I imagine that would work as a title for a majority of my posts...
Anyway, first, a book! Cory Doctorow's new novel, "Little Brother" (like "Big Brother" from 1984, ha ha), just came out. Like all his other work, Cory's made it available for free under a Creative Commons license. Though, if you like it, buy a copy for a friend, or for a poor teacher or librarian!
It's the kind of book I wish I'd had sophomore year of high school. Plenty of characters, including well-meaning ones, espousing the same old passive, scared-as-hell, "the world is different now therefore all rights violations are justified" authoritarian* arguments. It's a daring portrait of resistance to that worldview and its enforcement. Despite the sci-fi label, virtually all of the tech in the story is current. As is the political climate described...which means it really hits close to home.
I really want to believe the "the answer to all questions is 9/11!!!" meme is waning, what with the dissolution of Giuliani's campaign. I wish that the country was starting to grow a pair**, defend the Bill of Rights, and weigh the costs and benefits of security policies with the rational awareness that terrorism is a micro-risk among the myriad security problems our country has, like car accidents, identity theft, levees stuffed with newspaper, and basic infrastructure falling down. But I think that's a bit too optimistic.
So go read.
Second, I just discovered this Minnesota band Cloud Cult thanks to The Current. (Yeah, I know, late to the party.) I'm currently obsessed with the single from their new album, "Everybody Here Is a Cloud." Here's the video--shot with random fans in Como Park!
* Is there a better term for "anti-civil libertarian"?
** I can't think of a non-gendered way of putting this idea: "grow some balls"? "man up"? There's "grow a spine," but to me that implies standing up for yourself, as opposed to refusing fear in general.