Monthly Archives: March 2014

This is a fake

So recently ESPN  did a story about big time college athletes and academics. Exhibit A was a “paper” allegedly turned in by an athlete at UNC. The paragraph, on Rosa Parks, allegedly received an A- Here it is: The internet agrees: this is an outrage. I agree too. This is an F in a class […]

Corporate Hobbies

The Supreme Court seems poised to radically revise American corporate law, by entertaining the idea that a corporation can have religious beliefs. (Theaporetic is not a corporate lawyer, so if any reader has more accurate knowledge he welcomes the correction to what follows). Hobby Lobby, a privately held corporation, objects to the fact that Obamacare […]

So are there any good historical movies?

Mr smarty pants critic, theaporetic, thinks Twelve Years a Slave is a bad movie, and thinks he proved why, without having actually seen the movie, quite an absurd position indeed. Criticism is easy–are there any good historical movies? Theaporetic, having a nine year old child, does not go to the movies much because babysitting. But […]

More on 12 years a slave

There were lots of stories of slavery and escape from slavery written by the slaves themselves;  a whole genre of North American literature. You can find all the published North American slave narratives collected here, free and in digital form. It’s fantastic resource. Some of the narratives were world renowned in their day, some were […]

Why I Probably Won’t Ever Watch Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years a Slave is based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, who was born in comfortable freedom and kidnapped into slavery. Right there is the problem. The movie is presented as an indictment of the institution of slavery, and beyond that as a particularly vivid and realistic account of the awfulness of slavery. But […]

What Bitcoin is and isn’t

After the last post on Bitcoin, I’ve been having some interesting discussion with a reader, Jonathon Duerig, about Bitcoin and money. This is the first of a two parter on money and digital technology Bitcoin resembles the traditional gold standard, in that it’s a form of money imagined as outside government interference that can’t be […]

Hating Daylight Saving

Feeling slightly groggy and disoriented this morning? Thank daylight saving, the pet project of A. Lincoln Filene. Daylight Saving was first tried in the US during WWI. It was adopted nationally for one year, in 1918, and then repealed. From 1919 till 1966 Daylight saving was observed by “local adoption.” In 1966, it made federal […]

Schizophrenic Bitcoin

Bitcoin has been back in the news in a big way. In February the Mt. Gox trading site, which handled 80% of the trade in Bitcoins, collapsed, taking 850,000 Bitcoins with it, worth an estimated 450 million dollars. Though CEO Mark Karpeles bowed in shame, it remains unclear if these were stolen, or lost, or […]