Martin Wolf told The Chicago Council Tuesday evening that the Great Recession revealed a flawed economy guided by a now-discredited “old orthodoxy” of economic thinking. Unhappily, he said, the “new orthodoxy” reforms the old system, but doesn’t transform it, and new crises seem certain.
The Recession, he said, was “a gigantic disaster with a very weak recovery”—even weaker in Europe than here. Seven years later, “we have basically the same financial system,” mildly reformed but still too highly leveraged, too concentrated, and too global, with the same international imbalances that led to the implosion of 2007-08.
Wolf, a regular Council visitor, is the chief economics commentator for the Financial Times. His latest book, The Shifts and the Shocks: What We’ve Learned—and Have Still to Learn—from the Financial Crisis—is a sweeping probe into where the economy is now and where it’s going.
His speech summarized the book’s conclusions and recommendations. He urged major reforms, not to undermine capitalism and globalization but to save them from themselves. As in the book, he held out little hope these “radical” reforms will be adopted.
The only source for this (so far) is Adam-Troy Castro’s Facebook feed. Harlan Ellison, the groundbreaking writer, critic, and editor, has had a stroke. He’s reportedly suffering some right-side paralysis and is recovering in hospital.
Ellison first gained attention with Memos From Purgatory, a memoir of his time running with a New York City street gang while researching his novel Web of the City. He’s produced dozens of books and hundreds of short stories since then, including editing the revolutionary SF anthologies Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions which opened up the sf field to the cultural and literary influences of the 1960s.
Ellison has also been a prolific screenwriter for tv and movies. He wrote the Hugo-winning episode of the original Star Trek, “City on the Edge of Forever”. His most recent tv gig was as creative consultant for Babylon 5.
He’s a legendarily prickly individual, known especially for protracted guerilla wars with studios and anyone he felt was diluting his creative vision.
The above is written mostly from memory, as my library of Ellisonia is in storage 8 time zones away. But he was one of the formative writers of my misspent youth. I devoured the (Ace? DAW? Can’t remember.) multivolume reissue of his early works when I was in junior high.
In honor of a the pleasure of a really seerie read, I’ve compiled a few titles I’ve enjoyed. Please add those that have truly given you the shivers, because of both for the content and the quality of the writing. Please omit true crime other such realities.
1-The White Witch of RoseHall by Herbert G. de Lisser
2-The Shining by Stephen King
3-City of Masks: A Cree Black Novel by Daniel Hecht
4-Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe
5-The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Valliant
6-The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon —I strongly suggest the audio version for the full spine-tingling effect.
Ok, and one movie:
1-The Rite with Anthony Hopkins
Old books have a distinctive smell that can make any book lover’s heart melt. Matija Strlic of University College London described it to The Telegraph as “a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness, this unmistakable smell is as much a part of the book as its contents.”
The secret to the scent is within the hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that make up the book’s paper pages, ink, and adhesive. Over time, the VOCs break down, releasing the chemicals into the air that are picked up by our noses. New books also have a trademark aroma, but it isn’t quite as developed as their older counterparts. Additionally, different materials used in manufacturing the book will alter the VOC profile.
Compound Chemistry reports that hints of almond are created by benzaldehyde, while vanillin emits notes of vanilla. Sweet smells come from toluene and ethyl benzene, and 2-ethyl hexanol produces a light floral fragrance. Additionally, the book can also retain some odors it has been exposed to during its history, such as smoke, water damage, or pressed flowers between the pages.
One historic example of this phenomenon, scientists now believe, is the madness that prevailed in the late 1600s in Salem, Mass. where ergot, a hallucinogenic fungus, infected the rye crops that went into rye bread. Ergot contains lysergic acid, a key compound of the hallucinogenic drug LSD. This tiny fungus and its wild effects on the rye-bread-eating women may have led to the Salem witch trials.
Rossol, a New York chemist and consultant to Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History who publishes the newsletter ACTS FACTS, the Journal of Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety, said that there have not been scientific studies on the hallucinogenic effects of old books.
The magic of the addictive smell of books was very well described by the team of researchers, who concluded that it’s “a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.”
More: More Perfume and Candles
While it would be great if we were past the whole “banning books” thing, the fact remains that hundreds of books have their places in libraries or on school reading lists challenged each year.
According to the American Library Association, books are most commonly challenged for being “sexually explicit” or containing “offensive language.” But some of the books that are most often challenged are also literary classics, containing storylines that almost everyone can learn from.
