Monday, July 21, 2008

Jonathan Coe explains his writing process
I stare at the computer until I get bored, which takes about five minutes. Then, if I'm feeling energetic, I'll get up and make a cup of coffee, or, if I'm feeling lazy, I'll start randomly messing around on the internet or playing card games on screen. I've just discovered Spider Solitaire and can sense a whole new world of distraction opening up for me.
-Sf author Thomas M Disch committed suicide at his apartment on July 4. Patrick Nielsen Hayden's eulogy paints a picture of a man who was brilliant, noble, foolish, difficult and angry. I only knew him through his fiction, from which I learned a great deal…
- This whole romantic myth of the artist the person laying around at midnight with a fag and half a bottle of scotch, it's just bulldust
-Since mid April, there have been 943 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide caused by Salmonella Saintpaul - Salmonellosis Outbreak in Certain Types of Tomatoes

I just discovered that Dubravka Ugresic has a website. I am slow. And it is stylish and functional, it's like a goddamn miracle. Dubravka Ugresic

You Don’t Know Me: But Is the Sky Falling? Pour Some Sugar On Cold River
Ira Glass, host of the radio and television program This American Life, claims that nonfiction is the most important and impressive art form of our day: "We're living in an age of great nonfiction writing, in the same way that the 1920s and 30s were a golden age for American popular song. Giants walk among us, Cole Porters and George Gershwins and Duke Ellingtons of nonfiction storytelling.

To commemorate and canonize this golden age, Glass compiled an anthology of some of the best nonfiction writing. The paperback original, published last fall, with proceeds benefiting a nonprofit tutoring center, received prime display space in many bookstores. Its title: The New Kings of Nonfiction.

• Where Are the Queens of Nonfiction? The New Kings of Nonfiction. ; [Maybe Book sections in newspapers are just dated. Lee Abrams' Permanent Cloud; God’s Law—is tricky to keep—born again you must be, yeah - Wrapped in its peculiar atmosphere, as if draped in clouds, I walked entranced to my desk at about 4am and typed it on to the screen. The story was called "Nadine at Forty". In its subject matter, in its tone, its setting, it bore no relation to anything I have ever written before or since. It extended itself easily into paragraphs, requiring little correction and not really admitting any; how could my waking self revise what my sleeping self had imagined? Hilary Mantel writes about the time she dreamt a story.]
• · Critics have become bemoaners. Nobody's a Critic ; While publishing Opium ; Tree House Media Project Debuts. Self-reliance for angry journalists, preached by a former member of the tribe. Plus: Last gasp of the curmudgeon class. Big Daddy Newspaper Has Gone and Left Journalism
• · China’s economy will surpass that of the United States by 2035 and be twice its size by midcentury, a new report by Albert Keidel concludes. China’s rapid growth is driven by domestic demand—not exports—and will sustain high single-digit growth rates well into this century. In China’s Economic Rise—Fact and Fiction, Keidel examines China’s likely economic trajectory and its implications for global commercial, institutional, and military leadership (vis Bespacific) China Will Surpass U.S. Economically by 2035, Double by Midcentury ; Like many others who watched the news in the 1990s, the authors were dismayed by the thousands of hours devoted to “infotainment” stories such as the O.J. Simpson trial Tabloid Justice: Criminal Justice in an Age of Media Frenzy and The Star Chamber: How Celebrities Go Free and their Lawyers Become Famous;
• · · I guess it’s gaining currency from the book of the same name by the ex-Amazon customer service guy Bill Price and David Jaffe. I get the idea. If you eliminate all the problems around customer service, your customers won’t have to contact you and that will be a good thing. You transform any customer relationship you’ve created back into transactions and save costs. There's a thought out there that the best service is no service at all ; I am a great believer in and/and. When two seemingly opposing ideas appear in the market or a couple of paradoxes seem to conflict your business, I say give room to them both. It’s by embracing paradox that a new third idea may develop that could move us all forward. I’m not talking about convergence here but the process of change. The paradox in its simplest form: paper v digital
• · · · We're actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history] National Geographics: North Pole May Be Ice Free for First Time This Summer Arctic won't see its first completely ice-free summer until somewhere between 2013 and 2030; amazon drought nearing climate tipping point
• · · · · Blogging and citizen journalism provides an alternative to the media delivering government and corporate spin as news.Raging against rising Internet repression; Modern media is tailor-made for propaganda, spreading often unchallenged values for financial profit or political influence. Learning rites and wrongs
• · · · · · Slovakia joins the eurozone next year, becoming only the second ex-communist country to do so – an achievement many thought unlikely and one that continues to elude its former Soviet-bloc neighbours. For a small, export-oriented economy, the coming years could be difficult, but Slovakia has already beaten the odds by becoming one of Europe’s most striking success stories Economy: The tiger that beat the odds ; George W. Bush once got Slovakia and Slovenia mixed up. Infamy, in the two capitals Bratislava and Ljubljana, but understandable elsewhere in the world, where these two benign, pretty countries must compete for a place on the tourist map. The Slovak capital (pop. 450,000), while immeasurably more attractive than when the communists handed it over in 1989, is merely “cute” by comparison with nearby Prague, Budapest and Vienna. The High Tatra mountains, while scenic, stretch for barely 50 kilometers; the highest peak, Gerlach, is fully 2,000 metres short of Mont Blanc. And so on. You can sell the Tatras. Nowhere in Europe is there a lowland airport so close to a mountain chain. You can be at your hotel in 15 minutes, whereas in the Alps you may have to drive for an hour or more. Our plan is to rebuild the Tatras, or perhaps to reclaim them from the ashes You can sell the Tatras