04 October 2010

First Monday Internet Link Sausages

...flavored with Certain Substances.

  • Mob rule is over for the year. Well, ok, at least it's no longer assured: It's First Monday today, with an orders list from the Supreme Court's "long conference" and everything. No grants of certiorari (after the "long conference," that's usually a separate set of orders).
  • The first of this year's Nobel Prize winners has been announced. Dr Robert Edwards, who pioneered human IVF, has been selected for the prize in Medicine and Physiology. Other announcements will follow over the next few days. Although this isn't exactly earthshaking news, it's a welcome relief from election season. An LAT piece tries to make this into "prize season" to parallel that for film, but ultimately fails miserably... because Nobel Prizes are — at least in principle, and certainly for the Literature prize — for a body of work, not an individual work.
  • Sometimes scarcity is a good thing; sometimes it is a bad thing; sometimes it is just faintly amusing. Why faintly amusing? Because in this instance, it is demonstrating that those who believe that pure market forces can overcome monopolistic behavior have been using their copies of Hayek to make too many cigarettes filled with Certain Substances...
  • When in doubt, follow the money... especially in commercial exploitation in the arts. It's bad enough over here that — thanks to ineptly managed litigation, agency capture, and skullduggery — the Copyright Clearance Center can, and does, purport to "collect" for authors. It's bad enough that we've got ASCAP and BMI with their various unfair practices. In Spain, though, competing rights-fee agencies can't get along. Care to take a guess who is actually going to be paying for this?

    That's the high-stakes version; the low-stakes version is somewhat more amusing, watching the purported dumbing-down of linguistics scholarship for general readers. (Of side interest, in German a book is of the neutral/neuter gender...)

  • Sorry, ladies, but your "hen nights" at Chippendales don't represent a distinctive form of entertainment (and, as an aside, we'll leave the issue of the historical corporate problems with men who would appreciate the display for another time).