A day late for his would-be 51st birthday it’s probably time I finally blog about my treatment of David Foster Wallace’s Host. The detailed explanation is available on site but wrapped up in the project is a long-held affection for Wallace, a curiosity about the still underexplored possibilities for long-form text on the internet and a desire to just try some stuff.
There are four different footnote options to explore and I’d love to hear peoples’ thoughts on their favorites, their most hated, or an option they would have liked to see instead.
Someday there’ll be a longer post on skeumorphism, footnotes vs. hyperlinks, physical vs. digital possibilities, and maybe content geography, but, for now, this.
- The same person who recommended I read Risk Pool (blah) recommended Edgar Sawtelle around the same time (years ago). This was one of the best books I’ve read in years.
- Read while at airport, fine airport reading. Wouldn’t recommend.
- A better read about being a writer than On Writing. Fell in love with Baker.
- I love King, I’m a huge fan of The Dark Tower series but I didn’t get much out of this. I think so many blog posts, etc have recycled/summarized his tips that I didn’t need to read the book.
- Not as great as people said it would be, some moments of sudden clarity, she struck a few profound thoughts in my head but her writing style (I hate when authors use all caps) bothered me.
- Told through reviews/entries on a message board, read the entire thing in one sitting, great, gave me nightmares for a week.
- I’m an idiot and for some reason assumed the advice would be different than what I’ve already seen on The Rumpus.
- Oh, the ending is so creepy and made me so angry.
- Was frightened it would be another Girls in White Dresses, it wasn’t - it was great. The plot was obvious and characters stereotypical except for small, wonderful quirks that kept the story fascinating and horridly realistic.
- I hated The Financial Lives of Poets, loved this book. Walter surprised me. Found myself crying on the subway while reading the end.
- Picked it up during U and I, can’t get past his perfect metaphors, to the point that it becomes a distraction from the narrative. Kinda don’t love it?
- Saunders is great, all his character voices sound the same, bothers me.
My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. Eat while warm, burn your tongue, worth it.
Since I’m no longer cataloguing books I’ve read for Judging, I figure I should go back to blogging them, kinda.
- Read on plane to Arizona, regretted the time spent reading it. Does Jonathan Tropper have an obsession with his past? The only book I’ve also read of his was The Book of Joe but it again focused on hometown friends, fame, and attempts to reconnect with the past.
The Age of Miracles
- Read on plane back from Arizona, slightly less regretted time spent reading it than Plan B. Couldn’t get rumors of her advance out of my head, felt like publishers threw money at it hoping it’d be a phenomenon like Room, instead was more like The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake; fascinating in theory, underdeveloped plot.
Of Human Bondage
- This book has been on my shelf for over three years. I’m happy I finally read it. I’m in love with Mildred. I can’t get Hayward out of my mind, particularly when dealing with similar, real-life characters. I would’ve supported Philip smothering his uncle but he was the unluckiest man in the world so it probably wouldn’t have turned out well. Reminded me of Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky.
The Year of Magical Thinking
- A present from co-workers Jake and Nick, their answer to my claim of ‘no good memoirs’. It was good. I cried. I won’t approach Blue Nights.
- I (re)read the Alexandria Quartet whenever I hate love.
The Risk Pool
- Richard Russo is a good author that I can say nothing interesting about - his book was on my shelf, I’m reading it, I’m enjoying, I won’t regret the time spent reading it, but I’ll put it down after finishing and never think of the book again.
The Turn of the Screw
- The Master (not the movie, Toibin’s book) made me fall in love with Henry James. Currently reading this on my commute, love free ebooks on Kindle. Am only 20 of those little epages into the story, so nothing to say yet.
A while back (before the recent API controversy) I tweeted, “Twitter should buy IFTTT”. A lot of people replied, some agreeing and others not as much.
The trouble with Twitter is that they can’t touch the stream. No money making schemes can be baked into innovation in design, because the design can’t fundamentally change. All things serve the stream (yes, Dark Tower reference). Therefore, I presumed it’d be actions inside of and away from the stream that Twitter would monetize - ’recipes’ for Favorites, RT, links tweeted with certain hashtags, clickthroughs, could be partnerships and premium features.
