Author's posts

Mar 02

What are you reading? Mar 2 2011

For those who are new … we discuss books.  I list what I’m reading, and people comment with what they’re reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

Just finished

Started and finished Split Image by Robert Parker.  This is the last in the Jesse Stone series.  It’s not bad, but it’s not the top of Parker’s form.  full review

Now reading

The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the dark ages by Chris Wickham.  A really good history of Europe and western Asia, from 400 to 1000 AD.

This one is more or less on hold.  I need to pay more attention to it to keep track of all the unfamiliar names.  Right now, I am not in the mood for this sort of book.

The Great SF stories volume 1: 1939 ed. by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg.  I have this whole series on my shelf and I think I will re-read them

Best Writing on Mathematics 2010 by Mircea Picci.  A collection of articles about mathematics.  Most of them are really great.  Math lovers will want this one.  (This book has disappeared on my shelves; I gotta find it)

Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases ed. by Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky.  A collection of now classic works on how people reason under uncertainty.

Washington: A life which I am reading on my new Kindle 2 (my old Kindle broke).  So far, it’s living up to the hugely favorable reviews, although the beginning was a bit repetitive about some aspects of Washington’s personality.

A re-read of Quicksilver, the first in the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.  A huge novel (3,000 pages altogether) about all sorts of things related to the era of Newton and Leibniz.  Definitely worth a re-read.

Dark Fire by CJ Sansom. The second in the Matthew Shardlake series.  I like this one too.  (spoiler alert).  In Dissolution, Shardlake has been disillusioned with Cromwell (that’s Thomas, not Oliver), having learned that he did a lot of foul things.  But now he is drafted by Cromwell again.  

Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks.  Subtitle is “tales of music and the brain” and that describes it well.  Written with Sacks’ typical clarity and humanity.

Charming Proofs.  A book of beautiful (or charming) proofs in mathematics, nearly all of which require no advanced math.

Just started

see above

Feb 23

What are you reading? Feb 23 2011

For those who are new … we discuss books.  I list what I’m reading, and people comment with what they’re reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

SPECIAL NOTE:

In this diary on daily Kos I wrote about my dad.  He didn’t die that weekend, he died this morning.

I will be in and out today.

Carry on as usual.

Just finished

A re-read of Distraction by Bruce Sterling.  Cyberpunk SF.  Very good. Full review

Dissolution by C. J. Sansom.  A mystery set in England in the era of Henry VIII.  Very good.  And, it’s a series!

Now reading

The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the dark ages by Chris Wickham.  A really good history of Europe and western Asia, from 400 to 1000 AD.

This one is more or less on hold.  I need to pay more attention to it to keep track of all the unfamiliar names.  Right now, I am not in the mood for this sort of book.

The Great SF stories volume 1: 1939 ed. by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg.  I have this whole series on my shelf and I think I will re-read them

Best Writing on Mathematics 2010 by Mircea Picci.  A collection of articles about mathematics.  Most of them are really great.  Math lovers will want this one.  (This book has disappeared on my shelves; I gotta find it)

Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases ed. by Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky.  A collection of now classic works on how people reason under uncertainty.

Washington: A life which I am reading on my new Kindle 2 (my old Kindle broke).  So far, it’s living up to the hugely favorable reviews, although the beginning was a bit repetitive about some aspects of Washington’s personality.

Just started

A re-read of Quicksilver, the first in the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.  A huge novel (3,000 pages altogether) about all sorts of things related to the era of Newton and Leibniz.  Definitely worth a re-read.

Dark Fire by CJ Sansom. The second in the Matthew Shardlake series.  I like this one too.  (spoiler alert).  In Dissolution, Shardlake has been disillusioned with Cromwell (that’s Thomas, not Oliver), having learned that he did a lot of foul things.  But now he is drafted by Cromwell again.  

Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks.  Subtitle is “tales of music and the brain” and that describes it well.  Written with Sacks’ typical clarity and humanity.

Charming Proofs.  A book of beautiful (or charming) proofs in mathematics, nearly all of which require no advanced math.

Feb 21

Exposing maggots, planting grass

A lot of people here are good at exposing maggots, and it’s scary to see what’s under the rocks.  Necessary, but scary. If we don’t know what’s under the rocks, we have no chance of defeating it.  And there are surely plenty of rocks to kick and maggots to expose.

