LinkedIn has a nifty feature that shows the commuting distance to a given workplace. It also asks, “How do you prefer to commute to work?” Well, since I would prefer to walk, I selected that option, so now I can see that a 43 minute drive would be a 7 hour, 46 minute walk.
I would lie awake late at night listening to the BBC World Service on my shortwave radio, sometimes guided by a printed program guide, but more often than not taking things as they come, which is one does with broadcast media. One of the more interesting tidbits, to my inquisitive teenage ears, was a regular essay. Turns out The Essay, or its kin, still exists, is broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and can be streamed online.
Today, I think I’ll visit ancient Wales.
A comment on attention and time, from the introduction of Eric Sloane’s Seasons of America Past (New York:Funk & Wagnalls, 1958)
It’s still the Associated Press building to me.
Is anyone surprised at this? The Hottest Chat App for Teens Is Google Docs – The Atlantic
The details of the scandal the Justice Department uncovered are notable not because rich people try to buy their way into higher education, but because these particular rich people went about it all wrong.Libby Nelson, Vox
But this case is not a defense of meritocracy in college admissions. What the government actually is defending is private property — the right of the colleges to make their own decisions about admissions, and collect the payments.
The key distinction here is not just the amount of money, but the recipient. A donation is made to a college, while a bribe is paid to an employee who, in effect, is stealing an admissions slot, hawking it and pocketing the proceeds. (To comply with tax laws, donors also cannot engage in an explicit quid pro quo with a college. The well-rehearsed pas de deux of donations and admissions must be made to appear as a voluntary exchange of gifts, not a binding deal.)
But let’s pretend for a moment that nobility, aristocracy, and meritocracy are not synonyms for plutocracy, and study for next month’s SAT.
I suddenly felt as though I’d failed a test I didn’t know I was taking.Rainesford Stauffer
I’ve been browsing around the Internet while sitting in this meeting that doesn’t require my attention, and became curious about whether RE/Search is still around. Looks like it is. There’s even a Twitter account.
Even more astonishing is that the copy I had on J. G. Ballard was last selling for $70. I didn’t much care for it, and discarded it while emptying the Too Big House for sale in 2014. I wonder if I still have my copy of #11: Pranks! around here….
Jared Newman over at Fast Company noticed that some people think “cord-cutting” —cancelling your cable or satellite TV subscription— is a bad idea.
You know who thinks cord-cutting is a bad idea? The cable and satellite TV companies.
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.Anonymous
I came across, by way of a footnote on Jason Kottke’s piece on clam gardens, an interesting review of Sam Arbesman‘s work on the half-life of facts, which apparently can be described mathematically. How long will it be before the conventional wisdom is neither conventional nor wisdom?
Mr. Kottke notes,
I’m guessing most people reading this learned in school that the Americas were sparsely populated and almost pristine before Columbus showed up, but subsequent research over the past 20 years has shown that this is very much not the case.
I should ask my kids what the kids are learning these days. I’m sure Pearson has had little incentive to update the standard texts, even though William Cronon’s Changes in the Land was published 36 years ago, in 1983. Though evidence certainly abounded before then, it was news to me when I read Changes in the Land in 1990 or so.
Update: JSTOR Daily, in “Yes, Americans Owned Land Before Columbus,” notes that our understanding of the indigenous understanding of property has changed over time, and points out Allen Greer’s “Commons and Enclosure in the Colonization of North America.” The American Historical Review, vol. 117, no. 2, 2012, pp. 365–386.
BBC Business Daily discusses 21st Century Monopolies with the Jonathan Tepper, author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition, and some others. Tepper talks about the need to deal with regulatory capture and the perks of revolving doors. Sounds familiar.
Alex Moazed, one of the other guests, says that the Internet monopolies are different, non-traditional monopolies, because the consumer wins–because pricing power is not exerted over the consumer, but the producer.
Which makes me wonder, when did we start thinking of the consumer and the producer as two separate and distinct people, and not aspects of a person? Or, how can I buy if I don’t sell?
I love the serendipity of an unexpected find when looking for something else. Today I found “Women Whose Lives are Food, Men Whose Lives are Money” (1978) by Joyce Carol Oates.
Where are the promised revelations?
Why have they been shown so many times?
It’s not quite despair, this picture of a week in Pleasant Valley. It is bracketed with the mundane, peaceful–terrible–cares of life.
Even accountants and lawyers need patrons.
The Idler writes:
It just seems so unfair. I feel like saying to my children: “Study accountancy, become a lawyer, go into the city.”
How did we end up with this cult of Celebrity, that we permit anything done in its name?
Look outside your window.
Take off your blinders.
We take it that when the state of things shall have arrived which we have been above attempting to describe, man will have become to the machine what the horse and the dog are to man.