Beset on all sides by great powers, sophisticated operators, and clashing agendas, Snowden, like his perhaps new Wikileaks patron Julian Assange before him, seems like a character in a cyberpunk novel.
The late 1960s, with the explosion of youth movements, the Vietnam War, and the transformation of popular culture, offered a grand opportunity for the reinvention of self. So, too, did the late 1980s, particularly in East-Central Europe.
Unfortunately, when it comes to these far-away urban places, not all of us have real-time access to the inspirational modern projects served by transit, or the historic monuments, streets and squares that illustrate the potential of creative city life.
Although much of the focus of the world's attention in 1989 was on Prague and Vaclav Havel, the civic movement Public Against Violence played an equally important role in ensuring that the revolution in Czechoslovakia was "velvet."
The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Monsanto and its patented seeds last Monday by throwing out a case tirelessly petitioned for by organic farmers. It was only last month Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the agricultural giant's "license agreement" yet again.
It was an exhilarating time to be young in November 1989 and living in East Berlin. It was not only the physical Wall that fell on November 9. It was also the many invisible walls that closed off anyone who didn't conform.
Pakistanis have little respect for public property, that is, the natural and human-made properties accessible to all members of the society. This lack of respect for public property reinforces corruption that runs through every artery of the Pakistani economy.
The clinical trial finding that a once-daily pill halved HIV infection among people who inject drugs in Thailand is an important development in HIV prevention science, and brings welcome attention to a group often excluded from clinical trials.
The Obama administration's geopolitical pivot to the Asia-Pacific seems more than a little stuck between moves. Already slowed by the long goodbye of the Afghan War, the strategy is threatened by the prospect of Syria spinning up into a much wider war.
Certainly 1989 was a watershed year for politicians, political scientists, and human rights activists in East-Central Europe. But the people that really must have felt the ground shake beneath their feet were: real estate developers.