Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Vital Video–The National Parks: America's Best Idea


How much should you ponder this amazing video from an upcoming new documentary series by Ken Burns–titled “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”–on America’s national parks system?

Muchly much, as the national parks have indeed been one of this country’s most amazing gifts to itself.

Set to air on PBS on September 27, the creators stuck a video clip that is almost 27 minutes long on YouTube and on the series’ own really nice Web site, which is a pretty terrific thing to do.

The real series is 12 hours long and in six parts, directed by the still-elfish Burns and co-produced with Dayton Duncan, who also wrote the script.

As they describe it, the series “is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone.”

After having recently just visited the wonder that is Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is much featured in the series, you can say that again.

Here’s the video clip (it’s August, so take the time to watch it):

[Photo above: Tourists at an erupting Old Faithful. Yellowstone National Park, 1884. Source: Haynes Foundation Collection, Montana Historical Society]

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work