Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not Your Average Death or Humour

Insecurity, like blood, will out. It makes us feel so vulnerable and exposed that we eventually expose ourselves and become vulnerable. Like a scarlet sock in cold river or in the load of white wash, insecurity has the irksome power to stain our speech and writing, interfering with the immaculate (playfulness) poise we’d like to project.

Elizabethans joked about venereal disease. Romans laughed at bald men. The history of humor is wildly inconsistent about what’s funny... Human Humour

The swatting of a fly – so common, so insignificant – demonstrates that we don’t know what to think about death, whether a fly's or our own... Thinking Differently

What do we want when confronting great art? Solitude, contemplation, silence – all of which are inhibited, even prohibited, in most museums... Art of Making Appearances

An artist’s memory is a dangerous, necessary thing. To turn experience into art, to make something out of remembering, is like “watching ghosts in sunlight”...Ghosts

These are hard times for the study of literature. Technology is ascendant, the humanities in retreat. But the activity of writing continues to redeem itself... Briefings For The Comisar

Coda: How to write cover letters like media dragons

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bay of Fires and Jervis

Various national trust towns around Jervis Bay have blossomed over the past few years. Bookshops, cafés and galleries have taken over most of the main street, making Milton, Braidwood etc pocket-sized delights. Set in lush farmlands and out of this world water views life is beautiful here ...,
We love the landscape dominated by the rock spires such as Pigeon House Mountain. The ascent to the top of any mountains is to come across amazing sublime views ... Bays of fire & views of south coast

Hey True Blue Sophie Rose

Saturday, July 19, 2014

7 New World No v e l

Seven Things Writers Can Learn From Stand-Up Comedians

writer comedian
Author and journalism professor Ben Yagoda recommends such mainstays of the comedian’s art as the power of surprise and (yes) panic.

Hockey & Babbage

Interesting  revelations are included in a new biography of Joe Hockey - Hockey: Not Your Average Joe - to be released next week, and it shows the carefully managed veneer of unity that binds the Abbott cabinet. The biography - which Hockey cooperated on - traces his background as the son of a Bondi beauty queen and a Palestinian Armenian migrant who had grown up in a war zone. 
Debuting on the federal political stage at the age of 29, Hockey’s failures and triumphs are chronicled, along with the discussions that went on behind the scenes leading up to the budget, and the Treasurer’s lifelong battle with his weight Antipodean Politics MXIV AD

Eric Bana is in Deliver Us From Evil
Sarchie’s story asks the audience to take an enormous leap of faith, to believe that a ‘‘portal’’ to a realm of pure evil could exist, could be opened up through satanic possession, and could be closed down again by the rites of a Catholic exorcism

From MH 370 tragedy to MH17 disaster

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Scandinavian Film Festival Sydney 20014 AD

Easy Money (SwedishSnabba cash)[3]is a Swedish thriller film directed byDaniel Espinosa that was released on 15 January 2010. It is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Jens Lapidus.[4] Joel Kinnaman stars in the lead role of Johan "JW" Westlund, a rather poor man living a double life in the upper class areas of Stockholm. After meeting a wealthy girl, he is enticed into the world of organized crime and begins to sell cocaine to afford his expensive lifestyle. Easy Money was well received by critics and was a hit at the box office.
Snabba cash of Sweden / Highly Recommended

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

RIP Nadine Gordimer

Sadly, Nadine Gordimer is dead.

Parliamentary Misbehaviours

CLIVE Palmer is being told to apologise to the Senate clerk after comparing her actions to “Stalinist Russia” and calling on her to quit if she can’t do her job. The Palmer United Party leader denied he yelled at Rosemary Laing during last Thursday’s chaotic carbon tax repeal day in the Senate Integrity and impartiality

A lobbying firm part-owned by Liberal powerbroker Michael Photios made donations worth almost $100,000 to the Liberal and National parties before last year's federal election.
But Premier State Consulting failed to declare the donations until last month – seven months after the official Australian Electoral Commission reporting date of November 17, 2013 and nine months after Tony Abbott's new Liberal-Nationals government took power, which Premier State is registered to lobby on behalf of private clients. Photios Firms

