The disillusionment with Facebook has come in waves. An early faction lost faith in 2008, when Facebook’s beloved Scrabble application, Scrabulous, was pulled amid copyright issues. It was suddenly clear that Facebook was not just a social club but also an expanding force on the Web, beholden to corporate interests. A later group, Harmsen’s crowd, grew frustrated last winter when Facebook seemed to claim perpetual ownership of users’ contributions to the site. (Facebook later adjusted its membership contract, but it continues to integrate advertising, intellectual property and social life.) A third wave of dissenters appears to be bored with it, obscurely sore or just somehow creeped out.
I doubt my feelings about facebook are shared by many so if/when I leave (was I even there?) there won’t even be a ripple, let alone a wave. I think facebook sucks, it’s the social internet equivalent of MySpace for slightly older people, it’s ugly, cluttered, and much of it doesn’t work well. Frankly, it feels more like AOL at the hight of its social popularity. It’s a virtual city with really bad urban planning, city services that don’t work well, and billboards all over the place.
Doctors Disagree About Effectiveness, Cost of Stents
I heard this piece the other day on All Things Considered. It’s very well produced by Chana Joffe-Walt and beautifully illuminates why cutting healthcare costs is difficult. Two cardiologists disagree on whether stents are over used. Listen to the piece, it’s only 4 minutes long.
One of their biggest disagreements concerns stents, tiny metal tubes that cardiologists use to open clogged arteries and relieve chest pain. Studies show that cardiologists sometimes use stents in scenarios where research would indicate they are unnecessary.
Topol says he believes as many as 20 percent of all stents aren’t really needed. He notes that annually, 1.2 million patients undergo a stent procedure. “Undoubtedly, that’s more than we need to do,” he says.
Sitting in the same California hospital, Teirstein says he’s not convinced by the research Topol leans on. Teirstein is an ardent believer in the technology and puts in an average of seven stents a day. “I definitely have a bias towards stents,” he says. “I have a lot of experience with stents. I’ve seen patients do so much better.”
In an Explorer’s Wake
NY Times’ Corey Kilgannon kayaks, and hitches rides up the Hudson from Manhattan to Albany retracing Henry Hudson’s 1609 journey.
Nice interactive video tied to map on right.
The Unlikely Writer
Atul Gawande, “slightly bewildered” surgeon and health-policy scholar—and a literary voice of medicine
I’ve been reading Gawande for years in The New Yorker. What an amazing guy.
Here’s the New Yorker article that got him Obama’s ear: The Cost Conundrum.
Here’s the show he did with Tom Ashbrook, OnPoint: Costly Care in a Texas Town.
In Muslim nations and regions around the globe, this is the first week of the holy month of Ramadan, a time for followers to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity during the day, breaking their fast each sunset, with traditional meals and sweets.
Great collection of images, the food for the fast breaking looks fantastic.
Simon Roberts travelled throughout England in a motorhome between August 2007 and September 2008, for this portfolio of large-format tableaux photographs of the English at leisure. Photographing ordinary people engaged in a variety of pastimes, Roberts finds beauty in the mundane; the result is an elegiac exploration of identity, attachment to home and land, and the relationship between people and place. This is the most significant contribution to the photography of England in recent years.
– Chris Boot, Publisher
This is a wonderful collection of work and to my “Yankee” eyes really captures the English mood.
N.Y. Times mines its data to identify words that readers find abstruse
This is a fascinating post and the comment thread is equally fascinating.
The 25 most looked up words on the NY Times web site vs. the 25 most looked up words on Dictionary.com. There is no overlap.
The comment thread digs a bit into this class thing as well.
Wow, collect data and you can see a lot.
Cowboys and Photojournalists
While watching the 4-H youngsters going about their business at MontanaFair in Billings this month, I was struck by a parallel. Here I am in 2009, at a fair ground: a photojournalist, making pictures of cowboys in every direction I look. Don’t any of us know that none of us are supposed to exist?
This is a fantastic photo essay.
We have many town fairs around here with 4-H kids and animals and the culture of it has never been captured as well as what Kenneth Jarecke has done here.