Skip to main content


Showing posts from May 8, 2016

the page is not for turning

There seems to be a rule among old literary dogs that we all have to moan and groan about the internet and computers. I do share the prevailing angst about the extinction of the book store. Book stores civilize cities, as do parks, sidewalks, statuary, and a level of crime high enough to scare away gentrifying urban professionals. The book, too, it is said, is on its way out. First they came for the snow leopard, then the hardback version of War and Peace. I think this exaggerates the book or in general paper media situation. However, it is true that one of the defining physical characteristics of the book – a page that must be turned – is on the way to minority status. In the past fifteen years, I have read perhaps as many texts on computers, on pdf, epub and djvu, as I have in the media that was current when I was a lad. I am not unhappy about this. Its deeper effect on my reading is, perhaps, to replace the unconscious expectation that is given to a reader by the mechanism of

Gender equality - plus d'effort!

When, last year, the Washington Examiner claimed that Clinton’s Senate office paid women less than men, Clinton responded by claiming that the Examiner figures  only included median salaries among full-time, year-round employees. Among all employees, however, median salaries were equal. This devolved into a tit for tat about Clinton, and the larger point was lost. The larger point shouldn’t be. The careers of women are much more subject to interruption than the careers of men. The reason? The responsibility for child care is still thrown for the most part on women. This is aggravated by the lack of a national pre-k child care program, and the way in which parental leave is largely unmandated in the US. The scandinavian countries have put in place pre-k child care programs, as well as instituting generous parental leave programs for both sexes. This is, paradoxically, important for the equality measure that takes in the whole career path. Men in Norway, for instance, can’t transfer t