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« Computer Games and Me | Main | Computer Games and Me Redux »

April 22, 2003


Friedrich --

Will Duquette writes about how a math/econ/techie guy like himself also keeps up a major interest in reading and writing, here. And be sure to check out the latest issue of Will's book-review publication Ex Libris here.

I've thought for years that the desktop metaphor is one of great cultural achievements of the last decades. It's fun, it's attractive, it's instantly-graspable (or almost) and it has made computers useful to millions who'd otherwise avoid them. (Name me one other recent cultural innovation that has accomplished so much. Well, maybe the web itself.) So I've always been puzzled when I've stumbled onto a Big-Think article where some visionary geek was arguing that the desktop metaphor has played itself out, and that it's time to devise a new way to use computers. Sez who? Yahmdallah (here) makes much good sense on the topic.

Felix Salmon takes on an earlier posting of mine (here) and argues (here), if I understand him right, that 1) "Literary fiction" exists as a specific kind of writing (no argument from me here), and that 2) It's a better and more significant kind of fiction writing than any other. Hmmm. But it's a provocative posting, and kudos to Felix for making use of book-sales information in his reasoning. There's much yet-to-be-made-use-of wisdom to be dug out of book-sales information.

Brian Micklethwait, well-known for his contributions to Samizdata (here) and Brian's Education Blog (here), has finally decided that enough's enough, it's time to get serious about cultureblogging too. So he's begun posting every day here -- which means a fiesta of fresh thinking and entertaining writing for culture-blogsurfers to enjoy. Three blogs! Brian gets my nomination for the hardest working man in the blog business.

I'm not the only blogger musing about movies and digital video. Polly Frost (here) has watched Rebecca Miller's "Personal Velocity," and wonders about where digi-video may be taking the movies. In another posting, here, she asks why the new computerized movie spectacles feel so different than the old "everyone in that crowd scene really was there" spectacles. James Russell (of Hot Buttered Death, here) kicks in some brainy musings of his own in a comment on Polly's posting. I'm amused to see that there are still a few people in the world who are familiar with the work and thinking of the film critic and theorist Andre Bazin. Now there's a name that brings back memories.

I'm a big admirer of Judith Martin, the etiquette-advice columnist known as Miss Manners. I take and enjoy her as a philosopher in the practical-and-useful American tradition of Eric Hoffer. (She's very interesting on the role etiquette and manners play in a society.) I also think she's a wonderful writer and public character, and I'm betting that her work will find a place in some future Library of America. (Felix Salmon is betting that it won't.) Of course, I'm also betting that in the future we're likely to have many different Library-of-America-style canons, and not just one, so what if anything is being proven here I'm not sure. In any case, American Enterprise magazine has just published a good q&a with Martin here.

Evan Kirchhoff's blog 101-280 (here) is one of my favorite recent discoveries. Evan seems 1) at home in the world of culture, 2) super-comfy with technology, and 3) able to muse, reflect and amuse on what he observes -- and to do so in plain and lively English. A treat, in other words.

Tim Hulsey writes wonderfully about Jean-Luc Godard's In Praise of Love here, a film I posted about some time ago here. Well, that makes two of us who have seen the movie. There must be, what, a couple of dozen old-style film buffs who are still curious about Godard?

Here's a page of gnomic quotes from Godard, that brilliant burnout.



posted by Michael at April 22, 2003


Well, I did five years of film studies at university so picking up on Bazin was unavoidable. Just nice to find an opportunity to use that knowledge in public :)

Posted by: James Russell on April 22, 2003 10:35 PM

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