This Week in Links: September 1st – 7th

Hey everyone! The first installation of “This Week in Links,” coming right up:

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/06/25/george-orwell-why-i-write/
A light article summarizing some of George Orwell’s motivations as a writer. Comfort food for aspiring liberal intellectuals.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/06/the-nature-of-fun-david-foster-wallace/
Similar to the above, with David Foster Wallace talking about the evolving motivations of a writer over their career.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/08/28/nancy-duarte-mlk-speech/
A graphic designer analyzes MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech, breaking it down visually. Good insight into some of the critical mechanics of persuasive speaking.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/26/kurt-vonnegut-on-the-shapes-of-stories/
An old video of Kurt Vonnegut talking about the “shapes” of various simple story arcs. Very clever and brain-tickling, and it’s nice to see KV on video.

http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/09/02/why_professors_dont_make_good_presidents_and_why_congress_should_support_obama_on_s
Foreign Policy article chiding Obama for being too “professorial” and undecisive in regards to Syria. I have a hard time with these sorts of arguments–is it fair to berate leaders for being too autonomous and power-hungry, and then turn around and berate them further when they try and exercise restraint?

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed70.asp
Federalist Paper # 70, an essay arguing in favor of a powerful, unitary executive (i.e. one President, rather than a council of ministers). One of the pillars of Revolutionary American political theory, and a good example of the kind of mind we now label “Founding Father.”

http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/san-francisco-chain-stores-get-out
Article on the impacts of a San Francisco city policy to limit the presence of national chain stores and support locally-owned businesses. A fascinating and reassuring peek into a local effort to foster a more enlightened economy.

http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_268743/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=tK3DLdGB
An Associated Press article giving a satisfying overview of some of the most important of the world’s current events. A good blend of timeliness and erudite perspective.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/africas-richest-man-signs-loan-to-build-nigerias-largest-oil-refinery-fertilizer-complex/2013/09/05/234c51f6-15fd-11e3-961c-f22d3aaf19ab_story.html
A short AP article discussing a $3.3b loan secured by Africa’s richest man to go towards building a new oil, petrochemical, and fertilizer complex. An interesting peek into Africa’s capitalism; it’s worth contemplating who this plant will come to enrich, and who it may come to impoverish.

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