Weekly Roundup 10/10/2011

Occupy Wall Street (Wall Street Protests, 2011)
Times Topics, nytimes.com (visited Oct. 10, 2011)

A Walk in the Park
Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker, Oct. 17, 2011 (post-dated)

Occupy Wall Street: Newcomers bring their hopes and worries to New York protest
Eli Saslow, The Washington Post, Oct. 9, 2011 (print edition: Oct. 10, 2011)

Synopsis: The loosely organized group calling itself Occupy Wall Street began its protest in the privately owned, open to the public Zuccotti Park on Saturday, Sept. 17, with an outcry against corporate greed and economic inequality. In an online chronicle, nytimes.com provides a succinct overview of events in New York and links to some of its coverage, including stories about the spread of the movement to other cities. Hendrik Hertzberg, a senior editor and staff writer for The New Yorker, gives an impressionistic account of the gathering in Zuccotti Park. And Washington Post political writer Eli Saslow ponders the future of the movement through the eyes of three newly arrived protesters.

Takeaway: As the protest moves into its fifth week, Saslow poses these questions about its future: “Can a leaderless group that relies on consensus find a way for so many people to agree on what comes next? Can it offer not only objections but also solutions? Can a radical protest evolve into a mainstream movement for change?”

For CQ Researcher coverage, see these reports: Marcia Clemmitt, “Income Inequality,” Dec. 3, 2010, http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2010120300; Marcia Clemmitt, “Financial Industry Overhaul,” July 30, 2010, http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2010073000; Peter Katel, “Jobs Outlook,” June 4, 2010, http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2010060400.

--Kenneth Jost, Associate Editor


Everything You Need to Know About the New Facebook
Business Insider, Sept. 26, 2011

Synopsis: Full disclosure: I remain a social-media holdout. Nevertheless -- or therefore? -- I watch with fascination the reshaping of the world according to Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of radical transparency. This piece appears to be a pretty thorough summary of current and imminent Facebook changes that aim to create a complete virtual you on the Internet, along with tips about how to tailor some features to your liking or opt out of them.

Takeaway: “Do you remember Facebook Beacon? Originally, when it launched in 2007, it caused a lot of controversy because it pushed people into sharing actions with their friends that they might not necessarily want to share. For example, if you bought movie tickets from MovieTickets.com, it would share that with all your Facebook friends via your news feed. The service was shut down in September 2009 due to privacy concerns. Now, people are a lot more used to sharing their activities with their friends. We ‘check in’ to places, we share photos, etc. Facebook is banking on this new type of sharing to be less scary, and something you can opt into, just once. For example, if you join the new Guardian Facebook app, you'll add it to your Timeline, and share any article you read on the Guardian website with your friends.”

For more, see my Sept. 17, 2010, report on “Social Networking,” http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2010091700, and Patrick Marshall’s Nov. 6, 2009, report on “Online Privacy,” updated in September 2010, http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2009110600.

--Marcia Clemmitt, Staff Writer


Taken by Pirates
Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times Magazine, Oct. 9, 2011

Synopsis: This nail-biting story by the Times’ Africa correspondent describes the year-long torment that British sailors Rachel and Paul Chandler endured at the hands of the Somalian pirates who took them hostage in the Indian Ocean. It is a classic of the your-worst-nightmare genre that also provides a fascinating insider’s look at the out-of-control pirate “industry.”

Takeaway: The Chandlers’ almost miraculous survival is a testament to both their amazing courage and strength and the kindness and concern of others, including many Somali immigrants in England.

For additional reading see Alan Greenblatt, “Attacking Piracy,” CQ Global Researcher, August 2009, http://library.cqpress.com/globalresearcher/cqrglobal2009080000

--Thomas J. Colin, Contributing Editor