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Week-end reading

Orange you gladThis week, on the Internet:

  • Through Laughing Squid, a sculpture that sells itself perpetually on eBay, titled A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter. Says artist Caleb Larsen: ‘Every ten minutes the black box pings a server on the internet via the ethernet connection to check if it is for sale on the eBay. If its auction has ended or it has sold, it automatically creates a new auction of itself. If a person buys it on eBay, the current owner is required to send it to the new owner. The new owner must then plug it into ethernet, and the cycle repeats itself.’
  • The end of Adobe Flash. HTML5 is the next incarnation of the web’s core markup, and it can do this. (Will of course require a browser that supports HTML5, so, not IE; more on that here.)
  • Because I don’t know anything about French literature, this accessible article by Tom McCarthy was an interesting read about a small modern section of it. I was more impressed before I got to the following sentence: ‘This, perhaps, is the nouveau roman’s greatest legacy: an understanding of what renders space meaningful.’ An understanding of what renders space meaningful! I will spend today saying that fragment aloud, emphasising a different word each time.
  • I am a bit disturbed by Google Buzz. It’s too much, at least for now. That is all.
  • Escher’s Relativity constructed with Lego.

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End-of-week reading

WaleeSome things on my mind:

  • The Netherlands Cricket Board has announced that they will begin handing out central contracts to their players, a substantial step in the further professionalisation of the game there.
  • Sarah Kendrew has a nice introductory post on gravity emerging through changes in entropy rather than being a force in its own right; the idea was introduced last month by Eric Verlinde in a fairly readable paper.
  • Two items from the LRB: Michael Hoffman on Stefan Zweig and an entry from their blog on swine flu conspiracy theories.
  • Julian Sanchez hosts a documentary on remix culture, which is informative and interesting, though he sounds at times the way I worry I sound when I don’t sound very good. Yglesias, who links it, suggests second-order remixing, but I disagree and suggest instead that all orders of remixing are the same.
  • Anton Garrett guest-blogs at In The Dark on the topic of colour and includes some images of very pretty and imaginative art that I nevertheless decline to call abstract.

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints on their victory in Super Bowl XLIV this evening!

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My weekend reading

Links that make the world go round:

  • Sanford Schwartz in the NY Review of Books on the Belgian figurative artist Luc Tuymans;
  • Anne Enwright casts a restrained but not-quite-dispassionate eye across the moral carnage surrounding Iris Robinson;
  • Bernard Keane writes for Crikey on the possibility of a no-frills banking service through Australia Post;
  • In case you had forgotten, Keith Windschuttle believes that the history of indigenous Australia has been fabricated by, I don’t know, Robert Manne or something; the third volume of his epic revisionism, on the topic of the Stolen Generations in particular, has just been published and Windschuttle takes to the pages of The Australian to tell us more.
  • Manne and Windschuttle may deserve one another, but The Monthly >> Quadrant. Here is John Birmingham in the former regarding the existential malaise of New South Wales.
  • Amanda Ripley writes in The Atlantic about a determined investigation into what makes for great teaching at the primary and secondary level.
  • And for those with extra time up their sleeves, Yves Smith has plenty more to read.

Enjoy your Australian Open/Australia v. Pakistan ODI coverage. See you Monday!

- JBJ, Berkeley, CA

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