Assorted Links

  1. Why Che’s daughter fights to preserve his image as idealistic revolutionary-A story in the Guardian about Che Guevara’s daughter as the 45th anniversary of his death approaches. The article addresses both the bloody legacy of Guevara and the financial success that has come with his image.
  2. How Google Builds Its MapsA story in the Atlantic about how Google has mapped the world, increasingly accurate and updated. The article then suggests that, going forward, the maps (both for the data and applications of the data) will be the most valuable asset owned by Google.
  3. Narrative Trust-An essay in the Time Higher Education about how academics have a responsibility to write clearly, concluding: “If we want our work to be consequential – to have an impact in the world – we owe it to our readers to write with conviction, craft and style.”
  4. ‘Moral’ Robots: The Future of War or Dystopian Future-An article at the Chronicle about an ongoing project to develop a moral conscious for battlefield robots that could be programmed to abide by international rules of engagement and, perhaps, limit civilian casualties. They admit that there would not be any moral reasoning that takes place, but that the machine would make fewer mistakes than humans. I understand what the intention is, but it seems to me as though war is already too impersonal (and therefore easier to enact), so even using machines that can’t shoot civilians does little to ease my conscious on this.
  5. Polished Roughhewn– From the New Yorker, some discussion of the terrain and literature of Hemingway, specifically addressing the variety of techniques he employs that do not necessarily conform to ‘good writing’ in order to create his landscape. This is an article that I agree with, particularly in that there are times when Hemingway’s efforts come across as indulgent and fall flat. They are still Hemingway and it is not as though he put little effort into them, but when compared to some of his other writing (e.g. there are scenes, paragraphs, and sentences in For Whom the Bell Tolls to which I have not yet found peers to in English Literature (though I prefer The Sun Also Rises as a novel)) they come across, at best, as put on or contrived.
  6. That’s Dr. So-and-So to YOu– An interesting note at the Chronicle of Higher Education about academic and professional titulature.
  7. “The Satanic Verses,” the Fatwa, and a Life Changed– An account of Salmon Rushdie’s life and how the Fatwa changed it. The article mostly narrates the period around the release of The Satanic Verses and the aftermath of the Fatwa. This article also helped me make the decision that once I am done with Coming Up For Air, my next fun book will be The Satanic Verses.
  8. As always, comments encouraged. What else is out there?

Assorted Links

Salman Rushdie fatwa turned into Iranian video game – Evidently, several years ago Iran’s national foundation of computer games asked students to design and create scripts for this game, with the top three being handed over to developers. Evidently the game will involve the players to carry out the Ayatollah’s command to kill Rushdie.

I don’t Want Health Care if Just Anyone Can Have It – An article that appeared in the Onion, March 2007, but is apropos of the ACA supreme court ruling (I would recommend reading the Opinion given by John Roberts, which is probably going to give more problems long term for the supporters of the ACA).

Rest of the Country Should Take a Good Look At the Situation in Texas – An article about the actual health care crisis that Texas is in.

Ethics Training is Wrong – The opinion of math professor Lou Van den Dries who refused to attend yearly mandatory ethics violations and had received a fine for his actions. Among other things, he calls the ethics workshops “Orwellian” and states that “An unfortunate byproduct of the computer revolution is that it has given new tools in the hands of unwise rulers to annoy us for no good reason.” He has chosen to settle the fine rather than going through a legal process.