Battle for the Beach
A comment on Jodie T. Allen's assertion that governments like San Diego's "surely regulate [volleyball net] placement on beaches" ("Government and Volleyball"): As a devotee of San Diego's South Mission Beach, I can attest to the growing popularity of beach volleyball. However, there appear to be no rules for the erection of private nets. All one needs, it seems, are two 4-inch-by-4-inch posts, a shovel or post-hole digger, a net, a fluorescent orange plastic rope (to mark court boundaries), and a ball. The problem is that, quite often, players emerge early in the day from their seashore abodes, put up a net, and then return to bed, thus denying large sections of beach to nonplayers. I suppose that as the courts proliferate, those who come to the beach to bathe in either sun or surf will be pushed to the water's edge, and that conflict will result. Government will then rear its ugly head, issue regulations, and the beach will be calmer but more regimented. Meanwhile, anarchy reigns.
Perhaps volleyball is an apt metaphor for politics, after all.
Backward to the Future
Nathan Myhrvold got it wrong in "Insufficient Funds." It isn't the content or the lack of advertising that endangers Internet publishing. It is the old-fashioned thinking that is inbred into print journalism--and it doesn't work in the new medium (thank goodness it doesn't). Like the Republicans, you're riding the elephant backward as you try to build a bridge into the past.
I found Nathan Myhrvold's "Insufficient Funds" interesting, but I hope the hidden message wasn't that you guys are planning to bail out. I really find Slate an interesting publication, informative and thought-provoking. Will you continue, or is the end near?
The editors reply: Slate is here for the duration.
I'm writing to complain about the Utah National Monument item in "The Week/The Spin"--specifically about the claim that in Utah, "the schools depend on mining-industry revenue." The total percentage of Utah's school budget supplied from School Trust Lands is around 2 percent. The percentage that comes from mining revenue is somewhat less than that. This hardly counts as dependence. You have fallen victim to the propaganda of anti-wilderness sagebrush rebels.