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A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...



Jul 18, 2014
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Nietzsche’s Mustache

Found while reading this excellent series on philosophers over at the Philosopher’s Mail.

So far they’ve covered Plato, The Stoics, Epicurus, Nietzsche, Adam Smith, Hegel, Sartre, and Adorno.

Nietzsche’s Mustache

Found while reading this excellent series on philosophers over at the Philosopher’s Mail.

So far they’ve covered PlatoThe StoicsEpicurusNietzscheAdam SmithHegel, Sartre, and Adorno.

Jul 17, 2014
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Why doesn’t the Kindle screensaver default to the cover of the book you’re currently reading?

distorte:


  I don’t understand why the [Kindle’s] screensaver is not the cover of the book currently being read. Instead we get a selection of bland stock imagery in an era when bland stock imagery is almost mainstream in its unpopularity. And the device, whenever it is sitting on your coffee table or drawn from your bag, is displaying these meaningless, artless images. They are not incidental or occasional, but the primary visual identity of the object at rest. A real book is a visual placeholder in your life as you read it, a cover and content that become entwined as you go. For all its unread hours of the day it announces itself from your bedside table, from your couch. Its presence is a mental bookmark, its individuality a mental trigger. The Kindle is a ten minute coding job away from replicating this relationship, but it simply doesn’t want to. I’m not sure why. Are we meant to love the device, rather than the books it contains? Is that too obvious a suspicion?


Excellent thoughts on experiencing the Kindle for the first time. (via)

Why doesn’t the Kindle screensaver default to the cover of the book you’re currently reading?

distorte:

I don’t understand why the [Kindle’s] screensaver is not the cover of the book currently being read. Instead we get a selection of bland stock imagery in an era when bland stock imagery is almost mainstream in its unpopularity. And the device, whenever it is sitting on your coffee table or drawn from your bag, is displaying these meaningless, artless images. They are not incidental or occasional, but the primary visual identity of the object at rest. A real book is a visual placeholder in your life as you read it, a cover and content that become entwined as you go. For all its unread hours of the day it announces itself from your bedside table, from your couch. Its presence is a mental bookmark, its individuality a mental trigger. The Kindle is a ten minute coding job away from replicating this relationship, but it simply doesn’t want to. I’m not sure why. Are we meant to love the device, rather than the books it contains? Is that too obvious a suspicion?

Excellent thoughts on experiencing the Kindle for the first time. (via)

Jul 16, 2014
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Nathaniel Philbrick, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

I was looking for a good read for our visit to Nantucket, and couldn’t have picked a better book, as it both starts and begins with the island. It tells the tale of the Essex whaling disaster which inspired Melville’s Moby-Dick. (Sidenote: I actually read Philbrick’s Why Read Moby-Dick? a few years ago.) As Philbrick writes, “the point at which Melville’s novel ends—the sinking of the ship—was merely the starting point for the story of the real-life Essex disaster.” You’ll probably see the book prominently displayed in stores next year, as Ron Howard is making it into a movie.

Filed under: my reading year 2014

Jul 15, 2014
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EH!? NO! NO! NO! It is not much to compose 12 or 13 cantatas in one year because if you think about it Bach, for example, used to compose one cantata a week. He had to compose the music in time for it to be performed in church on Sunday so if you just consider Bach, you will see that I’m practically unemployed!

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John Porcellino’s The Hospital Suite

johnporcellino:

D+Q has posted a preview of The Hospital Suite! Check it out here.

This looks brutal, but I read everything of John P’s I can get my hands on. Pre-ordered.

Filed under: John Porcellino

Jul 12, 2014
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johnporcellino:

cretin-family:

Tommy Ramone photographed by Ian Dickson

Rock on.

Filed under: The Ramones

johnporcellino:

cretin-family:

Tommy Ramone photographed by Ian Dickson

Rock on.

Filed under: The Ramones

Jul 10, 2014
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Photographs of writers at work.

Note how many standing desks! See also a great book on the subject, The Writer’s Desk.

Filed under: work spaces

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mlarson:

Google’s Street View cameras are touring museums and taking weird selfies by accident.

This looks like a still from a Kubrick film. Amazing.

Filed under: selfies

mlarson:

Google’s Street View cameras are touring museums and taking weird selfies by accident.

This looks like a still from a Kubrick film. Amazing.

Filed under: selfies

Jul 08, 2014
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Reading Proust in prison

Daniel Genis spent ten years in prison and read over one thousand books:

He read “In Search of Lost Time” alongside two academic guidebooks, full of notations in French, and a dictionary. He said that no other novel gave him as much appreciation for his time in prison. “Of course, we are memory artists as well…,” he wrote of prisoners in his journal, in the entry on “Time Regained.” “Everyone inside tries to make their time go by as quickly as possible and live entirely in the past,” he said. “But to kill your days is essentially to shorten your own life.” In prison, time was both an enemy and a resource, and Genis said that Proust convinced him that the only way to exist outside of it, however briefly, was to become a writer himself… Later, when he came across a character in a Murakami novel who says that one really has to be in jail to read Proust, Genis said that he laughed louder than he had in ten years.

Murakami might be on to something. The people I know of who’ve read a stupendous amount of books in a certain period of time have lived in a kind of sparse, prison-like existence. When the depression hit, Joseph Campbell moved to a shack outside of Woodstock, New York, and read nine hours a day for five years. When I was 20, I spent 6 months in Cambridge, England living in a room the size of a broom closet, and that’s when I read Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Joyce, etc. (At one point, Genis’s father tells him to read Ulysses in prison, because “he wouldn’t have the willpower to get through it once he became a free man.”) My friend was in the Peace Corps for two years in Africa, and he said all there was to do at night was smoke weed and read. He read a couple hundred books.

Maybe that’s what college should be: two years where your rent is paid and you do nothing but read…

Filed under: reading

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