A different book list

by Eszter Hargittai on December 5, 2003

I’ve enjoyed reading the various book rankings. One problem with such lists, however, is that they rarely offer new books to consider. Were there any books on those lists that we haven’t heard of? Unlikely. I realize that isn’t necessarily the point of such lists, but it got me thinking along those lines anyway. I recall enjoying the thread generated on Kieran’s blog back in the summer about long reads.

I would like to read some more about books that I am less likely to have come across already but come highly recommended nonetheless. I thought one possible approach could be to compile a “best of” list consisting of books on our bookshelves that seem obscure (at times even to us owners of those books) or are perhaps not so obscure per se but are nonetheless unlikely to be found on the shelves of others.. not because they’re not good but because they are less mainstream.

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Playing safely

by Eszter Hargittai on December 5, 2003

Play safely this holiday season. (Heck, play safely even if it’s not a holiday season.) Brought to you by the UK National Health Service. [Warning: content – including audio – may not be appropriate in some work environments.]

Answers solicited

by Henry Farrell on December 5, 2003

How does one best describe someone who engages in a blatant exercise in Newspeak (viz. arguing that all opponents to the Iraq war were objectively ‘pro-fascist’), and then “invokes Orwell’s blessing”:http://rogerlsimon.com/archives/00000528.htm on his project? Me, I can’t find the words.

Update: goof (Newspeech for Newspeak) fixed.

Update 2: In the spirit of Mr. Simon’s interesting and helpful contribution to our public discourse, we might press for the relabelling of the “Best Liberal Blog” and “Best Conservative Blog” “awards”:http://wizbangblog.com/poll.php as the “Best Pro-Fascist Blog” and “Best Anti-Fascist Blog” respectively. Just to clarify matters.

The Elders are getting at the Protocols

by Henry Farrell on December 5, 2003

Unless I want my contribution to this blog to become some sort of Glenn Reynolds-watch, I’m going to have to stop reading him. Quite simply, whenever he posts on something I know about (EU politics; the governance of information technology), he gets it wrong. And not just wrong on details. More often than not, he’s spectacularly wrong, usually because of some conspiracy theory or another that’s rattling around in his skull. It’s really getting on my nerves. “This”:http://www.instapundit.com/archives/012876.php is a particularly outrageous example.

bq. THE NEW CLASS IS THREATENED BY THE INTERNET, with its intolerance for lies and posturing and its openness to alternative voices. Here’s the response:

bq. Leaders from almost 200 countries will convene next week in Geneva to discuss whether an international body such as the United Nations should be in charge of running the Internet, which would be a dramatic departure from the current system, managed largely by U.S. interests.

bq. The representatives, including the heads of state of France, Germany and more than 50 other countries, are expected to attend the World Summit on the Information Society, which also is to analyze the way that Web site and e-mail addresses are doled out, how online disputes are resolved and the thorny question of how to tax Internet-based transactions.

bq. The “new class” types who dominate international bureaucracies can’t be expected to take the threat to their position lying down. And, as I’ve written before, it’s a very real threat to them, and to others who profit from silencing people. As blogger-turned-Iranian-Parliamentary-candidate Hossein Derakshan notes: “We can’t vote, but we can still say what we really want.”

bq. That’s a horrifying notion to some, and you can expect more efforts to put a stop to it.

It’s hard to know where to start. But I’ll try.

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It was Crooked Timber wot won it

by Brian on December 5, 2003

Wizbang is running a Blog Awards competition. CT is nominated for best group blog and best liberal blog, though not, somehow, for best blog. So head over there, and vote early vote often. I voted for Calpundit, Fistful of Euros and Caoine. (At least, I voted for them in the categories they weren’t competing with CT!) Hat tip: Dave Winer, who would also like you to vote for him.

Don’t do like what I say, do what I does

by Daniel on December 5, 2003

Kevin Drum has a piece of advice for composition students:

“ignore anyone who tells you to write like you talk”

I certainly agree with him that if someone can’t construct a simple English sentence without making two grammatical howlers, you probably shouldn’t listen to them any more. If someone were to instruct you to “write as you speak”, then there might be some point in having a pedagogical debate, but that’s presumably another matter.

Update: Kevin also suggests that “The meaning of a word is never unclear because an apostrophe has been misused”. Its not the daftest claim I’ve seen this week, but I think hell regret making it.

British political blogs

by Chris Bertram on December 5, 2003

“Harry Hatchet”:http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/ has “a piece on the Guardian website”:http://politics.guardian.co.uk/egovernment/comment/0,12767,1099845,00.html on British political blogs. He’s kind enough to mention CT among others.