Tag Archives: e-books

Links: Histomaps, Wall Street thugs, etc.

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.)


Links: 32 January 2013

(By the way, I know most people don’t live with a 32-day January, but I like to super-size my January, thus reducing the preposterity that is the bob-tailed month of February.)

1. An exercise I’ve used with my creative writing students, the 6-word story, is often credited to Hemingway, apparently wrongly.

2. Andrei Codrescu’s comment on NPR’s “All Things Considered” this week:

You probably haven’t heard me in a while because I haven’t heard myself in a while. You’ve heard the sage advice to keep your thoughts to yourself. But I decided to go a step farther and tell my thoughts to keep themselves to themselves, so that not even I – the host of these unknown thoughts – would have an inkling as to what they are. It’s a wonderful discipline. It’s like the silence of a silent monk, times two.

I don’t miss my thoughts. Whatever they are thinking in there, hidden from my awareness, don’t harm me and no one else – far as I can tell.

3. Danny Defoe’s 18th C. media awareness.

4. An AVClub piece critical of intentional mediocrity in mass-market movies.

5. Stanley Fish makes a point about critical distance.

6. On sleep and memory.

7. In defense of the lecture.

8. Memorizing poems has value, this post reminds us.

9. E-book sales not so hot anymore; paper books may survive after all the hype that said they wouldn’t.

10. A Thomas Gray poem, “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College”

11. On the portrayal of nerds in popular culture.