End of March 19 column
Political Briefs

Klein on the new media, Driver Reaction Time, Movie Poster, Coldstone Rant, Carroll on Steve Jobs

Harrison Klein dropped me a thoughtful note on new media:
As social media replaces mass media I think your scenario [of not getting obituary information from traditional media]  is inevitable. Rather than getting news (or obituaries, or -- and this has the most impact on my daily life -- product reviews) from a small number of authoritative sources, you have to wade through hundreds of blogs, comments, reviews, etc. from a bunch of people you know nothing about. While it's a major pain, I can see two ways it's better. First, you get a far broader view of the situation, since so many more sources are involved. The "wisdom of crowds" does work in many situations. The New York Times is certainly authoritative, but they still have a bias and a western way of looking at things. My option to read blogs or even Al Jazeera gives me a much broader perspective, even if many of those sources are biased and inaccurate. Second, it teaches you not to trust anything you read. My schools taught critical reading but I tended not to be very critical when reading an "authoritative" source. With all the crap on the Internet I am constantly fact-checking. More time consuming but I suspect overall I have a more accurate grasp than before.

A friend sent me an interesting game which tests your drive reaction time. Other gems this week include a fun movie poster and a rant about Coldstone.

Chuck Carroll checks in:
I am halfway through the Steve Jobs biography.  He seems to have been an Enlightened A**hole. One source suggested that Jobs was afflicted with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Jobs was adopted. As a young adult he was surprised to learn he had a sister, Mona Simpson. Years later, Mona was with him when he died.  The last episode of The Simpsons TV show included the ghost of Homer’s mother. The character is named Mona Simpson.  Ha Ha, just a random occurrence. Actually, no.  Turns out the real Mona Simpson’s husband was a writer for The Simpsons. He named Homer’s mother after his wife.  This means that Steve Jobs is Homer Simpson’s uncle.

So, if I posted daily instead of weekly, I'd be ahead of this instead of just slightly behind. This exec from Goldman Sachs resigned on the op-ed page of the New York Times: Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs. It gave birth to a million spoofs; Andy Borovitz is good (
A Response from Goldman Sachs), but my favorite is The Daily Mash - Why I am leaving the Empire, by Darth Vader.