5 Articles You Should Read Tonight

So much of the web is short little snippits, manufactured with keywords in mind to increase a site’s hitcount, so finding quality articles  is very relaxing for any blogger. I read some great articles last night so I thought I’d share.

One of my favorite pages on the web is Instapaper’s “Browse” page. Instapaper is a web app for reading long articles without distractions, and the “Browse” page provides plenty of great articles for reading. I love picking four or five articles from this page at random, sending them to my eReader and making myself a cup of tea.

Let Us Pay by John Lanchester
London Review Of Books

The last five years have been depressing for the newspaper industry. Classifieds, a former cash cow, are now essentially worthless. Subscriptions are down and advertising revenues with them.

Yet many newspapers have millions more readers than ever before.

John Lanchester explores this contradiction, and says the problem is that newspapers make it too hard to pay for articles online. His solution: a sort of iTunes for reading. Great analysis, and something everyone with an interest in writing professionally should read.

The War On Cameras by Radley Balko
Reason Magazine

Did you know it’s illegal in many states to record video of police officers? Neither do most residents of those states. Balko points out numerous examples of people being arrested for recording police officers, and the not-exactly-relevant wiretapping laws being used to make it happen. Some police officers, essentially, argue they have a right to privacy, and as such cannot be recorded without permission.

It’s a great example of the law failing to keep up with technology. Cell phone cameras being ubiquitous today makes more such cases inevitable. Will the laws be overturned?

Why I’m An Atheist by Ricky Gervais
The Wall Street Journal

Gervais’ recent stint hosting the Global Globes caused no shortage of controversy. So much so, in fact, that many missed his sign-off: “I’d like to thank God for making me an athiest.” Weird, right?

Not really. If you want a better understanding of the comedians views on religion I highly recommend this article. Don’t worry: it’s not a Dawkins-style attack on belief. Rather, Gervais simply outlines how he came to his conclusion, with his signature wit. Worth a read regardless of your faith (or lack thereof.)

The New Rock-Star Paradigm by Damian Kulash Jr.
The Wall Street Journal

How can musicians make money in the digital age? If anyone knows, it’s OK Go. Kulash outlines how his band is making a decent living in the age of downloads employing a centuries-old technique: patronage. OK Go, since leaving their record label behind, has found sponsors for their famously viral videos. This allows them to be as creative as possible, and also lets them make a good living doing what they love: making music.

Again, anyone trying to figure out how the creative process will work in the Internet age should give this article a read.

The Commandments by Jill Lepore
The New Yorker

There’s been a lot of talk of the constitution lately, but what does the document really mean? Lepore examines the history of this document and the various historical movements that tried to define it. As tea party types increasingly study the constitution as though it were a infallible religious text it’s important to realize its imperfection. The founders did not agree on the document itself, and it changed many times through history.

If you’re American, this article provides clarity. If you’re not, this article provides context for the current obsession.

Feel free to share any more great articles in the comments below.