Friday, October 25, 2019

LInks 25 October 2019

Aztec architectural ornament showing youth, old age and death as nested faces

Reading books vs. listening to them.

Amputees who merge with their prosthetic limbs.

Whalefall: the video.

A skeptical look at Viking warrior women.

Mostly evolution works by modifying existing genes or adapting them to new purposes. But sometimes species create new genes from scratch.

Weird report from a Florida suburb which, the writer says, has divided into hostile factions that regularly sue each other and call the cops on each other's children, despite all being white Republicans.

Interesting analysis of 50 people who claim to have achieved a state of mystic enlightenment; among other things it reveals that the people around them can't tell the difference.

Dramatic population decline in southeastern Europe as young people seek opportunity elsewhere; by 2050 Bulgaria may shrink by 25%.

How to give advice.

Interesting short article on the history of corporate science in the US.

You can download all 435 images from Audubon's Birds of North America here.

Rating the new plant-based burgers. I tried an Impossible Whopper recently and to me it tasted indistinguishable from a regular Whopper, that is, pretty bad. As my eldest son said, they've achieved the bare minimum. But maybe with proper preparation the stuff could actually be good.

A late obituary for Sanmao (1943-1991), a Taiwanese writer whose journey to the Sahara and defiant pose toward authority captivated and still captivates Chinese women.


Shadow said...

Listening versus Reading

Yes, I can just imagine listening to Critique of Pure Reason. The rewind button would break. Audio is terrible for taking notes or returning to passages in earlier chapters. And with fiction the reader comes between me and the characters. I like drawing the characters in my mind and the reader gets in the way of that because he has his own interpretation.

JustPeachy said...

I missed that article of Dreher's. JMG over at Ecosophia has a useful term for what's described there: cacomagic. He uses it literally, to describe magic performed without regard to its effects on other people and the broader world. But it seems a useful metaphor for life: once everyone, from me and my neighbor to advertisers and journalists, to the president, starts acting as though their own wants and intentions are the only thing that matter, screw the consequences... it's an ugly scene.

David said...


I haven't read the essay, but I think we're talking personal proclivities here. I've loved audio books for more than three decades now. To me, a good reader adds, doesn't detract, to both fiction and non-fiction. Glencoe read by Donal Donnelly (the one I listened to 30 yrs ago) and Nixonland read by Stephen Thorne are among the great intellectual-aesthetic experiences of my life. I could list many others. And, if you also have the print book, it isn't hard to take notes. I've got 20 pages of notes on Nixonland.

True, dense philosophy probably isn't at its best via audio. But I for one have no yen to read Critique of Pure Reason in any form.

Shadow said...


Yes, personal proclivities. Almost everyone I've talked to agrees with you and not me.

And, yes, having a hardcover version makes note taking easier than having the audio alone. It also makes it easier with ebooks, at least for me. I have the ebook and hard copy versions of Peter Watson's "Ideas," and while I read the ebook (easier on my eyes), I mark up the hard copy. What I'd like to see is publishers offering the ebook version for $1.99 when you purchase the hard copy.