Bob Dylan is 70 today.
Bob Dylan is 70 today.
This is at least two years old news, but I have been wanting to post Haruki Murakami‘s acceptance speech that he gave when he was awarded the Jerusalem prize for literature. He went to Israel to accept the award despite a lot of opposition due to the then recent brutal attacks on Gaza by Israeli forces. Here is what he had to say. Full transcript follows from here:
I have come to Jerusalem today as a novelist, which is to say as a professional spinner of lies.
Of course, novelists are not the only ones who tell lies. Politicians do it, too, as we all know. Diplomats and military men tell their own kinds of lies on occasion, as do used car salesmen, butchers and builders. The lies of novelists differ from others, however, in that no one criticizes the novelist as immoral for telling them. Indeed, the bigger and better his lies and the more ingeniously he creates them, the more he is likely to be praised by the public and the critics. Why should that be?
My answer would be this: Namely, that by telling skillful lies – which is to say, by making up fictions that appear to be true – the novelist can bring a truth out to a new location and shine a new light on it. In most cases, it is virtually impossible to grasp a truth in its original form and depict it accurately. This is why we try to grab its tail by luring the truth from its hiding place, transferring it to a fictional location, and replacing it with a fictional form. In order to accomplish this, however, we first have to clarify where the truth lies within us. This is an important qualification for making up good lies.
Today, however, I have no intention of lying. I will try to be as honest as I can. There are a few days in the year when I do not engage in telling lies, and today happens to be one of them. Continue reading
P. Sainath, one of the most respected journalists from India, talks about the high food prices and it’s link to the current uprisings in the Arab world. He also rightly points out that that is certainly not how mainstream media reported these uprisings here in the US – it was more like a twitter revolution for them. Although, some independent news outlets, like Democracy now!, indeed did an excellent job in reporting these mass uprisings. He then talks about media itself – the fact that it is not pro-corporation but it is corporation. He is a brilliant speaker and gives the grim (first-hand) reports from the ground on Indian farmer suicides.
Peter Woit, a Columbia University mathematical physicist, talking about problems with string theory on BigThink.