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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

[WRITING] Five notes about writing in the social networking era

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  • This older JSTOR Daily link suggests that, used properly, Facebook can actually be good for its users, helping them maintain vital social connections.
  • Alexandra Samuel’s suggestion, at JSTOR Daily, that Facebook revived the classical epistolary friendship has some sense to it. I would be inclined to place an emphasis on E-mail over more modern social messaging systems.
  • Drew Rowsome wrote a couple of months ago about how Facebook can make it difficult to post certain kinds of content without risking getting his ability to share this content limited.
  • Farah Mohammed wrote at JSTOR Daily about the rise and fall of the blog, now in 2017 scarcely as important as it was a decade ago. Social media just does not support the sorts of long extended posts I like, it seems.
  • Josephine Livingstone at The New Republic bids farewell to The Awl, an interesting online magazine that now looks as if it represented an earlier, failed model of writing. (What is the working one? Ha.)

Written by Randy McDonald

March 13, 2018 at 10:00 pm

[NEWS] Five links in memory of Ursula K. Le Guin

What can be said of the passing of Ursula K. Le Guin yesterday but that it has left the world absent a literary voice it needs?

  • Cheryl Eddy at io9 pays tribute to Le Guin, noting her recent activism against “alternative facts.”
  • Crooked Timber pays tribute to Le Guin, noting a blog symposium there that had never quite come off.
  • JSTOR Daily notes Le Guin’s prescient criticism, in 1975 (!), of a science fiction that was much too retrograde, looking back to past empires and not forward. (That such could also be misogynistic was not a surprise.)
  • At Whatever, John Scalzi links to his Los Angeles Times tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin. Her influence is everywhere, he points out, in the rising generation of writers.
  • At Wired, Jason Kehe notes Ursula K Le Guin’s power to imagine alternative worlds, future difficult for others to imagine.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 24, 2018 at 4:30 pm

[NEWS] Four links: post-strike education in Ontario, mummers of Newfounland, Vancouver, Mary Edelman

  • News that one-tenth of Ontario college students dropped out during the recent strike is not surprising. The National Post reports.
  • Atlas Obscura shares photos of the mummers of Newfoundland and the backstory of this cultural phenomenon.
  • Making abandoned housing in the Vancouver neighbourhood of West Point Grey into student housing sounds great to me. Global News reports.
  • This obituary for Mary Edelman, long-time Toronto resident and repairer of the typewriters of famed authors, offers insight into a fascinating literary past. The Toronto Star has it.

[NEWS] Four notes about journalism: local news, education, LA weekly, predictions

  • April Lindgren at The Conversation makes the obvious point that, if Canadians want local news coverage, they are going to have to get used to paying for it.
  • The Western Gazette, student paper of the University of Western Ontario, looks at how that university’s journalism programs are changing in the face of journalism’s plight.
  • Jennifer Swann at VICE notes how journalists once employed by LA Weekly are trying to lead a boycott of that paper, with the hope of eventually rebooting it.
  • The predictions on the future of journalism shared by the Nieman Journalism Lab are worth noting, because of their realism and lack of illusion.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 14, 2017 at 7:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Andrew Barton quite approves of the Helsinki Metro.
  • Anthropology.net notes the complexity of the peopling of Eurasia, over hundreds of thousands of years and with multiple human populations.
  • Daily JSTOR has an insightful take on the fiction of the free market, looking back to Peter Drucker.
  • Far Outliers notes that the role missionaries played in the development of area studies.
  • At A Fistful of Euros, Alex Harrowell takes a look at the complexities of the latest Brexit negotiations, concentrating on the DUP and Ireland.
  • At The Frailest Thing, Michael Sacasas notes the addition of a Paypal option alongside Patreon and asks for feedback.
  • Hornet Stories notes that the Gengoroh Tagame manga My Brother’s Husband is set for a television adaptation.
  • Language Log takes a look at the complexities surrounding a piece of Maoist rhetoric. Did Mao actually say that the Chinese people stood up at Tiannamen in 1949?
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the rhetoric surrounding parkland in Utah. Who is it being protected for, and what do these people have to gain from the despoliation?
  • Marginal Revolution looks at a study of Switzerland suggesting that clear boundaries have helped maintain communal peace there.
  • At the NYR Daily, Tim Parks has a lovely essay exploring the importance of the translator as a sort of secondary creator.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Tatarstan, and argues post-Soviet governments there made a mistake by concentrating on parallel Tatar and Russian cultures, as opposed to propagating Tatar language and culture for all.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell suggests that, in British political life, there are two working cultures, politicians who derive authority from merit and politicians who derive authority from brilliance. Guess who fares worse?

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • James Bow notes, by way of explaining new fiction he is writing, why a Mercury colony makes sense.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the life of Anita Brenner, a Mexican-born American Jewish writer who helped connect the two North American neighbours.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel notes the cautious approach of the United States towards famine relief in the young Soviet Union in 1922.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas shares a brief Lewis Mumford quote, talking about how men became mechanical in spirit before they invented complex machines.
  • Hornet Stories celebrates the many ways in which the movie Addams Family Values is queer.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the idea of what “thoughtfulness” means in relation to Senator Al Franken.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a few more fantasy map generators.
  • The NYR Daily considers the thoughtful stamp art of Vincent Sardon.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell recommends Adam Rutherford’s new book, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, on genomics and history.
  • Towleroad notes that Demi Levato took trans Virginian politician Danica Roem her to the American Music Awards.
  • Window on Eurasia shares a Tatar cleric’s speculation that Russia’s undermining of the Tatar language in education might push Tatars away from Russia.

[META] Six new blogs on the blogroll

I will be doing the hard work of installing these six blogs on my blogroll later this weekend. For now, suffice it to say that these six blogs, still-extant islands in a blogosphere in a state of transformation, are going to be the last I’ll be adding for some time. It can be hard to keep up with them all.

  • Daily JSTOR is the famed scholarly archive’s blog. This 1 November post, timed for Nanowrimo, sharing some inspiring quotes from writers about writing, is fun.
  • The blog by Lyman Stone, In a State of Migration, has great analyses of demographic issues in the United States and wider world. This recent post, looking at what it would take to–as the alt-right would wish–“make America white” and the enormous costs of this goal, is worth noting.
  • Information is Beautiful, by famed data journalist David McCandless has all sorts of fantastic infographics. I recommend this one, looking at the United Kingdom’s options re: Brexit.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education’s blog Lingua Franca takes a look at language and writing. This recent post, analyzing the complexities and challenges of George Orwell’s thought on freedom of expression, is very good.
  • Noahpinion is the blog of Bloomberg writer Noah Smith. I quite liked this older essay, one noting that cyberpunk’s writers seem to have gotten the future, unlike other writers in other SF subgenres. Does rapid change lead to bad predictions?
  • Salmagundi is a blog by an anonymous gay Kentucky writer touching on the subjects of his life and more. The most recent post is this link to an essay by Bruce Snider, talking about the lack of rural gay poets.