CRITICAL LINKING: December 17, 2011

Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.


“At the end of his life, after heart surgery and brain surgery and cancer and respite, when Lev’s disease returned with a vengeance and killed him inside of a month, my fear was the truss that restrained me when I might have reached for optimism. I made every attempt to extinguish hope where I found it as if it were contagious and might infect me.”

The winner of this year’s McSweeney’s column contest. Yowza.


“As our societies get larger and larger, there’s no need, in fact, there’s even less of a need for any one of us to be an innovator, whereas there is a great advantage for most of us to be copiers, or followers. And so, a real worry is that our capacity for social learning, which is responsible for all of our cumulative cultural adaptation, all of the things we see around us in our everyday lives, has actually promoted a species that isn’t so good at innovation.”

As opposed to all the other species that are wicked good at innovation.


“This trend will accelerate in 15 or 20 years, when, as some observers predict, your average home printer will be able to spit out paperbacks. “I see this fundamentally as a tabletop medium. It’s the photocopier of the future,” says Rick Anderson, a librarian who runs an Espresso machine at the University of Utah.”

Just in time to print out the final installment of Song of Fire and Ice!


“For the dedicated reader, books can represent a big commitment, in time and in brain space, and it’s enjoyable and rewarding to reminisce on those reading experiences rather than just charging forward to the next book, book after book.”

We don’t talk enough about how much of enjoying a book comes after we’ve finished the book.

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