Snowden Stands Against All Government Surveillance

The most fascinating news from around the Web on June 17, 2013

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Photos of Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), and U.S. President Barack Obama are printed on the front pages of local English and Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong in this illustration photo, June 11, 2013.

  1. The Leaker, Unplugged

    NSA leaker Edward Snowden took questions from journalists and readers of The Guardian. Here he is on the leaks to come: “All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.” And on claims he’s working for China: “Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn’t I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now.” Buzzfeed has a list of fourteen things we learned during the Q&A. And here’s the full transcript of the online chat.

    + “As a matter of historical analysis, the relationship between secrecy and privacy can be stated in an axiom: the defense of privacy follows, and never precedes, the emergence of new technologies for the exposure of secrets. In other words, the case for privacy always comes too late.” The New Yorker’s Jill Lepore on privacy in the age of publicity.

    + The Atlantic: What’s the difference between Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg?

  2. Fix Your Mind

    Do you have bad memories? According to research from Neuroscientist Daniela Schiller, you might be able to change their emotional impact with a pill or some well-timed psychotherapy (of course, the NSA will still have the original copy of the memory). From MIT Technology Review: Repairing Bad Memories.

  3. Who Gives a Nap?

    “The heart, lungs and kidneys; appetite, metabolism and weight control; immune function and disease resistance; sensitivity to pain; reaction time; mood; and brain function.” What do all of those have in common? They can all be negatively affected by inadequate sleep. If you’re going to close your eyes to these facts, at least keep them closed for a few hours.

  4. Pill Cutters

    The Supreme Court has ruled that federal regulators can sue drug companies for paying generic drug makers to keep less expensive drugs off the market. We need a pill we can take every time we read about the practices of big drug companies.

    + The Court also ruled that Arizona cannot add citizen proof as a requirement for voter registration.

  5. Success Through Failure

    Malcolm Gladwell on Albert O. Hirschman and the power of failure: “The entrepreneur takes risks but does not see himself as a risk-taker because he operates under the useful delusion that what he’s attempting is not risky. Then, trapped in mid-mountain, people discover the truth — and, because it is too late to turn back, they’re forced to finish the job.” Hmmm. For people who are unaware of the risks they are about to take, entrepreneurs sure spend a lot of time discussing risk.

  6. She Lives

    Women tend to live longer than men. And as NPR’s Robert Krulwich reports, “Women, it turns out, don’t just win in the end. It seems that women consistently outlive men in every age cohort.”

  7. Global Guzzling Trends

    The Economist’s Daily Chart provides a look at which countries consume the most hard alcohol. Russians downed a cool 2 billion liters of vodka in 2012, “equivalent to 14 litres for every man, woman and child.” (I can’t imagine giving a child more than 10-12 liters of vodka a year.)

    +AdeAge visits MillerCoors real-life research lab.

  8. Why the Ruins Aren’t Ruined

    Syndicated from Kottke: We’re used to thinking that technology progresses. Stuff gets better. But that’s not the case with concrete…the Romans made concrete that’s superior to the stuff we have now and scientists recently found out why it’s so good.

  9. Charitable Taking

    “Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families. Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.” The Center for Investigative Reporting on the dirty secrets of the worst charities.

  10. The Bottom of the News

    In a field thirty miles north of Detroit, they’re digging for Jimmy Hoffa again. They dig for this guy so often that I sometimes think he’s still alive and secretly running a shovel business.

    + Edward Daniels has 24 boxes of cereal in his cupboard and 32 packages of yogurt in his fridge. They don’t call him The Coupon king of Columbia Heights for nothing.

    + My friend David Mandelbrot explains why you don’t invite your mother to the office.

    + The feminist Taylor Swift account.