Monday, 14 October 2013

News: Chabris vs Gladwell, Munro, And The Everything Store

Christopher Chabris has issues with Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath. Gladwell tells Chabris to chill the heck out.

"I was simply saying that all writing about social science need not be presented with the formality and precision of the academic world," Gladwell writes. "There is a place for storytelling, in all of its messiness."



Munro, Munro, Munro. Was her Nobel Literature win unexpected? Seems that way, judging from the sudden outpouring of affection after the announcement was made.

Meanwhile, Someone thinks that "No American author should win the Nobel Prize" ... and explains why that may be a good thing. I don't think so - why set limits? But yeah, why don't more Americans win the Nobel Prize in Literature?


Happening elsewhere:

  • Writer and inveterate wanderer Adrianna Tan is writing a book about travelling solo in India, especially for single female travellers, and she's crowdsourcing the funds for it. Help her out, please?
  • RIP Pulitzer Prize-winning Cuban-American writer Oscar Hijuelos.
  • Behold: Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's buzzword-packed letter. Do not write like this.
  • A very brief history of @#$%&! How did the grawlix become a stand-in for swearing in comics?
  • The endearingly crabbit Nicola Morgan's guidelines on working for nothing. "...do it when it's right, but understand when it isn't."
  • I suppose if you're Andrew Wylie, who's published the likes of Vladimir Nabokov, Phillip Roth and Saul Bellow, you could get away with spouting one-liners in interviews.
  • From The Horologicon, some lost words that might be useful today.
  • The hidden library of Dunhuang, discovered about a century ago, and the effort to preserve what's left of its contents.
  • At the Frankfurt Book Fair: What is a publisher now?
  • OMG. Joseph Stalin was also an EDITOR? Explains a lot about him - and the profession.
  • Here's the incredible story of how Amazon became "the everything store", which can be found in this book . Not sure if I'd want to work there, considering how Amazon chief Bezos reportedly rebukes employees who annoy him: "I'm sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?" "Do I need to go down and get the certificate that says I'm CEO of the company to get you to stop challenging me on this?" "Why are you wasting my life?" Stomp, stomp roar, JB.
  • A new book suggests that the man who became Pope Francis secretly helped people during Argentina's "Dirty War".
  • How France is protecting independent bookstores. But is something missing from this 'protection'?
  • So, many of history's first artists were women? Cool.
  • Are TED talks overrated?
  • The Delhi University copy shop in the centre of a fight against custom-made "course packs" - "de facto 'textbooks' made of photocopied portions of various books" - by several publishers.
  • Former Granta editor John Freeman's five favourite books of criticism.
  • Do unsuccessful writers give better advice than the big names?
  • In this review of James Franco's Actors Anonymous, somebody asks, "Why does James Franco make people so angry?" Maybe the question should be, "Why are people having issues with James Franco?"
  • Some people weren't thrilled that Helen Fielding killed off Mark Darcy in her latest Bridget Jones novel. Several Bridget Jones fans in the UK tell us why that had to happen. In The Guardian, Rachel Cooke looks at the long literary tradition that states all single women must want to - gaaah! - get hitched.
  • Author-reviewer feuds on Goodreads force changes to moderation policy ... and confirms that human beings can and will convert any place into a battlefield.

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