Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Literacy Debate: Online RU Really Reading

Very interesting and thought provoking New York Times article by Motoko Rich.

There is a generational divide on how we get information and read for knowledge and pleasure. Is the Internet responsible for declining literacy?

As an avid book and web reader, I never differentiated that content from books constituted reading and from the web represented something less. I spend much more time reading from websites and blogs than I do from books, magazines or newspapers. I think I'm discriminating enough to know what content is crap and what represents useful content on the Internet.

“What the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation,” he wrote, confessing that he now found it difficult to read long books."

The above quote came from Nicholas Carr, an author. I never gave that idea much thought before regarding my reading habits but it may be true. I have less patience in struggling with long books or complicated content. I had attributed my lack of patience with my age and declining intellectual and mental stamina if a book did not grab me.

However internet content is ideal for skimming. It may even be fast food for the brain...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria

There are a lot of books and articles that argue that the United States has lost its superpower roles in the world economy, political sphere and cultural influence. This book is more tempered and reasoned in its presentation.

The Post American World described by Zakaria indicates that our role is changing. China, Russia and India, for example, are growing influences in the world economy. However the United States is still a power to be reckoned with and possesses enormous competitive resources. Zakaria is not a doomsayer.

This book provides the reader with a much broader view and perspective of events taking place today. It is very well written, researched and reasoned. Readers in the U.S. are so focused on events locally and within the country that we do not notice what's happening in the rest of the world.

The Post American World addresses our parochialism. I enjoyed the lessons and perspectives.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Have Elections in September to Jump Start Economy

The following article published in the Camden Courier Post today is:
  • interesting
  • provocative
  • entertaining
  • literate
  • convincing

And written by me:)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Trillion Dollar Meltdown by Charles R. Morris

Read this book if you want to find out why:

      • Banks are failing
      • Foreclosures were up over 50% last month
      • Mortgage companies are closing
      • The Dow is barely over 11,000 and dropping quickly
      • There are no silver financial or business linings in sight
        If you are a poor student of economics like me, you'll appreciate Morris's talent in simplifying the history of the past 40 years to show how we got to the economic mess that we are in now.

        Read this and weep....

          Tuesday, July 1, 2008

          Me of Little Faith by Lewis Black

          I'm not a big fan of Lewis Black. I've seen him on The Daily Show and doing his stand-up routines at various times. He's OK but he's not Chris Rock or Bill Maher in my book.

          However I enjoyed his book Me of Little Faith. He takes on religion, lambasting all types of faith and beliefs. As a non-practicing Catholic, I chuckled at and acknowledged many of his critical comments about the Pope and Church practices.

          If the reader is sensitive about religion, he or she might choose to pass on this book. Like Black's stand-up act, he takes no prisoners and speaks his mind, bluntly.

          My favorite chapter in this book is A Prayer from George Bush. It's hilarious. George threatens to tell the nation that God is behind the Iraq mess and other national maladies.

          The chapters are short and this book is an easy (and very funny) read.