Interesting Reading in the Interweb Tubes
- Night Thoughts of a Baffled Humanist (“Yet in the new era, market economics—another name for the set of theories and assumptions also called capitalism—has shown itself very ready to devour what we hold dear, if the list can be taken to include culture, education, the environment and the sciences, as well as the peace and well-being of our fellow citizens.”) (via)
- The rise and fall of the Columbia House record club — and how we learned to steal music (“…those of us who remember it in its prime find pause when pillaging a torrent site or googling for the .rar file of a new album, and remember the halcyon era when checking off which records to get for ‘free’ with an introductory signup to the club felt like the sweetest deal in the universe.”) (via)
- The Science of Sarcasm? Yeah, Right (“Sarcasm seems to exercise the brain more than sincere statements do.”) (Personal aside: If this is true, our home has been filled with some very overexercised brains over the years.)
Blog Headline/Post of the Week
- Libya held a “ceremonial unbanning of books” this week at a celebration that had “table upon table of books deemed unreadable during Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year rule.” (via)
- The world’s top 10 literary cities (and I’ve actually been to half of them).
- Sam has a list of more than 50 ways to read more than 50 books a year. I find numbers 3 and 4 most effective myself, although I frequently dabble in numbers 2 and some (number 5, for example) aren’t even an issue for me.
- The existential dread of mega-bookstores
- Can the American library survive?
- Ouch. Kirkus Reviews’ “2011 Best of Fiction” list originally included a book withdrawn from shelves last week because the author plagiarized significant portions of it. The book no longer appears on the list. (Of course, maybe it’s the plagiarized passages that made it so good.)
- Why is China building these gigantic structures in the middle of the desert? (via)
- Penn Jillette: An Atheist’s Guide to the 2012 Election
- The British Law Society eliminates Solicitors from Hell website. (via)
- Want to be an astronaut?
- Pakistan declares the phrase “monkey crotch” illegal in text messages
I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.
Jon Stewart, GQ, June 1999