allaboutgeorge + history   124

Neil Tennant: ‘Sometimes I think, where’s the art, the poetry in all this?’ | Music | The Guardian
“Really quite often, a publisher says, ‘Let’s get Neil Tennant to write his autobiography’ and it’s quite nice that they do,” its author muses. “I’m not convinced my life’s been interesting enough. This is my autobiography.”
songwriting  uk  creativity  music  pop  popmusic  history  biography 
26 days ago by allaboutgeorge
The Internet’s keepers? “Some call us hoarders—I like to say we’re archivists” | Ars Technica
Though perhaps the most simple and effective tool of all comes from the Wayback Machine itself—the site allows anyone to manually send a link to the Internet Archive for archiving right from its homepage. “If I’m walking my cat in the garden and I see a story in Google News, you can send it to a printer. But today you can also send it to the Internet Archive,” Graham says. He estimated up to one million captures per week can come from that.
internet  library  library2.0  libraries  history  memory  WaybackMachine  verification 
28 days ago by allaboutgeorge
If We Called Ourselves Yellow : Code Switch : NPR
"Are you reclaiming the slur, or reclaiming our history?" Fang asks me. "The thing I'm concerned about is — is [yellow] a truly reflective way of talking about the East Asian American experience? Is yellow more nuancing? ... Or more flattening?"
asian  asianamerican  identity  names  power  census  history  usa  ethnicity  presence  reputation  psychology 
5 weeks ago by allaboutgeorge
How Gordon Parks Became Gordon Parks - The New York Times
He understood the silence of African-American history in terms of the larger story. And he was determined to make sure that his story was told, and the breadth of his story was told from multiple perspectives, from a boy growing up in the Midwest, to someone who had a dream about being a photographer. His life was complex. And it was not one-dimensional, as most people think when they see someone who is black and poor in that time period.
photography  culture  journalism  attention  news  media  black  history  documentary 
6 weeks ago by allaboutgeorge
The miracle of the United States Postal Service
It maintains six-days-a-week service to 150 million locations, operates 26,410 post offices, and handled nearly 150 billion pieces of mail in 2017 — or 47 percent of all the mail in the world. UPS and FedEx could not possibly handle that volume, especially not to unprofitable far-flung locations — not even for parcels, as the USPS accounts for about 40 percent of Amazon shipping.
infrastructure  history  usa  government  mail  usps  writing  communication 
9 weeks ago by allaboutgeorge
Paris Review - Robert Caro, The Art of Biography No. 5
I can't start writing a book until I've thought it through and can see it whole in my mind. So before I start writing, I boil the book down to three paragraphs, or two or one—that's when it comes into view. That process might take weeks. And then I turn those paragraphs into an outline of the whole book. That's what you see up here on my wall now—twenty-seven typewritten pages. That's the fifth volume. Then, with the whole book in mind, I go chapter by chapter. I sit down at the typewriter and type an outline of that chapter, let's say if it's a long chapter, seven pages—it's really the chapter in brief, without any of the supporting evidence. Then, each chapter gets a notebook, which I fill with all the materials I want to use—quotations and facts pulled from all of the research I’ve done.
research  history  interview  biography  books  writing  journalism  authors 
11 weeks ago by allaboutgeorge
Catapult | Writing Letters to Mao | Jennifer S. Cheng
All writers in some way compose love letters to their obsessions. A letter can be a document of deep ambivalences, contradictions, and silences, submerged in the complexities of shared and unshared histories. Or: a longing to locate two disparate points in an expanse of sky.
writing  china  asian  asianamerncan  memory  immigration  history  power 
april 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Exploring the History of Afro-Mexicans - The New York Times
“Afro-Mexicans have been in limbo,” she said. “They are Mexican and have the same rights as anyone. But they are in a situation similar to indigenous people, having to deal with poverty, lack of education, and limited resources and development. But they have not had the help that the government gives to indigenous people.”
mexico  indigenous  african  photography  history 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Young designer aims to promote Egyptians' African roots
Unlike Shandaweely, who is proud of the African heritage of Egypt, most Egyptians do not fully understand that — geographically and culturally — they have African roots and that they are Africans. Some people may prefer to call themselves Arab or Middle Eastern, rather than African.

