Who needs machine readable dates? As far as I can see there are two target audiences for this operation. The first is obviously social applications that have to work with dates, and where it can be useful to compare dates of two different events. An app must be able to see if two events fall on the same day and warn you if they do. However, as a target audience social applications are immediately followed by historians (or historical, chronological applications). After all, historians are (dare I say it?) historically the most prolific users of dates, until they were upstaged by social applications. [more inside]
posted by smcg
on Feb 6, 2013 -
"Everyman His Own Historian"
is the annual address Carl Becker, President of the American Historical Association, delivered on December 29, 1931. It's probably the best thing I've ever read about history, and I thought I'd share it. It's long, but full of lively examples; I'll never forget the image of twenty tons of coal sliding dustily through Mr. Everyman's cellar window. (Via Slawkenbergius's Tales
, the brilliant blog of MeFi's own nasreddin
posted by languagehat
on Apr 22, 2009 -
David Halbertstam dead in tragic car accident.
Experienced, eloquent, and always observant (his dim view of Patrick Ewing
being a notable exception), David Halberstam was a journalistic jack-of-all-trades who was probably best known for his stinging indictment of Vietnam
warrior Robert McNamara
's secretary of defense, in the classic The Best and the Brightest
. A superior war correspondent
before the era
-televised revolutions , Halberstam was also an excellent historian and sports writer. Halberstam's dense but
illuminating The Fifties
is an informative and tightly written study on the Eisenhower
era. And The Children
offers a compelling look at eight young leaders of the Civil Rights Revolution.
Moreover, Halberstam's many writings on basketball
(The Breaks of the Game
, Playing for Keeps
) and baseball (Summer of '49
, October 1964
) rank among the upper
echelon of sports books.
posted by psmealey
on Apr 23, 2007 -
Historian H.W. Brands argues in this month's Atlantic
that we over-venerate our Founding Fathers. John Adams and co., he surmises, were no wiser or more virtuous than our current crop of politicians, but their numerous flaws have been rendered invisible through the rosy glasses of time. What today's politicians could learn from their predecessors, he says, is bravado, the courage to take risks. Why not call a Constitutional Convention and rewrite the rules every so often?
, he asks.
posted by grrarrgh00
on Aug 7, 2003 -