Astra Taylor began her career making documentaries about thinkers (Zizek! and Examined Life). Now she's doing the thinking herself. In her new book, The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, Taylor argues the Internet isn't as liberating a force as its initial boosters promised. She's joining us at 2 p.m. ET here in Kinja to take questions and talk about her book.
Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic and Jonathan Chait of New York have, over the past week, been engaged in something equal parts duel and duet in the pixels of their respective magazine's websites. Their debate has plumbed the depths of race and racism in America, working out the questions of civic and historical responsibility in a public forum with respect and grace. As readers and citizens we are privileged to bear witness to this dialogue. They've also thrown some damn good shade at each other, so let's look at that.
Biologist, philosopher, and atheist prophet Richard Dawkins really put his foot in it. The New Statesman says Dawkin's career as a public intellectual is kaput. The Atlantic Wire has him losing a flame-war against his very own fan base. In the blogosphere, the most devoted Dawkinsians—people who've spent their adult lives in adoration of his every utterance—are boycotting his books and calling him a buffoon. A classist, male chauvinistic, and potentially racist buffoon. And why?
France is so weird. It's a magical land where philosophers are famous, and a journalist's philosophical spoof can be popular enough to spawn "a fan club that meets monthly in salons throughout Paris," and many members of the public know what "philosophy" means. By contrast, here in America many members of the public know what "Cheez" means.