We tend to think of dictators as all-powerful leaders who act with naked cruelty and impunity. Think of Bashar al Assad in Syria. Or, for a celluloid reminder, think of Sacha Baron Cohen as Gen. Admiral Aladeen, a North African despot. But the film "The Dictator" --- and our imagination of dictators --- is getting outdated. The new dictator is more evolved and more attuned to how people think.
As "faster than real time" technology capable of predicting our every move is discussed at LeWeb in London this week, it seems prudent to ask whether such developments will actually improve our lives.
Crisis begets innovation. In the Great Depression, Americans and Britons developed important new technologies: television, movie sound, refrigeration, automatic transmissions for cars. The supermarket was born, as were the passenger aviation industry and the first franchised food company: Dairy Queen.
A few days ago, a sportswriter friend of mine posted on his Facebook page a picture of a child-sized athletic T-shirt with the words "Destined to Be Drafted" printed on front. He commented, "Just in case anybody thought youth sports culture ISN'T getting outta hand."
So it begins. As the big-name politicians drift away from Britain's Leveson inquiry into the media's conduct and the hearings turn towards the technicalities of press regulation, the newspaper industry has grabbed its megaphone and started bellowing out its message.
How much should the rest of the world worry about the crisis unfolding in Europe? For anyone who cares about the state of their personal finances and the size of their reserves for retirement, the answer is: A lot. For investors, it's a time of risk and opportunity.
As my companion and I passed through security on a gorgeous Washington afternoon Friday, invited by President Barack Obama to join hundreds of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks at the White House for a reception celebrating LGBT Pride Month, I couldn't help but reflect back.
We all know this election is going to be about the economy. President Barack Obama knows it, Mitt Romney knows it and so do the media -- even though at times pundits pretend it's about much smaller and sillier topics.
Late last week, the campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney released Web videos highlighting the mistakes their rivals have made on the campaign trail.
Over the past year or so, I have been working on a book called "The American Bible." The hardest part was the table of contents. "The American Bible" isn't a new translation of the Christian Bible. It's my term for the texts that function like scripture in American public life, the voices to which we are forever returning as we reflect together on what America is all about.