Assorted Links

  1. The Land of Big Groceries, Big God, and Smooth Traffic-a note in The Atlantic about a number of misconceptions and American idiosyncrasies that people visiting for the first time experience. Some speak highly of the United States, some are funny, some are depressing.
  2. Gore Vidal obituary – From the Guardian. Vidal is one of my favorite authors, from his essays to his novels (of which I have only read five or six). My favorite is Creation, in which Vidal discusses politics and religion, but mostly tries to break free from the conception that the Greeks were the spark that lit civilization. Since I am working on my doctorate in Greek history, this is a particularly pertinent reminder and something I subscribe to. A final project for a course I took at graduate school we had to write a world history syllabus, and Creation was an assigned reading on mine.
  3. Syria: Lamp in the Storm– An article about Syria (originally posted by Will), non-violence and what the UN can do to stop combat. He is critical of the limited numbers and limited mandate of the UN contingent preparing for Syria, and argues that what is happening in Syria is not merely a limited conflict that only matters to Syria, but is something that does concern the world at large. If only Syria had nuclear weapons.
  4. Siri, Take This Down – An article in the Atlantic about the next possible evolution in writing, namely the widespread use of voice to text. Right now it is not that widely used, and the use of dictation has fallen by the wayside, too. I personally prefer writing by hand, as I have written here and here. This article cites Heidegger’s lectures on Parmenides where he touches on some of the same issues, and so I may revisit the topic.
  5. How to save an independent bookstore-An article in the Washington Post about some innovative and ambitious plan to save an independent bookstore in San Fransisco.
  6. Faces of Hope– Some pictures on The Atlantic from Afghanistan.
  7. As always, comments encouraged. What else is out there?

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