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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:
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:
A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”