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Element of Style of Self-Publishing

France Banned Free Shipping, So Amazon Now Charges One Cent

one euro cent
“This past October, French lawmakers decided it was time to show Amazon who’s boss. Frustrated by Amazon’s fast and cheap book-selling model, which poses a threat to France’s healthy ecosystem of indie bookstores, politicians banded together to approve a bill that prohibited Jeff Bezos’ company and other online retailers from shipping discounted books for free.” Far be it from Amazon to break the law …
Via Slate 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Facing Reality

INK BOTTLE“Next to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power.”
~ Bertrand Russell, “Recrudescence of Puritanism”

Boston or Borneo, London or Lahore: The rise of global literature doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter where a book comes from. It does... Sydney or Sarajevo or Svit

Seven reasons not to write novels and only one reason to write them, by Javier Marias.  Does this apply to non-fiction like Cold River?

Experimental Vancouver coffee shop with no WiFi, texting, cell phones, etc., only coffee.  You also pay by donation and you are…supposed to talk to the other people in the shop.
- See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/#sthash.fO1myxLK.dpuf

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Eclectic Observers

New evidence that the "usual suspects" seek a warm conflict again

Listen to the Oldest Song in the World: A Sumerian Hymn Written 3,400 Years Ago OpenCulture
"The irony is that a personality disposition normally seen as antisocial — disagreeableness — may actually be linked to 'pro-social' behavior,'" writes Psychology Today's Kenneth Worthy. "This connection seems to arise from a willingness to sacrifice one's popularity a bit to act in a moral and just way toward other people, animals or the environment at large. Popularity, in the end, may be more a sign of social graces and perhaps a desire to fit in than any kind of moral superiority."

Story at a Cemetery

“A Seventeenth-Century Story” — A. A. Milne

There is a story in every name in that first column of The Times- -Births, Marriages, and Deaths—down which we glance each morning, but, unless the name is known to us, we do not bother about the stories of other people. They are those not very interesting people, our contemporaries. But in a country churchyard a name on an old tombstone will set us wondering a little. What sort of life came to an end there a hundred years ago?

Reading Cold River Means Being On Your Own Little Democratic Island

Our best paintings look like screams of pain (Alasdair Gray’s Lanark)

Reading A Book Means Being On Your Own Little (Democratic) Island

Graham Swift
Graham Swift: “Without getting pompous about it, fiction can perform a very important moral and social function. It is highly democratic.”

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Byliner & CIA Style

How Byliner’s Long-Form Digital Journalism Subscription Service Fell Apart

“Byliner, which launched in 2011, was one of the darlings of the literary startup scene … Its original mission was to publish original e-singles, both fiction and nonfiction, and also to create a sort of archival home for journalists on the web.” Do the company’s problems “mean that longform journalism on the web is doomed? Or are Byliner’s problems specific to Byliner?”

The CIA Has A Style Manual (And It’s Ruthless)

CIA style guide
The darnedest things turn up from Freedom of Information Act requests: the Directorate of Intelligence’s Style Manual & Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications (eighth edition, 2011). “As revealed in the manual, the CIA is a prescriptivist scold, a believer in the serial comma, and a champion of ‘crisp and pungent’ language ‘devoid of jargon’.”

Blocking Words

A story can always end happily by stopping at a cheerful moment. Of course in nature the only end is death, but death hardly ever happens when people are at their best. That is why we like tragedies. They show men ending energetically with their wits about them and deserving to do it.
~ From Alasdair Gray’s novel Lanark

Got Writer’s Block? Here’s What The Experts Say

“Not all typing is writing, and not all writing is typing; writer’s block subverts far more than the first sentence. Straightforward creative paralysis, or the inability to start typing, is merely the most literal-minded definition.”

Via Pacific Standard 

“The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published. You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. Now there’s a “peer review ring.”

