This impoverishment of our idea of ideas—our satisfaction with what Owen...– Leon Wieseltier
Yes, I am referring to the manifesto. And our writers can’t stop turning them...– Wen Stephenson on manifestos and jeremiads
parents and children →
Michael Norris, “an American publishing expert,” says, “Parents have too much of a role in deciding which books their child is going to read. It is turning children off. They should let them…
Rorty has a name for people who doubt the reign of contingency: he calls us...– from my book Looking Before and After (link at the left of the screen)
The more I learn from Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics, the more I am tempted...– Christian Smith, “Are You Experienced?” (Books & Culture, May/June 2010); via Christopher Benson. I’ll post my own version of this in a minute.
Most people have a very romanticized view of what it is that authors do....– Charlie Stross
So here’s the truth about the writing lifestyle: it sucks.– Charlie Stross, to which commenter #2 and I both ask, “Charlie, why are you still writing?” and to which I also say, “It sucks if you’re doing it wrong.” (via @DRMabuse) (via austinkleon) I think it probably sucks even if you’re doing it right, in the sense (as Charlie explains) that unless...
The number of those who think is exceedingly small, and they are not interested...– Voltaire
What government a nation can bear depends on the condition of the general mind;...– Thomas Jefferson
commonplace copying →
I’m not going to try to summarize this provocative talk by Steven Johnson — just go read it. I am also not going to mention that I have had a few things to say about commonplace books myself….
I think that in general we have a pathological response to anything we measure....– Cory Doctorow
A small but vocal subculture has emerged on Twitter of grammar and taste...– On the Twitter Patrol - NYTimes.com
Every year another computer manufacturer stops putting floppy drives in its...– BBC News - The mystery of the mega-selling floppy disk
is this a dagger I see before me? →
Jennifer McDonald writes about Ander Monson’s Vanishing Point: “This is a book,” Monson writes on his first page. “It is fixed in time, in space, in print, an artifact.” His brain, however,…
the wheel of time →
I’d love to put this photo on the cover of my book on reading.
There is another type of student … who is either really stressed about...– Donna Freitas. I just want to take this opportunity to point out that there is no such thing as “spirituality.” Doesn’t exist, has no meaning. It’s just a name for “doing what I want to do and feeling that the universe somehow smiles on me for doing it.”
We pretend that religious differences are trivial because it makes us feel...– Separate truths - The Boston Globe
Then a Stranger who had no name but was obviously the Devil, or possibly the...– The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ | Digested read | John Crace
In ours, though, even Parker’s and Stone’s wildest outrages often just blur into...– Ross Douthat on South Park
the wisdom of Sydney Smith →
If you ever suffer from low spirits or melancholy, you might consider the wise advice of Sydney Smith: Get into the shower bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to…
How did slaves make it to these coastal forts? The historians John Thornton and...– Op-Ed Contributor - How to End the Slavery Blame-Game - NYTimes.com
A hundred yards from the wall, as if on a common impulse, we both began to walk...– C. Day-Lewis, describing a walk he took with his friend W. H. Auden in 1927
those pathetic youngsters →
From Yahoo News: Researchers at the University of Maryland who asked 200 students to give up all media for one full day found that after 24 hours many showed signs of withdrawal, craving and…
Christian faith in God is not a naïve basic truth. It is unfaith that has been...– Jürgen Moltmann
Only by living completely in the world can one learn to believe. One must...– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
dubious assertions, thoughtful reflections →
Craig Mod says: Previously, reading was an act of solitude by design, with most residue of the process locked in a book’s physicality. This is no longer true. Why do people say things like this?…
And this leads to the last, and most hopeful, of Hunter’s essays, in which...– How Not to Change the World | Books and Culture
Now it is a city hospital on a Monday morning. This is the obstetrical ward. The...– Annie Dillard, For the Time Being
the desire of the Sybil →
It’s generally understood that books are read differently in different generations: cultural changes bring themes and images to the forefront that might have been invisible, or wholly subdued, to a…
For the last twenty years, and more, against very peculiar odds, despite quite a...– J.D. Salinger’s Private Letters | The New Republic
Have you ever had that fantasy of taking everything out of your house and just...– Merlin Mann
A simple but useful suggestion about e-reading from Russell Jones: There’s a difference between linked information (where links can become obsolete) and embedded information, which is…
I wuz robbed →
Ken Auletta writes: Publishers maintain that digital companies don’t understand the creative process of books. A major publisher said of Amazon, “They don’t know how authors think. It’s not in…
And through the Christian centuries, these unresolved tensions and deliberate...– Rowan Williams on Philip Pullman
iPad vs. Kindle →
Sara Peyton compares reading on a Kindle and reading on an iPad: I’ve owned a Kindle for about 6 months and it’s my trusty companion whenever I travel. The Kindle, my headlamp, and my iPhone sit…
In a completed but unpublished study conducted in his energy-metabolism lab,...– Weighing the Evidence on Exercise - NYTimes.com
I have long felt that we Catholics will know that this crisis has finally been...– The Moral Consequences of Episcopal Sin | Edward T. Oakes, S.J.
C. P. Cavafy, "Waiting for the Barbarians"
What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum? The barbarians are due here today. Why isn’t anything happening in the senate? Why do the senators sit there without legislating? Because the barbarians are coming today. What laws can the senators make now? Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating. Why did our...
chose any two →
Ars Technica summarizes a new report in Science: Humans are capable of pursuing multiple goals at once—for example, I am pursuing writing an article and eating a bowl of Froot Loops—but how…
That the clock might one day become stoppable in soccer is the secret dread of...– Technology and Justice - The Run of Play