Write Like The New Yorker’s Rick Hertzberg
Hertzberg wrote one of the simplest, and most elegant, blog posts (this form truly needs a new descriptive terminology) in response to President Obama’s speech on Libya. It was concise. It was humble. It was careful not to say too many things and so left readers remembering one thing clearly: that whatever the merits of the President’s current policy choices, we respect the tone he has taken in talking to us, Americans, in attempting to parse the issues. Words matter, but tone matters, too. Hertzberg knows this. He doesn’t pander to the blogosphere’s thirst for tacky drama.
“I confess I simply don’t know if Obama has forged the “right” policy—i.e., the policy that will yield the desired results, which include the end of the Qaddafi regime (without a long and bloody stalemate) and the further encouragement of constitutional democratic change throughout the region. I don’t know if there even is a “right” policy, in the sense of achieving everything one would wish to achieve. And no matter what we do or refrain from doing, there is certainly no course of action or inaction that will leave us with perfectly clean hands.”
“I confess I simply don’t know” is not a phrase you see a lot online; it is certainly not one popular in the, as the New Yorker might put it, Annals of Opinion. As with other things they have done in moving content online, the magazine has kept their blogs true to what has always been the central tenet of their editorial religion: intellect. Hertzberg exemplifies this. Whether or not you agree with his politics, he often has the most provocative analysis of what has just happened. His is a blog worth following because it sets the bar high. He also helps turn readers onto cool things we might not otherwise know about, like Professor Juan Cole’s Informed Comment.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.