If Ego, Then I Go
Very frustrating to read Anna Husarska's "Diary." Obviously an experienced foreign reporter, Husarska has chosen to dedicate the first two days of her diary to the technical frustrations of being an Internet reporter in Bosnia and the impact or nonimpact of her piece. Such self-absorption seems very selfish when what I want to hear about is Bosnia and its condition on the eve of the elections. If Husarska keeps this up, her diary might as well have been written from a shopping mall in Dayton. Love your mag, but can you do something to restrain the egomania of your diarists?
Light in Bosnia
Slate's editors must be credited for a journalistic coup. The international community is whistling in the dark about Bosnia. Anna Husarska's "Diary" counters the hype and myopic optimism surrounding the elections there. Bravo.
Edward Abbey had a proposal that I think would be much more effective than the $1,000 one suggested by Stuart Taylor Jr. in "The Norplant Option." Abbey suggested we offer every 15-year-old female in the United States a new Mustang convertible in exchange for sterilization. He did offer a few stipulations, but the important part was sterilization, not removable contraceptive devices. Of course, he was after more than a reduction in welfare costs. While I agree postponing childbearing is a laudable goal, we have larger problems to solve regarding children having children.
Publish or Perish
Perhaps because I work in the newspaper industry, where we publish daily regardless, I find your seemingly frequent vacations troubling. But, OK, magazines are different. I had been prepared all along to pony up the $19.95 or whatever it is to subscribe to Slate when you begin charging. But now I'm worried, because I don't know what I'll be getting for my $19.95.
The Origin of Specious
John Horgan's review of Richard Dawkins' Climbing Mount Impossible ("The Mystery of Life") is interesting. However, he makes some specious claims. He argues, "After decades of searching, scientists have found no conclusive evidence that life exists elsewhere in the universe." But scientists wouldn't be able to find such evidence in the nearby star systems that we have searched thus far; and the tools we use for detection have limited capabilities.
Horgan also writes, "In spite of the immensely powerful tools of modern biotechnology, scientists still cannot make matter animate in the laboratory." Surely few biotechnologists are so arrogant as to claim life-creating power. Besides, a decade or two of laboratory research falls somewhat short of the millions of years natural processes need.
Bravo, Wendy Wasserstein ("Party of One"), for telling it like it is! Why haven't political pundits picked up on the fact that singles are discriminated against by both parties? Republicans have long denigrated alternative lifestyles. Now politicians talk about singleness as if it is an alternative lifestyle.
--Mary Ann Costello