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“President Barack Obama took aim at Republican lawmakers Monday, accusing them of holding the public hostage to Washington politics by blocking extended unemployment benefits for millions of out of work Americans.” I haven’t given it a lot of thought, but I think I agree with Comrade Obama on this one. I like the symbolic message of the measure (“no more handouts”), but this really cuts directly into people and the federal budget is huge and bloated. I would’ve started austerity measures someplace else. Where else? I don’t know. Give me twenty seconds of surfing time. I’m sure I can find hundreds of bloated federal department budgets and projects. (Later addendum: Link from TDE reader that corrects this post a bit.) * * * * * * * Okay, this intrigues me: Amazon said it reached a milestone, selling more e-books than hardbacks over the past three months. Anybody here use a Kindle? I’d love hear what you think of it. I’ve always wanted one, but figured I wouldn’t use it much. Plus, I make a lot of margin notations when I write, so I’m not sure that would work. * * * * * * * Speaking of Amazon: Please access Amazon through this site. The referral fees are greatly appreciated. * * * * * * I’m on board with this: Has endlessly skimming short texts on the internet made us stupider? An increasing number of experts think so – and say it’s time to slow down. Thing is, I think the Internet medium is built for speed. There’s something about it that pushes. The contrary is true with a book. On the computer, I’m surfing, bopping, jumping. With the book, I’m reading, stopping, wondering. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m inclined to think the Internet simply isn’t geared for careful reading. At least one person agrees:

Hitchings does agree that the internet is part of the problem. “It accustoms us to new ways of reading and looking and consuming,” Hitchings says, “and it fragments our attention span in a way that’s not ideal if you want to read, for instance, Clarissa.” He also argues that “the real issue with the internet may be that it erodes, slowly, one’s sense of self, one’s capacity for the kind of pleasure in isolation that reading has, since printed books became common, been standard”.