However, the Egyptian government has recently been trying to strengthen its ties with other African countries as well as introduce African art to the Egyptian public.
africa  egypt  fashion  beauty  history  arabic  middleeast 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
BBC - Travel - The surprising origin of Argentina’s brazen pastry names
Now when I visit my favourite Buenos Aires cake shop and order a bag full of friar’s balls and little cannons, I know I’m not only about to enjoy something sweet with my café con leche, but I’m also honouring a fight for equality.
argentina  food  history  politics  anarchism  labor  language  southamerica  immigration 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
The True Story of "The Greatest Showman on Earth" | History | Smithsonian
“He had these new ways of making racism seem fun and for people to engage in activities that degraded a racially subjected person in ways that were intimate and funny and surprising and novel,” says Reiss. “That’s part of his legacy, that’s part of what he left us, just as he also left us some really great jokes and circus acts and this kind of charming, wise-cracking ‘America’s uncle’ reputation. This is equally a part of his legacy.”
race  entertainment  history  usa  marketing  capitalism  politics  movies  film 
december 2017 by allaboutgeorge
The Beat Generation: Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Diane di Prima look back at an American cultural movement - Washington Post
More than a half-century after their emergence, the Beats still offer up wild style, a sense of freedom and wonder for the natural world almost unrivaled in postwar literature. But their work has perhaps been more misinterpreted than nearly any literary group in history — partially because there was no consistent ideology binding them. As Ferlinghetti put it succinctly: “The Beat Generation was just Allen Ginsberg’s friends.”
arts  poetry  1950s  1960s  sanfrancisco  bayarea  writing  history  literature  california 
july 2017 by allaboutgeorge
Richard Hell Interview - Richard Hell Very Clean Tramp Book Autobiography - Esquire
When you're young, you don't especially think of yourself as being young. You're just alive and everything's interesting and you don't think of things in terms of age because you're not conscious of it. But then you hit your 40s and you realize, well, you're still alive but you're not young anymore. And things start taking a different kind of aspect. And you start getting curious about what it all adds up to. What does it mean to outlive your youth? I wanted to hold my life in my hands and turn it around and look at it in different ways to figure out what the hell had happened, to see if I could put it outside of myself and make it into a material object that I could grasp. So that was part of it. And the other part was I like writing books.
aging  punk  music  rock  writing  biography  nonfiction  history  attention 
march 2013 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Poptimist: Poptimist #38
Music's digital availability means we're currently in a happy position where our distance from the Milton Point is utterly apparent: the past is too big for anyone to get much of a handle on it. It's easy to think of history-- of pop or anything else-- as a kind of map, whose final bits of terra incognita are now being glumly filled in. But there's a better way of thinking about history-- as a network, scaling up in complexity as more and more nodes are added and more pieces of information link to one another.
music  criticism  writing  history  attention  mapping  technology 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
What America's First Steaks Can Teach Us About Beef - Andrew Beahrs - Life - The Atlantic
"[...] Today, if I was out of my area, the first thing I'd do is try to find a small butcher shop or a decent meat counter. Then I'd try to get a friendly rapport going, maybe starting with the direction I wanted to go with cooking—'hey, I'm thinking about making a pot roast, any idea what might be best for that?' If you come in slinging attitude, like you know it all already, then there's no space for you to learn.

"Remember, most people know less than they think they do. That's true for me, it's probably true for you. I'm still listening to customers—there are so many ways to break down a cow. People will come in from Argentina asking for this one muscle we just don't cut the way they remember it. I love that. It's all about just treating the person across the counter like a human being."
meat  cooking  usa  history  business  behavior 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Japan as a rice culture? Not so quick, says anthropologist | The Japan Times Online
"The power of the rice ideology meant that non-agrarian populations were written off from history. To say that Japan is a rice culture is to deny the presence of others," she said.

By the 20th century, though, rice was firmly entrenched in the national diet — and with the rise of Japan's militarism, its aggressions in mainland Asia, and then World War II, the humble seed's symbolism took a darker turn.

