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July 10, 2011

Pexas, Fracking, Hacking, and Dick Cheney's Heart

Worth Listening To: This American Life, Sunday 6pm

If you missed "This American Life" about Pennsylvania fracking, the role of Penn State, and the hardball that industry plays with local government, the show will be replayed on WDUQ 90.5 at 7pm Sunday. (Listen online here: )

Best Line: Pennsylvania is becoming Texas. Texsylvania? Pexas? (NTTAWWT)

While the content of the show is significant and worthy, it's also a refreshing reminder of the public service that the media and journalism was is supposed to play in American civil society. Remarkable that it comes from NPR and not commercial radio, isn't it?

Murdoch's Hacking, Democracy, and Atom Bombs

Rupert Murdoch's London newspaper has been found violating journalistic ethics (and the criminal code) by hacking cellphone voice mail functions.The trenchant point, it seems to me, is that in an information economy, hacking information is economic theft; it's playing with the currency. It's a major issue in the digital shift.

Slightly OT: We now process American elections through digital systems. The person who wins the big election gets the nuclear button. Presidents have been chosen based on Florida elections, and there's a guy in Florida who keeps hacking Florida election servers.

At the root of it all, it's still all Greek: at one time, media organizations (the fourth estate) were obligated to render a service by informing the polis.

Dick Cheney, Wall Street Journal, and the progress of American health care

Dick Cheney does have a heart, and American progress in medical care seems to him, on consideration, to be a good thing. (see article)

Saying, "Dick Cheney has a heart" is a counter-intuitive assertion, and here's another one: it's good to spend money on health care.

Some wags say, It's a crisis! Look at all the money we're spending on health care! I say, spend more money on keeping me alive. Isn't it a sign of a civilized country that we spend (invest) in the quality of our citizen's physical lives? What else might displace that as a priority?

(We do recognize that spending money on medicine is not the same as investing in demonstrated metrics of improvement, but the question of efficiency is constant at any funding rate.)


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