But it’s not enough to expose maggots.  We must also plant grass.  Otherwise, our landscape will be just a lot of upturned rocks and dirt.

Most people aren’t devils or gods, they’re just ordinary shmoes trying to get along in the world, not thinking too much, just putting food on the table and themselves in a chair before a TV.  They listen to what their leaders say because it’s easy, and they don’t question because that’s hard.

Winning the hearts and minds of the leaders of the opposition may be impossible- the Koch brothers are not going to become liberals, Glenn Beck is not going to become sane; but winning the hearts and minds of these people – the ordinary people – is possible.  We just have to plant some grass.

I have some ideas.  But not nearly enough.  I need your help – this community’s help.  Together we do have the brains, the talent, and the wherewithal to plant a lot of grass. The seeds are there.

I have sometimes played a game with myself:

Suppose you had a fortune.  A Gates-like fortune.  What would you do?

One thing I’d like to do is start rewarding acts that promote a civil society.  What do I mean?  What acts would promote such a society?  It could be a lot of things.  Here are some examples


      NOT IN OUR TOWN is the inspiring documentary film about the residents of Billings, Montana who responded to an upsurge in hate violence by standing together for a hate-free community. In 1993, hate activities in Billings reached a crescendo. KKK fliers were distributed, the Jewish cemetery was desecrated, the home of a Native American family was painted with swastikas, and a brick was thrown through the window of a six-year-old boy who displayed a Menorah for Hanukkah.

      Rather than resigning itself to the growing climate of hate, the community took a stand. The police chief urged citizens to respond before the violence escalated any further. Religious groups from every denomination sponsored marches and candlelight vigils. The local labor council passed a resolution against racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Members of the local Painters Union pitched in to paint over racist graffiti. The local newspaper printed full-page Menorahs that were subsequently displayed in nearly 10,000 homes and businesses. The community made an unmistakable declaration: “Not in Our Town.” Since then, no serious acts of hate violence have been reported in Billings.

You can buy the film here

There are other people like that police chief.  People we don’t hear about.  Let’s find them.  Let’s reward them.  Let’s give them publicity.  

Or what happened to the people in a small town in Tennessee where one person decided they didn’t know enough about differences: I wrote about the great film that came out of this.  I really hope you’ll click on that story, but, briefly, a school principal in a small, all-white, all Christian town in TN decided that she, and the teachers and student in her school, didn’t know enough about differences.  They decided to collect a paper clip for every person who died in the concentration camps.  What happened next…..well….read the diary and see the film.

Let’s distribute those films. Buy a copy or two.  Send them off to someone somewhere.  

Sometimes the acts are mind-blowingly heroic – like those of Irena Sendler (don’t know who she is?  The answer is a click away).  But sometimes they are the simple acts of random kindness that go on each day, that we see, here and there. Good acts.  Acts that promote tolerance.  Acts that promote a civil society.

These people are rare, but they aren’t unknown.  Even if only 1 in 1,000 Americans are like that – well that’s 300,000 people.  We can find them.  We can publicize them.

It’s necessary, of course, to expose the maggots.  I applaud the work that many kossacks do to expose them.  But, while it is necessary to expose the maggots, it is our own act of bigotry to assume that everything that lives under the rock is and always will be a maggot.  Some are just people who have never seen light.  

Another is the simple acts of random kindness that go on each day, that we see, here and there.  Good acts.  Acts that promote tolerance.  Acts that promote a civil society.

Thanks for reading

Feb 19

A great film

One mother’s day, my mother insisted that I watch a movie.  She has never done this before or since.  The movie is called Paper Clips, it’s out on DVD, and I urge everyone to see it. It’s about the holocaust, it’s about a small town in Tennessee, it’s about changing people and changing the world.

Why am I recommended a film on Docudharma? This isn’t a site about film, after all.  There are two big reasons: First, I am coming to think of myself as part of this community, and to count some as friends.  My friends should see this movie.  Second, although it isn’t totally obvious, this is exactly a Docudharma kind of film.

Before I go into a little detail, I will say that the movie, while uplifting overall, does deal with a lot of horrible information.  It’s a disturbing film.  It’s a good kind of disturbing, but I think that it might not be right for kids younger than about 10, and even older ones will need guidance with it, particularly if they do not know about the holocaust.

