The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Bob Stepno § The structure of journalism today / 2014-03-10 18:42:32

I'm Taping This Right Now
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Rob Spence wears a prosthetic eye. It’s the 21st Century. Ergo, Rob’s new eye is going to include a video camera.

Unnerving Story of the Day™ is sponsored by Ratchet Up and the letter Um.

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"Goo-goo-ism?" Seriously?
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Was it Write Like Tom Friedman Day at the NYT on Christmas, Paul Krugman?

Just didn’t want to let that one go unremarked.

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Tough-Talkin' Dames
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Watching The Big Sleep in a hotel in Midtown Manhattan, and it is glorious. Lauren Bacall is as cool as blue flame, but it’s hard to beat watching Bogart with Dorothy Malone. Even bookstore clerks are wise! In a way this is a key to film noir — what passes as toughness is really a monumentous and universally held contempt for the slightest stupidity.

“I’ve got a Balinese dancing girl tattooed across my chest, and I’d better take her home.” It’s enough to make you want to write pastiches of pastiche, like the Coen Brothers squared.

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Wish Me Luck
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I’m off to San Francisco tomorrow, to win the hearts of academicians large and small. Committee breakfasts, a job interview (!), and a paper on paternity, modernism, and tragedy. (Apollonian patriarchy, legal fictions, Hegel’s love child, and Ockham’s razor abound! It will be awesome.)

I will catch you all after New Year’s if not before. Keep your Kindles warm.

P.S.: Special props to Robin for hosting me in SF. When he returns, the city will be especially strong in the Snark.

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Kindle: The 24-Hr Take
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Soooo happy I gave myself a Kindle for Christmas.

The device came in handy immediately. I’m staying with my boyfriend Bryan in Minneapolis over the holidays, and the UPS guy arrived with the package very shortly after he left for work. As soon as I left Bryan’s apartment to go upstairs and sign for it, I realized the door had locked behind me, leaving me in Bryan’s robe and slippers, with no keys and no cell phone. But I did have a Kindle. Which meant I had Web access. I surfed to Ask MetaFilter, found lock-picking advice, and managed to get back in. Score.

Twenty-four hours later, I’m into the first chapter of The Rest Is Noise, and on the fifth chapter of The Four-Hour Work Week.

Gripes: Like everybody else, I’m not really a fan of the paging button positions. Also, when you start typing notes, they should auto-save. I’ve been done in a few times by the combo of these two: I’ll start typing a note, then accidentally hit the back key and lose what I’ve written.

The “locations” concept is smart, but I wish there were more cues about where locations start and stop.

Loves: Having a virtual library is already world-changing. I never imagined how cool it would be to instantly shift between different texts as I enter different information-seeking modes. I have always been a juggler of multiple books — there are times I want to read fiction, times I want to read non-fiction, times I want to read fluff. In the analog world, this is disorienting; it’s hard to pick up where I left off with one book after having read another. On the Kindle, freed from a cacophany of book darts and dog ears, this feels wonderfully natural.

It is the same sort of epiphany the iPod invoked for me. Carrying a bunch of books around at once, it turns out, is every bit as much of an experiential leap as carrying tons of music around was in 2001.

I love the way the notes I take are both integrated into the book and separate from it. I never used to take notes on books because I hated having to skim all the pages to snatch fragments of the insights that occurred to me as I was reading. Suddenly, I’m taking all kinds of notes. (This works especially well with cheesy self-help books like The Four-Hour Work Week, which require you to do all sorts of exercises.)

I love that you can read for hours and the battery bar will not budge from 100%.

I’ve named my Kindle “Inkless.”

Update: I extra-super-duper love the fact that I can use Google Reader from my Kindle. Yes, I could do this on my phone, but this is even nicer.

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Reclaiming Comics
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Gavin at Wordwright wants the word back:

“Graphic novel” is not any more descriptive, and worse in that it implies fictional content to the detriment of memoir, travelogue, reportage, etc., which is where you find some of the most interesting work being currently done

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The Film Version Of Your Life
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In mine, I would be played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. There’s a fair-to-middling physical resemblance, to be sure, but mostly, I just feel like he would do a really, really great job.

I’d also like it if he would say this about me:

The world is hard, and … being a human on this earth is a complicated, messy thing.

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Poems from 1914
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A comparative media studies class at MIT has published Des Imagistes, Ezra Pound’s out-of-print poetry anthology, as a website. And it’s sort of beautiful. (Bookslutty.)

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Antikythera for Christmas
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Matt can keep his Kindle — I’ll take one of these:

I seriously want to know more about the early history of astronomy. Less the sociology than the psychology of it – what was it that led humans to devote themselves to such long-term, precise observations? A belief in the power of distant gods? Boredom? The urge to find certainty somewhere, anywhere in the cosmos?

Via HNN/Ralph Luker.

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The Last of the Four Horsemen
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This feels like a significant cultural artifact. So disturbing it’s impossible to look away. I’m about to go wash my eyes out with soap.

(If you’re looking for someone to blame, blame Taylor.)

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