This Week in Links: September 15th – 21st

And, here we are.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/national/black-budget/
A beautiful interactive Washington Post feature explaining the USA’s secretive “Black Budget” for military intelligence programs. Part of the Snowden revelations, this information is worth skimming over.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/09/economist-explains-itself-3
A blog post on “The Economist” explaining where their unusual column names (Pomegranite, Lexington, etc) come from. Finally, the mystery is solved.

http://www.economist.com/node/17723223
An old but good Economist article on the futility of the PhD. Having recently decided to get a PhD in Business, this article is both sobering and slightly reassuring.

http://admin.alternet.org/media/most-depressing-discovery-about-brain-ever
A summary of some research showing that people’s math and analytical skills erode when faced with conclusions that go against their political beliefs. Interesting findings that paint a grim picture for rational democratic government.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/opinion/friedman-the-man-with-pink-hair.html
A casual op-ed by the easily-critiqued Thomas Friedman on the Syrian intervention story. Interesting, although he then tries to tie it together with some human-interest hair metaphor, which is just weird.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/world/middleeast/security-council-syria.html
An update from inside the UN Security Council, regarding the Syrian nerve gas response. Conflict and disagreement between USA, France, GB on one side and Russia on the other, with China glaringly silent.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/opinion/global/red-lines-allies-and-enemies.html
Meanwhile, back in Israel…

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/ueberwachung/information-consumerism-the-price-of-hypocrisy-12292374.html
A long article by leading technology critic Evgeny Morozov on government spying and “information consumerism.” Morozov is an intelligent, controversial writer well worth reading.

http://gawker.com/theres-no-getting-around-it-the-new-chipotle-ad-is-am-1308234473
A video, the new animated Chipotle advertisement featuring a lone scarecrow providing fresh food in a world of factory farming. Pretty clever, as the internet has been saying.

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