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Pioneering hypertext project Xanadu released after 54 years -
Pioneering hypertext project Xanadu released after 54 years
"Nelson's idea was to preserve a hypertext's source documents along with the new composite, making the links between them visible and navigation between them as easy as possible: no file hierarchy, but documents maintained and comparable in parallel, for commentary, annotation, or recombination. It aims to be post-paper, instead (like Vannevar Bush's hypothetical memex machine) directly imitating associative patterns of thought." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
One of the greatest ideas of all time (hypertext and hypermedia in general). - Sean McBride
Whee! - Amit Patel
I really want to try to write papers with this. The associative approach suits me, since I have never been good with file hierarchy. - Maitani
How does transclusion feel after all these years? - Todd Hoff
Today I got my roof garden ready for summer.
Pretty! - Jenny H. from Android
Love your hibiscus - Halil
Halil, I love it too, and I hope it will keep thriving. I have often had problems with my hibiscus plants. - Maitani
How did writing begin? | OUPblog -
How did writing begin? | OUPblog
How did writing begin? | OUPblog
"How did writing begin? The favoured explanation, until the Enlightenment in the 18th century, was divine origin. Today, many—probably most—scholars accept that the earliest writing evolved from accountancy, though it is puzzling that such accounts are little in evidence in the surviving writing of ancient Egypt, India, China, and Central America (which does not preclude commercial record-keeping on perishable materials such as bamboo in these early civilizations). In other words, some time in the late 4th millennium bc, in the cities of Sumer in Mesopotamia, the ‘cradle of civilization’, the complexity of trade and administration reached a point where it outstripped the power of memory among the governing elite. To record transactions in an indisputable, permanent form became essential." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Is Learning a Foreign Language a Waste of Time? - Languages Of The World | Languages Of The World -
Is Learning a Foreign Language a Waste of Time? - Languages Of The World | Languages Of The World
Is Learning a Foreign Language a Waste of Time? - Languages Of The World | Languages Of The World
"In an op-ed piece entitled “What You (Really) Need to Know,” published in the New York Times in January 2012, Lawrence Summers, former president of Harvard University and former secretary of the Treasury, calls on universities to reduce the substantial investments made to teach students foreign languages. Though he understands that “it is essential that the educational experience breed cosmopolitanism”, he thinks that the efforts made to master a foreign tongue are no longer “universally worthwhile”. In his utopian worldview, English is perfectly sufficient for such utilitarian purposes as “doing business in Asia, treating patients in Africa, or helping resolve conflicts in the Middle East”. In his excellent rejoinder, Paul Cohen, an associate professor of history at the University of Toronto, highlights the “heavy political and social valence” carried by “this particular dream of a linguistically unified world”. In his view, the spread of English “is at once a consequence and an... more... - Maitani from Bookmarklet
The Smart Set: Into the Black - May 21, 2014 -
The Smart Set: Into the Black - May 21, 2014
"Until an illness drove him mad, Goya was simply a Spanish court painter. But in his portraits of the Altamira family, had the darkness already begun to stir?" - By Morgan Meis - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Francisco Goya was felled by a mysterious illness in 1792. He didn’t die, he just fell. The illness made him dizzy and disoriented. Goya stumbled; he teetered. He was nauseous. Voices sounded in his head. He was frequently in terror. His hearing began to fail. Soon, he was completely deaf. By all accounts, he was temporarily insane at points. Then he recovered, though he would never regain his hearing." - Maitani
"Before the illness, Goya had been a successful painter for the Spanish court. He was good, but unremarkable. After the illness, Goya became the extraordinary artist whose paintings — like The Third Of May 1808 — are among the most celebrated works in the history of art. In the late 1790s, Goya began working on a series of prints known as Los Caprichos. The Caprichos are commonly... more... - Maitani
You’re probably using the wrong dictionary « the blog -
"Webster’s dictionary took him 26 years to finish. It ended up having 70,000 words. He wrote it all himself, including the etymologies, which required that he learn 28 languages, including Old English, Gothic, German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Welsh, Russian, Aramaic, Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit. He was plagued by debt to fund the project; he had to mortgage his home." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"In his own lifetime the dictionary sold poorly and got little recognition. Today, of course, his name is so synonymous with even the idea of a dictionary that Webster is actually a genericized trademark in the U.S., so that other dictionaries whose contents bear no relation to Webster’s original can use the name just to have the “Webster” brand rub off on them. [1]" - Maitani
