According to researchers who analyzed all 729 constitutions adopted between 1946 and 2006, the U.S. Constitution is rarely used as a model. What's more, "the American example is being rejected to an even greater extent by America's allies than by the global community at large"...
"There are about 30 countries, mostly in Latin America, that have adopted American-style systems. All of them, without exception, have succumbed to...constitutional crisis[es]—your full range of political violence, revolution, coup, and worse. But well short of war, you can end up in a state of "crisis governance," he writes. "President and house may merely indulge a taste for endless backbiting, mutual recrimination, and partisan deadlock. Worse yet, the contending powers may use the constitutional tools at their disposal to make life miserable for each other: The house will harass the executive, and the president will engage in unilateral action whenever he can get away with it." [Juan Linz] wrote that almost a decade and a half ago, long before anyone had heard of Barack Obama, let alone the Tea Party.
's Alex Seitz-Wald makes a case against the U.S. Constitution:
The U.S. Needs a New Constitution—Here's How to Write It
On July 1, 1963, The US Post Office introduced
the five-digit ZIP
Code with a series of PSAs broadcast on national TV
. The Atlantic looks at a new report [PDF]
that details the history of the now $9.5 billion a year product and its current state of affairs.
The Atlantic have published what they feel to be the 23.5 Biggest Ideas of the Year
(You can click each idea in the box on the right for an article. Alternatively, you can start on the first one, The Right to Be Forgotten
and click Next through each idea. I wish they were all on one huge page, but I couldn't find that).
The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future
- After five years pursuing the social-local-mobile dream, we need a fresh paradigm for technology startups.
"This isn't about startup incubators or policy positions. It's not about "innovation in America" or which tech blog loves startups the most. This is about how Internet technology used to feel like it was really going to change so many things about our lives. Now it has and we're all too stunned to figure out what's next. So we watch Lana Del Ray turn circles in a thousand animated gifs."
A former magazine writer in his late fifties moves to San Diego and lives on very little money indeed. In the October 1977 issue of The Atlantic, he describes the stratagems behind his thriftiness
. [more inside]
From The Atlantic
, a fun bunch of montages
of interesting people answering questions like "What is the cost of being a nerd?", "When is evil cool?" and "Are good books bad for you?" (Accompanies a redesign
of magazine as well as of the web site
. In seeking readers and advertisers, publications like The Atlantic and The Economist, known as thought-leader magazines, have long tried to make up in cleverness what they lack in wallet power.
A Picture of the Future, You're not in It
An address to the John F. Kennedy School of Government...September 11th, 2011
The State of the Union & The Super Bowl
: Two of the biggest television events of the year occurred at almost the same time in 2003, and from where I'm sitting, each seems about as relevant as the other. Both events are pageants of performance and strategy, featuring a lineup of carefully selected special guest
stars, played to an audience that mostly supports one of two sides, whose preference is largely dependent on geographical and demographical influences.
So, now that both are over, for your continued entertainment, I present The Real State of the Union
, as posited by the good folks of the Atlantic Monthly. If no more relevant than the other two, I hope this one's at least more enjoyable.
D-Day was 57 years ago yesterday. It was 16 years before an article in the Atlantic
finally provided Americans an unvarnished account of the carnage that was Omaha Beach that day. I'm in awe of what these 19-year-olds went through.