to the desperation of Manhunt. From there to here, from here to there, researchers find that Dr. Seuss is — in political, social, psychological and even business terms — everywhere.
Peter Jan Honigsberg (USF): Conflict of Interest that Led to the Gulf Oil Disaster. A review of Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and In Too Deep: BP and the Drilling Race that Took it Down by Stanley Reed and Alison Fitzgerald. A review of Blowout in the Gulf: The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of Energy in America by William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling. Crude Awakening: From Deepwater Horizon to industrial architecture, the iconography of the petroleum sublime. The U.S. can take a number of steps to reduce oil consumption and to create liquid fuels that can substitute for oil. When we demand cheap petrol, we are demanding disaster. Demand for oil is driving exploration in ever more unlikely frontiers — are the benefits worth the risks? International oil companies are racing to develop new oilfields in the Arctic, but developing the vast reserves could be far more expensive than first thought. A review of Seizing Power: The Grab for Global Oil Wealth by Robert Slater. Is Saudi Arabia running out of oil? (and more) Saudi Arabia's social lubricant: To buy stability, Saudi Aramco — a 21st century corporation in a premodern monarchy — must keep the oil flowing. Oil and Trouble: George Monbiot on why western governments won’t support democracy in Saudi Arabia. An interview with Robert Scott on the effect of protests in the Middle East on oil prices. With the upheaval across the Middle East throwing the global energy market in turmoil, here are five questions that all oil traders are frantically trying to answer. Jeff Colgan claims that states with large oil and gas resources as well as what he calls revolutionary agendas are more likely than “stable” oil producers or non-producing states to start disputes with other states. A review of The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market by Leah McGrath Goodman. The collapse of the old oil order: Michael T. Klare on how the petroleum will end. A review of Sparking a Worldwide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-Petrol World.