the 2010 soundtrack.

william gibson : if you’re born now, your native culture is global. [nymag]

so much greatness here:

What’s coded intelligence?

If you make something, it’s an artifact. It’s something that somebody or some corporate entity has caused to come into being. A great many human beings have thought about each of the artifacts that surround us. Different degrees of intelligence and attention have been brought to bear on anything … I’m looking at a tall Starbucks cup right now. The amount of thought that went into getting that Starbucks cup to look exactly the way it is, as it sits on the bedside table next to me, it’s an enormous amount of information. You could write a book, a thick book, about how that cup got to be there. I’ve always been, for whatever reason, very conscious of the world of things. In a way, the Internet of things, as the current expression goes.


If you’re a terrorist (or a national hero, depending on who’s looking at you), there are relatively few of you and relatively a lot of the big guys you’re up against. Terrorism is about branding because a brand is most of what you have as a terrorist. Terrorists have virtually no resources. I don’t even like using the word terrorism. It’s not an accurate descriptor of what’s going on.

From the first atrocity on, the little guy is building his brand. And that’s why somebody phones in after every bomb and says, “It was us, the Situationist Liberation Army. We blew up that mall.” That’s branding. By the same token, you get these other, surreal moments where they call up and say, “We didn’t do that one.” That’s branding. That’s all it is. A terrorist without a brand is like a fish without a bicycle. It’s just not going anywhere.

No one in Zero History seems to be from anywhere, and indeed could be in London or Paris or New York and it didn’t really matter — just that they were in urban areas. Are we losing the concept of home and the notion of being from a specific place?

I’m happiest with people who’ve gotten furthest from traditional ideas of nationalism. I’m happiest in wildly multicultural post-national environments, which most large world cities now are. I’m writing about places I like.

So if someone is born now into this global world, do you think they even have a native culture?

If you’re born now, your native culture is global, to an increasing extent.

Technology trumps politics. Technology trumps religion.

You’ve taken to Twitter [GreatDismal].

The people I’m following work for me as a sort of conglomerate aggregator of novelty.
Really, the Twitter I’m always raving about is my Twitter.

buy zero history.

henry rollins introduces shirin neshat to les hipsters.

israeli arab bedouins. [the economist]

ishmael khaldi speaks to the economist.

we’re nomads; property of land wasn’t part of our culture. soul or sanctity of the person is way above the sanctity of land.

money often gives conscience a helping hand. [ft lex on us drug policy]

an idea who’s time and budget saving opportunity has come:

the ft’s lex runs some numbers and finds, in the cost saving potential in particular, attractive terms for a truce.

museum me in the uae.

dxb eyes and ears emails:

  • Dear friends and fellow residents of the UAE,

    Museum ME is a fantastic community art project that I think you would be interested in. What is your story of the city read like? Are you an old-timer (like me) or fresh off the plane? Why don’t you help write the history the UAE through 100 objects. Details are in the attachment, and the deadline is October 1st. If you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch on

    Get involved!

  • claudia roth pierpont on the arabic novel @newyorker

    surprised i missed this but happy to have found it whilst working my way through unopened podcasts.

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    naguib mahfouz, mahmoud saeed, ghassan kanafani, sahar khalifeh and others are discussed in the article and podcast january 2010 new yorker. most books seem worth seeking and kanafani, elias khory and saeed especially sound great.

    a self-confessed secular democrat, khoury is one of the few arab writers to recognize the holocaust as part of the moral equation in the middle east.

    he [kanafani] also portrays israeli settlers sympathetically—perhaps for the first time in modern arabic literature

    remember though that ‘that stories are not to be trusted‘.

    middle eastern girls and guys ok cupid likes.

    from fun ok cupid [where i date online if you're interested] blog post.

    im not as unique as i thought it would seem.

    rabbits. egypt. @newyorker cartoon.

    how to get hitched in egypt ::: ghada abdul-aal @npratc

    from npr’s all things considered:

    enjoyed hearing about this ramadan’s expected hit tv show in egypt based on the ‘i want to get married blog.

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    © creative commons. 2008 avantcaire . shukran