Joni Mitchell calls Bob Dylan a “plagiarist” and a “fake,” GM sells more cars in China than in the U.S., and the short, bloody history of heaven.
On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.
The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.
Tenure Rates and Faculty Mission
On the surface, the proposed changes to the tenure system at Brown University may seem like relatively minor adjustments, designed to help junior faculty members build up a more complete portfolio of work for review. ... Administrators have characterized the changes as modest, but they have run into strong faculty opposition. ...
We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was shown a PowerPoint slide in Kabul last summer that was meant to portray the complexity of American military strategy, but looked more like a bowl of spaghetti.
China & Cars
Did you know GM sells more cars in China than [in] the U.S.? In March, GM sold 230,048 vehicles in China and 188,011 in the U.S. The U.S. auto giant is on pace to sell more than 2 million vehicles in China this year and 3 million by 2015.
Why We Won’t Leave Afghanistan or Iraq
Yes, we could. No kidding. We really could withdraw our massive armies, now close to 200,000 troops combined, from Afghanistan and Iraq (and that’s not even counting our similarly large stealth army of private contractors, which helps keep the true size of our double occupations in the shadows). We could undoubtedly withdraw them all reasonably quickly and reasonably painlessly.
Thousands were running last Monday, and thousands more cheered the racers in the 114th Boston Marathon, but my holiday observance was a sprint to the reference library, as I tried to produce a timely answer to a reader’s question about the word marathon.
Play’s the Thing
A new book argues that play may be the primary means nature has found to develop our brains.
Heaven: A fool’s paradise
Why do the majority of Britons still believe in life after death? Heaven isn’t a wonderful place filled with light—it is a pernicious construct with a short and bloody history, writes Johann Hari.
How Tweet It Is
Think a tweet is just 140 characters of text? Think again. To developers building tools on top of the Twitter platform, they know tweets contain far more information than just whatever brief, passing thought you felt the urge to share with your friends via the microblogging network.