Saturday, October 30, 2021

Villeneuve’s Dune: Reviewing the Reviewers (and a Review)

 "They say you know nothing at eighteen. But there are things you know at eighteen that you will never know again."

The Truth About Conspiracy Theories — By Those Who Study Them

True, we’re hearing a lot about Covid-19 and QAnon-related conspiracies. But just because they are more visible does not mean that belief in them has gone up. - Persuasion

Villeneuve’s Dune: Reviewing the Reviewers (and a Review)

The methods of connection between author and reader are increasingly owned by Amazon. But ownership does not constitute  possession  

Like Sports, Ideas Have To Be Played To Be Tested

Sport is fundamentally about what you do when the chips are down, not what you say or plan beforehand. What matters is how well you perform in the moment. Athletes have skin in the game when it comes to their progress. There is a consequence for a lack of improvement. -...

The passage at the top is from Steve Ayers’ essay “The Art of Book Collecting.” He is a  more sophisticated and knowledgeable bibliophile than I will ever be. I can marvel at the books he owns without coveting them. I agree with his statement that “book collecting in itself is a good thing.” So too, the stockpiling of food and medicine in wartime is a good – and pragmatic -- thing. I remember as a kid reading in a literature textbook Walter van Tilburg Clark’s short story “The Portable Phonograph” (1941). The setting is a war-ravaged wasteland. Four men huddle in a shelter around a peat-fire. The host is an old man who has salvaged four books he keeps wrapped in burlap: Shakespearethe Bible, Moby Dick and the Divine Comedy. Four inevitable choices, as in a desert-island fantasy. The old man says: 

“[W]hat do we know of those who will come after us? We are the doddering remnant of a race of mechanical fools. I have saved what I love; the soul of what was good in us here; perhaps the new ones will make a strong enough beginning not to fall behind when they become clever.”

Curating a Small Portion of Civilization'

Boji spends his days traveling Istanbul's subway trains, ferries, buses, and historic trams. His calming presence is infectuous. Boji sometimes travels 30 kilometers a day. Most days he passes through at least 29 Metro stations and take at least two ferry rides. He has learned how and where to get on and off of trains and ferries. He is A Good Boy.