Paper Clips is about the Holocaust; but not really.  It’s not really a film about Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, it’s a film about Tennessee in the 1990s.  It’s not really a film about the genocide of millions of people, it’s about learning.  It’s not really about hate, it’s about hope.  It’s about changing the world.  And isn’t that what Docudharma is about?

OK, some details, without (I hope) spoiling it.  In 1998, in Whitwell, Tennessee (a small, all-white, all-Protestant town near Chattanooga) the high school principal decided that the kids should learn about some different people.  She decided that the school would study the holocaust.  They started off with not much idea of what to do.  Few of the teachers knew much.  One of the teachers admits to having been rather prejudiced.  The kids got the idea to try to collect a paper clip for every Jew who died in the camps.  This is their story.

Go see it.

It’s inspiring.

Feb 16

Is there one Democratic party? Or more?

Of course, in one sense, there surely is one party.  One party in congress, one Democratic candidate for POTUS and so on.

In another sense … no.  And there hasn’t been for quite some time – since FDR at least.  There used to be northern Dems and Dixiecrats.  Now there is a range of people from Al Franken to Ben Nelson.

Can one look at the voting records, speeches, ads and so on of Al Franken or (say)Pete Stark and say he is a tool of corporate America?  REALLY?

Barbara Lee? John Conyers?

Or going back a bit, Ronald Dellums?  

George McGovern?  (First presidential campaign I worked on, I turned 13 that summer).

The problem is two-fold:

1) The two party system

2) The actual views of a lot of Americans.

Let’s take the second first:

In the districts I mentioned, Obama (and Democrats before him) got upwards of 70% of the vote.  Sometimes WAY upwards.  When you have that kind of voter, you get that kind of representative.  Nor are these districts necessarily poor or minority-heavy.  OK, the districts that gave Obama the VERY highest percentages ARE mostly poor and DO have a lot of minorities.  But the 4 highest are all in NYC, and that’s because NYC (unlike many other cities) has a bunch of districts that are entirely inside the city. But CA-13 elects Pete Stark, and it’s a wealthy suburban district.

So, in wealthy or poor districts, suburban or rural, there is a TENDENCY, a strong tendency, for districts that have large Democratic majorities to get representatives we like.  

So, the first question becomes: Why aren’t there more such districts?  That has complex answers.

The first part of the two fold problem is the two-party system.  Unfortunately, with the current system of vote counting, any leftish third party is likely to hurt the causes it espouses.  The solution here is simple, although implementing it will be hard: Range voting (my choice) or some other system of voting.  In range voting, you grade each candidate (0-100 or whatever) and the candidate with the highest average wins.  In this system, I would be free to rate any 3 or 4 or however many candidates, and it couldn’t hurt them to get a higher grade. Range voting even avoids the infamous Arrow’s Theorem, which applied to rank systems of voting.  So, if your view was that Nader was best, then Gore, then Bush, and you thought Nader deserved a 100, Gore an 80 and Bush a 0, then that would be averaged in with all the other voters.  Then you could express your views without hurting Gore; and if a substantial number of people voted similarly, the Democratic Party would listen.

Feb 16

What are you reading?

This is a series that has a history on dkos.  I’m going to try it here.  I list books I am reading, with some comments, and you can do the same in the comments.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

Just finished

Dissolution by C. J. Sansom.  A mystery set in England in the era of Henry VIII.  Very good.  And, it’s a series!

Now reading

The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the dark ages by Chris Wickham.  A really good history of Europe and western Asia, from 400 to 1000 AD.

This one is more or less on hold.  I need to pay more attention to it to keep track of all the unfamiliar names.

The Great SF stories volume 1: 1939 ed. by Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg.  I have this whole series on my shelf and I think I will re-read them

Best Writing on Mathematics 2010 by Mircea Picci.  A collection of articles about mathematics.  Most of them are really great.  Math lovers will want this one.  (This book has disappeared on my shelves; I gotta find it)

Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases ed. by Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky.  A collection of now classic works on how people reason under uncertainty.

Washington: A life which I am reading on my new Kindle 2 (my old Kindle broke).  So far, it’s living up to the hugely favorable reviews, although the beginning was a bit repetitive about some aspects of Washington’s personality.

Just started

Dark Fire by CJ Sansom. The second in the Matthew Shardlake series.  I like this one too.  (spoiler alert).  In Dissolution, Shardlake has been disillusioned with Cromwell (that’s Thomas, not Oliver), having learned that he did a lot of foul things.  But now he is drafted by Cromwell again.  