Friday, July 11, 2014

Coolest Trends

The birth of cool. What began as a word evolved into an attitude and then a way of life. Yet a question endures: What makes cool cool? ~ What make col river cool

From the Polish border to the Pacific, from the Arctic Circle to the Afghan frontier, authoritarian regimes are aglow with arrogant confidence Human nature ...

The conservative mind is unbalanced, says Adam Bellow. The best and brightest on the right go into politics. Literature has been abandoned to the left...Tea ..... Party

No one likes to be wrong, including intellectuals. A big thinker is hardly about to disavow his own theory. Butbeing wrong has its benefits... Story of Jozef Imrich's Life ...

Founding Fathers

Was Blog for Arizona out of line for outing John Huppenthal as an anonymous commenter, as Mr. Geigner suggests in his recent post
Blogger defends-outing politician trolling his comments

Based on my recent reading and pinning activities, I'm on the verge of taking the blogging plunge. Maybe if I get started now and get a dedicated following, get myself used to a structure and schedule, and figure out how to maybe get paid for my hard work, I'll have in place a second career. But I'm not totally delusional: I'm still buying lottery tickets.

Be sure to visit A Reading Life for more reviews and news of all things happening at the Everett Public Library.


When the first Brooklyn Flea opened in the summer of 2008, Butler and Demby were careful about who they took on as vendors. A large part of the market's success, many would say, has to do with the quality of its offerings. But in the beginning, being picky about what vendors they took on meant they were turning away business. That meant losing money in the short term. How blogger built a flea market-l empire overnight

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Building Communities, Building the Field

Unequal New Digital World

What happens to communities when the people who live in them drift further and further apart on the basis of how much they have? It's a question plaguing Western societies with greater frequency – and it's one worth asking of our own city. Economics professor Stiglitz, who won a Nobel for his work in 2001 and has been named one of Time's 100 most influential people in the world, will lead a panel discussion around the issue – and how it can affect the physical and mental health of a population – at this free talk hosted by the City of Sydney. Price of inequality

Milestone: For The First Time, More UK Residents Get Their News Online Than From Print Newspape

“The number of people using websites and apps to find out about the news has overtaken the number reading printed newspapers for the same purpose in the UK, according to the country’s media watchdog.”

Monday, July 07, 2014

Eduardo Salcedo: Brave Man & Gideon Rosen wise man of Princeton

Like a modern Sherlock Holmes, he uses unconventional techniques to unravel the mysteries of corruption, kidnapping and drug trafficking.
Eduardo Salcedo was a philosophy student in Colombia who now employs his deductive skills as a consulting detective. Among other things, he has “uncovered rampant corruption at even the highest levels of Colombia’s intelligence agency.” You can read more about this fascinating character of this rising star (via Mark Alfano)

Any educated person can rattle off a list of the great achievements of science and technology in the past 50 years: the Big Bang, cloning, the Internet, etc. People who have no idea what the Higgs boson is or why it matters still can tell you that it was discovered in July 2013 by a heroic team of scientists and that the discovery reveals something deep about the universe. What does the average educated American know about the great scholarly achievements in the humanities in the past half-century? Nothing. And this is no accident.
Gideon Rosen (Princeton) reflects on the public and political perceptions of the humanities.
 So where are the breakthroughs in metaphysics and epistemology and ethics in the past half-century, and why don’t you, educated reader, know all about them? Again, I could list dozens of important books, and I could start to tell you why they matter. But I predict with great confidence that you would not be impressed by any quick summary I could give. The reason is that the value of great philosophy hardly ever lies in the punch line. It lies in the arguments — intricate, detailed arguments. And the sad fact is that this sort of thing cannot be conveyed in headlines, or even in a 17-minute TED talk. Like discoveries elsewhere in the humanities, discoveries in philosophy are incompressible: Their interest can only be conveyed at length by taking one’s interlocutor through the argument.

Read the rest at paw

Acknowledgment of Sale of Cold River by IMRICH: I’ll never get out of this world alive

The Resurrection Of Stefan Zweig

stefan zweig
“In the decades between the two world wars, no writer was more widely translated or read than the Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig, and in the years after, few writers fell more precipitously into obscurity, at least in the English-speaking world. But now Zweig, prolific storyteller and embodiment of a vanished Mitteleuropa, seems to be back, and in a big way” – new editions of his books, movie adaptations, new biographies, even a novel about him ...

