Annie Duke, the professional poker player and Rock Paper Scissors tournament winner, has a new internet show. A recent episode included appearances by Rafe Furst and Jason Calcanis, discussing privacy and responsible journalism in the face of the recent WikiLeaks scandals.
Gary Shteyngart's new novel, Super Sad True Love Story (more here), paints a compelling but amazingly bleak picture of a future ravaged by the twin evils of predictive analytics and texting. Following the truly prescient Snow Crash, his characters are obsessively plugged into their "Ã¤ppÃ¤rÃ¤ts," souped-up versions of today's app phones. (One of the funnier lines occurs when one character makes a disparaging reference to another character's outmoded hand device, saying: "What is this, an iPhone?" (Kindle 1244).) Here is a world where credit scores, eHarmony-compatibility predictions and rankings are ubiquitously at hand. Characters routinely choose the reality of the shadows on their screen over the real world.
In today's Washington Post, there's an incredibly affecting long article about a down-and-out family in Indiana. It's called "Nowhere to Go But Down." Husband and wife have both lost their jobs; there's a teenage son and a very young daughter, and it looks like they're all going to have to move back to Michigan to live in the basement of the wife's mother. I urge you all to read it, and to look at the photo gallery too.
This morning, my paper copy of The Times included a replica of the paper's special section on the moon landing from July 21, 1969. You've probably seen the iconic main headline: "MEN WALK ON MOON." The lead article is by John Noble Wilford (who's still going strong, btw), and includes one of the most elegant little uses of data I can recall seeing in a news article: