Slow Learning and Other Links

Environment and Disaster

George Dvorsky, “A Dramatic 260 Foot Crater Has Mysteriously Appeared in Siberia.”

giant siberian crater


National Security State

Sue Halpern, “NSA Surveillance: What the Government Can’t See.”

Tom Engelhardt, “The New American Exceptionalism: An Imperial State Unable to Impose Its Will.” (This only shares a title with Donald E. Pease‘s excellent book of the same name, The New American Exceptionalism.)

H. Bruce Franklin, “America’s Memory of the Vietnam War in the Epoch of the Forever War.”

Jeffrey Frank, “Obama’s Unwritten History.”

Xeni Jardin, “NSA Sees Your Nude Pix ‘as Fringe Benefits of Surveillance Positions,’ Says Snowden.”

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Russia Sends Troops into the Ukraine and Other Links

Things are happening very quickly in the Ukraine. David Remnick reports on the most recent events for The New Yorker in “Putin Goes to War.” He writes:

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President and autocrat, had a plan for the winter of 2014: to reassert his country’s power a generation after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He thought that he would achieve this by building an Olympic wonderland on the Black Sea for fifty-one billion dollars and putting on a dazzling television show. It turns out that he will finish the season in a more ruthless fashion, by invading a peninsula on the Black Sea and putting on quite a different show—a demonstration war that could splinter a sovereign country and turn very bloody, very quickly.

In other news, Luke O’Neil has a piece in Esquire: “The Year We Broke the Internet: An Explanation, an Apology, a Plea.”

From my old neck of the woods, “Say Goodbye to Phoenix–And the American West.”

And a blast from the past. A video for The Faint‘s new single, “Help in the Head,” from their forthcoming album Doom Abuse. I cannot help but see this video as a paranoid reflection on the total surveillance of contemporaneity.