Sunday, July 02, 2023

Is This True? Are We All Really Hardwired To Our Primitive Past?

 Beans, beans, the magical … longevity food?

True, these tiny, unassuming morsels are filling and nutritious, and as a basis of a plant-based diet, good for the planet as well. 
But how could the family of legumes - which includes beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas - help us live longer?

I was amazed to see that the Mafia was born in the lush lemon groves of Palermo and came into being largely because lemons became such a valuable crop when the British navy kept contracting scurvy. Lemon crops were so valuable that they needed protection, and armed guards like Franco protected them, but that protection soon turned into what is known as a modern-day protection racket.

Website Goodreads has become an essential avenue for building readership, but the same features that help generate excitement can also backfire. In an era when reaching readers online has become a near-existential problem for publishers, Goodreads has become an essential avenue for building an audience. As a cross between a social media platform and a review site like Yelp, the site has been a boon for publishers hoping to generate excitement for books. 

But the same features that get users talking about books and authors can also backfire. Reviews can be weaponized, in some cases derailing a book’s publication long before its release. “It can be incredibly hurtful, and it’s frustrating that people are allowed to review books this way if they haven’t read them,” said Roxane Gay, an author and editor who also posts reviews on Goodreads. “Worse, they’re allowed to review books that haven’t even been written. I have books on there being reviewed that I’m not finished with yet.” Rabess, who quit her job as a data scientist at Google to focus on writing after selling her novel to Simon & Schuster, worried that the online ambush might turn people against her book.“

I was concerned about the risk of contagion and that readers and reviewers would dismiss the work without ever really engaging with it,’ she said. “I felt particularly vulnerable as a debut author, but also as a Black woman author.” Despite some accolades — her novel landed on some “most anticipated” books of the summer lists and was a Good Morning America “buzz pick” — it had a sluggish start. After its June 6 release, the book sold 1,000 hardcover copies in its first 10 days, according to Circana BookScan. Established authors have also been subjected to review bombing campaigns. 

Earlier this month, Elizabeth Gilbert, the best-selling writer of “Eat, Pray, Love,” received hundreds of negative ratings on Goodreads for her forthcoming novel, “The Snow Forest,” which is set in Siberia in the mid-20th century. In her case, reviewers weren’t attacking the book itself, or even the premise — a Russian family seeking refuge from Soviet oppression in the wilderness. Critics objected to the fact that Gilbert had set the book in Russia while Russia is waging war on Ukraine, and lambasted Gilbert as insensitive to the plight of Ukrainians…”

How Review-Bombing Can Tank a Book Before It’s Published

Yup — Using Big Words Doesn’t Make You Sound Smarter

“Complexity neither disguised the shortcomings of poor essays, nor enhanced the appeal of high-quality essays.” In other words, George Orwell got it right: “Never use a long word where a short one will do.” - Big Think

Is This True? Are We All Really Hardwired To Our Primitive Past?

“We have seemingly been hardwired with a number of cognitive biases that impede our ability to take appropriate action to address seemingly distant, gradual and complex challenges such as climate change.” - The Guardian

The 100 Most Significant Political Films of All Time (Not Best. Most Significant.)

A poll of 79 film critics, with the results assembled and curated by J. Hoberman and Julian Epp. (There's also a separate reader poll.) And these are definitely not all "great"; there are a few that are downright despicable, but there's no question that they were significant. - The New Republic

The lines quoted at the top are written by a poet about whom I knew nothing, E.T. Jeremiah.“Reading the Classics” was published in the Spring/Summer 2011 edition of Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics. It concludes:


“So it marvels, how the skin of tree

has become the mouth of man,

how life is transposed in the glyph,

the etching,  the marking of breath,

 how letters assemble to the syntax of life--


“How the classics, resting on their shelves

in the graveyard of thought,

or webbed, traced and gleaming,

are brought flowers of remembrance by the living

and open once again

to dance on a luminous page.”