Sunday Spam: toast and vegemite

This week, I feel the need to emphasise that linking does not imply uncritical endorsement! Philip Roth and Wikipedia There’s only one problem with this: Roth’s open letter is at best the (justifiably) aggrieved and confused ramblings of a man ignorantly discussing what he does not understand or remember, and at worst a deliberately malicious act inspired by nothing more than a misguided desire to flip us the Vs and maybe get paid by the New Yorker on the way. In Response to Amanda Palmer Is it noble to volunteer for a cash-rich for-profit enterprise? And what about when taking … Continue reading Sunday Spam: toast and vegemite

On being X-ish

Now that I have described how I graduated into Generation X, I have a secret to confess: I’m starting to think that that might not be entirely wrong. Let’s stick to cohort effects here, since it’s supposed to be a cohort term. And I should add that this is all very trivial stuff, I’m focussing on media, pop culture and technology experiences. One of the major temptations of identifying as Generation Y had to do with pop culture. My teenage years were just past the wave of slackers and grunge and Seattle. I probably heard Nirvana’s music during Kurt Cobain’s … Continue reading On being X-ish

Book review: The Commission

Philip Shenon, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation This is a major contrast to Steven Levy’s In the Plex. Yes, obviously the subject matter is pretty far removed, but aside from that Shenon is all critical sources and critical distance here. If someone was involved in the 9/11 Commission, Shenon and his sources have some criticism of that person. Well, at least if someone was either a commissioner or a senior staffer, that is: it seems that a lot of his sources were more junior staffers, and so there is a touch of reverence in the treatment … Continue reading Book review: The Commission

Sunday Spam: scrambled eggs and pesto

I have Instapaper now! Which means I read more stuff. Which means that every so often I will share things with you. On Sundays, sometimes. This week is biased towards American stuff, because Instapaper’s Browse page tends towards longer stuff from The New Yorker, The Atlantic and so on. On the Overton window : Thoughts from Kansas This is one post in a series of discussions among skeptics about whether they should apply skepticism to evaluating their own outreach (see Skepticism means caring about evidence for the main thrust of that). This is an interesting side-note, which is that the … Continue reading Sunday Spam: scrambled eggs and pesto

Digitising letters

I was talking to Valerie Aurora and others on Twitter over the last day talking about Ada Lovelace’s letters, and whether there are copies freely available publicly. The short answer is no. The long answer is that many/most letters by historical figures are held in private collections. The collectors are often not doing it for the sake of public history: they are either doing it for family history, or collecting letters in the way one might collect artwork, including for monetary value. Access might or might not be granted by the owners to people wanting to use the letters as … Continue reading Digitising letters