Off-topic, but I had to share something to which FoKerr MS drew my attention: (probably) the “greatest book review ever written.”:http://www.nypress.com/article-11419-flathead.html
My one regret is that I did not discover it sooner.
Friedman is such a genius of literary incompetence that even his most innocent passages invite feature-length essays. I’ll give you an example, drawn at random from The World Is Flat. On page 174, Friedman is describing a flight he took on Southwest Airlines from Baltimore to Hartford, Connecticut. (Friedman never forgets to name the company or the brand name; if he had written The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa would have awoken from uneasy dreams in a Sealy Posturepedic.) Here’s what he says:
I stomped off, went through security, bought a Cinnabon, and glumly sat at the back of the B line, waiting to be herded on board so that I could hunt for space in the overhead bins.
Forget the Cinnabon. *Name me a herd animal that hunts. Name me one.*
Friedman’s a pretty broad target. Whatever is in front of him at any particular moment is the most important thing in the whole world. He identifies this narrow-mindedness as “insight” and is eager to share his wisdom the same way a child insists on explaining the private lives of her Little People.
Example: Tom Friedman brings his headlights to bear on fusion power.
I tried to explain to the person that first sent me this link the practical difficulties involved in converting a lab experiment to a working power plant and then retooling hundreds of thousands of industrial enterprises to build such power plants on a large scale. Bottom line: even if it works and even if it can be commercialized, the world’s oil will run out before these things take over a significant portion of electrical generation. But Tom Friedman, for all his enthusiasm for capitalism, knows precisely nothing about the dreary details of actually making things. In his mind, he’s made a discovery that will save the whole world.
HE made the discovery. Every Friedman story is about his fantastic journey and his fantastic visions. The scientists are nothing but necessary raw material for a story about Thomas Friedman’s amazing discovery of fusion power. Thanks for sharing, Tom!