Saturday, October 08, 2016

Elena Ferrante: A Book Klub Answer?

You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity. 
 — Thomas Wolfe, born on this date in 1900

Watch A Bumblebee Tug A String To Get Lunch PopSci 

Just an amazing story to digest and smile as punters all over the world are puzzled ... There is no dirty game of Fine Cotton variety in the midst Sydney Mare Winx: Victoria racing running scared from Sydney's superstar horse

Everywhere bookshops are fast disappearing. Sixteen writers from around the world remind us why we should cherish them at all costs Browsing in bookshops: one of life’s great pleasures

18 Months Inside a Chicago Gang
Chicago Magazine 

… Anecdotal Evidence: `What the Diaries Do Not Tell'

By Following The Money, An Italian Journalist May Have Tracked Down The Identity Of Elena Ferrante

Sydney Bek's Book Klub chooses Ferrante's book and the Millionaire Factory is printing the money ;-) ... The alleged revelation of the real name of best-selling author Elena Ferrante has led to a wave of criticism and to a surge in sales for her acclaimed quartet of “Neapolitan” novels. As of midday Monday, two of the books placed high on’s “Movers and Shakers,” works that have jumped furthest on the overall best-seller list over the past 24 hours. Book One, “My Brilliant Friend,” ranked highest at No. 46 on best-seller list. The four novels, original published in Italian, have sold more than 1 million copies worldwide and set off intense speculation over Ferrante’s identity. Ferrante book sales up after report on author’s identity

Internees after the liberation by Allied forces of the Ferramonti camp, near Cosenza, Italy, September, 1943

Internees after the liberation by Allied forces of the Ferramonti camp, near  Cosenza, Italy, September, 1943

In poetry, you must love the words, the ideas and the images and rhythms with all your capacity 
to love anything at all.

… The genius of bad books | Little Atoms
You can claim that every device their authors use is false. Every device, that is, except one. They must believe in their books so that, if only for a moment, their readers can too. To put it another way, if you want to show a lone agent taking out a crime gang or saving America from a biological attack, you had better be able to convince yourself that he can.

… 'The Exorcist' and the Lost Art of Great Catholic Storytelling - The Atlantic
The Exorcist got audiences thinking about good, evil, and God while they were being both entertained and frightened. The core of the film is ironically contained in a scene that was cut before the film made theaters, but then was edited back into the re-release. Exhausted from the first round of exorcism, Father Merrin and Father Karras sit together on the stairs outside of Regan’s room. Downcast, Father Karras asks, “Why this girl? It makes no sense.” Father Merrin responds, “I think that the point is to make us despair. To see ourselves as animal and ugly. To reject the possibility that God could love us.”
 What Are White Writers For? | New Republic
Shriver seems to believe that white writers—and white people generally—are entitled to a kind of public dreamtime, in which nothing they imagine or fantasize should be challenged, critiqued, or even interpreted …

… The University Bookman: Solidarity Against the Present Discontent

If Legutko experienced classic totalitarianism in a Poland under the Communist boot, he has also been witness to the “soft tyranny” that has accompanied the victory of liberal democracy in the years since 1989. Liberal democracy, too, has become associated with “thoughtless social engineering,” with a project to make every social institution—churches, the family, higher education, civil associations—“liberal-democratic” in its internal functioning and in its ultimate goals and aspirations. Thankfully, this project is not accompanied by any gulags or the systematic mendacity that defined Communist theory and practice (or by a denial of political accountability through elections, at least at the national level). But we do see all around us today the illiberal reign of a “political correctness” that increasingly brooks no dissent. It is tempting to dismiss Legutko’s analysis as overstated, but the evidence he amasses more than supports his argument.

She doesn't seem to say anything of the kind. She says that writers of fiction should be allowed to write fiction. To make things up. To invent characters. That they not be forced to confine themselves to their own kind. That it's OK for Harriet Beecher Stowe to have imagined Uncle Tom. Writers should be free to write whatever they damned well please. And the race they should focus on is the human race. As for novels as disguised political tracts, we've already politicized enough in our society

Marc Andreessen on AI

Encryption: Frequently Asked Questions, Chris Jaikaran, Analyst in Cybersecurity Policy. September 28, 2016.
“Encryption is a process to secure information from unwanted access or use. Encryption uses the art of cryptography to change information which can be read (plaintext) and make it so that it cannot be read (ciphertext). Decryption uses the same art of cryptography to change that ciphertext back to plaintext. Encryption takes five elements to work: plaintexts, keys, encryption methods, decryption methods, and ciphertexts. Data that are in a state of being stored or in a state of being sent are eligible for encryption. However, data that are in a state of being processed—that is being generated, altered, or otherwise used—are unable to be encrypted and remain in plaintext and vulnerable to unauthorized access.”

Anil Polat: “[Here] is a regularly updated map of all the airport wireless and lounge passwords you send and I come across on my travels. I’ll still be updating the original how to get wireless passwords from airports page with this information as well but now you can search around on the map directly.”

On a Monday night in September, 2,000 people gathered at a theater off Times Square to watch five political journalists sit on a stage and talk about polls. The occasion was a live taping of the FiveThiryEight Elections Podcast, an almost unimaginably nerdy event for which attendees paid up to $100 per ticket. As members of the crowd sipped IPAs and cheered each jab at Donald Trump, the panel bantered over recent developments in the presidential race and issued predictions for the coming weeks.  I did not know that this type of person existed in real life