"Agrarian ideology was ruthlessly used by the military government," wrote Ohnuki-Tierney in her 1993 book. "White rice, that is, domestic rice, was construed to represent the purity of the Japanese self.
food  japan  asia  ritual  history  power 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Francis Fukuyama’s New History of Human Social Structures - NYTimes.com
“My argument is that the rule of law comes out of organized religion, and that democracy is a weird accident of history,” he said. “Parliaments in Europe had legal rights, and it was a complete historical accident that the English Parliament could fight a civil war and produce a constitutional settlement that became the basis of modern democracy.”
democracy  history  politics  power  europe  books  nonfiction  behavior 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Interview: Kathleen Hanna on The Raincoats and Building an Archive « The FADER
It’s not so much about nostalgia, it’s about leaving a record so that people can view things in the future. I think of punk rock as more of an idea than a genre, and I don’t see it as antithetical to the notion of building on things. I didn’t have a grandma who like, left me a trunk full of shit. I always wanted to leave that trunk full of shit for someone else, you know? Feminism created a family structure for me.
music  history  academia  rock  activism  women  feminism  power  family 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Cleve Jones on youth activism and his early years with Harvey Milk » North by Northwestern
Now, I think that there are certain fundamentals to organizing that have remained constant throughout all of the changes: the importance of building committees, the importance of crossing boundaries and barriers between people.

If you’re organizing workers, you have to tell their stories. If you’re working on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, it’s so important to hear the stories of military personnel and military families gay and straight alike. Whatever the issue, if you can focus as much as possible on daily lives of ordinary people, that’s what has remained unchanged.

But there’s a whole lot that’s different now: the communications technology, the growing gap between rich and poor, the financial free fall that we’re enduring right now. And I do want to say to your readers, who I assume are all on Facebook: if you think you’re going to change the world by clicking a mouse, I’m sorry, but you’re mistaken.
facebook  activism  gay  history  unions  power  technology  attention  story 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Washington Post: Why 'Mad Men' is TV's most feminist show, by Stephanie Coontz
We should be glad that the writers are resisting the temptation to transform their female characters into contemporary heroines. They're not, and they cannot be. That is the brilliance of the show's script.

"Mad Men's" writers are not sexist. The time period was.
television  feminism  women  1960s  history  power 
october 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Art Review - Art and News, Intersecting at the New Museum - NYTimes.com
The idea behind the exhibition — print journalism as a visual and existential phenomenon — is timely, and specific enough to be addressed and illustrated through art. Is the phenomenon intrinsically ephemeral or monumental? Is it truth telling or illusion spinning? One asks the same questions of art.

One also asks: Who has the power to write the news, or make art, and by extension to create something called history? What are the similarities between newspapers and museums? To what degree are both responsible for providing social information as well as entertainment?
art  newspapers  nyc  museums  creativity  history  information  social  power 
october 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Book review: 'Bob Dylan in America' by Sean Wilentz - latimes.com
"Although reminiscent of the modernists' collages," Wilentz writes, "Dylan's method aimed not simply at allusion but at something very different, essential to his recent work — more emphatic, at times risky dissolution of distinctions between past and present, as well as between high and low, scholarly and popular, exotic and familiar, moving between and among them as if it required no effort."
books  bobdylan  nonfiction  criticism  music  1960s  history  art  creativity 
september 2010 by allaboutgeorge
io9: China Miéville explains theology, magic, and why JJ Abrams hates you
I don't have any fantastic insight, but I think it's simply that cities to varying degrees are amazing palimpsests of history and cultures. They're coagulated together, a mixing of social norms. I like the temporal dislocation of cities, where you get 17th century buildings next to 21st buildings in London. The world is divided between people who like fractured mixed up stuff, and those who like clean aesthetic totality. I'm more the former.

