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Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Wed Oct 14, 2015 at 01:11:53 AM EST) Reading, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Muslim Revolt", "The Ocean at the End of the Lane". Watching. Links.


What I'm Reading
The Muslim Revolt by Roger Hardy. Short book by a BBC correspondent on the various responses of the Muslim world to imperialism and modernity. It's split into chapters based on various countries the author has visited, but also has historical information too.

Pretty informative, though as ever the complicated web of influences and schisms is easier to forget than to learn. I'll try to keep remembering the distinctions between Salafism, Wahabism and Qutbism

Has some interesting stuff on how the Muslim Brotherhood was affected by repression within the Islamic world. Makes a good point that if the West had paid more attention to the collapse in post-Soviet Afghan, the rise of modern fundamentalism might have been very different. Published in 2010, there's nothing here about Islamic State.

Worthwhile because the author eschews easy generalisations and solutions, but nothing here is particularly startling.

What I'm Reading 2
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Good YA fantasy novel about a man remembering supernatural events from his childhood as he returns home. Has some good depictions of childhood, especially the odd mixture of unreasonable confidence and unreasoning terror at a mysterious world.

What I'm Watching
Saw Ex Machina. Science fiction thriller about an IT peon summoned to a CEO's home where he encounters an android. Thought this was truly excellent: tense, thoughtful, with interesting ideas and some great performances. Well worth seeing.

Links
Articles. The Best Ways To Make Your Photos Black & White. Interview with the CEO behind "sexy" halloween costumes, via. Result of the Baby P outcry; higher costs and worse child protection. "Rape Rooms": How West Virginia Women Paid Off Coal Company Debts. 'Suffrajitsu': How the suffragettes fought back using martial arts What Makes a Good Historian? Is Hamlet fat? Getting a Job, a Short Story by Your Parents, via

Sci/Tech. Codd’s Relational Vision – Has NoSQL come full circle? (Didn't know Codd invented relational databases practically single-handed). Volkswagen PHPUnit extension makes your failing test cases pass under continuous integration. Graphic: If Your iPhone Were Powered By... Anti-Vaxxers Accidentally Fund a Study Showing No Link Between Autism and Vaccines . "Screen time" not so bad for kids?

Politics. 158 families provide half the early money in the 2016 US Presidential race. Magistrate forced to resign after helping out asylum seeker. The curse of the Very Serious People

Video. Morning exercise routine from 1901 strongman Adrian Peter Schmidt. Small town bodybuilders. Coloured water in space station.

Random. The Kuleshov Effect: we project different meanings onto an identical image in a montage depending on the other shots. Decoding barristerspeak. Alternate world webcomic.

< Oh boy boy oh boy | Well, goddamn. >
It never gets better or worse | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
Fat Hamlet by Herring (4.00 / 3) #1 Wed Oct 14, 2015 at 04:17:20 PM EST
I have of late, but wherefore I know not
Lost all my mirth and forgone all custom of exercise.

Further down, there is a suggestion that Hamlet lived in London:

this most excellent canopy, the air—look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours


You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

That sounds more like Beijing firmament to me by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Oct 15, 2015 at 01:53:08 AM EST


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[ Parent ]
I ended up googling again for this article by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Oct 15, 2015 at 09:44:26 AM EST
And got given an old Spectator article claiming Hamlet is just full after lunch.

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[ Parent ]
Screen time... by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Oct 15, 2015 at 06:06:00 PM EST
3 "get off my lawn" thoughts:
  1. Blue balanced (often LED backlight) screens disrupt sleep hormones. Not good for adults, even worse for kids.
  2. Instant accessibility of most screen content (e.g. compared to books, or loading a C64 game on tape) means they aren't learning patience...
  3. Quality content is actually pretty rare. Even much of the good stuff is very simplified and lacking in exploration potential. (c.f. Gardener's App Generation book)


Ocean at the End of the Lane by Herring (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Oct 17, 2015 at 08:07:10 PM EST
Like the only other Neil Gaiman book I've read, it started well but seemed to rush to the end. Not totally satisfying.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

It never gets better or worse | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)