Ann Friedman at the Guardian on why we need to bring back the World’s Fair. “This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic World's Fair in Queens, New York, which brought together the likes of Liberace, Andy Warhol, the Kennedys and Masai tribesmen. If such a thing happened today, it'd be the toast of the tech blogs and the talk of Twitter, right? Which is why it's surprising that the anniversary nostalgia has failed to raise many questions about the state of World's Fairs today,” Friedman writes. “The internet has made in-person gatherings like the World's Fair less vital. But even though we're long past the techno-utopian sixties, we're still collectively interested in the technology that will shape our daily lives in the decades to come. The problem is that most of us can't afford a vacation to discuss it in person.” The Guardian's Matt Sullivan tweets, "'Can you imagine Beyoncé and Michelle Obama waving from front seats of a hovercar?' @annfriedman on World Fair 2.0."
Charles M. Blow at The New York Times on the troubling extent of America’s religious literalism. “I am both shocked and fascinated by Americans’ religious literalism. One Gallup report issued last week found that 42 percent of Americans believe ‘God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago.’ Whatever the case, on this issue as well as many others in America, the truth is not the light. That is in part because, compared with other developed countries, America stands out for the level and intensity of its religiosity. And, in America, when people say that they are religious, they overwhelmingly mean Christian. In fact, nearly eight in 10 Americans identify as Christians,” Blow writes. “What worries me is that some Americans seem to live in a world where facts can’t exist. Marco Rubio told GQ in 2012: ‘Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.’ Bobby Jindal has voiced his support of creationism being taught in public schools alongside intelligent design and ‘the best science’ and allowing students to ‘make up their own minds.’”