Archive for the ‘Snarkmarket’ tag
A great story about the problems facing an autistic person trying to become an independently functioning member of society.
(via Snarkmarket, where Tim Carmody’s thoughts makes a nice compliment to the piece)
The Future of Short Stories
Some recent optimism around the rarely-consumed literary form. A. O. Scott thinks the Amazon Kindle may be the perfect delivery device for the literary single, while Nicola Twiley offers a glimpse of a future where every place you visit offers you short stories set there. Of course, combined those two ideas could really take off.
There’s a good chance you’ve seen this charming documentation of the ways in which a painter’s child corrects him, but I want to save it for posterity.
Robin Sloan pens an interesting “think piece” about how Google may actually be changing our way of processing information. And no, it’s not a “technology will make us stupid” thing.
Also note the very good and thoughtful responses.
UPDATE (1/14/09): Robin clarifies.
There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this paragraph from Virginia Heffernan:
Does anyone still believe that the forms of movies, television, magazines and newspapers might exist independently of their rapidly changing modes of distribution? The thought has become unsustainable. Take magazine writing. In school or on the job, magazine writers never learn anything so broad as to “tell great stories” or “make arresting images.” You don’t study the ancient art of storytelling. You learn to produce certain numbers and styles and forms of words and images. You learn to be succinct when a publication loses ad pages. You learn to dilate when an “article” is understood mostly as a delivery vehicle for pictures of a sexy celebrity. The words stack up under certain kinds of headlines that also adhere to strict conventions as to size and tone, and eventually they appear alongside certain kinds of photos and illustrations with certain kinds of captions on pages of certain dimensions that are often shared with advertisements. Just as shooting film for a Hollywood movie is never just filming and acting in a TV ad is never just acting, writing for a magazine is never just writing.
Though the whole column’s probably worth a read for anyone interested in the future of media.
This thing made me go “Wow!” It’s a map of America’s Interstate highways smoothed into a series of straight lines, like a subway map.
For the eco-conscious consumer, there’s a new
time sink aid available: GoodGuide. It’s description of itself:
GoodGuide™ provides the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of products and companies. GoodGuide’s mission is to help you find safe, healthy, and green products that are better for you and the planet. From our origins as a UC Berkeley research project, GoodGuide has developed into a totally independent “For-Benefit” company. We are committed to providing the information you need to make better decisions, and to ultimately shifting the balance of information and power in the marketplace.
GOOD has a pretty interesting map of history’s greatest journeys. Worth a look.
This has been going around for some time, and I never found an hour with which to watch it. Today I finally did, and I’m glad for that. It’s well done, and brings new weight to Robin’s question: “How is YouTube not the greatest art project ever?”
At Snarkmarket, Matt offers some advice I find both intriquing and scary:
If you’re like most people, you purchase Benadryl. A slightly smaller and savvier subset of you will always reach for the drugstore’s “generic” counterpart, e.g. Waldryl. Stop this madness, all of you.
As you might know, Benadryl (available at Walgreens.com for $5.29 for a box of 24 capsules) and Wal-dryl ($3.99 / 24 capsules) are otherwise known as “25 mg. of diphenhydramine HCI.” Compare. Yes, that is 400 tablets containing 25 mg. of diphenhydramine HCI, for about $10 when you factor in shipping. Once more with feeling:
Benadryl - 22¢ / pill
Wal-dryl - 16¢ / pill
True generic - 2.5¢ / pill
While the price is amazingly good, I’m (perhaps erroneously) worried that quality assurance must be much less rigorous.
I thought this little collection of lists from yesterday’s New York Times was enjoyable enough to share. It, as Matt observed about “Fourteen Passive Aggressive Appetizers,” straddles the line between clever banter and the tired redeployment of a tired idea to reach your word count. A sample:
STUFF GRANDPARENTS LIKE
Any Brach’s candy
Craftmatic adjustable beds
Quilted toaster covers
I strongly suspect this is months old, but it’s none the less fascinating. The USA Today offers a great Flash presentation of some data from the latest Pew Religion Survey. A few things that really struck me (unfortunately, it being Flash, I can’t link straight to the relevant charts):
- Jehovah’s Witnesses are truly exceptional. They seem to be outliers on just about every question in the set.
- Catholic’s acceptance of homosexuality is much higher than I’d expected. (58%, higher than the general population, which is at 50%. Still nowhere near the 80ish scores for Buddhists, Jews, and “Other Faiths.”)
- Belief in heaven is most common among Mormons and historically black churches. Who knew the two would have so much in common?
- Jews pray about as much as the unaffiliated.
(via Robin, who offers other portraits of the United States)
Speaking of newspapers, Felix Salmon defends Alfonso Serrono interesting idea for ownership of the New York Times (or any paper):
Personally, I think this is a really good idea: give every print subscriber one Class B voting share of NYT stock, and then give them one more share every three months thereafter, assuming their subscription is still in good standing. The securities would automatically convert to Class A shares if they were sold or transferred, or if the subscriber let his subscription lapse.
My best attempt to write the proper pronunciation.
This week’s oddly cool charts are provided by Matt Mason and Nicholas Feldon for We Tell Stories. In a beautifully presented (but sometimes confusing) set of grids, they argue that life today is full of many kinds of problems but that there’s a great possibility for as many kinds of solutions.
The Guardian presents a interesting picture of China’s vibrant and spottily-regulated publishing scene. The whole thing’s interesting, but this was striking:
“The internet has a much more significant role in literature than it does here [in Britain],” he says. “It’s taken very seriously, discussed very seriously and famous writers take part.”
The general manager of Penguin China, Jo Lusby, is even more emphatic. “All credible interesting writing in China begins online at the moment,” she says. “It’s given an added boost because it exists in a relatively free space outside of the tight constraints of traditional publishers.”