Instead, they’ve created Twitter cards. The idea with Twitter cards is that:
it is data that doesn’t necessarily have to be included in your tweet. It can be anything related to the URL that is linked to, and can even include semi-personalized information.
via Way of the Duck
So far, these Twitter cards have been used to give a small image alongside the first sentence of an article for media properties. For photos, it’s basically the photo.
At Findings, we’ve manipulated it to show your post on Findings, but the link in the tweet leads people back to the source. In the Twitter dialogue box, you can input anything. So, your tweets can appear like this
Clicking the link takes the user straight to the article on Esquire. We decided the source is more important than the post, since the entirety of the post is contained in the tweet already.
Future plans for the Twitter cards include
Before Twitter cards, every opportunity to tweet from an app was created to be as self-serving to that app as possible. It’s always boring.
The new Hosu lounge by Patricia Urquiola is on sale on @Fab for just a few more fabulous days: http://fab.com/sale/11775/
With Twitter cards, Fab could inject a decently sized photo of the product along with the URL and potentially sell the product inside of the stream. This is all in the expanded view so the sanctity of the stream is still saved. Uninterested? Keep skimming.
Is this going to make Twitter money? Making buying easier increases likelihood of purchase. We all know this. Producers especially know this. But in order for that amount of money to be significant, Twitter has to become the average user’s default browser. As in, I want tickets to Argo, so I visit Argo’s Twitter account to buy them. This is not likely to happen, Fandango and other ticket services have better options than Twitter possibly could place into a card. But, Twitter is betting on the same thing that’s worked for them forever, the reason Twitter *does* work - serendipity.
Serendipity is the reason you keep checking the stream, even when there’s nothing timely occurring to check on. Sudden opportunities to network/socialize, surprising reads, jokes; this is why you open the Twitter app outside of work.
So, stumbling across a promotion in my stream for tickets to see Argo at Union Square Cinemas on Twitter and being able to buy it with one-click? That might work.
I went to the mall, and a little girl called me a terrorist.
My name is Ela. I am seventeen years old. I am not Muslim, but my friend told me about her friend being discriminated against for wearing a hijab. So I decided to see the discrimination firsthand to get a better understanding of what Muslim women go through.
My friend and I pinned scarves around our heads, and then we went to the mall. Normally, vendors try to get us to buy things and ask us to sample a snack. Clerks usually ask us if we need help, tell us about sales, and smile at us. Not today. People, including vendors, clerks, and other shoppers, wouldn’t look at us. They didn’t talk to us. They acted like we didn’t exist. They didn’t want to be caught staring at us, so they didn’t look at all.
And then, in one store, a girl (who looked about four years old) asked her mom if my friend and I were terrorists. She wasn’t trying to be mean or anything. I don’t even think she could have grasped the idea of prejudice. However, her mother’s response is one I can never forgive or forget. The mother hushed her child, glared at me, and then took her daughter by the hand and led her out of the store.
All that because I put a scarf on my head. Just like that, a mother taught her little girl that being Muslim was evil. It didn’t matter that I was a nice person. All that mattered was that I looked different. That little girl may grow up and teach her children the same thing.
This experiment gave me a huge wakeup call. It lasted for only a few hours, so I can’t even begin to imagine how much prejudice Muslim girls go through every day. It reminded me of something that many people know but rarely remember: the women in hijabs are people, just like all those women out there who aren’t Muslim.
People of Tumblr, please help me spread this message. Treat Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Taoists, etc., exactly the way you want to be treated, regardless of what they’re wearing or not wearing, no exceptions. Reblog this. Tell your friends. I don’t know that the world will ever totally wipe out prejudice, but we can try, one blog at a time.
this is so perfect in absolutely every single way.
a white girl put on a hijab and experienced discrimination. suddenly the tumblr-verse erupts in awareness. of course.