Friday, May 28, 2010

Thoughtful Reads

I like thoughtful writing-- the kind where a true intellectual looks at current events through the lens of more than just politically or policy-motivated mumbo-jumbo. This is the main reason why David Brooks of the New York Times has become one of my favorite columnists, whether or not I agree with his opinions. His columns are reliably rational, moderate arguments-- despite the fact that his opinions do on occasion draw some fire for their unique brand of idealism. But really, what is a column for but to express the writer's opinion on the way they see the world and the way they think it ought to be?

Today Mr. Brooks had an especially thoughtful column about the real ramifications of the oil spill-- namely, how it reflects the way we think about technology. We put a great deal of trust in very risky devices, and create overly complex governance systems to manage them, he argues. Mr. Brooks also cited an excellent 1996 piece by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell (of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers), written around the tenth anniversary of the Challenger explosion. Whether or not you agree, the pieces are well-written and bear some contemplation as we consider how to move forward with recovery from this massive environmental disaster.

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