Daily Office:
Monday, 1 November 2010

Matins

¶ At Naked Capitalism, Yves Smith is persuaded by a commenter to retrieve, from one of her daily roundups, a link to Johann Hari’s persuasive essasy on the efficacy of protests and demonstrations. The most curious thing is that it’s the powerful, the exponents of policies that demonstrators are protesting, who appear to be the most sensitive. And — a point that Anthony Trollope would appreciate — protestors may never know how effective they’ve been.

Lauds

¶ In today’s Times, two pieces on ephemeral art. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Starn brothers are dismantling Big Bambú, while at an undisclosed,abandoned subway station somewhere in the city, an exhibition of graffiti closes immediately upon opening, and not because the MTA shut it down, either.

Prime

¶ At Felix Salmon, Barbara Kiviat weighs and considers the utility of legal vagueness: Paul Volcker believes that financial regulations ought to be vague, to make gaming them difficult; but Michael Lewis thinks that they ought to be starkly unambiguous

Tierce

¶ Anybody who types will be fascinated to read about the two independent feedback loops that alert us to typographical errors. The first, surprise surprise, is called “proofreading,” but there doesn’t seem to be a name for the second, unless it’s “You can just tell.” Ed Yong reports at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

Sext

¶ Have you seen the Feltron Annual Report before? In it, Nicholas Felton (note the interpolated “r” in the report’s title) compiles masses of mundane data about how he has spent a given year. Then he works them up into a spankingly handsome, beautifully printed object. Would you pay for hard copy ($23)? Sean Patrick Cooper does, hopeful that the Report will achieve, one of these years, genuine narrative thrust. That hasn’t happened yet, though. (The Rumpus)

Nones

¶ Simon Johnson’s essay on the background of the now-averted “currency wars” has our heads spinning, largely because we can’t believe that a respectable columnist asserts that the emerging-markets portion of the G2o is in better economic health than the 0ld G7 rump. The problem that interests Mr Johnson, however, is the EMs’ determination to keep their currencies cheap and their reserves “safe.”

Vespers

¶ Sonya Chung offers an appealing modest defense of teaching the writing of fiction. At no point is it a rebuttal of Elif Batuman’s thunderclap, but this only makes it more eloquent. (The Millions)

Compline

¶ “If television is, indeed, our art form, we need to start treating it as such.” So says Daniel D’Addario, who proceeds to demonstrate why we can’t. (The Bygone Bureau)

Have A Look

¶ Steerforth visits the second-oldest building in Britain. (The Age of Uncertainty)

¶ The photographs of Evan Leavitt. (A Continuous Lean)

Noted

¶ Khoi Vinh’s iPad Magazine Stand. (via kottke.org)

¶ Hungarian is just, what with everything else on one’s plate, too Hungarian. (Sore Afraid)

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