Weekend Reading, 9/23/11

Happy first day of fall, particularly for those of you who live in parts of the country where that is not merely a calendrical fact, but an existential one as well.

“Facebook Boldly Annexes the Web” by Ben Elowitz at All Things D: There are occasionally rumbling about Facebooks fall from grace, for example around the release of Google+ and whenever Facebook changes its layout, as it did a few days ago, or stumbles on privacy. Elowitz, however, believes Facebook is just getting started on the path to redefining the Web. (Beware, there is a good deal of hype to cut through.)

“Rethinking Chesterton” by Jay Parini in the The Chronicle of Higher Education: Nice piece on Chesterton, his wonder at life, good cheer, adroit mind, and enduring significance. As you may have noticed if you’ve been dropping in for awhile, you’ll have noticed that I think rather highly of Chesterton, and I keep good company in doing so.

“Tempest in an Inkpot” by Graham T. Beck in The Morning News: Another take on the (ir)relevance of cursive script. Good on the recent history of handwriting and its entanglement with technology all along the way. Seems to suggest that this entanglement means we ought not care too much about the eclipse of cursive, I tend to think the contrary is true. May write more about this at some point.

“The Unsung Sense: How Smell Rules Your Life” by Catherine de Lange at New Scientist: Interesting piece on our sense of smell, including its relation to memory. “Our sense of smell may even help us to pick up on the emotional state of those around us. This idea has been highly controversial …”

This isn’t exactly recent, but check out this older post on the 1939 World’s Fair for two video clips of General Motor’s Futurama exhibit complete with narration. The exhibit depicted the “wonder-world of 1960” as a grand, utopian vision of the future. Fascinating. “Man continually strives to replace the old with the new.”

Update: The World’s Fair videos linked above appear no longer to be available. Take a look at this Wired story from last year for the videos along with a number of color photographs from the event.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Reading, 9/23/11

  1. Re: GKC …

    have you seen this site?

    Chesterton As Mystic
    By Robert Wild

    Pasted from

    Your Frailest Thing offers great tangents that ricochet in many areas. Thanks.

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