Who Cares About The Great American Novel?

“A question from the New York Times’ Bookends, “Where is the great American novel by a woman?,” got an interesting answer from the Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid…

[Ursula’s answer, in short:]

But there’s something coy and coercive about the question itself that made me want to charge into the bullring, head down and horns forward. I’d answer it with a question: Where is the great American novel by anybody? And I’d answer that: Who cares?…

…Art is not a horse race. Literature is not the Olympics. The hell with The Great American Novel. We have all the great novels we need right now—and right now some man or woman is writing a new one we won’t know we needed till we read it.”

—Ursula K. Le Guin, “Who Cares About The Great American Novel?Literary Hub. December 6, 2017.

Love Ursula. 

Polybius: The Urban Legend of the Government’s Mind-Controlling Arcade Game

“Gamers who tried it couldn’t stop playing, and began acting oddly: they were nauseous, stressed, had horrific nightmares. Others had seizures or attempted suicide, many felt unable to control their own thoughts. It was only later that they recalled how Polybius was serviced more often than other games. Men in black suits opened the machine every week, recorded its data, and left, with no interest in its coins. Soon after it appeared, the mysterious arcade game vanished without warning—taken by the men in black suits, leaving no record of its existence.

That’s the story, at least. This legend is one of the big unsolved mysteries of the gaming world, though most concede that the game never existed…”

—Natalie Zarrelli, “The Urban Legend of the Governments Mind Controlling Arcade Game.” AtlasObscura.com. April 28, 2016.

The Case Against Sugar

“In America today, nearly 10% of the population has diabetes; more than two-thirds of us are overweight or obese; and one out of 10 kids are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The journalist Gary Taubes blames all of these afflictions on one culprit: sugar.”

—Gary Taubes. Interview with Doug Fabrizio. The Case Against Sugar.” RadioWest. November 24, 2017.

Fuller treatment is available in his book, The Case Against Sugar. Add this to other classic discussions on the topic like “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.”

Also, it might be that refined sugar is the most obvious culprit and that building a diet around carbohydrates, which is a new feature that developed along with farming, might be the problem, which makes this a much bigger problem than just the “Western Diet”. See The Ketogenic Bible for a full discussion.