links for 2010-02-02

02 Feb
  • As we ambled around the halls we finally came to the Penguin store, where Sidin Vadukut’s Dork was being released. Sidin was there himself, mingling around and signing copies. That man is funny. I mean he really is witty. And also he is so easy to talk to. We bought Dork, chatted with him for a bit, kidded around, didn’t hug but surely handed the money over and said bye…
    I would often dream about the day I would meet Ruskin Bond, and all the smart things I would say to him, and how enchanted he would be by me, and perhaps dedicate a book to me too. Naturally, none of this happened and sadly, when I visited Kasauli, I did not even have the guts to go ring his doorbell.
    Anyway. So here was Ruskin Bond, in flesh and blood, infront of me, and I felt like a child. I could not think straight. Mo very kindly helped me locate a book of his, that I could buy for Ruskin Bond to inscribe on. I somehow made it to the enclosed podium, and managed to mumble about the Telegraph magazine days.
  • The only part I understand is what went into the creation of the strip. What readers take away from it is up to them. Once the strip is published, readers bring their own experiences to it, and the work takes on a life of its own. Everyone responds differently to different parts.
    I just tried to write honestly, and I tried to make this little world fun to look at, so people would take the time to read it. That was the full extent of my concern. You mix a bunch of ingredients, and once in a great while, chemistry happens. I can't explain why the strip caught on the way it did, and I don't think I could ever duplicate it. A lot of things have to go right all at once.
  • Economic policy in India, and perhaps in other countries, is constrained by powerful prevailing myths and prejudices. Sometimes these myths simply reflect lazy thinking or an apparent immunity to facts. Sometimes they are shored up by strong vested interests. Sometimes all three. Whatever the reason it is hard to dispute the potency of myths in economic policy making. Here are my 10 favourites, some old, some new.
  • If asked “Are you sleeping every night?”, you’d most probably say “Yes”. But if asked, “Are you satisfied with your sleep?”, your likely answer is “No”. Unfortunately, that’s what the Philips Sleep Survey, conducted by the Nielsen Co. in December, found: 93% of Indians are sleep deprived, getting less than 8 hours of sleep per day; 87% think lack of sleep is affecting their health; 11% took leave from work because of it; 58% felt their job suffered, with 11% actually falling asleep at work.
  • So notice, then, how different our access to books is from our access to documentary films. After a limited time, almost all published books…can be republished and redistributed. No heir of a long-dead author will stop us from accessing her published work…But the vast majority of documentary films from the twentieth century will be forever buried in a lawyer’s thicket, inaccessible (legally) because of a set of permissions built into these films at their creation…
    But it is the accident of our cultural history, created by lawyers not thinking about, as Duke law professor Jamie Boyle puts it, the “cultural environmental consequences” of their contracts, that we can always legally read, even if we cannot legally watch.
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Posted by on February 2, 2010 in Links


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