May 1, 2014 / From the Editor, Uncategorized
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from …
March 14, 2014
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from across the web. Here’s what’s catching our eye this week.
The Washington Post reviews a new book about life in the minor leagues:
Imagine: From your childhood on, you are better at the work you love than almost anyone else. Before you are old enough to drink alcohol, you are offered money — sometimes a great deal of money — to pursue that work, with a good probability that the work will someday bring you wealth and fame. Then, fate intervenes — in the form of injury, illness or the slowly dawning reality that, while you are better than almost everyone else, enough people are better still that you are consigned to a role just outside, and a universe apart from, that inner circle.
A new book brings Plato to the Googleplex:
Of course, Plato wins every argument hands down, though his interlocutors generally fail to see that. For instance, in a well-aimed chapter on the pretensions of contemporary neuroscience, Plato volunteers as a subject in a brain-imaging experiment. The smug and overbearing Dr. Shoket treats Plato and philosophy with jocular contempt, all the while demonstrating his utter ignorance of that whereof he speaks. Plato has no trouble refuting his naïve reductionism, according to which there are no persons, intentions, beliefs or other psychological states but only synapses firing mechanically in the void. The neuroscientist is confusing the physical mechanisms that make mental phenomena possible with mental phenomena themselves. I recommend this chapter to all those zealots who think they are on the verge of replacing traditional philosophy with brain science.
A fascinating read on Puddles the Clown at Grantland. It just keeps getting better:
“I’m doing a story about a 7-foot clown named Puddles, who has a beautiful voice,” I told them, and repeated it for two weeks while waiting to hear from him. They always wanted more — what did he sing like,1 where was he from,2 a clown — what?3 — to an incessant degree, my dad folding laundry, grim-faced and unsatisfied that this was a real assignment, my mother repeating the word “clown” so much in a confused, breathy voice that it became my “Rosebud.” My mother asked me — and I have no idea what the hell she meant — “This isn’t some heroin thing, is it?”
Betabeat on the culture of “outrage porn”:
Imagine this was your job: you had to wake up every morning, read and watch what was going on in the world, and then, even if you didn’t actually feel this way — in fact, in spite of the fact that you didn’t feel this way—react with outrage about all of it.
Mental Floss posts a map of the fictional world of 1984. The map is cool but this observation is awesome:
“[This map is] fictitious in the sense that George Orwell made it up, but it’s also fictitious in the sense that it could have been just another lie that the government created. For all we know the UK in 1984 could be like North Korea today; just a small isolated state that has effectively brainwashed their population.”
Lifehacker with an article from a telemarketer on how to get rid of telemarketers:
If the caller does speak to you, they will do their best to sell to you on the first call. A good telemarketer uses the “Three Nos” rule: don’t let the customer go until they have said “no” three times during the phone call. This technique has actually worked for me several times. After the first two no, the client often runs out of reasons and becomes more persuadable. Telemarketers try to keep you on the phone as long as possible because they can eventually wear you down and get money out of you.
The most popular book in all 50 states:
Frederica Mathewes-Green reviews the Grand Budapest Hotel:
And what about the elaborate framing device? The Grand Budapest Hotel opens with a scene set in 1985, with a girl carrying a copy of the book that is supposedly the basis of the movie. She has come to pay homage at the author’s monument, which she does by adding a hotel key to the dozens already hanging upon it. Next we see that author (Tom Wilkinson) at some earlier time (1970s? If there was a title card, I missed it), recording a video of himself as he explains how the book’s story came to him. Then we see the same author (now Jude Law) in 1968 staying at the Grand Budapest Hotel, which has declined to a shabby condition under Soviet rule. He meets Zero, who has grown up to be F. Murray Abraham, and is now owner of the hotel. Zero then recounts the story that unfolds before our eyes. These story-frames are magnificently executed, but not necessary; while the aging Zero is indeed a figure of pathos, once the action begins it’s easy to forget the multi-frame set-up entirely.
Followed up by a video on the visual themes of Wes Anderson:
David A. Garner