Monday, April 05, 2010

Cleaning Up the Blog

So I've made a couple of changes to the blog, upgrading to the new format, getting rid of old links that didn't work, changing the name to something that says a lot more about me. (For the history books, it used to be "Don't Feed the Bears" - which also said something about me, but a lot less than the current title.) Who knows. Maybe I'll go back, but there doesn't seem to be a reason to.

That and I'm trying to figure out a new picture to replace the one in my profile of me at a very young age. I love that picture, but certainly something more current and memorable has been captured in the last 15 years.

Or maybe not.

Anyway, it's spring break, which is just lovely. I slept in this morning, and read in bed later still. I am reading ...And Ladies of the Club, and I've been reading it since last summer. Once upon a time I would stop everything in my life to read a book, now it has to fit into everything else. I was never going to be that kind of an adult. Anyway, back on topic, I read the book the summer I turned 21, right before going on my mission. It was the last great read before novels became a no-no for a while. Fantastic book. It chronicles the "Waynesboro Women's Club" and its members in a small Ohio town from the end of the Civil War well into the 20th century. Anyway, this morning one of the main characters died, and so I put the book down and did some work, because I'm not ready to go on yet. And I'm only 2/3 of the way through the book (it's just under 1500 pages). So maybe I'll finish it in under a year.

After this, I have some serious reading to do. This weekend I started going through Jacques Barzun's series of lectures from 1973, The Use and Abuse of Art. I wonder how much I understood when I first read it as an undergrad, and I wonder if I understand more or less now. I like to think that my mental capacities are now broader than they were. But I wonder.

Here is what I need, though. In the intro to his lectures, Barzun states that he assumes his essays' title will bring to his listeners' minds the title of some work by Nietzsche, The Use and Abuse of History. So what I need is for the libraries of the world to be completely interconnected so that I can click on that title, read a brief synopsis, decide whether to read the whole thing, and then get right back into Barzun. Why are we not there yet? The iPad was released this week, and one would hope that we are getting closer, but one fears that the publishers will never let us get so interlinked with anything they are hoping to still profit from. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the world's knowledge were linked together like the synapses of an all-encompassing brain? Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to download understanding? But of course, it would take all of the work and effort out of it, and it would be absolutely defenseless against point-of-view and brainwashing...

But my undergrad years were wasted on me when I was young. Young, like in the profile picture. Does that person look like she gets it? Probably not. But oh, what a life ahead for her.

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