Sunday, July 04, 2021


 Drone photographer Lior Patel has spent the last several months capturing the movements of a flock of sheep in Israel as they move from their winter to summer pastures.

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy...

Key Assange accuser backs away from what he told US prosecutors

Why the reluctance of the Australian media to report on a significant development in the Assange case?...

Some Amazing Shots from the Last Decade of Movies

Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2021

ILM visual effects artist Todd Vaziri asked his Twitter followers to share their favorite shots from a movie made in the last decade. The replies are a visual feast (and heavy on blockbusters) — here are a few of my favorites

Suffering Under The Weight Of Happiness

Wanting to copy the happiest people in the world is an understandable impulse, but it distracts from a key message of the happiness rankings—that equitable, balanced societies make for happier residents. – The Atlantic

A Battle Between Under-40s And Over-40s At Publishing Houses

“The distinction really is between social media natives who don’t really treasure free speech because they’ve had a lifetime’s worth and think it’s overrated, and people of an older generation who didn’t have access to the means of cultural production and needed the patronage of newspapers and publishing houses to get their voices heard.” – The Observer

Essays & Opinions

Does having views typical of one’s time absolve one from the judgment of future generations? Consider the example of Winston Churchill 

Fascism is alive in Australia

George Orwell wrote that almost any English person would accept bullying as a synonym for fascism. Political theorists refer to fascism as characterised by secrecy in government, by goals for national regeneration plus promotion of masculinity and derision of democracy.... 

The tyranny of spreadsheets - Tim Hartford – Financial Times – This essay is adapted from Tim Harford’s podcast, “Cautionary Tales.”. His book, “How to Make The World Add Up”, is out in paperback. [please read the entire article – Hartford describes pivotal issues specific to CI/BI, data analytics and data validation, the history of Excel, and the impact of using the Public Health England (PHE) wrong Excel file when collecting COVID data.

“…But back in September and October, when the UK was also reopening against a strikingly similar backdrop of rising cases, we had no vaccine to protect us. Instead, we were trying to defend ourselves with data. And we didn’t seem to be nearly as enamoured of data as we now are of vaccines. That is a shame, because when you’re relying on numbers to keep you safe, it’s important to put some effort into keeping your numbers straight…”

Best Reference Sources for Doctoral and Master’s Dissertations and Thesis in Library and Information Science; LIS Ph.D. and MLIS Thesis and Dissertations

“General reference databases are listed first which is followed by the repositories and digital libraries of individual countries and universities. It also provides information on the online availability of electronic theses in the library and information science through centrally-maintained digital repositories which not only ensure easy access and archiving of doctoral theses but will also help in raising the standard and quality of research. According to Wikipedia, “A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author’s research and findings. In some contexts, the word “thesis” or a cognate is used for part of a bachelor’s or master’s course, while “dissertation” is normally applied to a doctorate, while in other contexts, the reverse is true. The term graduate thesis is sometimes used to refer to both master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis or dissertation can vary by country, university, or program, and the required minimum study period may thus vary significantly in duration.”
Theses and dissertations are known to be the rich and unique source of information, often the only source of research work that does not find its way into various publication channels. Theses and dissertations remain an untapped and under-utilized asset, leading to unnecessary duplication and repetition.

       Friedrich Dürrenmatt under surveillance 

       As summarizes, Swiss secret service spied on Dürrenmatt
       Okay, apparently: "The Swiss federal police ended up collecting information on more than 800,000 people – every 20th Swiss citizen and every third foreigner – suspected of “unSwiss” behaviour during the Cold War". Still ..... 

       Love and Sex in the Time of Plague review 

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Guido Ruggiero's Love and Sex in the Time of PlagueA Decameron Renaissance, just out from Harvard University Press. 

       Yes, this time of the plague isn't ours but the fourteenth century -- and this certainly makes me eager to return to Boccaccio's Decameron. (And to read up more on virtù and virtue, finally making it through James Hankins' Virtue Politics, also from Harvard University Press.) 

       In ‘At first I thought, this is crazy’: the real-life plan to use novels to predict the next war in The Guardian Philip Oltermann profiles, at considerable length, the Global Ethic Institute's (Weltethos-Institut's) Project Cassandra, which involves: "making literary texts usable as prognosis instruments in the field of violence prevention". 
       Not an uninteresting idea, but I'm not sure how far one can get with this. 
       Still, hey, finding meaning(fulness) in literature -- that's a positive, right ? 

       They've announced the winners of this year's Orwell Prizes, including the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, which went to Summer
, by Ali Smith.

If you happen to be on the Upper East Side on Saturday, make sure you stop by 81st and Fifth Avenue to see the Jo Malone Morris Minor filled with flowers and models handing out samples of our their English Pear & Freesia Cologne. Sounds like a good plan for the day to me!

There’s a wall between you and what you want and you got to leap it.
Separator icon
Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is generally regarded as one of the greatest songwriters in history — and he has a Nobel Prize in literature to prove it. The folk singer earned the award for his poetic and often moving lyrics. Take this one from Dylan’s 1981 song “The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar” off the album “Shot of Love.” It encourages us to seize the moment, to bust through our fears and overcome obstacles. We won’t reach our dreams, Dylan warns, without the courage to leap.

Meet Recycler Joe Rush, The Outrageous Outsider Artist

“My life has been about reclaiming that nomadic spirit. All the festivals we’ve taken part in over the years are really just an echo of what happened when nomadic tribes came into the valleys in summer and partied.” – The Guardian