in post

26 June 2021

My vertigo eventually went away by itself, without the need for special maneuvers.


Keeping a blog that nobody reads seems sometimes like an exercise in futility; but this feeling must be familiar to many writers of even less meaningful writing projects: imagine someone writing their first science fiction novel, or first murder mystery. The book itself may be meaningless, less than useless. Perhaps the writer hopes that one day the book will establish their reputation as a writer, and that this could be a smart career move, or lead to monetary gain. (Who knows what is going through their mind?) But in any case, there is a nagging doubt that the whole project is for naught.

But in writing a blog, at least there is the advantage of processing one's thoughts, reflection, and sometimes it even stimulates propitious mental activity.


When reading the writing of G.R.R. Martin or Gene Wolfe, I'm dazzled, again and again, by their specialized mastery of the terminology and vocabulary dealing with the subject of their writing. Of course, it is expected; of course one expects builders to know the trade and writers to know their craft, but still. Sometimes it is as if they themselves served as a stable hand or squire to a knight, in some earlier incarnation. Often I find myself looking up words as I go along; words I know that I will forget in another moment. This necessity to learn vocabulary must be daunting to any budding writer who needs to write a novel on subjects that are not common knowledge. One of my reference books attempts to fill in holes in such knowledge; it's called "Word Menu" and attempts to be kind of a reverse dictionary, providing vocabulary associated with a given subject, such as "ships and boats" and "fox hunting". But what this book provides would be totally inadequate for novel writers. Today, for example, I learned the use of the word trace, with regard to horses and carts. The dictionary says that the traces attach to a whippletree. Aha. Of course, nowadays one can consult websites that deal with this stuff here's one, but in writing a historical or fantasy novel dealing with a thousand aspects of life that have passed out of our 21st century awareness, this could quickly grow tiresome. In addition, this itself is almost the least part of the writing; the equivalent of finding the right stage props for one's play.


movie poster

We watched an Indian film on Netflix yesterday, "Taare Zameen Par, "Stars on Earth", about a boy with dyslexia, and a teacher who comes to his rescue. If we could get over our astonishment that the problem of dyslexia could be unknown in India (the film is from 2007), it was a good movie. Long (2 hours and 40 minutes), but well acted and produced. Even D's 89 year old mother managed to sit through it, and enjoyed it. She said that it is "a special movie".


The Palestinian Environment Under Israeli Colonization Deceleration

China issues furious response after Canada condemns human rights record The Guardian

This ‘what-about-ism’ is an authoritarian reflex,” she said. “And it’s not new. Canada faced criticism over its treatment over Indigenous people from the Soviet Union during the cold war. But it’s also important to recognize it for what it is- a strategy to deflect from meaningful criticism, which, in this case, is the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.”

Sushila Ravindranath reviews Redesign the World: A Global Call to Action, by Sam Pitroda The Hindu

Brexit: Five years after the vote, the United Kingdom is more divided than ever CNN

Khashoggi killers received paramilitary training in US Al Jazeera

French Spyware Bosses Indicted For Their Role In the Torture of Dissidents - Slashdot
I like that approach.

Canada: hundreds more unmarked graves found at former Indigenous school - The Guardian

‘Painful farewell’: Hongkongers queue for hours to buy final Apple Daily edition - The Guardian

Fossilised bones found in Israel could belong to mystery extinct humans - The Guardian