I have finally finished working my way through NYT Magazine's intriguing roundup of The Year In Ideas, and have compiled a roundup of my personal favorites. I haven't eaten yet today, so I should be especially cogent and sharp.
Arizona guy wants to turn election ballots into lottery tickets to improve turnout, especially among low-income (non-)voters. On the one hand, turnout is good. On the other hand, completely apathetic people voting solely to get a free lottery ticket is probably not so good.
"The Southern Strategy" revisited. Is it really all about race, or is it more about class?
Terrorist Devo hat... of DOOM!!! Actually, this sounds like a fairly reasonable interpretive model. Certainly an improvement over this approach.
Sociology, or, "Those Crazy People!":
Beware the "fallacy of the infallible collective"; or, Wikipedia is not God. Apparently there is still a niche for individual achievement and excellence.
"If you haven't anything nice to say, come sit by me." No, really - provided that we're in agreement about who not to say anything nice about.
Inverse correlation between narcissism and talent among celebrities. This is not all that surprising, really...
Being immature is totally awesome and cool! Well, thank God for that, I guess.
Science Gone Wild!
Men are hazardous to women's health, but women are good for men's. Sounds about right.
Sexy man-on-chimp action. It would certainly explain the current state of our government.
The world's first assematician. It's not enough to objectify women, now we have to quantify them as well.
Great Moments In Innovation:
I desperately need one of these. The boredom and monologue detectors, too.
Bwahahahahahaha. Um, I mean: Cal sucks and is totally unethical and bad.
New frontiers in food appreciation. Ah, the smell of it!
Anyone want to buy a CD by Glenn Gould's robot ghost? Technology making humans more and more dispensable.
The ultimate in subversive graffiti. I love it because there's no way to prosecute it.
Patent sampler. I particularly like the categories, and the "Device for dispensing animal attractant from behind ankle of user." ("Umbrella having a sprinkler device"? WTF???)