May 1, 2014 / From the Editor, Uncategorized
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from …
June 13, 2014
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from across the web. Here’s what’s catching our eye this week.
The Slenderman killings covered at the Verge:
In recent days, the soul-searching brought on by senseless violence coalesced around the creepypasta community. Did the creepypasta community convince the girls that Slenderman was real? What kind of terrifying corners have teens carved out on the internet that adults don’t know about? Do memes kill people? “The crime has become a warning to parents to take a closer look at what their children are doing online,” was a typical analysis.
Vox presents evidence that just giving money to poor people is the best help for poverty:
So there you have it: money sent to poor people abroad doesn’t get wasted on booze or cigarettes. But it’s worth asking whether we should even care how it’s spent, ultimately. There’s something more than a little unseemly about Westerners casting judgment on poor people halfway across the world for having a beer or a smoke. As the authors’ World Bank colleague Jishnu Das once put it, “‘does giving cash work well’ is a well-defined question only if you are willing to say that ‘well’ is something that WE, the donors, want to define for families whom we have never met and whose living circumstances we have probably never spent a day, let alone a lifetime, in.”
Google purchased a satellite this week:
Now it joins Google. The advertising giant might use the small satellites in its quest for more and faster data for its Maps and Earth services. The company, however, gets its truly high-resolution imagery from DigitalGlobe, and it negotiated its last “multiyear agreement” with the satellite behemoth in February. Owning satellites of its own might help Google when it negotiates its next contract with DigitalGlobe, but that’s now a few years off. (Whatever happens in the world of small satellites, by the way, the military will still pay for access to DigitalGlobe’s enormous WorldView craft. That doesn’t mean its stock hasn’t responded to the news.)
A Judge in California overturns teacher tenure:
“Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students,” Judge Rolf M. Treu of Los Angeles Superior Court wrote in the ruling. “The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience.”
An in other teaching news, evidence on the importance of handwriting:
Does handwriting matter? Not very much, according to many educators. The Common Core standards, which have been adopted in most states, call for teaching legible writing, but only in kindergarten and first grade. After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard. But psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to declare handwriting a relic of the past. New evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep.
A great interview with Louis CK:
I was depressed a lot in high school. I did all this stuff outside of school: I did my internship, I loved my teachers a lot, I loved school and learning, but it wasn’t consistent enough. I’d always end up getting behind, getting in trouble, and I’d stop going, I’d feel bad, and everything would…I struggled, I did a lot of drugs when I was in junior high school, so I was already like a recovered addict. By the time I got to high school, I had been in and out of a massive drug problem.
An interesting review of Eberhard Busch’s new book, Drawn to Freedom:
Liberationist, feminist, and ecological concerns have left only the faintest of traces on Busch’s reflections. For Busch, “the most burning wound in the ecumenical community of God” is the separation between church and synagogue. The German church’s collaboration with Nazism casts a long shadow over his theology. In a large extrapolation from the immediate concerns of the catechism, Busch gives a consistently positive account of Jews and Judaism, rejecting anti-Judaic stereotypes, upholding the centrality of the Old Testament witness for Christians, and insisting on God’s unwavering faithfulness to the Jewish people. For Christians living in Germany after the Shoah, this is what “freedom in the covenant” requires.
Mockingbird complies things David Foster Wallace’s parents told him:
“I’m interested in religion, only because certain churches seem to be a place where things can be talked about. What does your life mean? Do you believe in something bigger than you? Is there something harmful about gratifying every single desire you have that is harmful?… One place where I discovered stuff was being talked about was AA meetings. I’m not in [Alcoholics Anonyous], but I went to open meetings.. There’s a certain amount of goo, and there’s a certain amount of serious [stuff]. Like the fact that it takes enormous courage to appear weak. Hadn’t heard that anywhere else. I was just starting to entertain the fact that that might be true.”
Wright Thompson brings attention to Gabriel Garcia Marquez while covering the World Cup being playing in South America:
The scenes from this World Cup will carry with them the quality of a Neruda poem, or a Garcia Marquez novel, with passion and violence existing side by side, journalism and Kafka, sprung from the same source. I’m spending the next month in Latin America, looking for both. The journey began in Mexico City, where I landed a little after one on a Sunday, June 8, and by 2 I’d checked into my hotel, a luxurious palace with a green courtyard where families sipped wine and ate fresh grilled meat. Just before 2:30, after dropping my bags in the room, I went downstairs to meet Leo, my translator, to set up a time to interview Cristobal Pera, which we’d do at an ivy-covered restaurant, followed by beers in a quiet, old cantina, then street tacos, then mescal, the kind of afternoon that always reminds me why a great day in Latin America is better than a great day anywhere else. I sat in a chair by the front door, and I heard a loud bang, like a firecracker, following by screaming and people running through the lobby, looking for a place to hide.
TOJ contributor Kevin on the bread and circuses of the World Cup:
And yet. I will watch every game that timezones, deadlines and relationships will permit me to watch. I will hope Messi stops dry heaving long enough to cement his place in history as the greatest footballer ever. I will hope America somehow brave it through to the second round. I will hope that Belgium win the whole thing. And I will try not to think about connecting the dots between ideologies of capitalist utopia, cheap consumer goods, cheaper wages in places I never have to visit and the certain knowledge that every tyranny is happy to roll out bread and circuses to support the system.
And soccer, America’s sport of the future since Teddy Roosevelt:
The first time soccer (or, as it was called then, “socker”) was seriously put forward as an American trend was in 1905, when President Teddy Roosevelt strayed quite far from his Rough Rider roots by asserting people needn’t die playing American football. This coincided with an American tour by the English team, previewing several decades of good soccer teams coming to America for the privilege of beating us.
Was OJ Simpson innocent?:
Convinced of Simpson’s innocence, Dear set out to identify and punish the real killer. The investigation has spanned a documentary and a book, OJ is Innocent and I Can Prove It, with Dear’s collection of “evidence” comprehensive enough to make even those absolutely assured of Simpson’s guilt re-evaluate.
A collection of great baseball throws inspired by the incredible throw by Yoenis Cespedes this week:
The Clueless Gamer with Conan O’Brein playing Super Smash Brothers.
Matthew Shedden is Praxis editor at The Other Journal and an associate Pastor in rural Oregon. He writes more at mshedden.com and on Twitter @sheddenm.