must-reads / january 2012

a selection of articles from the month of January for your reading pleasure, as well as a free mixtape ompliments of Tommy Gun. the picture above is from Adriaan Louw’s Avontoer experience, click the pic to see the rest.
  • Jonathan Franzen: How e-books Are Damaging Society (Telegraph)
    “I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change . . . Someone worked really hard to make the language just right, just the way they wanted it. They were so sure of it that they printed it in ink, on paper. A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around. So for a literature-crazed person like me, it’s just not permanent enough.”
  • Israeli researchers: Docs should recommend marijuana to cancer patients (Haaretz)
    “Some 61 percent of the respondents reported a significant improvement in their quality of life as a result of the medical marijuana, while 56 percent noted an improvement in their ability to manage pain. In general, 67 percent were in favor of the treatment, while 65 percent said they would recommend it to other patients.”
  • Should Scientists Be Held Legally Responsible for Their Results? (PopSci)
    “On March 31, 2009, a panel of scientists and civil servants met to assess the risk presented by a recent series of tremors in the Abruzzo region of Italy. They concluded that a major seismic event was unlikely . . . Six days later, a major earthquake struck L’Aquila, a city in Abruzzo, killing more than 300 people. Soon after, citizens requested an investigation into the panelists’ findings, and the public prosecutor obliged. De Bernardinis and the panelists were charged with manslaughter and now face up to 15 years in prison.”
  • Twitter’s new censorship plan: A ‘betrayal’? (The Week)
    “A year ago, Twitter was being heralded as a game-changing, freedom-promoting platform capable of organizing a noble revolution across the Arab world. Now, the expanding company seems to be having second thoughts about just how committed it is to unfettered, unconditional free speech. In a blog post Thursday, Twitter announced that it would start abiding by individual countries’ censorship rules by selectively blocking controversial tweets from appearing to local users.”

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