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Over At One Of My Favorite Websites

Here’s a roundup of interesting links I found at the Arts & Letters Daily:

The divide between art and science is a fascinating question. We take so many images from science for our art, and scientists sometimes study artistic techniques in order to better portray their work in images. So where’s the line, and what does it matter or mean? This article tries to tackle that question. And some of the art here is interesting too.

There’s a great little piece on Stalin and film, which is a connection I knew a little about but not as much as is offered in the article. A little taste:

Stalin loved movies, but he was much more than a movie-buff. The new Communist Party archives in Moscow, and the recently opened personal papers of Stalin, reveal that he fancied himself a super-movie-producer/director/screenwriter as well as supreme censor, suggesting titles, ideas and stories, working on scripts and song lyrics, lecturing directors, coaching actors, ordering re-shoots and cuts and, finally, passing the movies for showing.

So, while in Hitler’s Third Reich, even Goebbels, minister of culture and enlightenment, did not perform all these roles, in Soviet Russia, Stalin considered himself (in modern terms) Sam Goldwyn and Harvey Weinstein, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, Joe Eszterhas and Richard Curtis, rolled into one.

There’s more where that came from, too. Go look at it.

Another link, to an article that describes a list of things we need to do, ranked in order, to fix the world. This list was produced by economists over in Copenhagen, and, well, it’s a list economists would come up with, I figure. Climate’s on the bottom of the list, but then again AIDS and malaria are near the top. Then again, so is trade liberalisation, which I think someone should remind these economists is something even America is shying away from in some areas.

Add a piece by Francis Fuluyama on why he disagrees with Sam Huntington about Mexican immigration to America—he thinks Huntington’s unreasonably worried about it. This amuses me, the idea of an American identity crisis. Of course, right now I am rereading Bruce Sterling’s Distraction and I see my way to thinking Huntington might be right, that America with a white minority might be radically different—which is not to say worse or better, just different.

A quick trot into the land of etymology and the roots of idioms is also worth a glance. And here’s a piece on some academic who defends female genital mutilation.

Now, can there be any question why I love Arts & Letters Daily? The site’s just like a window, letting all kinds of ideas and subjects into my world. Go see it… not today, as I’ve blown their headlines for today, but go look next week, next month, next year. It’ll be worth your time.

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