Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In praise of Information Sharing at Water Coolers: Prescient Prophecies

“Yes, there is an inevitable darkening, or sobering, that comes with the increasing realization that life is a tragedy, which entails, however, no need to banish gaiety. Painters know that there is nothing like black to bring out the best in other colors—the pinks and whites and oranges. It makes them dance.”

~ Peter De Vries, quoted in Douglas M. Davis, “An Interview with Peter De Vries” (College English, April 1967)
In praise of gossip. Behind-the-back chitchat and the exchange of juicy tidbits are what makes society possible. Stories like 'when will he stop having affairs in the office' are priceless. Information Sharing Session

Whether tapered, snout-like, or hooked, the Jewish nosedisplays a remarkably diverse history in Christian art... The Nose

“There lurks perhaps in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man to hope and then to believe that nature has given him something peculiar to himself. This vanity makes one mind nurse aversions and another actuate desires till they rise by art much above their original state of power and as affectation in time improves to habit, they at last tyrannise over him who at first encouraged them only for show.” How numbers on facebook change our behaviour

Steve Jobs and Elon Musk Are Silicon Valley’s Most Inspiring Figures

Formidably erudite, faintly manic, and impossible to shut up, Slavoj Žižek is a cult figure. At least he’s self-aware enough to send-up that Status

Fact and fiction blur in tales of tax avoidance  (10 Nov 2014)

Whistleblower accuses several Irish politicians of tax evasion  (10 Nov 2014)

“I’ve waited my whole life for this moment.” Twitter

Hearing criticisms of your own beliefs is essential to form a considered opinion. The right to be offended is a vital right – and it’s under threat... Folk

The November issue of Words without Borders is now up, with a focus on: Contemporary Czech Prose, as well as some 'Writers on Education'. 

Poor Hans Kafka. Everything he wrote, including a story about a beetle and a man, was overshadowed by the work of his neighbor Franz... Hans Kafka

I’m not sure how much of a write-up I can give you of Kathryn Schulz’s marvelous book Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error since, if you recall, I borrowed it as an ebook from my library and was reading it on my Kindle when it decided to no longer highlight things

Mafia Restaurants

A new chain of themed restaurants catches on in Spain.