wednesday links



A beautiful Great American Novel map | ShortList Magazine

I’ve really been behind in my online reading of news and interesting articles. This link has some cool illustrations, but I had to enlarge them to read them.

Jon Meacham’s ‘Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush’

Elder Bush Says His Son Was Served Badly by Aides – The New York Times

Poppy’s in the news and telling all. Fun stuff.

In ‘Letters to Véra,’ Vladimir Nabokov Writes to His Wife – The New York Times

I’ve read some Nabokov. This review inspires me to read more.


How the F.B.I. Can Detain, Render and Threaten Without Risk – The New York Times

This writer is from the notoriously libertarian Cato institute with which I rarely agree. But this seems to be spot on.

Thinking about thinking. I love this topic. It has had tons of impact on my understandings and behavior. I’m not sure how this video will work. The salient discussion begins about 23 minutes into it and it seems to begin there. It also seems to continue on with the rest of discussion.

You cannot think about thinking without thinking about what Seymour Papert would

More on thinking about thinking.



The guy in the video mentions this book. This is the book’s website.


Familial Ties to Slavery, Bound by Vintage First-Person Accounts – The New York Times

This article looks good. Haven’t made it all the way through it.


Review: In Beckett’s ‘The End,’ a Nameless Man Stares Down Death Onstage – NYT

I am a fan of Beckett. I have seen several of his plays over the course of my life. Right now I’m reading the essay he wrote to begin the collection Our Exagmination Round His Factifications for Incamination of Work in Progress.

Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family – The New York Times

This article seems to fill out some of Turkle’s observations on how people are stressed these days.


Quentin Tarantino Says ‘All Cops Are Not Murderers’ – The New York Times

Thanks, Quentin. Now I bet you want everybody to go to your new movie.


Exploiting Emotions About Paris to Blame Snowden, Distract from Actual Culprits

The Paris attack and its aftermath is feeling like an Olaf Stapleton novel to me. Stapleton was an early practitioner of a kind of faux historical sci fi. I have read several books by him including First and Last Men. In one of them, he describes how the world goes crazy and plunges into the last war. This is way before WWII when he is writing.

We are witnessing an increase in hysteria in an already hysterical and largely leaderless world environment. US Governors are lining up to be counted as “protecting” their state from Syrians. They remind me of Putin’s stand right now on terrorism. A bit self serving, n’est pas? And also intolerant to the point of nonsense.


This article rehearses some stuff I lived through. I haven’t entirely forgiven some of the journalists who cheerleaded us into Iraq. I still have trouble reading and trusting Thomas Friedman.


Finding Alice’s ‘Wonderland’ in Oxford – The New York Times

I’ve never understood why there’s not an Alice in Wonderland museum in Oxford. It’s been a kind of a fantasy of mine and daughter Sarah that one day there will be. Maybe she’ll open it.


Robert Craft, Stravinsky Adviser and Steward, Dies at 92 – The New York Times

I’ve always thought that Craft was a fascinating character, especially in the way he ingratiated himself with the clever Stravinsky who then reciprocated with exploitation of Craft himself. Cool stuff.




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