Your Design Here
Are amateurs taking over? Don't panic--DIY design culture might just have something to teach us.
Print, March-April 2007
An 18th-Century Brain in a 21st-Century Head
Cato Unbound, March 2007As the editor of Reason, I used to be infuriated at the way the Los Angeles Times and other mainstream publications consistently capitalized Libertarian when referring to the magazine or its parent organization, the Reason Foundation. They wouldn’t capitalize liberal or conservative, republican or democrat, unless they were referring to a political party. (Most Republicans are, after all, democrats, and I’ve never met a Democrat who wasn’t a republican.) Why couldn’t they understand that Reason was not a party organ but, like its liberal and conservative counterparts, a magazine of ideas? Were the copy editors just stupid?
The Truth About Beauty
It is the same in the eye of every beholder.
The Atlantic, March 2007Cosmetics makers have always sold “hope in a jar”—creams and potions that promise youth, beauty, sex appeal, and even love for the women who use them. Over the last few years, the marketers at Dove have added some new-and-improved enticements. They’re now promising self-esteem and cultural transformation. Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” declares a press release, is “a global effort that is intended to serve as a starting point for societal change and act as a catalyst for widening the definition and discussion of beauty.” Along with its thigh-firming creams, self-tanners, and hair conditioners, Dove is peddling the crowd-pleasing notions that beauty is a media creation, that recognizing plural forms of beauty is the same as declaring every woman beautiful, and that self-esteem means ignoring imperfections.
Review of Last Best Gifts: Altruism and the Market for Human Blood and Organs by Kieran Healy (193 pp. University of Chicago Press. Cloth, $50; paper, $20.)
The New York Times Book Review, January 27, 2007Organ transplants are at once the most amazing and frustrating of medical miracles. A new kidney or heart can cure someone who would otherwise die or, even in less than ideal circumstances, extend life and improve well-being. The surgical skill and pharmaceutical innovation required to make transplantation work are wonders of human ingenuity.