The majority of humanity now live in cities. They are the site of most political and financial drivers - that's just a fact of economy. They are the site of this kind of chaotic aggregation of ideas that's going to translate into a sensation of the fantastic. That's why fantastic city fiction is so strong – it's about translating enchantment into a modern urban environment.
cities  urban  geography  population  fiction  economy  writing  sciencefiction  history  architecture 
august 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Mapping out alternative universes for Texas
What if we had made Cuba a state in 1902? A major Cold War near-catastrophe could have been averted, but would the United States have had to put down a socialist uprising in the late 1950s anyway?

What if water-rich northernmost California had split off to become Shasta in 1957 and got rich selling water to what was left of California? Humboldt County suddenly has a lot more money and power.

What if Brigham Young had gotten his wish for a state called Deseret, which would have encompassed modern-day Utah, nearly all of Nevada, most of Arizona, a hunk of New Mexico and the part of California that includes San Diego? Hard to see polygamy dying without a serious fight in a state that large.
geography  usa  politics  history  mapping  power  books  fiction  texas  california  cuba  time 
june 2010 by allaboutgeorge
What the Beatles Reveal About Fame - Newsweek
If Malcolm Gladwell is right, it was the 1,200 live gigs at strip clubs in Hamburg, Germany, that made the Beatles great. But as Doggett proves, it was the particularly corrosive nature of fame that not only broke them up, but made it impossible for them to be in the same room. They never seriously considered getting the band back together, despite offers that hovered at about $1 billion.
music  beatles  design  essay  history  1960s  business  celebrity  happiness 
june 2010 by allaboutgeorge
The Lost Languages, Found in New York - NYTimes.com
“It’s hard to use a word like preserve with a language,” said Robert Holman, who teaches at Columbia and New York University and is working with Professor Kaufman on the alliance. “It’s not like putting jelly in a jar. A language is used. Language is consciousness. Everybody wants to speak English, but those lullabies that allow you to go to sleep at night and dream — that’s what we’re talking about.”
language  nyc  history  english  attention  research 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
The Collapse of Complex Business Models « Clay Shirky
When ecosystems change and inflexible institutions collapse, their members disperse, abandoning old beliefs, trying new things, making their living in different ways than they used to. It’s easy to see the ways in which collapse to simplicity wrecks the glories of old. But there is one compensating advantage for the people who escape the old system: when the ecosystem stops rewarding complexity, it is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future.
business  economics  history  journalism  creativity  innovation  media  tv  television  video  change  complexity  strategy 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
How Paul Krugman found politics : The New Yorker
Krugman explained that he’d become an economist because of science fiction. When he was a boy, he’d read Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy and become obsessed with the central character, Hari Seldon. Seldon was a “psychohistorian”—a scientist with such a precise understanding of the mechanics of society that he could predict the course of events thousands of years into the future and save mankind from centuries of barbarism. He couldn’t predict individual behavior—that was too hard—but it didn’t matter, because history was determined not by individuals but by laws and hidden forces. “If you read other genres of fiction, you can learn about the way people are and the way society is,” Krugman said to the audience, “but you don’t get very much thinking about why are things the way they are, or what might make them different. What would happen if ?”
economics  politics  newyorker  interview  economy  writing  finance  sciencefiction  history 
march 2010 by allaboutgeorge
America, the fragile empire - latimes.com
One day, a seemingly random piece of bad news -- perhaps a negative report by a rating agency -- will make the headlines during an otherwise quiet news cycle. Suddenly, it will be not just a few policy wonks who worry about the sustainability of U.S. fiscal policy but the public at large, not to mention investors abroad. It is this shift that is crucial: A complex adaptive system is in big trouble when its component parts lose faith in its viability.
finance  usa  empire  history  business  geography  politics  power 
march 2010 by allaboutgeorge
New York Museums - Post-Minimal to the Max - NYTimes.com
These things should be understood by now: The present is diverse beyond knowing, history is never completely on anyone’s side, and what we ignore today will be excavated later and held against us the way we hold previous oversights against past generations.

