Saturday, September 04, 2021

‘It Was Like I’d Never Done It Before’

 I think of Beerbohm as among the wisest of writers, as is Charles Lamb, despite his seeming silliness and stupid anti-Semitism. Consider Kay Ryan’s “Shift” (The Best of It, 2010):


“Words have loyalties 

to so much 

we don’t control. 

Each word we write 

rights itself 

according to poles 

we can’t see; think of 

magnetic compulsion 

or an equal stringency. 

It’s hard for us 

to imagine how small 

a part we play in 

holding up the tall 

spires we believe 

our minds erect. 

Then north shifts, 

buildings shear, 

and we suspect.”


A wise poet who wisely never preaches. To be wise is not to find solace. No, wisdom is its own reward and doesn’t always bring comfort. In Robert Alter’s translation of Qohelet (the book we know as Ecclesiastes) he writes: “For in much wisdom is much worry, and he who adds wisdom adds pain.”


The idea of networking makes me cringe. Here’s the thing, though: I actually love connecting with people, and that enthusiasm works out for me professionally. I was referred to this job at Zapier because of a friend I made on Twitter, and the job before this was the same way. That’s networking.

The secret trick that makes networking suck so much less

Dolphins Alert Rescue Crew To Save a Lost Swimmer Who Was Stranded at Sea for 12 HoursMyModernMet 

New York City declares state of emergency after record rainfall BBC

EXPLAINER: How Ida can be so deadly 1000 miles from landfall Associated Press 

WHEN HE’S RIGHT, HE’S RIGHT: China orders broadcasters to ban ‘sissy men’ it says aren’t masculine enough for TV.

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

Carole Hooven, T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us.  Recommended.

Baby boomers are more sensitive than millennials, according to the largest-ever study on narcissism

On the Link Between Great Thinking and Obsessive Walking Literary Hub

Her first two books, “Conversations With Friends” and “Normal People,” made her more famous than she liked. For her latest, “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” she asked herself what a novel is and why she’s taking on another one

Reducing sugar in packaged foods can prevent disease in millions.

The Arc of the Reader Covenant

This explication of Stevie Smith's "Not Waving, but Drowning" is an excellent description of arc, the point by point changes, reversals in perspective--not that poems have to swing so drastically.  

Also, it points out how shorter stories can compact more story in fewer words. SF seems to reserve the short short for gags, which is rather disappointing.

Mashable: See The World From A New Perspective With Camera Drones On Sale

Heart Shaped 'Sheep' Art is Australian Farmer's Tribute to Late AuntHeart Shaped 'Sheep' Art is Australian Farmer's Tribute to Late Aunt

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 These female hummingbirds don flashy male feathers to avoid unwanted harassment Popular Science 

Massive nest containing 1,500 ‘murder hornets’ discovered in US The Hill

Common pesticide may contribute to global obesity crisis MedicalXPress 

How a Volcanic Surge 56 Million Years Ago Cut Off The Arctic Ocean From The Atlantic ScienceAlert 

Tepco to build undersea tunnel to release Fukushima water offshore Japan Times

Washington Post: “Seven steps you can take to keep Facebook and Instagram from gathering so much of your personal information outside of their apps. If you ever get that eerie feeling Facebook or Instagram are listening to you, you’re not entirely hallucinating. Facebook says it’s not literally activating the microphones on our smartphones, but it is tracking what we do in other apps, websites and even real-world stores. That much data can make ads feel as on-point as if it was in the room. In a recent column, I investigated everything Facebook can passively learn about you, even when you stop using it for long stretches. Don’t be fooled by the kinder, gentler image of Instagram, either: It’s owned by Facebook and does the same kind of tracking as Facebook. So what can you do about it? If you’re very committed — or a bit techie — there are some steps you can take to try to hide from Facebook’s personal data vacuum…”