There are spirits all around us, every moment of our life wants to say something to us, but we refuse to listen to these spirit-voices. We are afraid that when we are alone and quiet something will be whispered into our ear, and so we-hate quietness and deafen ourselves with sociability.
Researchers found that during the first four years, users steadily limited what personal data was visible to strangers within their school network. Yet through changes Facebook introduced to its platform in 2009 and 2010, the social network actually succeeded in reversing some users’ inclination to avoid public disclosure of their data.
In fact, the social network’s new policies were not only able to partly override an active desire not to post personal details publicly, but they have so far kept such disclosures from sinking back to their lower levels, according to the study. They also found that even as people sought to limit what strangers could learn about them from their Facebook profiles, they actually increased what information they shared with their friends.
We are by now so thoroughly adjusted to the ‘Now…this’ world of news - a world of fragments, where events stand alone, stripped of any connection to the past, or to the future, or to other events - that all assumptions of coherence have vanished. and so, perforce, has contradiction. In the context of no context, so to speak, it simply disappears. And in its absence, what possible interest could there be in a list of what the President says now and what he said then? It is merely a rehash of old news, and there is nothing interesting or entertaining in that. The only thing to be amused about is the bafflement of reporters at the public’s indifference. There is an irony in the fact that the very group that has taken the world apart should, on trying to piece it together again, be surprised that no on notices much, or cares.
For Syria’s Antigovernment Fighters, A Saudi Purchase of Croatian Arms.
For weeks we had been watching the spread through the civil war in Syria of weapons made in the former Yugoslavia, and been admiring the work of Eliot Higgins (a.ka. Brown Moses) as he tried mapping their appearances in the videos of varied and far-flung armed groups. At one point, two weeks back, the NYT had assigned and accepted an At War blog post from Eliot and considered putting it on the NYT site.
Thank you, Eliot, for your patience, and your fine eye, and for creating an opportunity for merging new and old forms of reporting into a fresh look at recent events in what is becoming a more active regional war.
One note: An interesting question to pursue in the months and years ahead will be the future whereabouts and uses of the Croatian-sourced arms. Many arming programs start with good intentions, and later look naive, or even foolish. Why? Because weapons tend to move liquidly with time. These newly arrived weapons in Syria may well have been intended for nationalist and secular fighters. The briefings in Washington may have strongly emphasized that point. If history is a guide — and it is — then with time you can expect them to spread to others’ hands. For future researchers, three words: follow the guns.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS
Screen grabs from rebel videos of the type of weapon that gave the deal away.
As the psychology of masculinity in sexist societies teaches men that to acknowledge and express pain negates masculinity and is a symbolic castration, causing pain rather than expressing it restores men’s sense of completeness, of wholeness, of masculinity.
bell hooks in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, Chapter 9 “Feminist Movement to End Violence” (via tenderflesh)