July 24, 2020

The Cure and the Disease

Social Darwinism from AIDS to Covid-19
posted by latkes at 9:58 PM PST - 10 comments

"I guess I’m known for Big Mouth Billy Bass..."

An Oral History of Big Mouth Billy Bass This is absolutely priceless and a must read for sheer hilarity. Take a guy who'd rather make silly toys than work in Washington. Have his wife come up with a silly idea. Add a fish head that turns and a few songs and it's magic. The fish has made it to movies, television, to the Bush family. There's a restaurant that will adopt your Big Mouth Billy Bass and give it a good home. There's an art car. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:14 PM PST - 39 comments

Infinite Information in a Finite World

"But information is physical. Modern research shows that it requires energy and occupies space. Any volume of space is known to have a finite information capacity (with the densest possible information storage happening inside black holes). The universe’s initial conditions would, Gisin realized, require far too much information crammed into too little space. “A real number with infinite digits can’t be physically relevant,” he said."Physicist Nicolas Gisin is seeking to describe a physics that doesn't presume infinitely precise knowledge of initial conditions. (Atlantic) [more inside]
posted by blue shadows at 6:46 PM PST - 42 comments

lower the stakes

Spend More on Society and Get More for Yourself - "The coronavirus crisis demonstrates a basic truth. American individualism has made individuals unhappy and, too frequently, sick. There is another way, an economist says." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:09 PM PST - 20 comments

"Until recently, literatures were studied separately by nation"

@Bigger6Romantix (7/23/2020, Twitter), "Looking for a great (and free!) teaching resource? Transatlantic Romanticism: An Anthology of British, American, and Canadian Literature 1767–1867 (eds. Lance Newman, Joel Pace & Chris Koenig-Woodyard) is now online!" [as a PDF from 2006--"a #Bigger6-inflected" 2nd ed. is planned]. Somewhat related: Ronjaunee Chatterjee, Alicia Mireles Christoff, Amy R. Wong (LA Review of Books, 7/10/2020), "Undisciplining Victorian Studies": "This essay challenges the racism that undergirds Victorian Studies and maintains it, demographically, as an almost entirely white field"; and Nathan K. Hensley (blog, 7/21/2020), "The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 10th Edition: Volume E, The Victorian Age. Reader's comments": "Any anthology freezes into solidity a certain vision of the field of inquiry it delimits. So what is the vision of the field marked out by the Victorian Norton's 10th edition?"
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:28 AM PST - 3 comments

come for the SNES sprite art, stay for The Baby Agitator

An engineer, in fine engineer fashion, decides to save time making perler bead sprite art by hand by spending nine months iterating on a modified perler bead 3D printer.
posted by cortex at 9:47 AM PST - 26 comments

Your Favorite Song Sucks and No One Even Remembers It

When records are not replayed, they become fleeting fads in the eyes of history. In the case of “Wild Wild West,” the only people who understood its importance were those who were there in 1999, at peak Will Smith. But, some songs will survive—the ones most recognized by Gen Z. Defining the ’90s Music Canon, Part II of "How Music is Remembered" from The Pudding. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 8:05 AM PST - 185 comments

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