2009


13
Nov 09

Eating the Dinosaur, by Chuck Klosterman

I really love reading Klosterman’s essays, and this is a great collection, as always. Includes essays on:

  • the similarities between David Koresh & Kurt Cobain
  • the impossibility (and merits) of time travel — only real reason to do it is if you want to have dinosaur for dinner)
  • the way the public reacts to high profile failures like Ralph Samson
  • a polemic against laugh tracks
  • and then lots of stuff about Abba, as per normal for Klosterman

Great, fun, smart book, and insightful about our modern media culture.


1
Nov 09

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson

The story of this trilogy is a peculiar one — Larsson meant for the series to be longer — something like 10 books — but he died of a heart attack in 2004, after completing only the first 3 and parts of the 4th (in Swedish). He was quite an activist in Sweden, and there are personal influences pretty clearly in his characters.

I liked the first book a lot — it was really a locked room mystery — very fun. The second book centered more on a type of espionage. The third book, which isn’t yet published in the US (but is in the UK, which is where my edition came from), wraps up a lot of loose ends, but I found it a little bit boring. Lots of basic police work, lots of courtroom dialog. Satisfying as a way to wrap things up, but not as intense as the first book or as wide open as the second.


19
Oct 09

Open Letter Supporting Proposed Net Neutrality

This morning, I’m a signatory on behalf of Mozilla on an open letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski regarding his proposed principles for Net Neutrality. There’s quite a lot of support for this letter — you can see a bit of a writeup here at the WSJ. I think we’ll have a bit more to say on this in the coming days, but for now, I just wanted to highlight a few points.

1. In general, the Net has been neutral for the really explosive innovation phase over the last 15 years or so. Much of what’s being proposed is about protecting that.

2. There’s good experience & real data from around the world that supports neutrality as we move from the first phase of broadband rollout to the next. If you have the time, I highly encourage you to read the FCC-commissioned Broadband Study from the Berkman Center (with Yochai Benkler as Primary Investigator) [PDF link]. There’s actual data in it (a lot of it) and worldwide experience that we can use to develop our own policy.

3. Making sure that the mobile Internet is as open as the wired Internet has been is crucial. We need 1 global Internet, not a collection of non-open ones.

Beyond all that, it’s worth taking the time to read the Chairman’s speech of a couple of weeks back. It’s a fantastic and inspirational speech.


18
Oct 09

Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby

Hornby’s writing is incredibly charming, as always, and that helped the book move along, but I never felt very much affinity for the characters, so the book fell a little flat for me.


18
Oct 09

Manhood for Amateurs, by Michael Chabon

I’ve tried reading Chabon’s novels, but never been able to get past the first 100 pages or so — hopefully next time. ­čÖé But he’s a great writer, in any event; he’s got a great deftness with words. So I was happy when Mom sent me this collection of his essays. They’re not uniformly great, but some of them are awesome, capturing a lot about what it’s like to grow up, to raise a family, to live a life.

I’d quote some of the more interesting essays, but don’t have the book to hand (shocking! an actual paper book). But fun to read, especially if you like Chabon or are a parent.