1. “If you were to sit down with the “internet” — it would be a messy-haired, foul-mouthed, aggressive, and impatient radical. The unimpeachable androgyne would attack you on subjects ranging from feminism to modern-day fascism. It’d know everything there is to know and be useless at dispensing the information. And if it had to assume a cultural identity, it would have to be Japanese.” — Jack Flanagan, in How Japan won the internet

     

  2. Marc Ambinder highlights the 10 most important lines from the President’s State of the Union address…and what they really mean.

    "After five years of grit and determined effort, the U.S. is better positioned for the 21st century that any nation on earth."

    All the muck of the past five years has led to job growth and an improving economy, and I’m determined to be optimistic even if the country is as pessimistic as ever, because I’m not going to follow the media’s trapping narrative.

    The 10 most important lines of the SOTU explained

     


  3. Sex and beauty sell. No one expects, or should expect, news operations to be devoid of friction, humor, even joke(rs) who might cross a line or two. But with a guy at the top who doesn’t seem to respect women, and has a history of appearing to treat them as objects, I wonder what life must be like for women who work at Fox.
    — Marc Ambinder, in Fox News’ culture of sexism
     


  4. Our problem, then, isn’t that manliness is under assault in our time. It’s that too many of us expect too little of men. On average, men tend toward aggression. They often valorize strength and courage. They are keenly concerned with social status. They frequently feel overwhelmed by powerful sexual urges. None of this is new. What is new is that American society over the past few decades has stopped holding men to traditional standards of honor, restraint, and civilized decency — standards that, whatever their defects, tended to channel and elevate masculinity.
     


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  6. A big clue into why Pope Francis was named Time's Person of the Year? This:

    Time’s Person of the Year is the perfect choice for the Upworthy era

     


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  8. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post. Which papers should the rest of tech’s billionaires buy?

    We did some matchmaking.

     

  9. reuters:

    This week’s stunning TIME cover illustration was created by the Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. via timemagazine

     

  10. Some bad news for newspapers. 

     

  11. 7 things CBS won’t let you wear to the Grammys: 

    1. Clothing that exposes “bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack”
      This could be a big problem for that rumored 13th anniversary performance of Sisqo’s "Thong Song."

    2. "Sheer, see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples"
      Good news, gentlemen — you can show your “breast nipples” all you want!

    3. Clothing that exposes “bare sides or under curvature of the breasts”
      What about legs, CBS? Who will stop this bare legs phenomenon that’s been plaguing the nation?

    More…

     

  12. nedhepburn:

    I did some actual journalism and wrote an article about internet addiction for The Week magazine, and interviewed the head of an Internet Addiction Rehab. Here’s an excerpt. 

    Researchers have noted a rise in something called Digital Attention Disorder — the addiction to social networks and computers in general. 

    How does it work? More than 50 years ago, psychologist B.F. Skinner was experimenting on rats and pigeons, and noticed that the unpredictability of reward was a major motivator for animals. If a reward arrives either predictably or too infrequently, the animal eventually loses interest. But when there was anticipation of a reward that comes with just enoughfrequency, the animals’ brains would consistently release dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that (basically) regulates pleasure.

    What does this have to do with the internet? Some researchers believe that intermittent reinforcement — in the form of texts, tweets, and various other social media — may be working on our brains the same way rewards did on Skinner’s rats. 

    “Internet addiction is the same as any other addiction — excessive release of dopamine,” says Hilarie Cash, executive director of the reStart program for internet addiction and recovery, a Seattle-area rehab program that helps wean people off the internet. “Addiction is addiction. Whether it’s gambling, cocaine, alcohol, or Facebook.”

    And thus begins my contributions to The Week! 

    Welcome!

     

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