The Best of the Web

In this week’s web round-up: how power corrupts, why the super-injunction is a counterproductive tool, and the fallout from the world not ending.

Submitted by on Sunday, 22 May 2011

(C) flyingsinger

Welcome to another round-up of the top online content from the past week.

In the wake of allegations of rape made against the recently-resigned head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Jonah Lehrer takes a psychological perspective on how power corrupts:

According to psychologists, one of the main problems with authority is that it makes us less sympathetic to the concerns and emotions of others.

Meanwhile, as the super-injunction saga rolls on, Charlie Brooker finds them pointless and counterproductive:

The glaring problem with getting a superinjunction in 2011 is that they no longer guarantee superanonymity. In fact, they increasingly guarantee the opposite.

In other news, despite predictions from some quarters, the world did not end yesterday. The New Scientist took the opportunity to ask why people love doomsday predictions. The non-arrival of the apocalypse meant that an editorial gamble in The Week paid off.

From headline-makers to headline-writers, prominent American blogger Nate Silver had some advice for budding hacks in a speech of the Columbia Journalism School. Similarly, Mark Little explored the changing media landscape in which an abundance, rather than a scarcity, of news content now presents the greatest challenge to journalists. Elsewhere Stephen Marche explained why that most famous of writers, William Shakespeare, is also the most influential man in history.

Photos of the week: The Atlantic offers a fascinating photo essay on life in modern China.

Doodle of the week: via The Poke, a tongue-firmly-in-cheek rundown of the five most common categories of Facebook status update.

Maps of the week: The Economist neatly illustrates the competing territorial claims of India, Pakistan and China in what many see as the world’s most volatile border region; a visualisation of how, where and why American foreign aid gets spent; and from Flowing Data, the United States of Hate Groups.

Video of the week: Mike Matas at TED exhibits the first interactive book developed exclusively for the iPad.

And finally: from Language Log, an Anglo-EU translation guide makes for a witty exposition of British subtlety and its frequent misinterpretation abroad.