Message to curators: Whatever you’re doing right now, do something else next.
museums  history  art  creativity  curation  aesthetics  beauty  research 
february 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Tom Morello, Henry Rollins Talk Music Activism « LimeWire Music Blog
You are an agent of history. History’s not done, you’re in it, and what you do or fail to do during your time is gonna make an enormous difference in what the planet looks like during your time and in the future.
history  interviews  music  art  activism  power 
december 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Final edition: Twilight of the American newspaper—By Richard Rodriguez (Harper's Magazine)
[...] In the nineteenth-century newspaper, the relationship between observer and observed was reciprocal: the newspaper described the city; the newspaper, in turn, was sustained by readers who were curious about the strangers that circumstance had placed proximate to them. So, I suppose, it is incomplete to notice that the San Francisco Chronicle has become remiss in its obituary department. Of four friends of mine who died recently in San Francisco, not one wanted a published obituary or any other public notice taken of his absence. This seems to me a serious abrogation of the responsibility of living in a city and as good an explanation as any of why newspapers are dying. All four of my friends requested cremation; three wanted their ashes consigned to the obscurity of Nature. Perhaps the cemetery is as doomed in America as the newspaper, and for the same reason: we do not imagine death as a city.

We no longer imagine the newspaper as a city or the city as a newspaper. [...]
media  journalism  newspapers  writing  news  death  obituaries  cities  california  essay  history  sanfrancisco  culture 
december 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Salon.com Arts & Entertainment | The dream life of Don Draper
Don and Pete represent opposite sides of the same coin: Both chafe against the restrictions of adult life, and both have faked their way to the top in different ways. But while Don represents the benefits of extreme denial mixed with occasional sincerity, Pete shows us how it looks when you navigate an unfair world armed only with blind ambition and raging emotions that get the most of you regularly. While Don smoothly lies through his teeth without flinching, Pete stutters, fakes it, breaks down seconds later, and fools no one, not even himself. Don has occasional dark nights of the soul, sure, but Pete is awash in confusion and self-loathing, so much so that he can barely control himself.
television  history  1960s  identity  aesthetics  cable  writing 
august 2009 by allaboutgeorge
BBC NEWS | South Asia | Kabul struggles to get back on song
The original translation of Harabat meant "ruins". But there is another meaning: "dedication". It seems the quarter is living up to its other translation in every sense.
afghanistan  music  identity  war  history  culture  religion  education 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Salon.com Arts & Entertainment | "Public Enemies"
The picture throws off an aura of wistfulness, which may be Mann's acknowledgment that of course he can't re-create the past. The best he can do is to honor the idea of it, storybook-style, and to remind us that before there was gangsta, there were gangsters.
movies  cinema  film  aesthetics  history  crime  reviews 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Flutes Offer Clues to Stone-Age Music - NYTimes.com
It so happens, as Dr. Conard and his co-authors, Susanne C. Münzel of Tubingen and Maria Malina of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, noted, the Hohle Fels flute was uncovered in sediments a few feet away from the carved figurine of a busty, nude woman, also around 35,000 years old. The discovery was announced in May by Dr. Conard.

Was this evidence of happy hours after the hunt? Fertility rites or social bonding? The German archaeologists suggested that music in the Stone Age “could have contributed to the maintenance of larger social networks, and thereby perhaps have helped facilitate the demographic and territorial expansion of modern humans.”
music  ritual  history  europe  social  men  women  demography  leisure  archeology 
june 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Tapes Reveal Nixon’s View of Abortion - NYTimes.com
“There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding: “Or a rape.”
abortion  nixon  president  power  politics  republicans  1970s  history 
june 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Ronald T. Takaki dies at 70; pioneer in the field of ethnic studies - Los Angeles Times
Takaki was hired and in 1967 taught the university's first African American history class.

When the young Japanese American, sporting a crew cut, walked into the classroom for the first time, the students, some wearing Afros and dashikis, fell silent. One student finally spoke up.

