Every Readme has its thorns … : Wakefield Tolbert's defense of an embryo's human potential, Plants will never have souls, Mr. Kinsley, begins, um, floridly—"the problem with many of Michael Kinsley's posts is that sometimes they're like trying to run your hand down a rose without getting snagged on the thorns"—and continues to spin out the implications of the human blueprint while ironically rehabilitating Kinsley's animist straw man.
Monoblog: Monorail fan Steven Bradford thinks it "odd" that Brendan Koerner "missed the fascinating political story of the Seattle monorail." Bradford's version (which is like something out of Virginia Lee Burton):
[Eight] years ago, a cab driver wondered why we didn't just extend the monorail we already had to the four corners of the city. So he wrote an initiative, and to the surprise of the civic establishment which derisively opposed it, it passed handily. Then the city council squashed it. So more people came in to join the cab driver and wrote another initiative that required the city to spend six million coming up with a real plan that the voters could say yeah or nay to. That's what we're voting on Tuesday, and it appears it may pass with an even greater margin than before … [T]hat's the real story here, not the technology.
(Bradford seems to know his monorail stuff. See the rest of the thread.) 12:10 p.m.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.