Thomas Friedman’s Green Revolution: The New Book for the Left & Right

Thomas Fried­man’s new book has final­ly hit the stands. Ini­tial­ly, it was going to be titled “Green is the New Red, White and Blue.” But some­how it got released with the far less art­ful — though more descrip­tive — title, Hot, Flat, and Crowd­ed: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew Amer­i­ca. When Fried­man came to Stan­ford last year, he pre­viewed many of his argu­ments in a talk that you can catch on iTunes. But, to boil it down, his argu­ment is that a “green rev­o­lu­tion” makes for smart eco­nom­ic, nation­al secu­ri­ty and envi­ron­men­tal pol­i­cy, and it’s an argu­ment that gets fleshed out in a fair amount of depth in the new work. Despite the unwieldy title, it’s vir­tu­al­ly a giv­en that mil­lions of copies will be sold. And I would­n’t be sur­prised if it brings about a real shift in the nation­al debate — that is, if it helps define what a green rev­o­lu­tion real­ly means and demon­strates how it can make nation­al strate­gic sense on mul­ti­ple lev­els. That’s a gift that Fried­man has. For more on this, check out Fried­man’s talk today on NPR’s Fresh Air, where he goes into more depth and offers some can­did thoughts on the pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates and their envi­ron­men­tal poli­cies. You can lis­ten here: iTunesRSS FeedStream Here.

Here’s a quick quote from the inter­view: The oppo­nents have called Green “lib­er­al, tree hug­ging, girly man, sis­sy, unpa­tri­ot­ic, vague­ly French, and basi­cal­ly what I’m out to do in this book is to rename Green — it’s geopo­lit­i­cal, geostrate­gic, geoe­co­nom­ic, inno­v­a­tive, com­pet­i­tive, patri­ot­ic: Green is the new Red, White, and Blue.” …

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The World is Flat: The #1 Free Pod­cast on iTune­sU

Top 10 Amazing Physics Videos (Including Boomerang in Zero Gravity)

Wired Sci­ence gives you their favorites here. Below, we’ve post­ed a sam­ple: It’s called “Boomerang in Zero Grav­i­ty” and shows that, even in out­er space, a boomerang will always return to the per­son who threw it.

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Knol: Ok, It’s Not Wikipedia. But What Is It?

The Chron­i­cle of High­er Edu­ca­tion is run­ning a new piece (where I hap­pen to get a small blurb) on Google’s Knol, ask­ing what it will mean for stu­dents and pro­fes­sors. But it also deals, at least indi­rect­ly, with anoth­er ques­tion: Is Knol real­ly intend­ed to com­pete with Wikipedia?

When the con­tent ini­tia­tive was first announced, many assumed that this was Google’s way of try­ing to dis­place Wikipedia, whose links appear first in Google search results 25% of the time. But the com­pa­ny has since made it clear that they’re not try­ing to offer anoth­er ency­clo­pe­dia. Rather, they’re sim­ply offer­ing a plat­form for experts to write about what­ev­er they know. That could include entries on Ratio­nal­ism, the stuff you’d expect to find in a tra­di­tion­al ency­clo­pe­dia. But it also includes entries on how to orga­nize your home in 15 min­utes or less, or thoughts on whether peo­ple real­ly go to heav­en when they die. You can browse the range of entries here.

This approach makes Knol at once more expan­sive than Wikipedia and more dif­fi­cult to get your arms around. By lack­ing a focus, Knol is a lit­tle slip­pery. As a read­er, you’re not sure what you’ll get at Knol (aca­d­e­m­ic con­tent? recipes? how-to arti­cles? med­ical infor­ma­tion?). And, as a poten­tial writer, you’re not sure what kind of larg­er body of infor­ma­tion you’re con­tribut­ing to — some­thing that seems impor­tant for inspir­ing mass col­lab­o­ra­tion. This is not to say that Knol won’t yield a good amount of use­ful con­tent. It prob­a­bly will. But will it all hang togeth­er, and will it all con­tribute to anoth­er jug­ger­naut Google prod­uct? Well, I’m less sure about that. If you dis­agree, feel free to make your case in the com­ments below.

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The iPhone: Your Foreign Travel Companion

How can the iPhone become your handy trav­el com­pan­ion? The NYTimes explains. Also, as a bonus, trav­el­ers should see our ear­li­er piece. Turn Your iPod into a Trav­el Guide: 20 Trav­el Pod­casts.

PS One of our read­ers raised a good point that deserves some high­light­ing (Thanks Sebastien):

“Turn­ing your iphone into a for­eign trav­el com­pan­ion could cost you a lit­tle for­tune because most of these iphone appli­ca­tions need and Inter­net con­nec­tion to work. Unless you have wifi in your hotel room, you would have to roam on 3G or Edge which would prob­a­bly make it the most expen­sive trip ever…”

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Download Michael Moore’s New Film For Free

Michael Moore is get­ting wise to the virtues of free/open cul­ture. Start­ing Sep­tem­ber 23, you can down­load his new film — Slack­er Upris­ing — via the web for free. The unfor­tu­nate rub is that this down­load will only be avail­able to US and Cana­di­an res­i­dents, and it will remain free via the web for three weeks. You can get more info and sign up to down­load the film here. Below, you can also pre­view the film, which (sur­prise, sur­prise) ties into the Amer­i­can elec­tion.

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When Comedy Keeps American Politics Honest

A rather sad com­men­tary on the integri­ty, depth and sin­cer­i­ty of the Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. But, it’s fun­ny and it’s Fri­day, so here it goes. Take it away John Stew­art (and thanks for the tip Lar­ry):

PS Check out this WSJ arti­cle, The Biol­o­gy of Ide­ol­o­gy, which sug­gests that our polit­i­cal choic­es may be shaped by genet­ics.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Jon Stewart’s “Dai­ly Show” Now Online: 1999 — Present

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Darius Goes West: Film For Good

Though not a mass media film, Dar­ius Goes West won 28 film fes­ti­val awards dur­ing 2007. The movie tracks Dar­ius Weems, who has Duchenne Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy, as he trav­els across the US to get his wheel­chair worked over by MTV’s “Pimp My Ride.” And now it has been released on DVD. The film­mak­ers are look­ing to sell one mil­lion DVDs and raise $17 mil­lion for Duchenne mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy, all in order to find a treat­ment or cure. You can learn more about the film and buy a DVD here. Also watch a video clip about the movie and the fund rais­ing dri­ve below. The cause is good. Have a look. Thanks Collin for the heads up on this…

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Color Photos From 1909

“Col­or film was non-exis­tent in 1909 Rus­sia, yet in that year a pho­tog­ra­ph­er named Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii embarked on a pho­to­graph­ic sur­vey of his home­land and cap­tured hun­dreds of pho­tos in full, vivid col­or. His pho­to­graph­ic plates were black and white, but he had devel­oped an inge­nious pho­to­graph­ic tech­nique which allowed him to use them to pro­duce accu­rate col­or images.”

To view the pho­tos click here, and learn how he accom­plished this, click here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Learn the Art of Pho­tog­ra­phy: The Nikon Way
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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.