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The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But where’s the fun in that?

From 10 July to yesterday, I posted bookmarks from 43 different bookstores. Sixteen of them are closed and twenty-seven are still around. A better ratio than I was expecting.

But too many are gone without having been replaced, and we are poorer and more vulnerable for it.

I Read Banned Books

In light of the appallingly large number of unread and under-read books of poetry currently glowering from the two full shelves behind me, I have resolved to finish reading two books of poetry each week this year. I’ll be keeping track of what I finish here.

twenty-five years

My wife and I met twenty-five years ago today. I was invited over to a friend’s apartment to meet her. She ignored me the entire evening. No hello, no eye contact. Absolutely nothing. Instead, she was forehead-to-forehead with a friend, analyzing a VHS tape of the modern dance concert she’d recently choreographed. She was utterly unapproachable. And I could see instantly how smart, articulate, beautiful, and, most of all, strong she was.

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Some reflections on “When Leaders become Followers”

There was an excellent piece this morning by @schuth asking “what happens when we think about our online environment as if it were a physical space.” He proposed a thought-experiment that considered two online spaces as though they were two coffeeshops with very different community standards and management styles. The piece showed how difficult it can be sometimes for us to understand online “spaces” in the same way we understand spaces out in the physical world.

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Quo Vadimus

For quite a few reasons (which I won’t bore you with), 2006 was the worst year of my life, and it ended badly. I am heartily glad it’s over, even if it is an arbitrary demarcation. All that was bad about 2006 fell within the human universe, and such demarcations, tho arbitrary, are also within the human universe. I am therefore confident that the latter will have a real effect upon the former.

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How do you go on when you’ve lost respect? Respect for a person, a group, a process, a product. When you can see how cheap and nasty, how contingent and ad hoc something is. How do you go on without feeling complicit in the fraud, in the crime? Shoddy work, poor craftsmanship, corners cut — they cheapen us all. The answer is, you go on. In a situation where truth is unwelcome and unrecognized, you carry on, you keep your mouth shut, and you look for the nearest exit.

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Walter Ong, Orality & Literacy:

The personal diary is a very late literary form, in effect unknown until the seventeenth century… The kind of verbalized solipsistic reveries it implies are a product of consciousness as shaped by print culture. And for which self am I writing? Myself today? As I think I will be ten years from now? As I hope I will be? For myself as I imagine myself or hope others may imagine me? Questions such as this can and do fill diary writers with anxieties and often enough lead to discontinuation of diaries. The diarist can no longer live with his or her fiction.