lovely article - Maitani
James Somers provides this link to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828) - Maitani
The site has plugins to add it to Firefox's search box: - John (bird whisperer)
Sentence first | An Irishman's blog about the English language. -
"In his excellent natural history of language, The Power of Babel, linguist John McWhorter describes dialects – and it’s all dialects – as “developed far beyond the call of duty”. He’s referring to the way languages tend to become structurally and idiosyncratically baroque:" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Left to its own devices, a human language will tend to elaborate into overt expression of subdivisions of semantic space that would not even occur to many humans as requiring attention in speech and become riddled with exceptions and rules of thumb and things only learnable by rote. This process tends to achieve its most extreme expression among groups long isolated, but any language... more... - Maitani
Review on LINGUIST List - Maitani
A Calendar Page for June 2014 - Medieval manuscripts blog -
A Calendar Page for June 2014 - Medieval manuscripts blog
A Calendar Page for June 2014 - Medieval manuscripts blog
"In these calendar pages for the month of June, the agricultural labours for the summer are beginning in earnest.  In the first roundel of our calendar pages, we see a peasant at work scything in grass in a field surrounded by a wattled fence (beautifully highlighted with gold paint).  Behind him a man and a woman are similarly employed, while in the background there is a gorgeous landscape characteristic of Bruges illumination of the period, with a peasant’s hut, spired buildings, a manor house, and even a windmill.   On the facing folio, below a lobster-like crab for the zodiac sign Cancer, there is a charming summer scene.  Four young boys have cast their clothes aside and are swimming and playing in a local river." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
A Master List of 1,000 Free Courses From Top Universities: 30,000 Hours of Audio/Video Lectures
"Right now you’ll find 113 free philosophy courses, 78 free history courses, 100 free computer science courses, and 54 free physics courses in the collection, and that’s just beginning to scratch the surface. You can peruse sections covering Astronomy, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, Engineering, Literature, Math, Political Science, Psychology and Religion." - Maitani
Awesome. Thanks for sharing! - Jenny H. from Android
"The early books of famed Urdu satirist Mustaq Ahmed Yousufi (b. 1922), Chiragh Talay (1961) and Khakam-e Badhan (1969), functioned in the college space for us in Lahore as cigarettes function in a prison camp – a currency, a momentary respite, a surge, and a day dream. We used to crack jokes from his oeuvre claiming them as they were uttered. He was not very well liked by my elders, however. They found him a poor replacement for the other satirists at play, Pitras Bukhari or Mustanssar Hussain Tarad or often Ibn-e Insha. Yet he was beloved by us near-adults as a rock star." - Maitani
Linguistic Diversity in Northern California
"In 1929, anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir wrote: “Few people realize that within the confines of the United States there is spoken today a far greater variety of languages … than in the whole of Europe. We may go further. We may say, quite literally and safely, that in the state of California alone there are greater and more numerous linguistic extremes than can be illustrated in all the length and breadth of Europe”. Today, it is safe to narrow down Sapir’s observation even further to Northern California or even just San Francisco Bay area, one of the most linguistically diverse areas in the United States. And while Sapir was only thinking of indigenous Native American languages, we will examine linguistic diversity in terms of “heritage languages”, an umbrella term for both immigrant languages and those of Native Americans." - Maitani
Irresistible El Greco
"For many of the four hundred years since the death of Domenikos Theotokopoulos, the artist known to his Spanish neighbors as El Greco, his work was regarded with the same disdain as that of his younger contemporary Caravaggio. If Caravaggio’s detractors vowed that, as Poussin put it, he had “come into the world to ruin painting,” the Greek who made his career in the land of Don Quixote was “contemptible and ridiculous, as much for the disjointed drawing as for the insipid colors.” In the nineteenth century, El Greco’s monumental Burial of the Count of Orgaz lay rolled up and despised in a basement of the Toledan church of Santo Tomé, the venue for which he had painted it in 1586–1588 (and where it hangs again today in glory)." - Maitani
Figure out German animal names with this handy flow chart
"Thanks to German’s propensity for compounding words, the name of most any animal is easily deducible…" - Maitani
From now on I shall use the term "shield toad" to describe tortoises. - Mark H
Should I be afraid that some of this made sense? - Betsy
Absolutely. It's our way to name things. :-) - Maitani
Our names for body parts are even weirder: uterus: Gebärmutter (giving-birth-mother), pancreas: Bauchspeicheldrüse (belly-spittle-gland), duodenum: Zwölffingerdarm (12-finger-gut), colon: Dickdarm (thick- gut)appendix: Blinddarm (blind-gut)... - Maitani