Fear of missing out. It is the anxiety of our age. Just think of all that you’re missing because an algorithm hasn’t yet recommended it....missing out ...

Have you always wanted to be acknowledged in the preface of a philosophy book, but haven’t had the time or opportunity or insightfulness to do anything worthy of being so acknowledged? Or perhaps you have been thinking, “what have books done for me, lately?” The book of escapes: “I’ll never get out of this world alive” 
[There are a number of prerequisites writers are usually told to acquire for their books or novels to grab people’s attention in a crowded marketplace – an eye-catching title, a good opening line. But perhaps another is something they have slightly less leeway with. I’m thinking of their name. I MR I CH77

Fear of missing out. It is the anxiety of our age. Just think of all that you’re missing because an algorithm hasn’t yet recommended it....more

If you can only be good at one thing, be good at lying. … Because if you’re good at lying, you’re good at everything.

Jerry Dworkin (who put together Philosophy: a Commonplace Book) shares some of his latest discoveries of “humorous quotes, epigrams, aphorisms, parodies, etc. that have some connection to philosophy” over at 3 Quarks Daily [ If bad writers borrow and good writers steal, ereaders make for excellent accessories to the crime. Users can rifle the world’s biggest vault and store the loot in a safety deposit box that never gets full ]

Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski have something special just for you. You can purchase an acknowledgment and—if you pony up the big money—a short statement of your own, in their upcoming book, Markets Without Limits. They outline the details and prices here.

Look for the next book in this series, on philosophy of religion, the author of which is offering a three-minute prayer to the deity of your choosing if you read a draft of a chapter. The authors of a new volume on exploitation say that they will make you an offer you can’t refuse to get you to read their whole manuscript. Finally, the writer of a forthcoming book on the philosophy of lying says that everyone who buys her book will receive a check in the mail for $1 million...

The reality is that we are all at best compromised agents, whether by biology, social circumstance, or brute luck. The differences among us are differences of degree that do not admit of categorical division into the normal and the abnormal. A morally serious inquiry into the requisite meaning of free will needs to face some basic facts….
We have gotten nothing from our 40-year blame fest except the guilty pleasure of reproaching others for acts that, but for the grace of God, or luck, or social or biological forces, we might well have committed ourselves. Our schools are broken, a new generation of kids has been lost, our prisons are crammed with petty offenders whose lives we have ruined in the name of a war on drugs that has been a total failure. And judging from the current mood of the country, the guilty pleasure of blaming others has not proved all that pleasurable.  

That’s Barbara Fried in her essay “Beyond Blame” in The Boston Review. The essay is accompanied by responses from Christine M. KorsgaardErin KellyAdriaan LanniMike Konczal,Paul BloomGideon RosenBrian LeiterGeorge Sher, and T. M. Scanlon, with a reply by Fried.

Introduction of Philosophy Tag, with Dana Howard (Ohio State) tagging Daniel Silvermint (Connecticut) for his piece, “Resistance and Well-Being.” That made Silvermint it. Let’s see who he tags:

“Oppression can make us angry, and perhaps even ought to.  When defending anger, many will claim that it has instrumental value: for example, helping victims maintain their self-respect and motivating social change.  In “Anger, Virtue, and Oppression” (Feminist Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: Theorizing the Non-Ideal, ed. Lisa Tessman, Springer 2009, pp. 165-183), Macalester Bell (Michigan) goes further.  She argues that acting from appropriate anger is a form of excellence in being against injustice.  It’s virtuous not because it helps us flourish, but because anger does the best job of fitting the wrong and expressing the victim’s integrity, respect for the object of her anger, and commitment to the moral standards in question.  One reason I like this chapter is its attention both to the different kinds of anger and to the specific circumstances in which they should arise.”Macalester Bell, you’re it.

(See the first Philosophy Tag post for how it works.)