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Archive for June, 2010

  • Tuna then are both a real thing and a metaphor. Literally they are one of the last big public supplies of wild fish left in the world. Metaphorically they are the terminus of an idea: that the ocean is an endless resource where new fish can always be found. In the years to come we can treat tuna as a mile marker to zoom past on our way toward annihilating the wild ocean or as a stop sign that compels us to turn back and radically reconsider.
  • The Obama administration has issued hundreds of new rules and standards over the past year, the most prominent initiative, of course, being the financial-oversight bill now making its way through Congress. What remains to be seen, as we move forward into what The Times’s Eric Lipton recently called “a new age of regulation,” is whether this new spirit of control and reform will carry over into the American psyche. For in the anything-goes atmosphere of our recent past, it wasn’t just external controls that went awry; inwardly, people lost constraint and common sense, too. Now there is a case to be made that problems of self-regulation — of appetite, emotion, impulse and cupidity — may well be the defining social pathology of our time.
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