Evgeny Morozov critiques the inanity of Parag Khanna’s new pamphlet.

THE NEW PAMPHLET—it would be too strong, and not only quantitatively, to call it a book—by Parag and Ayesha Khanna, the techno-babbling power couple, gallops through so many esoteric themes and irrelevant factoids (did you know that “fifty-eight percent of millennials would rather give up their sense of smell than their mobile phone”?) that one might forgive the authors for never properly attending to their grandest, most persuasive, and almost certainly inadvertent argument. Only the rare reader would finish this piece of digito-futuristic nonsense unconvinced that technology is—to borrow a term of art from the philosopher Harry Frankfurt—bullshit. No, not technology itself; just much of today’s discourse about technology, of which this little e-book is a succinct and mind-numbing example. At least TED Books—the publishing outlet of the hot and overheated TED Conference, which brought this hidden gem to the wider public—did not kill any trees in the publishing process.

It might seem odd that Parag Khanna would turn his attention to the world of technology. He established his reputation as a wannabe geopolitical theorist, something of a modern-day Kissinger, only wired and cool. For almost a decade he has been writing pompous and alarmist books and articles that herald a new era in international relations. He has also been circling the globe in a tireless effort to warn world leaders that democracy might be incompatible with globalization and capitalism. And that the West needs to be more like China and Singapore. And that America is running on borrowed time. And that a new Middle Ages are about to set in. (“When I look at the 21st century, I reverse the numbers around and I see the 12th century.”) This is probing stuff.

Evgeny Morozov — “The Naked and the TED

TNR looks into the lives of boutique super PACs

It’s time again to look in on the past week’s stranger super PACs—the small PACs you’ve never heard of that will affect congressional and Senate races across the country.

No new super PACs spent their first dime in the last week, but two existing PACs worth highlighting did make independent expenditures. We’ll also revisit two of last week’s PACs to unveil the identities of their mystery donors…

Molly Redden "The Week in Strange and Small Super PACs: Moms and Dads Edition"

We’re taking two subscribers with us to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year. Will you be one of them?

We at TNR pride ourselves on bringing our readers as close as possible to the workings of Washington. But this year we are taking that idea to a whole new level. 

Subscribe to The New Republic for just $44.97 and be eligible to win a chance to join us at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, D.C. on April 28, 2012.

We’ll purchase your flight, hotel accommodations, and your ticket to the event, and you’ll be seated at our official table throughout the night. Support high-quality journalism and get the chance to experience this exciting evening.

The winning entry will receive: a ticket at our table, airfare for two, and hotel accommodations.

A subscription to TNR includes: The New Republic delivered to your home, access to the TNR archives, downloadable full issues the day they go to print, and a special annual issue.

Photo courtesy of ABC

We’re taking two subscribers with us to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year. Will you be one of them?

We at TNR pride ourselves on bringing our readers as close as possible to the workings of Washington. But this year we are taking that idea to a whole new level. 

Subscribe to The New Republic for just $44.97 and be eligible to win a chance to join us at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, D.C. on April 28, 2012.

We’ll purchase your flight, hotel accommodations, and your ticket to the event, and you’ll be seated at our official table throughout the night. Support high-quality journalism and get the chance to experience this exciting evening.

The winning entry will receive: a ticket at our table, airfare for two, and hotel accommodations.

A subscription to TNR includes: The New Republic delivered to your home, access to the TNR archives, downloadable full issues the day they go to print, and a special annual issue.

Are reports of the end of segregation exaggerated?

"Their report seems accurate enough in describing the changes and is consistent, in many respects, with other research. Yet, in focusing exclusively on change, the report fails to convey that segregation is still quite high throughout much of America. Moreover, the summary and discussion are misleading in their insinuation that "the end of segregation" has failed as a "driving force" behind increasing socio-economic equality between races."

—Jonathan Rothwell, “Reports of the End of Segregation are Greatly Exaggerated

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Occupy D.C. is nearing its end. Why is it no surprise then that Occupy D.C. never took off successfully?
"Simply put, Washington, D.C. is a bad launching pad for a protest movement opposed to establishment politics. This city, for better and for worse, is for people who believe in the establishment. It’s home to several major universities, mainstream media outlets, and think tanks—and, most important, to the federal government. Its professional class is made up of people who believe (some earnestly, some cynically) in the legitimacy of establishment organs."
—Nathan Pippenger and Simon van Zuylen-Wood, “Why It’s No Surprise That Occupy DC Never Took Off”
Photo by Simon van Zuylen-Wood
Zoom Info

Occupy D.C. is nearing its end. Why is it no surprise then that Occupy D.C. never took off successfully?

"Simply put, Washington, D.C. is a bad launching pad for a protest movement opposed to establishment politics. This city, for better and for worse, is for people who believe in the establishment. It’s home to several major universities, mainstream media outlets, and think tanks—and, most important, to the federal government. Its professional class is made up of people who believe (some earnestly, some cynically) in the legitimacy of establishment organs."

—Nathan Pippenger and Simon van Zuylen-Wood, “Why It’s No Surprise That Occupy DC Never Took Off

Photo by Simon van Zuylen-Wood

On Monday, the world reacted to King Abdullah’s announcement that women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to participate in municipal elections.

 At a glance, it certainly sounded like terrific news—what, after all, is a more direct emblem of the march of progress than the right to vote? But while the announcement may represent some very marginal progress, Saudi Arabia remains one of the worst places on earth to be a woman. Because the country’s ruling regime is, nominally at least, an American ally, the plight of Saudi women doesn’t receive nearly as much attention in Washington as it should. But it is truly one of the human rights catastrophes of our time.”

-The Editors, The New Republic. “Saudi Women Can Now Vote. But Their Plight Remains a Calamity.”