Thoughts, links, and essays from Peter Merholz
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About peterme

Most of the Time
Oakland, CA

American history around the time of the Revolution, figuring out how to marry top-down task-based information architecture processes with bottom-up document-based ones, finding a good dentist in San Francisco Oakland
Designing the user experience (interaction design, information architecture, user research, etc.), cognitive science, ice cream, films and film theory, girls, commuter bicycling, coffee, travel, theoretical physics for laypeople, single malt scotch, fresh salmon nigiri, hanging out, comics formalism, applied complexity theory, Krispy Kreme donuts.

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[Editor's note: began as a site of self-published essays, a la Stating The Obvious. This evolved (or devolved) towards link lists and shorter thoughtpieces. These essays are getting a tad old, but have some good ideas.]
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Essays Worth Reading. Posted on 11/10/2002.

"An Animal's Place", by Michael Pollan. All about what it means to raise and kill animals, inhumane and humane farming practices, and a remarkably thorough consideration of the animal rights debate.

"The Dramaturgy of Death" (Pulled from Google's cache), by Garry Wills. Given our country's supposed "shift to the right," and in the face of Ashcroft's decision to have the alleged snipers tried in Virginia so as to have Malvo, who is 17, subject to the death penalty, I think it's extremely important to read Wills' essay on capital punishment, the role it serves in society, the fact that it has no effect on deterrence, and the fallacy of "closure".

(I originally read Wills essay in the very good collection Best American Essays 2002. Which also turned me onto the Journal of Mundane Behavior. My favorite essay therein is "Mundanity and the Lyrics of the Beatles."

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"Off with their heads!" is the ultimate prerogative of power. Yet, as with the Queen of Hearts, it seems to be the ultimate refuge of the pathetically powerless.
Posted by BJMe @ 11/11/2002 08:45 AM PST [link to this comment]

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