The Browser is my favorite site of the moment. The below excerpts are taken mostly from it.
· “I argue that dreaming is not a parallel state but that it is consciousness itself, in the absence of input from the senses…” – Dr. Rodolfo Llinás as quoted in The New York Times. Amazon reader reviews of Llinás’ book suggest the premise of his books is pretty interesting: that consciousness evolves from motor skills; that is, how we learn to move in space. Thus, consciousness is a gift shared by many, many other animals.
· John Kay in the Financial Times argues, dryly, that Wall Street has overstepped its bounds. For example: “Privatisation and the breaking up of statutory monopolies has reduced rent-seeking by organised groups of public employees. But the scale of corporate rent-seeking activities by business and personal rent-seeking by senior individuals in business and finance has increased sharply.”
· Never mind the Great Firewall, here’s the Spinternet: “The Russians outsource it to new media start-ups who then create ideological social networking and blogs that promote a pro-Kremlin ideology. The Chinese have created a decentralized, 280,000-person-strong contingent of what is known as the 50-cent party, members of which get paid 50 Chinese cents for each comment they leave online.”
· Other people’s problems are always more interesting: a fascinating account of Europe’s struggle to assimilate immigrants who invoke (or invent) a Muslim identity in their new home – inhospitable as it may feel. While I was reminded of the late Sam Huntington’s mad tirade against the Catholic hordes (Mexicans), that conflict feels quaint by comparison.