Noteworthy reads from the last week:
"The idea that American democracy should be more transparent and more inclusive, that it should put the broad public interest ahead of partisanship or local or private interests, is so benign that it’s hard to find a coherent argument against those aspirations. Who speaks for partisanship, patronage, corruption, or secrecy?"
"If the smartwatch becomes truly popular, who knows what the world might look like after eagerly adopting newest invention?"
"One of my ACLU colleagues, who’s a very fierce privacy advocate … emailed me the other day and said she was sick of talking about surveillance and democracy and liberty. She thought it was time for us to talk more about drugs and porn and adultery and gossip."
"The trauma narrative mode had long been in the ascendant, of course, both in the literary world and in the culture, long enough to have weathered decades of satirical assaults and earnest opinion pieces calling into question the narcissism at its core."
"Lehrfreund and Jabbar are the executive directors of the Death Penalty Project (DPP), a charity that provides free legal representation to those condemned to death. Personally, both would like to see capital punishment abolished everywhere, but they don’t march in the streets waving banners. They don’t harangue politicians. They don’t barge in where they’re not wanted. They use the law to change the law."
"Because the Twitterverse is made of text, rather than rocks and trees and bones and blood, it’s suddenly quite easy to make bots. Now there are millions, by Twitter’s own estimates—most of them short-lived and invisible nuisances. All they need to do is read text and write text. For example, there is a Twitter creature going by the name of @ComposedOf, whose life is composed of nothing more than searching for tweets containing the phrase 'comprised of.'"