Bill Barnes writes in Slate as to why we all should hold off for a bit in buying new gadgets. Unlike David Weinberger (of the Journal of Hyperlinked Organization fame who pretty much slams Bluetooth in favor of Wi-Fi, Bill opines that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are complementary and that all the new gadgets that are coming out this next year (what I used to quaintly call: "peripherals") are going to be Bluetooth enabled and therefore wireless and therefore much nicer to use.

For my part, I'm holding out for a Mac desktop running OS-X with an iPod and the related (rumors say) iPhone which is an integrated Palm-like thing with a Cell phone and a SLR megapixel camera that can also serve as a webcam. Cool!
Robert Shapiro (former undersecretary of commerce in the Clinton administration and a fellow of the Brookings Institution) writes about how Japan has fallen behind IT-wise over the last 10 years in an article in Slate entitled: "The IT Split - Why Japan's tech industry bombed while America's boomed.". More analysis about Japan's culturally informed structural rigidity.
Whither Japan? Do you remember the books & articles of the 80's which expressed anxiety about the "emergent" Japan who was going to succeed by economic means what they failed to do by military means in WWII? And then, more recently, we see the inwardly focused, downward spiraling Japan, paralyzed by internal rigid structures and culture from meaningful reform? John Wilson provides his (contrarian) perspective in Christianity Today's Books & Culture Corner.


The media (Christian and Secular) haven't seemed to take Contemporary Christian Music very seriously. Mark Allan Powell, a lutheran theologian has recently produced Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music, a 1067 page collection of reviews, discographies, and critical summaries of artists—from household names to the obscure. Christianity Today interviews Mr. Powell here about his book, why he wrote it and what the reaction of his professional theologian friends is.


If you look back at my 30-April entry, you'll see that I note an article by Richard Florida on "The Rise of the Creative Class" . Since then, he's written a book. I've bought it (used from Amazon ... gotta love that marketplace feature) and will write more about it after I read it.
Ok, I'm not part of the blogo-scenti but this article in Newsweek by Steven Levy points out why that's not necessarily so important.
Tina Rosenberg discusses what's wrong with Free-Trade Globalism and, even more constructively, offers a nine-point plan to fix it. Registration required.


One of the articles cited in "A Primer on Postmodernism" by Stanley Grenz is available in the online version of the Atlantic magazine: Jihad vs. McWorld - 92.03
I'm currently reading Stanley Grenz' A Primer on Postmodernism. Grenz is a professor of theology and ethics at Regent College, Vancouver, BC and so speaks from an evangelical christian perspective. The book is true to its purpose (it's a Primer) and so is not big (200 pages including citations and notes). I find his comprehensive treatment of the elements of postmodernism (literary, art, architectectural, social, cultural) accessible with a wealth of citations to pursue further.

Charles Mann writes in the Atlantic about Homeland Insecurity, the idea that the government is actually doing a lot of wrong things in its lame attempts to make the country more secure. He profiles Bruce Schneier, a public crypto pioneer and advocate who now advocates more ductile security measures that don't fail badly (like what happens if somebody slips by the security checkpoint at Hartsfield or SeaTac). A great article about the state of security in our country, what's happened with Crypto and what we REALLY should be doing (hint: rely on people, not technology).


David Weinberger, author of "ClueTrain Manifesto, posits an interesting thought provoker here. In 50 years, when our grandchildren look back on how we conducted our life and culture in the early 21st century, what will they be amused/horrified by?

My ideas:
American arrogance in global affairs (neo-imperialism)
Antagonism (civil/social/religious) towards non-hets
Failure to constructively engage the developing world
The inequities of capital punishment