That mostly goes for Norwegian, as well. We feel the dugong look more like a sea /cow/, though, and we don't see a pig in the porpoise. On the other branch, Turkey has a completely different name in Norwegian and we named the squid (and octopus. We separate them by saying how many armed they are) "ink squirter" :) (The Swedes also thinks it's an ink /fish/, btw.) - Eivind
For the body parts we are in agreement, except we feel "life mother" is a better term for the first one :) - Eivind
I think it's due to the fact that English and German use different lexical layers for naming these items. As to the words for animals and plants we have been familiar with from our ancient farming and pastoral living environment, we all use the old Germanic names, mostly simplicia. The same holds for the body parts that were familiar to us before "modern" medicine discovered more. The... more... - Maitani
In German (and in Norwegian as well, obviously), we tended to coin new names by combining native German words to form compounds, which is partly due to the ease with which we are able to do that. At least in German, it is also due to a tradition. I don't know when it began, I think with the monastic scribes translating religious scripts into Old High German and thereby creating German words for abstract notions. One more recent creator of German compounds for Latin words was Philip von Zesen..... - Maitani
The "tradition" isn't mainly about compounds, but about creating neologisms from native word stems, e.g. "Bücherei", which was coined after Graeco-Latin "bibliotheca" by Philip von Zesen. - Maitani
Compounds like those mentioned above sound perfectly normal to native speakers of German because we rather perceive them as a whole, less as a combination of the meanings of their elements. Children who hear them for the first time often find them funny and weird. - Maitani
Fragmentary Latin Grammarians (FLG)
"Fragmentary Latin Grammarians (FLG) is a project dedicated to gathering, for the first time, all Latin grammatical texts which are preserved exclusively in fragmentary form. Our primary purpose is to compile a complete list of the authors of such texts, be they grammarians, teachers, erudites or any other author who may have written works on grammar, regardless of their position in society or their literary activity. These authors have been frequently quoted by late Latin grammarians and their ideas contributed to the evolution of ancient linguistic thought. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in this field, but a complete corpus is not available and modern editors are confronted with the daunting task of locating the quotes within texts, delimitating them and only then analysing them." - Maitani
Deep Habits: My Office in the Woods
"Case in point: I recently found a new hidden work location here on the Georgetown campus that I think trumps any previous spot I’ve found in terms of its ability to eliminate distraction and foster depth:" - Maitani
Where have all the craters gone?
"Impact craters reveal one of the most spectacular geologic process known to human beings. During the past 3.5 billion years, it is estimated that more than 80 bodies, larger than the dinosaur-killing asteroid that struck the Yucatan Peninsula 66 million years ago, have bombarded Earth. However, tectonic processes, weathering, and burial quickly obscure or destroy craters. If Earth weren't so dynamic, its surface would be heavily cratered like the Moon or Mercury." - Maitani
Monthly etymology gleanings for May 2014
"Why do words change their meaning?" - Maitani
"To answer this question I need a thick volume titled Historical Semantics. Unable to provide such a volume in the present post, I’ll give two examples from our recent experience. Everybody knows that kid is a young goat and a child. The sense “child” appeared much later. It was first slang and then became a regular item of everyday vocabulary, though we still say that so-and-so has no... more... - Maitani
The Roman conquest of Greece, in pictures | OUPblog -
The Roman conquest of Greece, in pictures | OUPblog
"This sequence of photos roughly outlines the progress of the Roman takeover of Greece, from the first beginnings in Illyris (modern Albania) in 230 BCE to the infamous “destruction” of Corinth in 146 BCE. The critical figures of this swift takeover were two Macedonian kings, Philip V and Perseus, who were determined to resist Roman aggression. Many famous generals of the middle Roman Republic were involved with the Greek states as generals and diplomats, but the most critical of them was Titus Quinctius Flamininus. And then off in the wings, especially when he was fighting the Romans in Italy itself and monopolizing their resources, was Hannibal, the Carthaginian general. But Carthage too was destroyed in 146 by the Romans. Their grip on the Mediterranean was secure." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Vikings: Life and Legend – Review | res gerendae -
Vikings: Life and Legend – Review | res gerendae
"...I’d still encourage anyone who likes Vikings (and who doesn’t like Vikings?) to go along to this – the cultural contact section in particular really is very interesting, and in general there are some amazing objects you won’t get to see again any time soon without going to Denmark. Plus while you’re there you can check out the excellent new Sutton Hoo and Europe (AD 300–1100) Gallery, which, as well as the spectacular finds from the Sutton Hoo ship burial, contains my favourite object of the whole day: a sword with the Futhark (runic alphabet) inlaid on it in gold. Swords, runes, and swords with runes – what more can you really ask for from a day out at the museum?" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Subject List - Maitani
