a€oeAgassiz in the concretea€A remained a legend associated with the earthquake period. According to one account, a€oeMany stories were told about Agassiza€™s natural instinct that when the earthquake came he decided to stick his head underground to find out what was going on in the earth below and with his finger pointing saying, a€Hark! Listen!a€™ [a€¦] Out of the four statues only Agassiz evidently aroused his searching curiosity.a€A (The other statues honored Johann Gutenberg, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander von Humboldt. Von Humboldt, Agassiza€™s mentor, still stands next to him today, but the others were removed when the building became the Law School (Figure 5).) President David Starr Jordan wrote, a€oeSomebodya€"Dr. Angell, perhapsa€"remarked that a€Agassiz was great in the abstract but not in the concrete.a€™a€A What was most extraordinary about the incident was that the statue was embedded into the ground below nearly to the hips but only broke at the nose. The nose was refastened and the statue was returned to its original place, this time better secured. As amusing as this image of Agassiz was to the Stanford community, it suggested to the public that Stanford was in chaos.
An official in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office, pausing to pull one of those stringy cheese gobs from his chin, made clear that substantive negotiations on statehood would not be on the agenda for now.
"The issues we discuss would be security, humanitarian aid, and whether or not to try anchovies," the official said. "I’m pretty sure that’s an animal that does not chew its cud or have cloven feet."
The hope is the regular meetings and pizza-eating between the two leaders will lead to what US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said would be "two states living side by side in peace and security."
"The parties will also begin to discuss the development of an agreement whereby pizza delivery personnel could freely travel without fear of car bombs or getting detained at checkpoints," Rice said. "There’s no way in hell you can get a decent pizza here in a half-hour when the pizza guy has an AK-47 to his head. And really - you want eat a cold pizza that some grubby border guard put his hands all over? Do you see any hand sinks in those border huts? I don’t think so."
West Bank pizza would benefit from a peace plan
Rice [made] it clear that the process had been complicated by the inclusion of Hamas in a recently formed Palestinian "unity government."
"The last two delivery guys got kidnapped and held for ransom," she complained, wiping a spot of sauce from her blouse. "And most pizza shops won’t even deliver here because of these Hamas jokers. And, let’s face it - I’ve seen some lousy tippers before, but these fellas are so cheap they wash the paper plates when we’re done eating."
There’s an absolutely fascinating post by Tim Lee examining whether or not the rise of peer production has misaligned capitalists and entrepreneurs. It’s based on a blog post by Jed Harris trying to explain the same concept. The two posts suggest that traditionally the view of capitalists (those with money to invest, basically) and entrepreneurs is aligned. An entrepreneur needs capital to get a business started. The capitalist supplies the capital in exchange for a piece of the resulting business. The question, though, is who is more key to the equation here. The capitalist? Or the entrepreneur? In the past, it might not have mattered, since the two functioned together so well. However, lately, there’s been a lot of concern that the venture capital model is broken. There was story after story of brand spanking new web 2.0 companies springing up with little to no need to raise venture money (other than, perhaps, the connections it brings).
Harris and Lee suggest that the reason for this is the rise of peer production (which certainly is a big part of the whole 2.0 thing), in which money is not necessarily the main ingredient. People aren’t paid to post their videos to YouTube. They do so for other reasons — whether it’s expression, fame or that it’s just an easier way to upload and host video. Harris and Lee suggest that those who believe that the capital part of the equation is more important than the entrepreneur will naturally be averse to such a situation. They tend to judge everything solely on the dollar amounts involved. Throwing in incentives that have nothing to do with dollars seems wrong. It’s either a glitch, or more likely (they’ll often claim) based on some Utopian standard that can’t last (or they’ll just call it "communism"). And, when it keeps going, they’ll claim that it’s just exploitation when nothing is further from the truth.
They're talking about the newspaper industry's declining readership and, in particular, these comments from Steven Rattner:
The time that Americans spend reading newspapers has been dropping steadily (now down to 15 hours a month), with scant evidence that quality Internet time is taking its place. In September, the average visitor to newspaper Web sites spent only 41.5 minutes per month on those sites, up 10% from the previous year but not nearly enough to make up the loss.
Rattner argues that Americans care less about the news today than before; particularly younger readers, who seem to get hung up on tabloid news. He suggests, though somewhat indirectly, that this supposed change in reading and viewing habits is forcing newspapers to think differently about what should be considered news.
I think that sentiment couldn't be further from the truth about what's going on in the minds of readers. We live in a time where information is fractured, not dumb.