Five Best Monday Columns
Tom Ballantyne on the blame game over Malaysia Flight 370, Denver David Robinson on copyright infringement by an anti-gay Ugandan tabloid, Jason Zengerle on a GOP personality switch, James Dawson on Crimea's Russia vote, Ron Miller on hating Google Glass.
Tom Ballantyne at Al Jazeera English on why the blame game over Malaysia Flight 370 hasn’t even started. “No one thought a big Boeing B777 jet could vanish into thin air in this day of highly computerized flight decks, advanced satellite communications and 21st century tracking systems. The fact that it did has raised an endless array of questions that will have to be answered,” Ballantyne writes. “While the aircraft has not yet been located and with the probability it is now lying deep on the floor of the Indian Ocean, there has been no let-up in the flow of speculation and theories on what occurred as the flight made its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing."
Denver David Robinson at The New York Times on copyright infringement by an anti-gay Ugandan tabloid. “On Feb. 24 this year, everything changed. That was the day President Yoweri Museveni signed Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act into law. Two days later, Uganda’s largest tabloid, the Red Pepper, published an article titled “Homosexuality Could Cause Mental Illness — Medics.” One of the photographs accompanying the article was one that I had taken at Uganda’s very first pride parade in 2012, showing two Ugandans with broad smiles,” Robinson writes. “Uganda has strong laws against copyright infringement. Although the Ugandan participants and I knew that the photos and stories might someday be used against us, we never thought the entire project would be stolen wholesale.”
Jason Zengerle at the New Republic on a GOP personality switch. “This was the week the long-simmering rivalry between Ted Cruz and Rand Paul finally broke out into the open. The Cruz vs. Paul rivalry is, in fact, taking place in two arenas. In one of them, on matters of policy. On the personality side, though, the contrasts are much more surprising,” Zengerle writes. “Paul is adhering to the standard rule of GOP presidential primaries: Even though he’s not running as the establishment candidate, he believes he can’t win if the establishment is actively working against him. Cruz clearly has taken a different approach, and the thing he most wants to be is the guy the establishment hates.”
James Dawson at the New Statesman on Crimea’s Russia vote. “The Crimea vote may be awkward for the West but not unprecedented. Arguably Putin has the bigger problem. After paying so much to improve his image with the Sochi Olympics he has to pay more to integrate Crimea,” Dawson writes. “Had he taken his time and made the case for there to be a free and fair vote in Crimea under proper international observation he would not have rubbished his international status so thoroughly and still got the same end result?”
Ron Miller at TechCrunch on reasons for hating Google Glass. “People have had a visceral reaction to the announcement of a wearable computer, and mostly, people have gone to the worst place possible — that it would be used by pervs and spies to surreptitiously take pictures and videos of us. Never mind that we are constantly being photographed with smartphones. For some reason, that device sitting on your face made all the difference,” Miller writes. “No matter what we do, one thing is clear: We are only at the beginning of technology acceptance cycle when it comes to wearables like Glass, but given the number of sessions devoted to it at SXSW, I’m confident that we will be seeing wider adoption before you know it.”