The purpose of art is to delight us; certain men and women (no smarter than you or I) whose art can delight us have been given dispensation from going out and fetching water and carrying wood. It's no more elaborate than that. — David Mamet

May 22 24 2022

The Idiot

A sensitive, sweet, well-observed story of a Turkish girl at Harvard. She has no particular reason to be there, and no particular plan for what to do while she’s there. Yet, it has its moments.

The Spielberg/Kushner West Side Story is, I think, the first time that a remake of a great movie has turned out to be a greater movie. Extraordinary.

Bernstein and Sondheim, Robbins and Laurents were not exceptionally optimistic, but they held out some hope:

We'll find a new way of living
We'll find a way of forgiving

They must have believed, because the whole conception is an argument for this. But, fifty years on, with Nazis again on the march, and as the editorial board of the New York Times argues that we should accept the inevitable Russian victory because delaying our submission to the yoke of totalitarianism may be costly?

Two weeks ago, I started, a site where you can send a pizza to a Kharkiv subway bomb shelter. You send me money, and I bundle up the orders each day and pass them along to a couple of places in Kharkiv that are making pizzas for people who need them.

In addition to bomb shelters, we’re sending pizza to emergency rooms, ambulance crews, teachers, and even people out in the parks (between air raids) who need cheering up.

We’ve delivered more than 600 pizzas.

Pizza For Ukraine

by Sara Novic

An accomplished and very intriguing school story about deaf education, and the status of deaf culture. The 19th-century school story ended in graduation, the 20th-century school story ended in the dissolution of the school. This 21st-Century school story heads to unexpected places.

My paper for the special History track of the 2o22 Web Conference, “On The Origins Of Hypertext In The Disasters Of The Short 20th Century”, is available in the ACM Digital Library, and here (pdf).

The development of hypertext and the World Wide Web is most frequently explained by reference to changes in underlying technologies — Moore’s Law giving rise to faster computers, more ample memory, increased bandwidth, inexpensive color displays. That story is true, but it is not complete: hypertext and the Web are also built on a foundation of ideas. Specifically, I believe the Web we know arose from ideas rooted in the disasters of the short twentieth century, 1914–1989. The experience of these disasters differed in the Americas and in Eurasia, and this distinction helps explain many long-standing tensions in research and practice alike.

You can order a pizza for Kharkiv bomb shelters at a site I put together with hypertext pioneer J. Scott Johnson: .

Pizza For Ukraine!