In honor of Banned Books Week 2014, we’ve pulled together a list of controversial books that every woman should read. They cover sexual freedom and women pushing back against prescribed roles, oppression against women and people of color, and what it means to be a woman in different places and times. Above all, they are stories well told.
I’m half expecting a future episode of Criminal Minds to pick up this theme again. (In season six AJ was gone for awhile due to contract disputes & they brought in the daughter of a serial killer played by Rachel Nichols as an attempted replacement.) Roy Wenzlthe produced a long but well written article that I recommend you punch out to, it will certainly make you think.
She said she, her brother and her mother didn’t know that her father was BTK until the FBI told her in February 2005, shortly after Dennis Rader’s arrest.
She said her father is where he belongs, in prison. She has never visited him there. “I haven’t been brave enough for that yet,” she said.
“He has said he is sorry, but that means nothing,” she said of her father. “He is not worth all the books and the news stories and all the attention.”
And she criticized King, who gave interviews in recent days saying the novella and movie were inspired by the BTK murders, and how the killer lived for years with a family who had no idea what he was doing. “A Good Marriage” is a story in the collection “Full Dark, No Stars,” which was published in 2010.
A group of authors protesting amazon.com ‘s ongoing contract negotiation with publisher Hachette Book Group plans to ask the Justice Department to investigate the retailer’s business practices.
The group, Authors United, plans to send a letter to William Baer, the head of the department’s antitrust division, said Douglas Preston, a Hachette-published author and organizer of the group. Preston says he has the backing of about 1,000 authors including Junot Diaz and Stephen King.
An Amazon spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.
While negotiating with Hachette over the price of e-books, Amazon has limited preorders of some Hachette titles, reduced discounts and delayed shipping times as a negotiating tactic. Amazon wants to sell most e-books at $9.99, the price it says spurs the most sales. Hachette said it should be allowed to price its e-books as it chooses.
In response to a proposal from Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin, the U.S. Congress established the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in I977. Representative Lucien N. Nedzi of Michigan and Senator Ho- ward Cannon of Nevada, the chairman and vice-chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library, sponsored the legislation. With enactment of Public Law 95-I29, approved on October 13, 1977, the Congress affirmed its belief in the importance of the book and the printed word and endorsed a program “to investigate the transmission and diffusion of human knowledge.” President Jimmy Carter approved the legislation as an indication of his “commitment to scholarly research and to the development of public interest in books and reading.” At the first gathering of the Center for the Book’s National Advisory Board, Librarian Boorstin introduced the new Center by saying:
You may wonder why the Library of Congress which, of all places on earth, is a center for the book, should now become a place for the establishing of the Center for the Book. It is to organize, focus, and dramatize our nation’s interest and attention on the book, to marshal the nation’s support-spiritual, physical, and fiscal-for the book.
The Times call for it. Why? Because this is a multimedia, electronic, media-ridden, annual-model age.
How Many of the 100 Most Challenged Books have you read?
In his dissenting opinion in Ginzburg v. United States, Justice Potter Stewart wrote that censorship reflects “a society’s lack of confidence in itself,” and is the “hallmark of an authoritarian regime.” All censorship is done in the name of protecting and defending society from ideas or truth that are deemed dangerous, harmful, or inconvenient. You can cut pages out of a book. You can blacklist it. You can even burn it to ash. But you can’t really burn an idea. And God knows, some have tried.
Since this is the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, I thought I would look at some of the books that are most frequently challenged for removal, as well as the reasoning behind those challenges. Follow beneath the fold for more ….
I came of age in Fairbanks, Alaska, where signage, infographics, and semiotics where minimal so please forgive my fascination for things like subway sign standards books and reflective raised pavement markers.
The manual will be printed using high-quality scans of the ring-binder original. Although the reprint will have a sewn binding, it will remain faithful to its single-sided page format. It will include an introduction by Vignelli’s protégé and Pentagram partner, Michael Bierut, and an essay from New York magazine’s Christopher Bonanos.
Reed emphasized that the manual is meant to be read as much as seen. He pointed to a passage on letter spacing that demonstrates how Vignelli and Noorda expected serious attention to every detail: “A modular system has been devised, which offers consistent spacing for letters and words for the three sizes of type. This unit system must be scrupulously adhered to at all times as this will preclude any inconsistency, regardless of where or when any given sign is being manufactured.”
Reed pointed out that “the vernacular that’s written into the guidelines is different than the subway language itself, but there’s harmony between the two. Unimark had clear and intentional conclusions about directional instructions for the passenger, and in order for that language to work, the guidelines had to be written with confidence, clarity, and conviction.”