"Well, Prof. Takaki," the student said in a challenging tone, "what revolutionary tools are we going to learn in this course?" Takaki replied: "We're going to study the history of the U.S. as it relates to African Americans. We're going to strengthen our critical-thinking skills and our writing skills. These can be revolutionary tools if we make them so.' "
berkeley  asian  history  education  california  race  obituaries  academia  ethnic 
may 2009 by allaboutgeorge
StoryCorps Project comes to San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum - ContraCostaTimes.com
"If you were an alien dropped down on earth and watched popular or tabloid media, you might think we are a country of Internet sex predators and spoiled children of billionaires and want-to-be reality contestants," says Isay, a MacArthur fellow who has won five Peabody awards for his radio documentaries. "That is not who we are as Americans. The real Americans are the vast majority of people who care about their families and communities and live lives defined by quiet acts of courage and kindness."
story  public  bayarea  sanfranciso  judaism  history  nonfiction  radio  documentary 
may 2009 by allaboutgeorge
John Hope Franklin, Scholar and Witness - NYTimes.com
“My mother and I used to have a game we’d play on our public,” Dr. Franklin said not long ago, his voice full of artful pauses, words pulled out like taffy. “She would say if anyone asks you what you want to be when you grow up, tell them you want to be the first Negro president of the United States. And just the words were so far-fetched, so incredible that we used to really have fun, just saying it.”
president  obama  history  black  obituaries  academia 
march 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Generation B - From Local Editor to Local Politician, a Civic Call - NYTimes.com
When we’re young, we assume that history is stored away some place safe and solid like a library or university. But by middle age, when the weight of the world has fallen upon us, we come to understand that the institutional memory of a government body or newspaper or city of 80,000 is fragile, residing within a small number of individuals who are bright enough and who care enough to know.
history  memory  journalism  newspapers  ohio  government  media 
march 2009 by allaboutgeorge
It’s About the Journalism: Think Tank: Online Only: The New Yorker
Professional journalism as we know it—independent investigations on behalf of the public; impartial witnessing of terrible events at home and abroad; independent foreign correspondence designed for American audiences and to address American interests; reporting on powerful institutions without fear or favor, and with a sense of fairness; the clarification of complexity—all of this is as much an accident of history as the symphonic music and opera patronized by the great European courts of the late eighteenth century.
classical  classicalmusic  music  journalism  media  public  newspapers  newyorker  usa  writing  identity  history  reading 
march 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - Errol Morris Blog - NYTimes.com
During the last week of the Bush administration, I asked the head photo editors of these news services — Vincent Amalvy (AFP), Santiago Lyon (AP) and Jim Bourg (Reuters) — to pick the photographs of the president that they believe captured the character of the man and of his administration. There are overlapping pictures — of the president with a bullhorn at Ground Zero, of the president looking out the window of Air Force One over New Orleans, of the president receiving the news on the morning of 9/11. It is interesting that these pictures are different. They may be of the same scene, but they have different content. They speak in a different way.
blog  president  nytimes  bush  film  history  photography  news  usa  politics  journalism  media  newspapers 
january 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Under the Needle: The old drinks are here with him in spirits
"J.P. Morgan drank a Manhattan at the market's closing every day," Clarke said after a slow sip. "What did his Manhattan taste like? That's what I want to know -- what history tasted like."
drinking  alcohol  seattle  history  beverages 
january 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Bush Data Threatens to Overload Archives - NYTimes.com
“I’m told researchers like to come and dig through my files, to see if anything interesting turns up,” Mr. Cheney said. “I want to wish them luck, but the files are pretty thin. I learned early on that if you don’t want your memos to get you in trouble some day, just don’t write any.”
cheney  data  information  politics  republicans  gop  wtf  research  history  government 
december 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Salon.com | Obama and the dawn of the Fourth Republic
"[...] The first three American republics display a remarkably similar pattern. Their 72-year life span is divided into two 36-year periods (again, give or take a year -- this is not astrology). During the first 36-year period of a republic, ambitious nation-builders in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton strengthen the powers of the federal government and promote economic modernization. During the second 36-year phase of a republic, there is a Jeffersonian backlash, in favor of small government, small business and an older way of life. During the backlash era, Jeffersonians manage to modify, but never undo, the structure created by the Hamiltonians in the previous era. [...]"
