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Czarnowski invited me over to his studio on Sixth Avenue. As we drank coffee at his kitchen table, I happened to mention what the people at the bookstore were paying me. Czarnowski suggested that I supplement my income by writing for the sex trade. He knew someone in the business, he said, and scribbled down a number. He thought the pay was pretty reasonable. When I called the number Czarnowski had given me, the man on the other end told me he was looking for sexual fantasies that were about eleven sentences long. They would be read out over the phone by women, he said, and should bring a man to orgasm in approximately sixty seconds. In other words, the eleven sentences could stretch to twenty or shrink to five, just so long as they took no more than a minute to read. I would be paid $25 for every fantasy that was used. –“Brief Encounter,” Rupert Thompson, Granta
Google and Apple will see Facebook as a unique threat to their future. Apple has some level of connection to its customer/users, Google has minimal if any connection to their users. Facebook knows more than all of us like to admit about its users. They have our personal information, our pictures, our friends, our family members, our employers and business associates all in a database and they are extending that information base to what we like on sites outside the Facebook platform. Plus they are creating their own currency. Just as important is the fact that we are progressively spending more time on Facebook than we are sites and applications that Apple and Google can control. That is a threat to Apple and Google. –“Is Facebook the new internet and how soon before Microsoft tries to buy it?” Mark Cuban, Blog Maverick
Four groups now work to convince us we have the worst government money can buy: (1) an ethics industry spawned in Washington by Watergate, which features nonprofits lobbying for regulation of speech they don’t like; (2) journalists who collude with ethics purveyors, writing cheap-and-easy stories fitting a corruption narrative they create; (3) politicians, especially Democratic Progressive Era throwbacks, who think evil-doing can be stopped with new and better rules and who pander to the ethics industry, the media, and (ironically) to citizens convinced that Democrats are just as sleazy as Republicans; and (4) citizens, frustrated by the budget-busting consequences of the free lunches we accept from politicians. –“Lies of the Ethics Industry,” Terry Michael, Reason
More from TedRoss:
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”