Thursday, January 21, 2016

Anatomy of Wonder: From Now On Everything Will Be Different

“The Arch-flatterer, with whom all the petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man’s self.”
~ Francis Bacon, “On Love”

From Now On Everything Will Be Different because We are addicted now to Stories by that Brilliant Blogger Terry TeachOut knows the map of Vrbov Mortuary even better than Father Glatz or Priest Zajac ... "No sooner did those words form in my mind’s ear than a passage from a novel I love, Edwin O’Connor’s The Edge of Sadness, snapped into my memory as plainly as if I were reading it off the page. The speaker is a middle-aged Boston priest:
'I believe with all my heart in the mercy and providence of God, and I believe in a future unimaginably brighter and better than anything I have known here–and yet of course the whole difficulty is that I have known and have loved “here.” Very much. So that when the time comes for me to go, I know that I will go with full confidence in God–but I also know that I will go with sadness. And I think for no reason other than that…well, I have been alive. An old priest who was dying, one of the saintliest men I have ever known, one of those who had greatest reason to expect God’s favor, many years ago surprised me by telling me, with a little smile, that now that he was going, he wanted desperately to stay.
“A single memory can do it,” he said.
And I suppose he was right. The memory of an instant–of a smile, of leaf smoke on a sharp fall day, of a golden streak across a rain-washed morning, of a small boy seated alone on the seashore, solemnly building his medieval moated castles–just this one, single, final flash of memory can be enough to make us want to stay forever…'"
In awe of his older brother, William, Henry James declared himself inadequate — to his family, as well as to the times. It improved his writing markedly... In the memoirs, years disappear unremarked, but one good day at P. T. Barnum’s American Museum can take up pages. Little Henry, Happy at Last

“I have never cared for Thomas Mann’s way of walking on water,” said Joseph Roth. His own approach was, “How many words, by when, and how much?” Walking on Cold River ...

Northrop Frye allowed that others were “infinitely more accurate scholars” than he. But, he said, he had something they lacked: genius... On the first page of Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays, Northrop Frye irritably dismissed the “cotnception of the critic as a parasite or artist manqué … sometimes reinforced by a dubious analogy between the creative and procreative functions, so that we hear about the ‘impotence’ and ‘dryness’ of the critic, of his hatred for genuinely creative people, and so on.” Anatomy of Wonder
This skeleton of a man with "multiple lesions on the front and left side of the skull, consistent with wounds from a blunt implement, such as a club".
War is in our DNA: This skeleton of a man with "multiple lesions on the front and left side of the skull, consistent with wounds from a blunt implement, such as a club".Photo: Marta Mirazon Lahr

People using trusts to shelter income and thereby avoid tax could be hit with higher bills under a review by the Australian Taxation Office. The agency has told Fairfax Media it is conducting a pilot program to determine whether trusts are complying with tough anti-avoidance rules when they distribute income to tax exempt beneficiaries. Stsurt Trusts Mysteries

For these reasons, many fact czeching websites have gone inactive in recent years even as fact-checking grows worldwide... Take the cases of fact-checking websites Véritometre (France), PolitiFact Australia, Morsi Meter (Egypt) and All of these launched over the past five years and have since closed down. (Disclosure: FactCheckEU was an offshoot of Pagella Politica, of which I was Managing Editor before joining Poynter).

Last year ended with a lot of discussion among media types in the U.S. and abroad about whether fact-checking actually matters. Two things set off the flurry of articles: … Fact-checking: does anyone even care?

Chequeado, the Argentinian fact-checking website, had a good year in 2015 (read about the impact of their coverage here). Part of its success was measured in increased readership: Chequeado increased its traffic nearly nine-fold, recording an estimated 500,000 visits in November.  How did they do it?
Argentinian fact-checkers Chequeado increased their traffic 750% by sharing more and better

Most people would instinctively reply "money" and "get more money" to the questions in the headline. And they wouldn’t be wrong. Nonetheless, fact-checkers face a few additional challenges to finding a sustainable business model than journalism in general (which already has its fair share of trouble). First of all, because their mission is tied to offering an impartial service, fact-checkers tend to eschew funding that could appear partisan, even more so than other media organizations. The verification tools that Storyful offers, for example, seem as useful to Coca Cola's advertising department as they are to The New York Times' breaking news desk. Fact-checkers have yet to offer a service this versatile.
Why do fact-checking sites close? And how can new ones avoid that fate?

A radical factional hitlist has been drawn up that would see more than half-a-dozen high profile federal MPs in NSW face preselection challenges before this year's election. "It's threatening to put the Game of Thrones' Red Wedding scene in the shade," said one senior member of the NSW party NSW Politics worse than game of thrones red wedding scene

Mr. Chait said that, to him, The New Republic was fundamentally not a business proposition. “A business is something that is trying to make money,” he said. “If you’re in a town and you’re trying to sell hamburgers, and everyone wants pizza, you’d switch to pizza. But The New Republic believes in hamburgers. We think you need hamburgers, and we will continue to make hamburgers and try and persuade you to eat them.”  TNR for sale

@reviewjournal @romenesko Will the Review-Journal be investigating the mystery of who owns it?

The family of billionaire Sheldon Adelson bought the most widely-read newspaper in Nevada, the Review-Journal. They then tried to conceal this act. These are my posts, as I’ve followed and tried to make sense of the story. In order from Dec. 11. New items added to the bottom. The Adelson forces buy a newspaper, journalists fight back: a journal of my updates on this story

Alanis Morissette, "a born agony aunt," will be The Guardian Weekend's advice columnist Mark Sweney reported Friday for The Guardian. (An agony aunt, by the way, is "a ​person, usually a woman, who gives ​advice to ​people with ​personal ​problems, ​especially in a ​regular ​magazine or ​newspaper ​article," according to Cambridge Dictionaries Online.)

On the Gaspé Peninsula in eastern Quebec, a group of locals and small-business owners have begun to accept an alternative currency—one where $5, $10, $20, $50, even $100 bills, get cut in two, ostensibly reducing their value by half—as a means to promote the local economy.
Confused yet?
Here’s how it works, or, at least, how locals argue it’s supposed to: When someone buys clothes at a Wal-Mart, Zibeau explains, there’s no telling how much of that money will be reinvested in the community. But with stores and locals accepting the cut-up bills, a currency they’ve dubbed the “demi”—French for half—that money can only be spent locally. And because banks don’t accept half a $20 bill, the money would be reinvested right away and not pile up at home (perhaps out of fear that storeowners might just stop accepting the half-bills). This would help keep the economy rolling.
The story about Canadian cutting edge economy only Media Dragons would love

What goods can you not buy with median income?, by Chris Dillow: “…most “libertarians” are hypocrites and it is we Marxists who are the true lovers of freedom.”  And a Martin Sandbu FT piece on the same.

“Then, there’s the ultra-premium options, like the $50 Iluliaq or the $99 Beverly Hills 9OH20 ‘Master Crafted Water,’ created by water sommelier Martin Riese.”  Link here