Friday, April 17, 2009

What's Still In The Inbox

Some people keep tabs open in their browser for days or weeks; I keep them open in my well-loved RSS reader NetNewsWire. (NNW doubles as a browser; I almost certainly do more READING of web content there than in Firefox.)

I like it -- it keeps the old stuff next to the new stuff, and puts little pictures of what I want to read or re-read. I usually use MarsEdit to blog stuff, and MarsEdit is really well integrated with NetNewsWire, so it's a good workflow to keep things open that I want to post to Snarkmarket eventually, or to make some other use of. (MarsEdit doesn't play nice with Movable Type 3.2 [edit - but see below], which is why I occasionally have crazy characters in my posts for smart quotes, apostrophes, em-dashes, usw.)

Anyways, like any other workflow, this one gets backed up; I can't think of exactly what I want to say, or (more often) other stuff gets in the way. But I think it's still good to take some time to register the things I'm thinking about, because you might want to think about them too. Here's what's still in my inbox.

  • if:book, "design and dasein: heidegger against the birkerts argument." E-book readers and phenomenology? Content, thy name is Carmody. Disappointingly, author Dan Piepenbring hasn't actually read a lot of Heidegger, so the argument is a little underdeveloped (check my comment down the thread). I really want to blog about this, but I also wanted effectively to remake the whole idea from scratch, and I don't have the time right now to do that.

  • CFP for Wordless Modernism at MSA 11. Academic CFP listservs come in RSS form now! This is so, so sweet. So is the CFP here: "If, as W.J.T. Mitchell has argued, the 'linguistic turn' of the early twentieth century took place alongside a concomitant 'pictorial turn,' how does this change the way we approach modernism’s engagement with visual media and theories of sensation?" See also “Film Grammar and Literary Modernism”. If I can't get a paper in Montreal this year, I need to hang it up.

  • Two other cool CFPs: Multiple Perspectives on Collecting and the Collection (for a Spanish-English journal -- I may submit something from my chapter on Borges, Melville, and Citizen Kane) and Re-viewing Black Mountain College, for a conference at the BMC museum.

  • "Beyond Life Hacks: Reusable Solutions to Common Productivity Problems." Gina Trapani is so, so good. I look at this fight-procrastination guide every day now, trying to read it first thing in the morning.

  • "Gabriel García Márquez, literary giant, lays down his pen." In 2005, García Márquez didn't write a line. There probably won't be any new books in his lifetime. (PS: Go read One Hundred Years Of Solitude. Just do it. I won't tell anyone you haven't yet.)

  • Clement Greenberg at 100. "I’m so excited. I’m one of the few graduate students who will be presenting at a centennial symposium looking back to the life and work of the legendary Clement Greenberg. (So my name isn’t listed yet on the official publicity, and that’s all right. I haven’t paid enough dues yet to warrant headlining status. Rosalind Krauss and Thierry de Duve, Luke Menand and Serge Guilbaut have)." I wonder how this conference went?

  • Diana Kimball drops this perfect quote from Bruno Latour:
    In politics as in science, when someone is said to ‘master’ a question or to ‘dominate’ a subject, you should normally look for the flat surface that enables mastery (a map, a list, a file, a census, the wall of a gallery, a card-index, a repertory); and you will find it.

  • Wyatt Mason on Proust and Nabokov. I've really been loving Pale Fire lately.

  • Jason Kottke, "Gairville." A Brooklyn neighborhood (now Dumbo) once named for the guy (Robert Gair) who invented the modern cardboard box. Jason's interested in the neighborhood; I'm interested in the boxes.

  • "Obama Offers Plan to Improve Care for Veterans." Electronic records come to the VA. I want to write a post called "In Praise of Bureaucrats," about how "bureaucracy" has such a mixed meaning as an insult/complaint (meaning both robotic impersonality and feudalist inefficiency) and how much really good information science (and scientists) could improve, um, everything. Not a new liberal art as such, but maybe the new engineering.

  • "Substance and Style" (on Wes Anderson). Watched The Royal Tenenbaums the other day, and thought a lot about the subtleties of the writing, especially for Royal.
    Royal: Can I see my grandsons?
    Chas: Why?
    Royal: Because I finally want to meet them.

    That little inversion -- "finally want to," instead of the expected "want to finally" -- which could (almost) be unintentional -- tells you so much about Royal. Nine out of ten phrases are like that.

Now, to fill up the tabs again.

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