politics  technology  history  economics  obama  government  usa 
november 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Op-Ed Contributor - Margare Atwood - A Matter of Life and Debt - NYTimes.com
We are social creatures who must interact for mutual benefit, and — the negative version — who harbor grudges when we feel we’ve been treated unfairly. Without a sense of fairness and also a level of trust, without a system of reciprocal altruism and tit-for-tat — one good turn deserves another, and so does one bad turn — no one would ever lend anything, as there would be no expectation of being paid back. And people would lie, cheat and steal with abandon, as there would be no punishments for such behavior.
money  work  ethics  writing  essay  aesthetics  relationships  psychology  altruism  happiness  crime  behavior  culture  history  economics  literature  sociology  finance  rhetoric 
october 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Why McCain can't stop saying "my friends." - By Paul Collins - Slate Magazine
"Among the wide ranks of modern presidential 'my frienders'—let us call them MF'ers for short—only Jimmy Carter and 'Silent Cal' Coolidge appear to have been determined to avoid the term. For Democrats and Republicans alike, it seems, a president who isn't a little bit of an MF'er is a once-in-a-century event."
president  language  usa  history  friendship  speech  rhetoric  democrats  republicans  mccain  politics 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Wired Magazine: Novelist Neal Stephenson Once Again Proves He's the King of the Worlds
"I could never get that idea, the notion that society in general is becoming aliterate, out of my head. People who write books, people who work in universities, who work on big projects for a long time, are on a diverging course from the rest of society. Slowly, the two cultures just get further and further apart."
literature  libarry  writing  reading  books  fiction  culture  science  history  society  academia  education  philosophy  interview  sciencefiction  time  future 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
News is a Conversation: Still a newspaperman
(NP: 2:32 to 2:54 of Girl Talk's "Shut The Club Down," specifically Ahmad's "Back In The Day" over Rod Stewart's "Young Turks") "[...] The younger, my generation, are fading, too, facing a future in which journalists serve products and platforms not communities and their newspapers. The young turks have become the old farts. We pray at the old altars. We worship the old gods. The new media moguls have their shiny new religion. And our passing is seen by them as both timely and just. But there is more to be lost than warm, rosy recollections. It's not all about nostalgia. [...]" (NP: 0:00 to 0:23 of Girl Talk's "Still Here," specifically Youngbloodz featuring Lil Jon's "Damn!" over Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale")
journalism  history  media  newspapers  aging  business  community  religion  music 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Jennifer Nix: Resurrecting Literature: Sustenance for the Progressive Soul
"When people ask me why I put photos in The Lazarus Project, I say it is in the hope President Bush would flip through my book. Its main character is not a pet goat, but there is a picture of boobs in it."
bush  literature  history  creativity  writing  fiction  public  social  chicago  war  europe  iraq  police 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Randall Kennedy's "A Note On The Word 'Nigger'" - NPS Ethnography: African American Heritage & Ethnography
"To paper over that term or to constantly obscure it by euphemism is to flinch from coming to grips with racial prejudice that continues to haunt the American social landscape."
language  black  usa  history  culture  thinking  race  racism 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork Feature: Column: Silent Party #3
"For classic rock programmers and consultants, part of this conservative cultivation was canon-creation, and they closed ranks around a white, hyper-masculine notion of rock music."
music  pitchfork  rock  radio  marketing  business  corporations  media  history  criticism 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Matthew Yglesias (June 22, 2008) - The Wrath of Khan (Culture)
"Mongol, a Russian-directed Mongolian-language film about the early life of Genghis Khan that I saw Friday night is kinda weird but also kinda awesome."
cinema  china  russia  germany  film  asia  history 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Charles Arthur: God help us if machines ever think like people | Technology | guardian.co.uk
"The deliberative system requires something closer to language; it's younger, and it and the ancestral system frequently disagree and fight like two cats in a bag. The older one, being better wired into our subconscious, often gets the upper hand."
history  ritual  sex  marketing  animals  theory  robots  creativity  evolution 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge
William Gibson Interview: William Gibson Talks to io9 About Canada, Draft Dodging, and Godzilla
"I believe people in the future will (sic) weild unimaginable tools of forensic transparency — and they'll aim them back at history. They'll find out about what every major player did all the way back with tools we can't imagine today. There will be no
