I'm ordinarily a patient predator, but Sandy Levinson definitely has a point about the inordinate delay between the election and actual change of governments. And W couldn't manage with our temperature at the moment; it's got a number of digits (Fahrenheit) he could understand, but that pesky minus sign in front of it is definitely beyond his comprehension.
- In the wonderful world of high finance, the FBI has diverted counterterrorism agents to deal with the Madoff Ponzi scheme, at the same time as the international financial community makes its Balkanization clear with its inability to cut off the Rhodesian Secret Police, despite grandiose statements of intent. And we wonder why current Administration hacks seem so confident that they'll come out just fine...
- One of my academic political theory heroes (and a sometime consultant/resource a couple of decades back) has died.
- The German government is considering accepting GITMO prisoners. Well, they're not going anywhere until they have a destination... although the timing could be better.
- While Rome is burning, many nations are busy raising trade barriers... similar to the nation-oriented approach to AIDS in the 1980s, which "believed" that germs in them African nations wouldn't cross national borders to infect good, Christian 'murikans. Sorry, guys, but economic interdependence isn't just an objective anymore: It's the entire object.
- In no particular order, chomp on some rather ill-made link sausages from the publishing industry, ranging from alternate "awards", musing on whether literary awards are necessary/worthwhile, and retailers' implicit reaction to prize-winning books, to yet another lament about the year that was (as usual, sans evidence other than anecdotes... but that's inevitable due to the industry's culture of secrecy). Then there's this ridiculous review of Revolutionary Road (the Richard Yates novel, not the forthcoming film) that is a piece of cognitive dissonance itself, appearing in the LAT and arguing that the book is an attack on society as a whole when it is isolated to a certain kind of New Yawkish/1958ish ambition... that has made its way to the entertainment industry on the opposite coast without stopping in flyover country. But things are no better across the Pond; taste the sawdust in this list of publishing hindsight.
Perhaps focusing on the content instead of the commercial possibilities really is the way to commercial success, so long as one has patience and a reasonable definition of "success." Or, at least, accepting that "success" is not something easily measured during the first royalty period, nor over any given timespan... and is therefore far outside of the numerically bound (but nonetheless innumerate, if one understands the mathematical assumptions lying behind the numbers) perspectives of modern, MBA-driven management. Which, of course, leads right back to the first bullet point above.
- There will be more comments coming shortly on the awful proposed Google Library Project settlement; I've been busy with other stuff and defusing a potential conflict over the last couple of weeks.
- Last, and far from least, some food for thought: