The Stone City

Words Made to Last

Monday, February 25, 2008


James Poulos on the possible future of the European Union:
Eventually the sub-states that will appear in Europe will be as contingent as anything else, mostly decorative arrangements without any real power. Oh, except extralegal gangs of enforcers will prowl around stabbing filmmakers and kicking in heads, as 'marginalized' youths of every stripe from suicide bomber to skinhead will band together in small but extremely annoying clumpets to enforce the 'law' of their cliques on those who presume to transcend them. Politics as we once knew it will thus in effect be criminalized. Everyday life will be unprecedentedly commodious and choice-glutted but also at an unprecedented level of crisis, anxiety, and gnawing nihilism. The need for security -- personal, physical, communitarian, psychological, economic -- will become an obsession. Cameras will be everywhere. Gendarmes, almost entirely undercover, will silently prowl every street and restaurant, secretly bristling with networked technological surveillance and protection enhancements. Bombing will be the new mugging, but bombing will also be as rare as mugging in secure areas.

Kevin Drum gets outside himself:
Not "Would you like the power of invisibility?" Rather, "Would you like other people to have the power of invisibility?" Well, would you?

And Mr. Drum again, on the New York Times:
Times reader aren't children. We all know what this means, and we all know perfectly well that the Times piece loudly insinuated some kind of inappropriate romantic involvement between McCain and Iseman. So far, though, the Q&A has addressed only the peripheral subjects of what "Long Run" pieces are like, what the Times' policy on anonymous sources is, and the Chinese wall between the newsroom and the editorial page staff. Riveting stuff.

And a British brain drain:
Record numbers of Britons are leaving - many of them doctors, teachers and engineers - in the biggest exodus for almost 50 years.

Over a quarter of qualified professionals who have moved abroad had health or education qualifications. There are now 3.247 million British-born people living abroad, of whom more than 1.1 million are highly-skilled university graduates.