Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-27

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-20

  • At Housing Works, waiting to see if Bjork will perform. #
  • I should have bought more Citigroup last week! #
  • n+1 looking for a photo editor, but won’t pay: http://tinyurl.com/c5xo7q #
  • Hoping to read Daniel Mendelsohn’s review of The Kindly Ones tonight: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22452 First, “She Said, She Said.” #
  • What if online branding will never take off because the Internet solves the problem–information asymmetry–that makes branding valuable? #
  • Caitlin Macy reading from “Spoiled” @bookculture on April 23 at 7 pm! Loved Fundamentals of Play, looking forward to this. #
  • Saw “She Said, She Said” by Kathy Chetkovich–wonderful w/ all complexity of real life http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/shesaid #theater #
  • Anyone going to the Updike tribute at the NYPL on Thursday? http://bit.ly/10kPh #
  • Twitter for book publicity! RT @FSG_Books: Coming this April: Live Twitter Q & A with Wells Tower. #
  • RT @TechCrunch: [News] Major Book Publishers Start Turning To Scribd http://twurl.nl/kmyduf #
  • RT @pandora_radio Pandora on the BlackBerry! http://pandora.com/blackberry #
  • Another case for the publishing bailout: http://tinyurl.com/c5asgj #
  • “[Twitter] is not the wave of the future.” -John Wray, author of Lowboy, at McNally Jackson tonight #
  • I want a hard copy archive of my email boxes. Anyone know how I can print all sent and received in chronological order w/out page breaks? #
  • Reminded by Roger Angell’s reading last night at the NYPL of one of the best sports pieces ever: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/hubfans #

The wrong side of history

President Obama recently called out Republicans, who opposed his economic stimulus package, as being on “the wrong side of history.” The phrase is rhetorically potent, and at first, as a supporter of the stimulus and Obama, I found his usage of it powerful. He employed it before in his campaign and his inaugural address to describe repressive regimes. But now I just find it sort of frightening. It’s as if he’s equating opposition to the stimulus package with southern slave-owners and Nazi appeasers and Islamic terrorists. And how the heck do you defend yourself against those sorts of implied accusations, especially coming from the President?

History is, by definition, a thing of the past, and Obama’s use of this phrase suggests that he already knows how the future is going to turn out. That, to me, is a terribly dangerous proposition, and one that is surprising in its source. President Obama’s campaign was based largely on its giving citizens the power to rewrite the future and on the idea that history doesn’t exert an inescapable and inexorable pull forward that we must accept or else reject at our peril. It’s a reiteration of Bush’s you’re either with us or against us simplified worldview. 

Out of resistance is borne hope—that’s the message that Obama sold so well. And now to suggest that resistance is futile is just wrongheaded. The President is smart and prescient enough to avoid using such pretentious language to silence his critics. Reason, not rhetoric, is why we elected him, after all.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-13

  • Anyone else notice the shared line between U2’s new “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” and “Ultraviolet” from Achtung? #
  • Anyone interested in going to the NBCC finalists reading at the New School tonight at 6? #
  • Tried to go to Freebird today, but they were closed. Ended up at BookCourt and picked up NYRB’s “A Meaningful Life.” Loving it so far. #
  • RT @TechCrunch: [News] Google Ad Chief Tim Armstrong Replaces Randy Falco As Chairman And CEO Of AOL http://snipurl.com/dowdu #
  • RT @PublishersLunch: Critics Love Bolano’s 2666; Takes NBCC http://tinyurl.com/b5t4na #
  • In case you missed Stewart vs. Cramer: http://tinyurl.com/cgzhkv #

Why independent bookstores lose to Barnes & Noble

One reason why independently owned bookstores have a tough time competing with BN is that they have a higher cost of equity. In this lecture, Aswath Damodaran of NYU estimates the cost of equity for a New York indie bookstore to be around 14%, while it’s only 8% for BN. This analysis makes the manner in which Kepler’s raised money from 20+ investors in 2005 look smart. The investors provide the diversification that Kepler’s can’t get from the public market like BN does. If you want more reading on the subject, click here, though I recommend the watching the lecture over reading the linked chapter.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-06

  • #fnfw Edmund White: “…the challenge of teaching purpose-driven people the value of laziness.” #
  • If you read one article published this weekend, it should be Josh in the WSJ on Raoul Wallenberg: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/prager/ #
  • RT @R_Nash: David Silverman’s short list of the most pompous business words http://is.gd/k9YA #
  • “You gotta feed animals; otherwise, they die.” –Dr. Juan Ramos, Harvard ’05 #
  • Roger Angell in the New Yorker–always an event to celebrate or, at least, Tweet: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/torrebio/ #
  • We will be the Taxed Generation. #
  • Congrats, Conor: http://tinyurl.com/dyv9nl #
  • Zen Palate Union Square may have closed but there’s one in the Financial and they deliver with Seamless + discount code! #
  • Updike and Cheever on the Dick Cavett Show: http://rickyopaterny.com/shorturl/jujc/ #
  • RT @TechCrunch: [News] Amazon launches Kindle application for the iPhone http://twurl.nl/uzgmhi #
  • NYTimes iPhone app just updated to include nearly all the features I wanted! Woo hoo! #
  • NYTimes iPhone app just updated to include nearly all the features I wanted! Woo hoo! Now NYT needs to start charging for this thing. #