1. A histomap of world history.
2. On “The Daily Show,” profiling white-collar criminals (as I tell my students, white-collar crime is where the real money is).
3. Pinsky on poets’ freedom. This article also contains a neat explication of rhythm in two poems.
Here are two of his ideas for poets to ponder:
The work’s freedom to establish its own unique principles, alive in particular cadences and words and lines and sentences: that is the goal.
There are no rules, but uniformity in art can make it feel as though there are rules: the more unconscious or unperceived (as with widely accepted fashions), the more confining.
A reigning style can feel tyrannical: the assumptions behind it so well-established that there seem to be no alternatives. But there are always alternatives.
4. No one can really every “opt out”, writes Matt Gross:
What seems unrealistic, however, is their belief that they could somehow escape from Work–that they could live lives apart from the System. I mean, as much as I hate that system, and as little as I expect from it, I understand that it is inescapable. To be alive in America in 2013 is to be a worker of one sort or another–a freelancer, a volunteer, DIY publishing maven, a hack screenwriter, a dog-walker, a can-collector, a social media consultant, a branding expert, a T-shirt designer. Pretend that the System doesn’t apply to you, that you can step outside of it for a year or ten, and the System will let you have your fantasy and then, cruelly, crush you when you return to reality. The opt-out generation is getting crushed right now.
5. Our privacy instinct: “We don’t really believe in the internet” yet.
6. “The flattening of e-book sales.”
7. Bible passages certain fundamental Christians seem to overlook.
8. Via NPR, the history of Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart.
9. A suggestion that Americans are less willing to stand against authority figures.
10. I know that I don’t need to guilt myself into reading more than I do, but it’s good to be reminded: No less an eminence than E.B. White was “never a voracious reader.” (Original interview here.)