A re-read of Quicksilver, the first in the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.  A huge novel (3,000 pages altogether) about all sorts of things related to the era of Newton and Leibniz.  Definitely worth a re-read.

Feb 16

Hi all!

I haven’t posted here in a LONG time.  I post a lot on daily Kos.  But I can’t stand the new site.  So, I am looking for a new home.

This is just to introduce myself.

I’m plf515

I’m a statistician, a learning disabled adult, a father, a husband. I’m straight but I try not to be narrow.  I’m square but I try not to be stiff.  I’m geeky.

I live in NY-08.  Nadler!  Gillibrand!   WOOO HOOO!

I am socially EXTREMELY liberal and economically pretty liberal

I lived in Israel for 3 years.  I think Israel under Netanyahu is like USA under Bush II.

I like to write about books (I have a series called What Are You Reading?).  I also follow congress fairly closely.  I like election diaries.

I love to eat, but am not much of a cook.  Favorite foods are Thai, Korean, Chinese, Italian.  I’m a very adventurous eater.  I also like beer.  Wine is good too.

I like to analyze things

I like Bach, Coltrane and the Beatles.

Questions:

1) I see all these collaborating sites.  Is there a guide as to which does what?

2) What else is different from big Orange?

3) What else do I need to know?

Thanks!

Oct 19

Math Mania: Why teach math? Why sing?

(cross posted from Daily Kos)

Math, to hear most people talk about it, particularly most students, is boring, irrelevant, difficult, pointless and just a great big waste of time.  Maybe they’re right.  When’s the last time you divided fractions? Or solved a quadratic equation?

No, they aren’t right.  And if you want to know why I don’t think they’re right, just read on


   This series is for anyone.  There will be no advanced math used.  Nothing beyond high school, usually not beyond grade school.  But it’ll go places you didn’t go in elementary school or high school.

   If you “hate math” please read on.

   If you love math, please read on.

   I welcome thoughts, ideas, or what-have-you.  If anyone would like to write a diary in this series, that’s cool too.  Just ask me.  Or if you want to co-write with me, that’s fine.

   The rules:  Any math that is required beyond arithmetic and very elementary algebra will be explained.  Anything much beyond that will be VERY CAREFULLY EXPLAINED.

   Anyone can feel free to help me explain, but NO TALKING DOWN TO PEOPLE.  I’ll hide rate anything insulting, but I promise to be generous with the mojo otherwise.

Why teach math?

OK, we need to know some basic arithmetic.  

Even in this day and age, we need to know how to make change, tell time, and so on.  But, let’s face it, very few adults ever need algebra, or trigonometry, let alone calculus or number theory.

Why teach math?

Well, to hear some people, math is supposed to teach you how to think. I duuno.  I think I was thinking before high school….if anything, I did less thinking in high school than before or after.  And, while I like to think that I do a little bit of thinking nowadays, outside of work (and some of my diaries here), I don’t use math much, probably no more than you.  (At work, I use math quite a bit, I am a statistician).

Why teach math?

Why teach music? Why teach painting?  After all, how often in adult life are most people called on to sing or paint?  

We ought to teach math for the same reason we ought to teach painting and music.  Because appreciating math, and doing math, is part of what makes us human; it’s part of what makes life more than a mere struggle to postpone death.  We ought to teach math because math is beautiful, awe-inspiring, and, well, a whole lot of fun!

No, I’m not high on drugs.  I really mean it.  And if you ask any mathematician about why they do what they do, words like ‘beauty’ will come up.

The real question, then, is why we teach math so freakin’ BADLY!  Why do the statements above strike many who do not do math as absurd?  After all, I can’t paint or sing, but I think of them as beautiful and worthwhile.

We teach math not just badly in the way other things are taught badly (or well), but in ways that are almost guaranteed not to give the essence of the subject, and to turn people off the subject.  For example:

What’s the most basic math?  Maybe 1 + 1 = 2.  This is a profound and amazing abstraction of the world.  What does it mean?  Two great mathematicians (Bertrand Russel and Alfred North Whitehead, in Principia Mathematica) spent an entire volume full of very dense math trying to figure out what this meant, and to prove it was true, and then Kurt Godel came along and said they got it wrong! In fact, he proved that they got it wrong.

