Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:
- Boston.com: “How the city hurts your brain…And what you can do about it”
The city has always been an engine of intellectual life, from the 18th-century coffeehouses of London, where citizens gathered to discuss chemistry and radical politics, to the Left Bank bars of modern Paris, where Pablo Picasso held forth on modern art. Without the metropolis, we might not have had the great art of Shakespeare or James Joyce; even Einstein was inspired by commuter trains.
And yet, city life isn’t easy. The same London cafes that stimulated Ben Franklin also helped spread cholera; Picasso eventually bought an estate in quiet Provence. While the modern city might be a haven for playwrights, poets, and physicists, it’s also a deeply unnatural and overwhelming place.
Now scientists have begun to examine how the city affects the brain, and the results are chastening.
- AFP: “Thailand blocks 2,300 websites for insulting monarchy”
Thai authorities have blocked 2,300 websites for allegedly insulting the country’s revered monarchy and are waiting for court approval to restrict another 400, the government said Tuesday.
The blocking of the websites under harsh lese majeste laws which protect King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been criticised by rights groups and media organisations in recent months.
- Suzanne Yada: “Resolutions for journalism students, part I: Become invaluable” and “Resolutions for journalism students, part II: Network like mad”
If I only had two career resolutions for 2009, it would be these:
1) Become invaluable, and
2) Network like mad.
- Winterspeak: “It ain’t over”
…The US has had a high volatility, but flat 13 years, with the near and medium term outlook decidedly gloomy. Will we have 20 years of flat, but high vol, equity prices?
- CJR: “Interview with Clay Shirky, Part I”
“There’s always a new Luddism whenever there’s change.”
- Tools for News — a compendium of tools for online and multimedia journalists
- Read Write Web: “2009 Web Predictions”
It’s time for our annual predictions post, in which the ReadWriteWeb authors look forward to what 2009 might bring in the world of Web technology and new media.
Looking back at our 2008 Web predictions, we got some of them right! “The big Internet companies will [embrace] open standards” (Google, Yahoo and others did this); “Mobile web usage will be a big story in 2008” (check!); “Web Services platforms will be a fierce battleground” (Microsoft Azure and Google App Engine were released and AWS grew). We also got some wrong, including most of our acquisition picks! Digg, Twitter, Zoho, Tumblr – all remain independent. Not to be deterred, we’ve made new acquisition predictions for ’09… although the names will be familiar 😉