Serious About Serial

Serial LogoLike so many others, I’ve been obsessed by the Adnan Syed case explored in Serial.

So many unanswered questions. Such an elusive truth.

And, like many others, I was left unsatisfied by the end of the program. In real life, criminal cases aren’t cracked by the end of the hour.

But Serial listeners are dogged.

DC lawyer Susan Simpson dug into the case, and through relentless logic, destroyed the State’s case against Syed. Her blog, The View From L2, has the best analysis of the evidence this side of Reddit.

Unlike Susan Koenig, Simpson has a clear conclusion: The case the State presented to convict Syed is demonstrably false.

She’s not saying Syed is innocent. But she is saying the State’s sloppy, perjury-riddled case collapses of its own weight when you closely examine the evidence presented.

If you are a Serial fan, read her analysis.

Are Wearables a Bit Creepy?

To those excited about the potential of the iWatch I ask: Have you really thought through th e implications of “wearable computers“?

I met an NSA-contractor type who was very excited about the possibility of scraping data when wearable devices connected to Internet. This video from OMSignal will give you an idea of the kind of information that can (and no doubt will) be collected.

I see the personal value in monitoring health data, but I worry about who has access and how it gets used. It’s all a bit creepy in my book.

If Google’s in your home with Nest, in your head with Glass and in your pocket with Android, can there be any mystery in your life?

TL;DR

“Too long, didn’t read.”

We’ve all felt it, whether we verbalized it or not. As people read less and less, we all have to resist the temptation to drone on and on.

Fast Company has pulled together a helpful guide that identifies the “proven ideal length of every Tweet, Facebook post and headline.” A few nuggets:

Such economy of words.

It makes one relish the sentiment variously attributed to Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Voltaire, Blaise Pascal, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Winston Churchill, Pliny the Younger, Cato, Cicero, Bill Clinton, and Benjamin Franklin.

Forgive the length of this letter, but I did not have time to make it shorter.

Healthy Skepticism Required

Though the quote is often mistakenly attributed to Julius Caesar, the wisdom therein is indisputable.

“Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind.

And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind is closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all their rights unto the leader and gladly so.

How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.”