scifi  sciencefiction  writing  history  blogging  privacy  security  canada  novels  books 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge
'My camera has saved my life' | Art & Architecture | guardian.co.uk Arts
"I gave a lecture last May, and I asked how many people still think a photograph can be real, and out of 150 people I think five raised their hand. And that's the whole reason I started taking photos: to make a record against revisionism, against any one
women  photography  interview  art  beauty  aesthetics  documentary  uk  history 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Our Shaky Beginnings - The New York Review of Books
"All the distinctions that later attached to race were already present in the deep divide between 'civil' and 'uncivil.' Warfare between Indians and English in all the colonies took on an ideological intensity that heightened the brutality."
virginia  history  usa  nonfiction 
may 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Interviews: Scott Esposito Interviews Matthew Sharpe, author of Jamestown
"I’ve tried to communicate with non-human animals, with trees, with rocks and machines, and sometimes I think they’ve tried to communicate with me. The results have been even more uncertain than communications with humans."
writing  fiction  creativity  history  novels  e-mail  internet  blogging  social  yasns  genocide 
may 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Salon.com Books | Is everything we know about American history wrong?
"'When the legend becomes fact,' says the editor in John Ford's 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,' 'print the legend.' Horwitz's suggestion is more radical: Let the legend and fact intertwine in a never-resolving dance."
history  story  virginia  nonfiction  usa  genocide 
may 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Stocks Tarnished By 'Lost Decade' - WSJ.com
"We have to accept that this is no longer a nation of 4% real economic growth. This is a mature nation that no longer has a strong manufacturing base."
finance  history  stocks  economics  usa  capitalism  business  corporations  investing 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Dealbreaker: The Digital Camera - Nerve.com
"I find over-documenting relationships to be like showing too much skin — the unrecorded knowledge of what's underneath should be part of the allure, not something you can upload and crop until it's flawless."
photography  memory  love  relationships  writing  sex  history  travel 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Abyss & Apex : Fourth Quarter 2007: Wikihistory
Note to self: Send Prometheus6.org a couple of beers for linking to this short story.
comedy  fiction  history  humor  internet  wiki  wikipedia  time  shortstory  story  nazi  scifi  writing 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Sexuality History – Write Your Own Sexual History
"[It's] a different kind of exercise. It’s only for your benefit and as such you get to define the terms and parameters and even the questions."
writing  sex  history  nonfiction  power  gender 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Lies and consequences | ajc.com
"How is the reading public to trust us as storytellers, historical and cultural documenters, reporters and opinion-shapers if we, the publishing industry, continue to appear unable to distinguish between fact and fiction, truth and mendacity?"
story  publishing  books  journalism  media  writing  fiction  nonfiction  history  culture  reading 
march 2008 by allaboutgeorge
WaPo: Our Cells, Ourselves
"It was always thought to have a kind of fascist or totalitarian overtone. That turns out to be wrong. The control is not central. But it does feel like control."
culture  demographics  history  mobile  social  society  technology  terrorism  identity  attention  presence  socialnetworking 
february 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Powells.com From the Author - Not a Memoir: Shalom Auslander
"Respect muttered, climbed out the window and said, 'You're wasting your time.' Rage opened my laptop, pressed the power button and said, 'Write.' And so I did."
memory  writing  nonfiction  fiction  books  publishing  creativity  history  judaism  religion  parenting 
january 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Powells.com From the Author - Neil Shubin
"What we see lying inside ancient rocks and inside these embryos is almost a mirror of ourselves. Here, in these humble places, we discover how our humanity, with all its uniqueness, has emerged from parts common to the rest of life on our planet."
evolution  science  research  animals  fauna  history  aesthetics 
january 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Annals of Communications: The Search Party: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
"[W]e’re going to make all the mistakes computer scientists running a company would make. But one of the mistakes we’re not going to make is the mistake that non-scientists make. We’re going to make mistakes based on facts and data and analysis."
business  culture  google  history  internet  law  marketing  newyorker  politics  privacy  story  toread  washington  copyright 
january 2008 by allaboutgeorge
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