Critical Notes

Friday Roundup 2


In The Nation, Eric Alterman writes on the future of newspapers. “The dearth of decent ideas designed to save newspapers—or reinvent them for the digital age in ways that preserve their crucial democratic functions—is curious and depressing. It’s curious because some of the smartest, most ambitious and most civic-minded people in America are deeply engaged with the problem. It is depressing because the only ones with the self-confidence to undertake radical measures appear to be completely off their respective rockers.”

At Inside Higher Ed, NBCC board member Scott McLemee weighs in on Christopher M. Kelty‚Äôs Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. Meanwhile, NBCC member Abby Frucht’s “Blue Shirt” has been anthologized in Best of the Web. And indefatigable former NBCC president John Freeman shows up in at and The Australian.

If you find yourself shvitzing in balmy New York this weekend, two events might draw you to (hopefully) cooler climes: Guernica joins Public Affairs and Amnesty International tonight at the Old Town Bar to celebrate the publication of Mahvish Khan’s My Guantanamo Diaries. And on Saturday, at the Makeout Room, the Seventh Progressive Reading Series convenes with appearances by Ethan Canin, Neal Pollack, Po Bronson, and others.