Just some chick.

On The Birth of Adulthood in American Culture

@MrTeacup that's just the thing. I don't think it's all that rare that parents just try to give their best judgement disinterestedly, knowing that the most important thing is to protect the child's autonomy. Because rational adults hope that the child will do better than they did themselves (and that necessitates choosing differently than we did!) The main thing is to keep the door open. (?)

Posted on September 16, 2014 at 1:46 am 0

On The Birth of Adulthood in American Culture

@MrTeacup fascinating as ever. I do love the cut of your jib.

I am not saying that any of these characters or stories are "versions of Pinocchio", though. I said only that these three guys remind me of the donkey-boys of the Disney cartoon: what happens to bad boys, yes, drawn in the broadest strokes.

I'm a parent and also a child, and I in no way believe that "less selfishness, more empathy" is a matter of "parental authority" or getting anyone to behave. It's just plain true that empathy, restraint, thoughtfulness etc. ("adult" virtues) make for a better and happier and more interesting human life. This isn't about "obedience": it's about an undeceived and proportionate understanding of one person's place in the world.

I don't tell my kids that so they'll be less trouble! I tell them that because I want them to be more happy and to live more fully.

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 11:11 pm 0

On The Impossible Reddit

"the reason is because"

Posted on September 8, 2014 at 3:58 pm 1

On Take Time

@davidwatts so good

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm 0

On Who Reads 'Mein Kampf'?

Wow, "did good for Germany"--I guess they haven't seen photos of Berlin afterward. What does that even mean, to the person who wrote that. (Such a great piece, thank you.)

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm 0

On Portrait of an Israeli Peace Protest

Great great great piece. Thank you.

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 12:32 am 0

On Seriously, Fuck You, "Kindle Unlimited"

@Donna Michele Fernstrom@facebook lol. Several (NOT all) commenters here have astutely noted that as the author of this post I am in fact an author. It would be pretty remarkable, therefore, if I were against authors getting paid.

Traditional publishers take a larger cut of e-book proceeds than does Amazon-as-publisher. But in exchange, they offer authors and readers services they need. I leave you to consider how many authors, given the choice between self-publishing through Amazon or taking a conventional deal at FS&G, will take the former.

Compensating authors for e-books distributed through libraries: as I mentioned above, both Scribd and Oyster have made acceptable deals with the Big Five (acceptable to the Big Five, I mean) that result in author compensation for those books. It's Amazon's greed and its insatiable monopolistic ambitions that have created the situation I'm so angry about. Everyone who cares about literary culture should avoid doing any business there ever.

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 11:39 am 0

On Moral Calculus Elucidated

@William Reichard@facebook That's not the point of what's being said. The shocking thing about Amazon's conduct as a publisher (and retailer, and reviewer) of books is their imperial ignorance of (and total unconcern with) why one book might be worth more than another, or why anyone would care to read one.

As for monopolistic practices, the writing is on the wall there, too. Lots of it. But for one example: self-published authors aren't permitted to participate in the Kindle Unlimited program on Amazon unless they agree to give Amazon exclusive publishing rights.

Posted on July 30, 2014 at 6:27 pm 1

On 2015 Summer Movie Forecast: Desert Explosions With a Chance of Good

Maybe it's the utter fragility of the painted, hurtling, sweating flesh in it against the hellscape and explosions and pole-dangling and spikes... every frame looks unsurvivable.

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm 0

On Seriously, Fuck You, "Kindle Unlimited"

@Amber: authors are paid through Scribd and Oyster at rates negotiated with each publisher. The terms of those deals have not been made public, but we have heard no Hachette-style howls of mutiny, as with Amazon. The (very reasonable) terms agreed between Scribd and Oyster with the self-publisher Smashwords have been reported. So far it appears that authors and publishers are being treated relatively fairly at Scribd and Oyster.

Finally, neither Scribd nor Oyster (nor Netflix, come to that) appear to be attempting to acquire monopoly control of their respective industries.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm 1