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By TheophileEscargot (Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:18:55 AM EST) Reading, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Bacchae", "One Shot", "Stardust". Links.


What I'm Reading
The Bacchae by Euripedes, translated by Robin Robertson. Play about the arrival of the ecstatic god Dionysus in Thebes. Been meaning to read this for a while since I saw the superb adaptation The Lightning Child at the Globe: this seems to have followed the original more closely than I thought, apart from doing the more brutal stuff on stage.

Seems like a good, flowing translation. Was particularly good on the irony as the upcoming deaths are foreshadowed.

I think this play definitely works better when you know what's coming up, as the original audience did. Still not sure about Shakespeare where he did change established endings.

What I'm Reading 2
Finished the Jack Reacher thriller One Shot by Lee Child. This is the one that got made into a movie starring a miscast Tom Cruise as the tall burly avenger/investigator. Decent entry in the series with a well set up mystery, though I'm not sure why they picked this over some of the earlier ones.

I liked the playing against type where the ex-Marine sniper who help out refuses to shoot too near civilians, turns out not to have any extra weapons, and hates driving a Humvee.

What I'm Reading 3
Stardust by Neil Gaiman is Lord Dunsuny-inspired fairytale about a young man journeying into fairyland in pursuit of a falling star.

Got this as a free Kindle book, but didn't really get into it. Felt like it veered a bit too much between twee fairytale stuff and more realistic modes. Still, worth every penny. Others may well like it mor. I think it depends on your personal levels of suspension of disbelief

Links
Socioeconomics. The fall of the skilled worker. Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist. Regulation is positively correlated economic dynamism. Taxes are positively correlated with economic freedom.

Random. Mingering Mike: the soul singer who never existed. Soviet homemade car. How to roast meat on a spit. Quiz: North Korean Slogan or TED Talk Sound Bite? Arithmographe: 1699 mechanical calculator.

Articles. Don't judge a book by its author.

Pics. Soviet shop windows. Colourised 1942 magazine rack. The World's Rockets to Scale.

Politics. Ed Miliband’s critics hate him for his success.

Video. Cinematography: quadrants geometric staging, via.

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Stardust by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 11:43:52 AM EST
I quite like the book, but I think I first read it after I'd seen the film adaptation which I like a lot.



re: regulation vs. dynamism. by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Feb 20, 2015 at 03:17:13 PM EST
i would suggest the correlation is the result of a common cause: state capitalism.

a widespread mistake in recent thinking, especially in public discourse, is equating business and startups in particular with innovation. but these are not the thing itself, they're effects of innovation and not even the primary effect.

innovation is not driven by market phenomena. the market wants a product now, it doesn't want a better product or a new kind of product in a decade. the appearance of being new is good enough the market.

innovation is the result of research and research primarily happens in state owned and state funded institutions, e.g. the university systems, arguably bell labs before certain federal policy changes, military engineering firms, national labs, NASA etc.

recent decades have seen a decline (at least in the US) in public and institutional commitment to scientific research. reaganism has filled the void with claims that business drives innovation, but the truth is that business only brings innovation to market -- an important task, of course.

startups are a great thing, but you only have to look at some of the goofs at the forefront of the tech startup world (e.g. paul graham) to get a feel for how much innovation these people are really producing. do they bring goods and services to market that people that are novel in the sense that they hadn't previously existed? sure. do they do things that people in the relevant research community are surprised by in terms of the basic science and engineering that go into them? hardly ever. that's fine, but it's important to remember what the source is when you talk about public policy.

since the 90s, there's been a murmur of discussion about research science becoming a sort of religious vocation. the ideology of deregulation brings with it policy that creates this situation and it is the common cause.

Unusual piece... by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat Feb 21, 2015 at 03:44:02 AM EST
from Peter Oborne there.

I wonder how it will play if Milliband manages to get into power, despite his lack of PR skills.

Perhaps more noteworthy... by Metatone (4.00 / 2) #4 Sat Feb 21, 2015 at 04:00:34 AM EST
because typically for magazine deadlines it will need to have been written before the HSBC thing blew up.

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