Wet Asphalt has been relaunched. This site will become a portal in the near future.
The United States’ potential advantages today are in large part a product of immigration. Without immigration, the United States’ GDP growth of the last quarter century would have been the same as Europeans. Native-born white Americans have the same low fertility rates as Europeans. Foreign students and immigrants account for 50 percent of the science researchers in the country and in 2006 received 40 percent of the doctorates in science and engineering and 65 percent of the doctorates in computer science. By 2010, foreign students will get more than 50 percent of all the Ph.D.’s awarded in every subject in the United States. In the sciences, that figure will be closer to 75 percent. Half of all Silicon Valley start-ups have one founder who is an immigrant or a first-generation American. In short, the United States’ potential new burst of productivity, its edge in nanotechnology and biotechnology, its ability to invent the future–all rest on its immigration policies. If the United States can keep the people it educates in the country, the innovation will happen there. If they go back home, the innovation will travel with them.
Immigration also gives the United States a quality rare for a rich country–dynamism. The country has found a way to keep itself constantly revitalized by streams of people who are eager to make a new life in a new world. Some Americans have always worried about such immigrants–whether from Ireland or Italy, China or Mexico. But these immigrants have gone on to become the backbone of the American working class, and their children or grandchildren have entered the American mainstream. The United States has been able to tap this energy, manage diversity, assimilate newcomers, and move ahead economically. Ultimately this is what sets the country apart from the experience of Britain and all other past great economic powers that have grown fat and lazy and slipped behind as they faced the rise of leaner, hungrier nations.
“The Future of American Power”
Foreign Affaris May/June
Excerpted from The Post-American World, 2008
With Robin Williams
Via Enter the Octopus
Literate Machine is a site we’ve been working on for a while now, and we’re finally unveiling it. The code is based on Drupal, heavily modified by yours truly, and to be modified even more in the future.
The site allows anyone to put up digital comics, magazines, ebooks or other digital media and sell it, and we handle the credit card transactions. You can also put stuff up for free, or simply use the site as a promotional tool. The site offers community tools that help readers connect with one another, with creators, and creators to connect with each other. You only pay anything if you sell something, and then only a percentage of whatever you sell it for. The site is otherwise completely free, so if you just want to put up free work it won’t cost you anything, and if you do want to put something up for sale there’s no risk or investment needed.
Pretty neat, huh?
Go check out Literate Machine…
More on this on Monday, after MoCCA…
The cover of today’s Daily News says “History! Barack Obama writes new chapter in American politics as he takes giant step to becoming nation’s first black President” [sic]
You know, I think it’s less that he’d be the first black president and more that he’d be the first really good president in my lifetime, anyway. I remember when I was in high school Bill Clinton took the presidency and there was a girl who wrote an article for the school paper that said that Clinton filled her with hope like Kennedy had done for her parent’s generation. And went up to her later and asked her if she really felt that way. Because for me Clinton was a lesser evil, a compromise candidate who was at least better than Bush sr. and that idiot Reagan, but who still smelled like a sleazy opportunist whose ambition had long since corrupted him. Further I kind of agreed with Douglas Adams when he said that anyone capable of becoming president should under no circumstances be allowed to do the job; in my mind, anyone who was a major politician was by definition corrupt. Which was cynical I know, but it kept me voting for third party candidates up until Nader in 2000. It was that election, as well as Mark Green beating Fernando Ferrer in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York in 2001 that convinced me to switch my party membership to Democrat and change the way I was voting.
But this past primary when I voted for Obama was the first time I could do that with a clear conscience. (Other than when I was in Vermont and helped vote Bernie Sanders into the Senate. Go Bernie!) Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate, someone who really believes in things I believe in, someone who is intelligent and capable, and most importantly someone who feels like he hasn’t yet been corrupted by the system. An honest man in Washington. Imagine that.
And all I can say is that for the first time in my life I really believe in a mainstream candidate for president.
Because everyone is posting their favorite YouTube clips in honor of the man, here’s mine. The video is nothing, but that song… that’s the one that makes you want to stand up and say Bo Diddley is a god…