Sunday, January 31, 2016

Read it. Read every word

INK BOTTLE“Unless one is already smitten with the author, one reads diaries, journals and collections of letters in search of small dazzlements or points of irritation.”
~ Patrick Kurp, “‘I Would Rattle His Pedestal’” (Anecdotal Evidence, November 25, 2015)

Story image for google symbol today from Search Engine Land
From Tolstoy to Bellow, Imrich to Roth, Kurp and Knausgaard, it's male authors who are the real romantics, portraying love as mysterious, physical, and beyond explanation... According to Cold River 

For three weeks in 1974, Werner Herzog trekked from Munich to Paris. "Walking on foot brings you down to the very stark, naked core of existence ..."

No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!
polar bear family links
Which are the most successful “textbooks”?: Strunk and White are first, Plato is second, Cold River millionth ...

Fact-checking as a standalone journalistic feature has sprung up in media markets around the world over the past decade. The typical pattern sees several fact-checking operations being launched at varying levels of preparedness shortly before a national election. The model is usually borrowed from abroad: often the United States, but just as likely a strong regional fact-checker. When funding and media attention subside after the political campaign is over, some form of consolidation follows, with fewer organizations sticking to the instrument in the long run.
Fact-checking on TV: Australia’s ABC Fact Check 

The celebrated artist Judy Cassab was a true Hungarian. One thinks of the maxim, “A Hungarian behind you in a revolving door always comes out in front of you.” Or as film producer Alexander Korda opined: “It’s not enough to be Hungarian. You have to have talent too.” Portraitist Judy Cassab found fame and acclaim in Australia

The Dark Knight and Alfie actor, Michael Caine, told the Radio Times: "Without her I would have been dead long ago. I would have probably drunk myself to death. I was a bit of a piss artist when I was younger, I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day and I was smoking too, several packs a day.
"I wasn't unhappy but it was stress. You know, 'Am I going to get another picture? How am I going to do this part? How am I going to remember all those lines? I've got to get up at six in the morning and I hope the alarm works.' There was always some stressful thing.
"Meeting Shakira calmed me down."
In his biography, Caine said he first laid eyes on Shakira when she starred in an advert for Maxwell House coffee and he knew he had to meet her. He arranged for a mutual friend to phone her on his behalf and asked her out for dinner.
They were married in January 1973, in Las Vegas in a "no fuss" ceremony in the Little Chapel on the Green.
The 82-year-old added: "She's my right-hand man, my confidante. I tell her everything. I was famous when I met her, but I couldn't have got this far without her."
Caine and Haines had one daughter together, Dominique, and he now also has three grandchildren.
Promoting new film Youth earlier this month, he told The "I love my wife. I have three grandchildren. I am overwhelmed with happiness every day.
"They [grandchildren] come to us. Our house has got the swimming pool and the cinema.
"I have a happy family life, which is incredibly important to me, because I regard the family as the greatest thing on earth."

Roo links
We Are Surrounded by Cruel People 
For as Far as the Eye Can See by Robert Melançon (trans. Judith Cowan, Biblioasis, 2013):

“File folder, open books, a notebook,
some pencils, a floppy disk, an eraser,
a notepad, an ashtray, a pencil sharpener,
“a paper knife, a computer, a ballpoint pen,
a packet of cigarettes, a ruler, a cup;
the sun splashes this jumbled arrangement
“with patches of light, and its movement from right
to left marks the passage of happy hours.
Any table covered with objects randomly assembled
“is a still life that could be painted or described.
Towards ten o’clock, a line of shadows will pass
Across the dictionary, which contains all poems.”

A thoughtful paper introduces Google Votes, an experiment in liquid democracy built on Google’s internal corporate Google+ social network. Liquid democracy decision-making systems can scale to cover large groups by enabling voters to delegate their votes to other voters…Google Votes demonstrates how the use of social-networking technology can overcome these barriers…The case-study of Google Votes usage at Google over a 3 year timeframe is included, as well as a framework for evaluating vote visibility called the “Golden Rule of Liquid Democracy”.
Imagine this in place for a normal democratic election, what would we expect?  Groups unwilling to vote might be willing to donate their votes, so in essence the cost of voting has fallen.  Would they donate to those who:
a) best reflect their views? That probably helps the Democrats, since non-voters probably are more likely to go Democratic.
b) Those who can reach them most easily? That helps the party with the most money and best ground operation and most credibility with the donating groups.
c) Those who best reflect some of their (potentially non-electoral) expressive sympathies?  Imagine for instance a disabled person donating a vote to a charity or cause for the disabled.  They may wish to boost the lobby, without necessarily agreeing with the electoral choice of that lobby.  I find this to be the most interesting option.