Be Careful What You Link To

This {new york times} could be deeply troubling, particularly if it becomes precedent-setting:

In December 2011, approximately five million e-mails from Stratfor Global Intelligence, an intelligence contractor, were hacked by Anonymous and posted on WikiLeaks. The files contained revelations about close and perhaps inappropriate ties between government security agencies and private contractors. In a chat room for Project PM, Mr. Brown posted a link to it. …

But keep in mind that no one has accused Mr. Brown of playing a role in the actual stealing of the data, only of posting a link to the trove of documents.

Behind the Great Firewall

New research uncovers {npr} what may at first seems like a counterintuitive finding about censorship in China—but when comparing to tech-fueled uprisings like the Arab Spring—seems shrewd and obvious:

[Harvard University social scientist Gary] King has just completed two studies that peer into the Chinese censorship machine — including a field experiment within China that was conducted with extraordinary secrecy. Together, the studies refute popular intuitions about what Chinese censors are after.

The censors actually permit “vitriolic criticism” of China’s leaders and governmental policies, King and his colleagues — Jennifer Pan and Margaret Roberts — found. But the censors crack down heavily on any move to get people physically mobilized to act on such criticism.

Andrew Bird Narrates His Songwriting Process

For the New York Times’ Measure for Measure blog:

I remember the moment I did this sort of thing for the first time 12 years ago, when I was writing the song “Lull.” I simply made my doubts and neuroses about the song part of the song. I felt a thrilling flush of embarrassment, as if I had violated some self-imposed rule, and now know this to mean I’m on the right track. Sounds a bit like a technique used by comedians like Woody Allen or Louis C.K. — making your neuroses and failures part of the show.