We teach math as if ‘not getting it’ means you’re stupid.  What’s one of the first things that confuses a lot of kids?   Well, one thing is negative numbers.  But it took the greatest mathematicians thousands of years to really figure out what these were.  

And then, in adult conversation, we talk about math as if it is some sort of badge of honor to be bad at it.  

No wonder (almost) no one likes the subject!

We ought to teach math as a voyage of discovery on some of the most beautiful seas man has ever sailed; then arithmetic becomes the equivalent of learning how to sail a boat, while math becomes the trip.

Since writing the above, I have begun to explore the works of Alfred Posamentier a math educator who seems to think the way I do (it’s nice to find one!  The above was all ‘out of my head’ as, although I have a degree in education, I’ve never taught in a school).  I’ve also run into the best math teachers I’ve ever seen, Bob and Ellen Kaplan, who run the Math Circle, in Boston.  I wrote about them here

Oct 12

Math mania: Drug testing and disease testing

Note: This is the latest in a series I’ve posted over at daily Kos.  If people want, I can post the earlier diaries here, too.

I used to work for a company that worked with drug abusers; drug testing was of obvious interest.  They also did work with people with AIDS, so disease testing was of interest.  For the purposes of this diary, the two are roughly equivalent.  There are also profound civil liberties questions involved in these, but they aren’t covered here, I’m just the stats, man.

More below the fold, but first


   This series is for anyone.  There will be no advanced math used.  Nothing beyond high school, usually not beyond grade school.  But it’ll go places you didn’t go in elementary school or high school.

   If you “hate math” please read on.

   If you love math, please read on.

   I welcome thoughts, ideas, or what-have-you.  If anyone would like to write a diary in this series, that’s cool too.  Just ask me.  Or if you want to co-write with me, that’s fine.

   The rules:  Any math that is required beyond arithmetic and very elementary algebra will be explained.  Anything much beyond that will be VERY CAREFULLY EXPLAINED.

   Anyone can feel free to help me explain, but NO TALKING DOWN TO PEOPLE.  I’ll hide rate anything insulting, but I promise to be generous with the mojo otherwise.

Oct 11

Outing

Today is national coming out day.

I’m hetero.  But I’m highly supportive of GLBT rights.  I’ve never been able to figure out why I should care what two consenting adults do with each other, or how they get their jollies.  I’ve never been able to figure out why some people want to limit other people’s joy, when that joy does no one any harm.  In general, I’d say I am about as pro-GLBT rights as anyone.

There’s one topic, though, that I do disagree with some of my GLBT friends on, and that’s outing.

Obviously, I support the idea of people being free to out themselves.  I would wish for a day when being ‘out’ is no big deal.  But that day, obviously, is not here.

I oppose outing of other people.  ANY other people.  Now, most of us will have no problem with this idea for most people … most of us would not out a friend.  Where it gets controversial, among pro-GLBT people, is when we talk of outing of anti-GLBT people, especially when those people have some power (politicians and clergy, in particular).

Some will argue that, since those people have the power to hurt GLBT folk, and use that power in that way, then outing them is only exposing their hypocrisy, and outing them is therefore justified.

But just as I support the right of a friend to be private about his/her sexual life, so I must support the right of my enemy to be so private.  Noam Chomsky said “If we don’t believe in the right of free speech for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all”.

I feel that one could substitute ‘privacy’ for ‘free speech’ in the above.  In America, we have a system for depriving people of their rights.  It’s called the criminal justice system.  It is, I know, a system that is far from perfect, but it is the system we have, and it is one area where the USA is better than a lot of other places (not the best place, for sure, but not nearly the worst).  People are deprived of their rights when they are convicted of committing a crime.  Being a jerk is not a crime.  Being a hate-mongering jackass is not a crime.  Crimes are defined in the penal codes of the country and the various states.  Until someone is convicted, he or she should have the right to privacy, no matter how hypocritical they are; just as they should have the right to speak, no matter how obnoxious they are.

Oct 10

Depression (both types), panic (two types), suicidality, etc

I’ve posted before that I have been suicidal in the past (long ago).  I’ve wrestled with depression and suicidality, both before and since.  

