1. This here essay, by author Kenan Malik, is the definitive statement on the Charlie HEBDO massacre, and the definitive response to the increasingly obnoxious chorus of sub-moronic moral midgets who claim that the people working at the magazine "had it coming", or ridiculously accusing them of "racism". It begins...
‘Je suis Charlie’. It’s a phrase in every newspaper, in every Twitter feed, on demonstrations in cities across Europe. The expressions of solidarity with those slain in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices are impressive. They are also too late. Had journalists and artists and political activists taken a more robust view on free speech over the past 20 years then we may never have come to this. Instead, they have helped create a new culture of self-censorship.
Later in the essay, Malik explains:
The irony is that those who most suffer from a culture of censorship are minority communities themselves. Any kind of social change or social progress necessarily means offending some deeply held sensibilities. ‘You can’t say that!’ is all too often the response of those in power to having their power challenged. To accept that certain things cannot be said is to accept that certain forms of power cannot be challenged.
The essay just gets better - and more devastating to the reprehensible lazy lefty knee-jerk response - from that point on. This is a must-read editorial and I urge you to share it with everyone you know.
2. A little while ago, I used this space to link to an io9 story about evil technologies that should never be developed. One of those technologies was the creation of exotic brain tech to help make punishments for criminals more harsh and devastating - stuff like, for instance, meddling with a prisoner's sense of time so that it feels like they're rotting in jail for a thousand years... or more. Well, recently, New Atlantis writer Ari Schulman wrote a scathing blog post about this exact complex of proposed technologies, only to have the proposer enter the conversation in his blog's message section. Now I'm posting there, too! Why not pop on over and join the fray? Or at least just read the damn article. It's a good one, and New Atlantis has a bunch of other cool stuff for those interested in philosophy and deep cultural analysis. I've now added that site to our blog-list, on the right.
3. Once again, we finish things off with a short but sweet fake informercial from [adult swim]! This time, gaze in wide wonder at the results of Alpha Chow!