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Editorial

The Post-Idea World 368

An anonymous reader sends this quote from an opinion piece in the NY Times: "If our ideas seem smaller nowadays, it's not because we are dumber than our forebears but because we just don't care as much about ideas as they did. In effect, we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can't instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé. ... There is the eclipse of the public intellectual in the general media by the pundit who substitutes outrageousness for thoughtfulness, and the concomitant decline of the essay in general-interest magazines. And there is the rise of an increasingly visual culture, especially among the young — a form in which ideas are more difficult to express. But these factors, which began decades ago, were more likely harbingers of an approaching post-idea world than the chief causes of it."
Google

Google Launches News Badges 112

theodp writes "Does it make you sad that you're too grown up to earn Scouting Merit Badges? Well, thanks to the PhDs at Google, you can now start earning Google News badges as you read articles about your favorite topics. The more you read, the higher rank you'll attain; Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and finally, Ultimate. They say, 'Your badges are private by default, but if you want, you can share your badges with your friends. Tell them about your news interests, display your expertise, start a conversation or just plain brag about how well-read you are.'"
Image

Gubernatorial Candidate Wants to Sell Speeding Passes for $25 Screenshot-sm 825

If Nevada gubernatorial candidate Eugene "Gino" DiSimone gets his way, $25 will buy you the right to drive up to 90mph for a day. DiSimone estimates his "free limit plan" will raise $1 billion a year for Nevada. From the article: "First, vehicles would have to pass a safety inspection. Then vehicle information would be loaded into a database, and motorists would purchase a transponder. After setting up an account, anyone in a hurry could dial in, and for $25 charged to a credit card, be free to speed for 24 hours."

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