Links: Pynchon, Marissa Mayer, Larry Summers, Finance, Blogging

I have a bit of a backlog here, but really what’s so important about being timely with these things? Who cares if many of these came out in the end of August…it’s been a busy semester. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  • Pavlov Poke for Facebook.

  • Slate: This browser shortcut is like ctrl-z for the entire internet

  • An interesting article on Pynchon. Good quotes:

    “It’s my sense,” [a librarian talking to one of Pynchon’s old navy shipmates] mused, “that when you’d stop in Barcelona and the sailors would go to bars and whorehouses, he’d go to see a death cast of Chopin’s hands.”

    Pynchon later wrote that his time abroad during the Suez crisis turned him “from a Romantic into kind of a classicist,” which he defined as a writer who thought “other people were more interesting than I was and therefore better to write about.”

  • An interesting article in Business Insider about Marissa Mayer and a worthy response in Slate by David Auerbach. Auerbach, by the way, has written quite a few interesting articles in the past year; I recommend checking him out for more. (See, e.g., Auerbach on Aaron Swartz.) Also, yay for Stanford’s Symbolic Systems program, Marissa Mayer’s major.1

  • The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article with letters from Paul Samuelson to his nephew Larry Summers. (Trick of the Day: For paywalled WSJ articles, all you have to do is search for the article on google [it might only work for google news] and click on the link that way and you can circumvent the paywall.)

  • Andrew Sullivan on how blogging makes your writing better. There are drawbacks in terms of time, the way blogging makes one feel obligated to stay up-to-the-minute rather than taking a more contemplative approach. But much of is it true—certainly about Morozov. Maybe I’ll even stop using footnotes… A good point, too, for writing education. In another incarnation of my writing course, I might look into this. (Let me warn, though, that there’s a huge danger of the fetishization of “new media” in writing pedagogy. Also, I think it’s important to respect students’ wishes for privacy–and even to offer an in loco parentis protection of students’ future wish that they had been more discreet when they were younger. Maybe as an 18-year-old I might not have minded having to blog my opinions, but as a 28-year-old, I’m really glad that such things aren’t online.)

  • This looks like a cool course. It’s a shame that math really is too disparate for such a thing to work. For one, papers take much longer to read. But the big thing is that I really can’t understand an advanced paper in a different subfield.

  • Gay Talese on George Plimpton and the Paris Review crowd searching for Hemingway

  1. I am a SymSys pseudo-alum; Mike Krieger—worth circa $100m now—and I were the first two members of the class of 2008 to declare Symbolic Systems, and I worked as an RA in the Symbolic Systems theme house as a junior, but I ended up switching to math and never bothered to take an introductory cognitive science course requirement, so I didn’t even graduate with a minor in SymSys. Still, the influence of symsys on my freshman seminar on math, linguistics, and writing, and on much of my thinking, is profound.