Istanbul by Orhan PamukThe same friend who suggested The Museum of Innocence passed this book along. It’s pretty spectacular…and yet, I didn’t finish it.

Which is odd because Pamuk is an amazing writer with an incredibly nuanced sensibility. He’s exactly the kind of writer I tend to like.

The problem is that he is also a writer who has lived his entire privileged life in the same house. When he lingers over his hyper-refined sense of his own and of other people’s sorrow. I find it grotesque.

The best thing in this book is the photography by Ara Güler of the street life, buildings and monuments of the city.

Zombie Apocalypse

Things must be good because I still find awesome odd discoveries like this on the interwebs.

Fat Free Milk……: I may not be cut out for this life…:

“I think that I may have latent talents that would emerge in a Zombie Infestation, an alien Invasion or in a post-apocalyptic future. I also think that my real-life skill-set would not be helpful at all because…

Zombies eat failed writers. Aliens wouldn’t want to meld with my brain. And in a post apocalyptic future, going through old forgotten drafts on The Good Old Fat Free Milk Blog created in the year 2002 doesn’t help hunger.

Even to the lactose-intolerant.”

The comments on the October 18, 2011 post are worth a looksie just to see the phrase “spammy French Yoda” get used in a way that makes complete and total sense.

Education and Information Technology

An interesting article that made me realize that education, as a university discipline, is an information technology with all the negatives that name implies. How We Know by Freeman Dyson | The New York Review of Books:

“The story of the drum language illustrates the central dogma of information theory. The central dogma says, “Meaning is irrelevant.” Information is independent of the meaning that it expresses, and of the language used to express it. Information is an abstract concept, which can be embodied equally well in human speech or in writing or in drumbeats. All that is needed to transfer information from one language to another is a coding system. A coding system may be simple or complicated. If the code is simple, as it is for the drum language with its two tones, a given amount of information requires a longer message. If the code is complicated, as it is for spoken language, the same amount of information can be conveyed in a shorter message.”

Variations on a Black Mock Turtleneck: III

It happened when he was on vacation. In a bar naturally. The big one. No power anywhere. City dark for miles. Everything quiet. Except here.

Here generators buzz like insults, keyboards clack. Phones flicker green against drawn faces.

The stage lights come up, then silence, then someone counting from the shadows, first a voice, then fingers: “Live in five, four, three,” two, one. Then questions through an earpiece.

He makes answers out of words, one by one. Head buzzing, tongue rank from the coffee. Serious. Reliable. Not drunk.

How the hell’d they find him? And why hadn’t they brought him his black mock turtleneck?

The Entrepreneurial Generation –

The Entrepreneurial Generation –

“Today’s polite, pleasant personality is, above all, a commercial personality. It is the salesman’s smile and hearty handshake, because the customer is always right and you should always keep the customer happy. …

That kind of thinking is precisely what I’m talking about, what lies behind the bland, inoffensive, smile-and-a-shoeshine personality — the stay-positive, other-directed, I’ll-be-whoever-you-want-me-to-be personality — that everybody has today. Yes, we’re vicious, anonymously, on the comment threads of public Web sites, but when we speak in our own names, on Facebook and so forth, we’re strenuously cheerful, conciliatory, well-groomed. (In fact, one of the reasons we’re so vicious, I’m convinced, is to relieve the psychic pressure of all that affability.)”