“In front of me 327 pages of the manuscript [Master and Margarita] (about 22 chapters). The most important remains - editing, and it's going to be hard. I will have to pay close attention to details. Maybe even re-write some things... 'What's its future?' you ask? I don't know. Possibly, you will store the manuscript in one of the drawers, next to my 'killed' plays, and occasionally it will be in your thoughts. Then again, you don't know the future. My own judgement of the book is already made and I think it truly deserves being hidden away in the darkness of some chest.
[Bulgakov from Moscow to his wife on June 15 1938]”
Can books kill? They seemed to do just that during the “great book scare” of the 1890s — a mass panic over diseases spread by libraries... Cold River Drowning Outside the flags Antony Loewenstein will be appearing at the Melbourne Town Hall on the 9th September to launch his new book, 'Pills, Powder and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs'. The evening will also feature a panel discussion with community leaders including Fiona Patten, Julian Burnside, Laura Turner, Mick Palmer, Greg Barns and hosted by ABC Radio journalist, Jon Faine. Antony Loewenstein will speak about the issues raised in his book and be available afterwards for a book signing
Brain-reading tech is coming. The law is not ready to protect us. Vox
Column: Hollywood’s labor problem is a gender bias problem Los Angeles TimesUpper-Crust Free TV The Baffler
TechCrunch: “Travelers are increasingly being denied entry to the United States as border officials hold them accountable for messages, images and video on their devices sent by other people. It’s a bizarre set of circumstances that has seen countless number of foreign nationals rejected from the U.S. after friends, family or even strangers send messages, images or videos over social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp, which are then downloaded to the traveler’s phone. The latest case saw a Palestinian national living in Lebanon and would-be Harvard freshman denied entry to the U.S. just before the start of the school year. Immigration officers at Boston Logan International Airport are said to have questioned Ismail Ajjawi, 17, for his religion and religious practices, he told the school newspaper The Harvard Crimson. The officers who searched his phone and computer reportedly took issue with his friends’ social media activity. Ajjawi’s visa was canceled and he was summarily deported — for someone else’s views.
The decision in Voller is another addition to the common law mosaic of principles that are being created to directly address the problems posed by digital platforms and the like. For some, the decision represents the problematic nature of defamation in the 21st century. Whilst the defendants may well be exculpated of defamation and many matters may be refined following a full trial, one thing is certain: Facebook page operators must ramp up their scrutiny of what is posted on their pages and take swift action to remove defamatory and other types of wrongful commentary, not just by those who operate the page itself, but by third parties.
• A UK parliamentary inquiry into the impact of social media and screen time on young people has claimed that their detrimental effects require controlling regulation (unrelated to the issues of privacy and offensive content the subject of other enquiries).
• There can be no doubt that screen time and the addiction to social media that mobile computing technologies have enabled will change the brains of young and old — but in a bad way? It might be too early to tell.
• Is this just another example in a history of moral panics about new communications? It’s interesting to compare what Elizabethan England said about pamphleteering — fear that the hoi polloi would read things other than their psalters — and compare the rhetoric.
How history repeats itself — is screen time the moral panic of the 21st century?