Then there’s panic.  I’ve posted that I was in the WTC when the planes hit.  I didn’t panic then.  But panic hits me in weird ways — I’m not afraid of flying, but I’ve been scared of the lines.  In the blackout a few years ago, I was at the Bronx Zoo with my son, and got very lucky to get home in a cab…. walking 10 miles in the dark with a child is not something good.  I’ve had more nightmares over that than over the 9/11 thing.

Now the stock market is crashing.  OTOH, I’m OK.  I won’t say what I’m worth, but I’ve got a job that doesn’t seem threatened, and even if I lost it, it would be a LONG time before I had no money.  But some diaries lately (mostly over at big O) have me in a state.

And insomnia.  I’ve got that, too.  And have my whole life, never subsiding but getting better or worse at different times

I’ve been in therapy about half my life (not now).

I’m learning disabled, I’ve got a thing called nonverbal learning disabilities (more or less similar to Aspergers)

Not even sure why I am writing this.  But I feel like I might get something out of it.  Or maybe someone else will.  I don’t know.

Oct 10

If you want better media, support better media

(crossposted from big orange)

A lot of us bemoan the state of the mainstream media.  I don’t know much about TV, but I do read a lot.  The typical newspaper and news magazine do not merit our consideration.  Most local dailies, and magazines such as Time and Newsweek are badly written, badly edited, biased, and focus on things of truly monumental global importance like which rock star got busted for which drug charge.

What can we do?

Support the good stuff!

I read a lot.  I’m liberal.  I like literate writing, solid reporting, and in-depth analysis.  The sort of stuff that a lot of people here on daily  Kos write, and that most of the MSM doesn’t.  But it’s not all darkness.  If you want to read better writing, you have to support better writing.  If the journals that publish what we want to read get more subscribers, then there will be more writing that we want to read.  

Also, if you buy a product because you saw it in a progressive media spot, tell the company.  That will help sell more ads.  And, if, perchance, you like to read or look at right wing stuff….. well, you could write to advertisers in those media and say you won’t buy their stuff because they advertise there.

On to the list:

Magazines:

My vote for best magazine in America goes to Mother Jones.  Month after month, they have hard-hitting, well-written and well-researched articles covering things you might not find other places, or giving depth to stories that get a paragraph, elsewhere.

Foreign Affairs– All about diplomacy, international relations, and so on.  More conservative than me, but then, most things are.  Mostly lengthy, scholarly articles about topics by renowned experts.

Economist –  A newsmagazine from England.  Also more conservative than I am, but superb writing, in depth coverage, very good stuff.  Time and Newsweek –  phooey.  This is a newsmagazine for knowledgeable, intelligent people.  But remember that they’re slanted

Hightower Lowdown  Jim Hightower.  Nuff said.

Wilson Quarterly in depth, scholarly writing on a wide variety of topics

Atlantic Monthly I’ve not read this.  

Harper’s I sometimes read this.  

der Spiegel I’ve not read this — a brief look seems to show a good but not necessarily leftist, magazine focusing on Europe

the Nation I used to subscribe…. but, while it’s good, it’s a little too irritating.  Last month, Geenius at work said that “it puts you into a state of outrage overload very fast” which I think is my problem with it, too

The American Prospect Another one I’ve not read

UTNE reader describes itself thus: “Utne Reader and Utne.com are digests of independent ideas and alternative culture. Not right, not left, but forward thinking”.  I do read this one, the problem I have with it is just that it is a digest.  It summarizes things well, but then you have to do more research.

The Progressive looks really good.  I’ve recently subscribed.

New Republic describes itself as “A journal of politics and the arts”

New Left Review is a British journal that offers (in its words): “Sharp, scholarly, analysis, interviews, and book reviews”

Le Monde Diplomatique is French (you guessed, didn’t you?) and mostly about world affairs

Yes!”supporting you in building a just and sustainable world is yet another I haven’t read.  It seems more action-oriented than some of the others, and that’s good.

The New Yorker  I read this very occasionally, when I see it in a waiting room or something.  It looks really good … and, of course, there are the cartoons

National Geographic is another that I never got into reading.  But it has good, in-depth articles with extensive reporting.

Newspapers:

I read the NY Times.  It’s not as good as it could be, but it’s among the best we’ve got.

Many like the Wall Street Journal (but not the editorial page!)

And some mentioned the Washington Post

Funny Times is political comedy with a liberal slant.  Not news, but funny.

Television:

I don’t watch TV…. but there’s obviously Olberman

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