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A warning to my readers

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Wendell Berry, “A Warning To My Readers,” from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

* * *

Yesterday my 5-year-old son told me that he really wants to go to Germany so he can be friends with the guys in Kraftwerk. First, I had to explain that Florian, Karl, and Wolfgang don’t even tour with the band anymore, and second, Kraftwerk are notoriously secretive, so he probably has a better chance of meeting Paul McCartney. (Not that he knows or cares who that is.)

I then tried to explain to him what a tricky thing it is meeting the people who make our favorite things. Sometimes people whose music we really like are not necessarily people we would want to hang out with. And besides, we already get the best parts of them in their work. When you put on a Kraftwerk record or a DVD, I told him, you’re already sort of hanging out with Kraftwerk.

I realized, midway through my monologue, that these are hard concepts even for adult fans to grasp, let alone a 5-year-old fan.

“What really knocks me out,” says Holden Caulfield, in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in The Rye, “is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”

That is, in a sense, one of the things I love in books — that feeling of a human being on the other side of the page who really gets it.  You fall in love with the voice, and part of you wants to talk back to it, and have it talk back to you. But it’s always so much better for me when they’ve been dead for a hundred years, and I don’t even have the temptation to want to meet them.

I love meeting my readers, but I am so aware that the person who writes the books that they read is the best version of me — the most hopeful, the most helpful version of me. In my day-to-day life, I am as confused, and stupid, and pessimistic as anybody. As Wendell Berry puts it, “I am a man as crude as any…”

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jhamill
7 hours ago
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I am a man as crude as any
California
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Why We Don’t Read, Revisited

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Caleb Crain, the New Yorker:

Television, rather than the Internet, likely remains the primary force distracting Americans from books. The proportion of the American population that watches TV must have hit a ceiling some time ago; in the years studied by the American Time Use Survey, it’s very stable, at a plateau of about eighty per cent—roughly four times greater than the proportion of Americans who read. But America’s average TV time is still rising, because TV watchers are, incredibly, watching more and more of it, the quantity rising from 3.28 hours in 2003 to 3.45 hours in 2016.

Set aside the depressing decline in reading — this is an astonishing figure. Who has the time to watch over three hours of television a day?

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jhamill
3 days ago
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It's fascinating that the internet writes about how great TV is now and wonders about the people who watch TV more than surf the internet. Good time to remember that not everyone's habits are the same.
California
betajames
3 days ago
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Michigan
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Verizon will stop selling real-time location data to third-party brokers

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Verizon has pledged to stop selling data that can pinpoint the location of its mobile users to third-party intermediaries, according to The Associated Press. Verizon is the first carrier to end the controversial practice after Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) revealed that one of the companies that purchased the real-time location-tracking data from carriers wasn’t verifying if its users had legal permission to track cellphone users through its service.

In a letter to carriers and the FCC, Sen. Wyden said that Securus Technologies — a company that mainly monitors phone calls to inmates in jails and prisons across the country and also sells real-time location data to law enforcement agencies who must upload legal documents such as a warrant stating...

Continue reading…

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jhamill
3 days ago
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So, instead of making it illegal to share this information *at all*; we're going to accept a large corporation's pledge to stop selling real-time, location-specific information on its customers?
California
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What Scripture Really Says About Dividing Families

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The Economist: “American commentators both religious and secular have been digging deep into the Bible over the past week. They have been searching for answers to the claim by Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general, that a new practice of separating parents and children at the Mexican border is founded in holy writ.”

“People who really want to raise the stakes in this scriptural to-and-fro might consider turning to a verse in Matthew’s Gospel which warns of the dire consequences that may befall anybody who does spiritual harm to children.”

If anyone causes one of these little ones…to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

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jhamill
3 days ago
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The correct response to any government official quoting scripture to justify a law is: That's a line from the bible and not a valid reason for this law/policy/argument because of the separation of church and state.
California
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RT @JulienInverno: @MoebiusArt1 ;) twitter.com/rawfury/status…

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This is #SableGame, a coming-of-age adventure and exploration game by @ShedworksGreg and @ShedworksDan, coming 2019. pic.twitter.com/P5lzu9Ytan


Posted by rawfury on Monday, June 11th, 2018 11:01pm


7735 likes, 3170 retweets

Posted by JulienInverno on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 12:20pm
Retweeted by MoebiusArt1 on Saturday, June 16th, 2018 11:43am


15 likes, 4 retweets
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jhamill
5 days ago
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Sable looks amazing.
California
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Why Doesn't Anyone Answer the Phone Anymore? - The Atlantic

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Not picking up the phone would be like someone knocking at your door and you standing behind it not answering. It was, at the very least, rude, and quite possibly sneaky or creepy or something.

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jhamill
6 days ago
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TL:DR - I don't answer the phone or the door because you don't get to dictate what I do. I'm not obligated to do either.
California
HarlandCorbin
4 days ago
I don't answer because 99% or more of the time it is a spam call. If I don't recognize the number, I don't answer, unless there's a good reason to.
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