Lots of small things to blog about.
Allegory of the Cave as a claymation film (3 minutes). Great but it made me realize how much I missed the first time I read Plato!
Here’s Life after Tomorrow, a delightful 70 minute documentary about some of the people who starred in the Annie Broadway play as children. This film is pure joy.
AT SXSW Interactive I saw Dan Roam talk about visual thinking. (Here are his succinct diagrams illustrating the health care debate). I bought both of his books and found them fascinating. The trick is reading the text and trying to imagine how Roam will illustrate these abstract ideas. Here is an audio interview with Dan Roam by Moira Gunn.
I just learned that apparently you can use a Pen + pad device to draw over Power Point presentations. You need a USB device costing about $50-75, but it’s extremely helpful, especially if you are trying to do on-the-flaw diagrams.
Sam Greenspan’s 11 Funny Graphs about Twitter.
Although I like idiotprogrammer as a blog name, I would seriously change it to Booby Naked (just because it’s more memorable). Just an idle thought.
Bill Palmer asks how long it will take for the iPad to become a kind of joke:
Hundreds of thousands of people have already plunked down for a device that they can’t even get their hands on until next month, and many of them will go wait in line to pick it up because they don’t want to be in the bathroom when the delivery man comes and risk not being among the first to get their hands on one. The question isn’t whether Apple will sell a million iPads in the first year, but how many millions. As such, the first generation iPad will be consumed by the masses in a way that the first (second, third) generation iPod never was. Here’s the funny part: no matter how well received the first generation iPad might be next month, even if most users consider it to be a gift from above, within two or three years it’ll be considered a joke in comparison to whatever the future iPad lineup looks like at that point.
Some fascinating audio:
- from the PEN podcasts, here’s a fascinating and enjoyable conversation with translators Gregory Rabassa and Edith Grossman (mp3). Both translators mentioned their fave underappreciated authors. Grossman said Alvaro Mutis (check) and Mayra Montero (who!?). Rabassa mentioned Osman Lins’ Avalovara and Lima’s Paradiso. Ok, copies of all these things have been bought (except Mutis, whom I know and love). Damn you, half.com!
- from SXSW podcasts, here’s a fascinating History of the Button by Bill DeRouchey. By the way, there’s a decent shot that my panel Novel in 2050: Tolstoy vs. Twitter at SXSW will be available as a podcast.
- From the always excellent Writing Show podcast, a discussion about novels from ancient Greece, a discussion about Chris Anderson’s Free from a publishing perspective (great audio book review!), Catherine Anne Jones about spirituality in writing (this is not a subject of interest to me, but Jones made it interesting), Networked Books (with the if:book people), Boychick literature (humorist novelist Gerald Everitt Jones). Also, here’s the transcript with Will Eisner biographer Bob Andelman.
- Wired for Books interviews. Yes, I have listened to all 250+ of the WFB interviews. They run the gamut, and about 30% could be classified as “celebrity interviews” but most are entertaining and insightful. Part of the charm of these interviews comes from the fact that the author guests never expected that the full audio would ever be archived somewhere. They thought they were recording only a 3 minute interview. Interviews I recommend: Ray Bradbury (what a raconteur), Barry Hannah (who died recently btw), Thomas Keneally, Jane Smiley (total egghead), John Barth (IBID), James Dickey (highly entertaining and insightful), James Michener (not a fan of his fiction, but his anecdotes here were great) Jerzy Kosinski (he sounded like a loon and he was defensive about a minor literary scandal, but still an amazing interview), Harold Brodkey, Henry Louis Gates (talks about unearthing early African-American novel Our Nig) William Shirer (talked about WW2 reporting), John Gardner (sounds more modest and open-minded than I expected), Walter Tevis, P.D. James (never expected to enjoy this as much as I did), Doris Lessing, Han Suyin (great interview! brilliant and fascinating Asian woman!) Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers!), Karl Shapiro, and Raymond Carver (the two interviews were interesting though not particularly riveting; the interview with his wife Tess Gallagher is a lot more revealing). Of course, the most notable find was the Jack Matthews interview (mp3) which I blogged about here.
- Moira Gunn does a great interview show called Tech Nation. I already mentioned the Roam interview above. Here’s another interview with Jaron Lanier.