Sunday, December 11, 2016

BOOOOKs and Literature

“A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals—and you know it.”
~ Ed Solomon, screenplay for Men in Black

Freeman Dyson, who knew Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Feynman, thinks three qualities help make a successful scientist: ignorance, craziness, subversiveness ... Reinventors 

Come Over To The Window, My Little Darling, I’d Like To Try To Read Your Palm  Forgotten poems #12: "The River," by Harriet Prescott Spofford

MEdia Dragon of Ryan Holyday (sic) Calibre boils down the philosophy’s central tenets to inspirational tales from successful people’s lives (Steve Jobs? Bill Bradley? Model stoics!) and recasts its ancient maxims about the pitfalls of pride into breathless clickbait (“25 Ways to Kill the Toxic Ego That Will Ruin Your Life”). On Twitter, he blasts out uplifting quotations from ancient philosophers like Cleanthes, Diogenes of Sinope, Plato and Zeno to his more than 80,000 followers. ... 
Choose alive time over dead time. According to author Robert Greene, there are two types of time in our lives: dead time, when people are passive and waiting, and alive time, when people are learning and acting and utilizing every second. During failure, ego picks dead time. It fights back: I don’t want this. I want ______. I want it my way. It indulges in being angry, aggrieved, heartbroken. Don’t let it—choose alive time instead.

Certain languages, including French, have one word for both “time” and “weather.” 

Weather was odd on that  Pearl Harbor Day. As the Second World War recedes from memory, less and less note is taken of the “day of infamy”.  

pheasant_hahn_phasianus_colchicus McMafia Drama Series Coming to AMC and BBC

The site grew as I grew — an unfolding record of my intellectual, creative, and spiritual development. At the time, I had no idea that this small labor of love and learning would animate me with a sense of purpose and become both my life and my living, nor that its seven original readers would swell into several million. I had no idea that this eccentric personal record, which I began keeping in the city where Benjamin Franklin founded the first subscription library in America, would one day be included in the Library of Congress archive of “materials of historical importance.” A decade of BrainPickings with Maria ... Via Jozef

Philip Larkin had something to say about trees behind saints like Jozef, Maria and even Jesus [Garment quotes “Long Sight In Age”]:

“`They say eyes clear with age,

As dew clarifies air

To sharpen evenings,

As if time put an edge

Round the last shape of things

To show them there;

The many-levelled trees,

The long soft tides of grass

Wrinkling away the gold

Wind-ridden waves- all these,

They say, come back to focus

As we grow old.’

“In the middle of the journey, as Larkin knew more than most, we find ourselves in dark woods where the right path seems lost. But even so melancholy a poet saw for a prophetic moment that at the end of the confusion there is sometimes a clearing in whose sunlight things appear more distinct and precious than ever before.”

Andrew Batson’s best books list

What would you like to read? 309 recommended titles. “Use the filters…to explore more than 300 titles NPR staff and critics loved this year. (You can also combine filters!) Want even more recommendations? Check out our favorite books from201520142013201220112010,20092008

What Happens If We Price Out Culture We Like

OCLC Project Literacy – Planning and Designing Academic Library Learning Spaces: Expert Perspectives of Architects, Librarians, and Library Consultants, Alison J. Head, Project Information Literacy, Practitioner Series Research Report, December 7, 2016. (Two different versions of the report available: Full report with Methods section36 pages, PDF, 3.4 MB or report without Methods section, 32 pages, PDF, 3.3 MB. Also available as separate documents are the Executive Summary, 2 pages, PDF, 2.3 MB and stakeholders’ “Best Practices” and “Worst Practices,” 2 pages, PDF, 2.3 MB).

“Without public access, a culture becomes dead, an inert shell that serves as a shill for profit, while too rarefied and remote to thrive. The quaestores of modern times use health, religion, and access to sports and art just like those of the Middle Ages used salvation: to exploit people by pricing what they value too high.”

… Inspirational writing advice from Louisa May Alcott & 26 other great women authors 

The early rejection letter received by poet Sylvia Plath

I Asked EconFinanceTwitter What Their Best Books of 2016 Were

mproves the memory of women PhysOrg

Literary culture won't disappear, but it will continue to shrink. "It will go back to what it was when I started out," says Martin Amis, "which is a minority interest sphere "

Late Is Enough: On Thomas Friedman’s New Book Rolling Stone. The latest entry to the extensive series of Matt Tabbi’s Friedman takedowns, collected here: The Definitive Collection of Thomas Friedman Takedowns Jillian C. York

For Schlegel, Tzara, and Schiller, art was by definition incomprehensible. Case in point: the Voynich Manuscript, which is quite possibly nonsense 

Birds flying through laser light reveal faults in flight research PhysOrg. This is very cool, methodology-wise. Chuck L: “Worth a link if only for the photo of the goggled parrotlet.”

Researchers: Speaking A Second Language Makes Your Brain Smarter

“In recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding 
against dementia in old age.”