Like caramel on apples, thoughts and ideas make living sweet and they are absorbed through the process of thinking while reading. Rambling through reading lists, online and off, both of material read and lists of items to read, is a regular activity since living an art and reading a treat and life should be more than just swallowed as it goes by. So just to share a few:
A book blog, The Page 99 Test takes one book each post and asks it's author to do the page 99 test, based on the quote by Ford Madox Ford, "Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you." Nicholas Carr, former editor of The Harvard Business Review, pointed to the blog when it featured his newest book, The Big Switch, Rewiring the World from Edison to Google ("Riveting stuff" writes the NY Post"). I wonder if you could do this same test on blogs, taking the 99th post.
Raising sons today is a challenge - at least I find so by my own experience. Now that we know so much more about brains and development, should we seriously consider educating boys and girls separately? When I heard Shirley Franklin, Atlanta's great black mayor, speak of crediting her all-girls school education as one of the formative reasons she had confidence to reach high (she was speaking at a benefit for The Atlanta Girl's School), I first started to wonder about this. Hillary Clinton is also a product of segregated education (Wellesley). As we realize the differences, neurological and otherwise, between the sexes, educating with these differences in mind perhaps makes sense. Read Teaching Boy and Girls Separately and you might, as I did, think this might be a good thing. On sex differences, could or would the media have attacked the character issue of a female candidate regarding sexual innuendos as they did with McCain? No, it would be politically incorrect.
Narrative is an act of framing a story and the truth of matters is often buried. The big brou-haha over the NYTimes article on John McCain, questioning his ethics, had so much buzz. The issue is over the narrative, in politics, as played out in the media. I think this is why nearly 70 percent of Americans believe traditional journalism is out of touch, nearly half turn to internet for news. For more, I'll point you to journalism professor Jay Rosen's article where he questions how vetting stories on the three leading candidates went awry Times and looks for a pattern... He writes, "Times stories were mis-conceived and mis-edited so as to incorporate and express the paper’s own image-shaping needs; and the “facts,” such as they were, were pushed about one way and another toward the end. The paper is not so much a paper anymore; it is itself a candidate." One comment he incorporates: “Candidates create narratives of themselves, which are almost necessarily not wholly accurate portrayals of themselves, ” says Christopher Colaninno, "I think the media gets tripped up when they can establish that candidates narratives are not accurate in someway.” The narrative is such an important part of how candidate stories are framed - Vanity Fair's March feature on Obama says up front that it's story, Raising Obama, where the author says that Obama’s character has been under high magnification "is about the enduring character of a boy and a young man, and how that character has emerged in adulthood." Journalists want to get the story, which involves conflict. Conflict sells. So it is the character.
Five years ago this month we landed in Iraq. I pulled up two reads to mark the occasion - one old, one new. Just released yesterday (and already a bestseller on Amazon) is The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq War by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes (Vanity Fair has a brief synopsis). The cost of caring for our veterans was never considered. I read the first brief speech of note Obama gave (the second was before the '04 Democratic Convention) in October 2002. His speech against going to war with Iraq was a very good read, since he has used this stance as his primary example for his good judgement. Since moving to New Mexico I registered as an Independent and not supporting any candidate at the moment. Morph, we can.