To explore the site, librarians are encouraged to sign up for free institution-wide trials, and anyone can search, browse, and view the opening sections of every article currently available. - Maitani
Peshawar: Ghosts of a Frontier City
"A single feather, milky blue, just fallen on my threshold, is from a Turkestan hill dove flying south from China to Peshawar, I imagine, though it is more likely to have been shed by a buttonquail which is common in these parts." - Maitani
"Made from melting the musk of each passerby with protolithic time, this threshold is neither a construction or a destruction but a slow composite of both. Along the Silk Road— the moving marketplace across Asia, Africa and Europe— Peshawar has been an important outpost: here, what is stolen by opium, is filled back in by shady trees planted by pilgrims; what is healed and made whole... more... - Maitani
Adam Gopnik: How Much Really Gets Lost in Translation? : The New Yorker -
Adam Gopnik: How Much Really Gets Lost in Translation? : The New Yorker
Adam Gopnik: How Much Really Gets Lost in Translation? : The New Yorker
"Once, in a restaurant in Italy with my family, I occasioned enormous merriment, as a nineteenth-century humorist would have put it, by confusing two Italian words. I thought I had, very suavely, ordered for dessert fragoline—those lovely little wild strawberries. Instead, I seem to have asked for fagiolini—green beans. The waiter ceremoniously brought me a plate of green beans with my coffee, along with the flan and the gelato for the kids. The significant insight the mistake provided—arriving mere microseconds after the laughter of those kids, who for some reason still bring up the occasion, often—was about the arbitrary nature of language: the single “r” rolled right makes one a master of the trattoria, an “r” unrolled the family fool. Although speaking feels as natural as breathing, the truth is that the words we use are strange, abstract symbols, at least as remote from their objects as Egyptian hieroglyphs are from theirs, and as quietly treacherous as Egyptian tombs." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
sunu ikidir "adam gopnik abi ne diyon sen" tonlamasiyla okuyorum. - seyif
"The book’s presupposition is that there are significant, namable, untranslatable differences between tongues, [...] The editors, propelled by this belief, also believe it to be wrong. In each entry of the Dictionary, the differences are tracked, explained, and made perfectly clear in English, which rather undermines the premise that these terms are untranslatable, except in the dim... more... - Maitani
What is often untranslatable: flavor, taste, color, texture, sonics, rhythm, intonations, connotations, etc. -- all of which add to the rich semantics of expressions. - Sean McBride
Important peculiarities of memory
"A slide from what looks like a fascinating talk by memory researcher Robert Bjork is doing the rounds on Twitter." - Maitani
"The talk has just happened at the Association for Psychological Science 2014 conference and it describes some ‘Important peculiarities of memory’." - Maitani
A Troublesome Racial Smog
"Nicholas Wade’s book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History, is what the title suggests: a troubling view of human history. A Troublesome Inheritance is troublesome, but not for the reason he proposes: his courageous telling of hard truths about genetic differences among races." - Maitani
"Rather, Wade’s lack of understanding of history, the social sciences, population genetics, and the scientific process is troublesome. Not getting the basics right leads to his linking of all manner of lived inequalities to genetic differences among races. His logical errors set the clock back more than a century on public understandings of human genetic variation." - Maitani
And if you don't agree with my 18th century typological, pre-evolutionary, way to arrange that data to make the races, you're a naive, PC Marxist. - Eivind from Android
Tracing Indo-European Languages Back to Their Source—Through the False Mirrors of the Popular Press Read more:
"A recent article “Mapping the Origins and Expansion of the Indo-European Language Family” published in Science (vol. 337, pp. 957-960) by a team of evolutionary anthropologists and biologists headed by Dr. Quentin D. Atkinson has created an uproar both in the popular media and the blogosphere.* This article purports to supply novel quantitative evidence for the Anatolian hypothesis, which locates the Indo-European homeland in what is now the Asian part of Turkey, as opposed to the more commonly accepted Kurgan theory, which places it in the Pontic-Caspian steppes of southern Russia and eastern Ukraine. Before I continue with our detailed critique of the Science article itself, I must first examine the media reports on the supposed findings of Atkinson and his colleagues. It is one thing for an unconvincing, error-filled report to appear in an academic journal, and quite another for it to be immediately trumpeted in the major newspapers and magazines as constituting nothing less than a major scientific breakthrough." - Maitani
On the madness and charm of crushes | Philosophers' Mail -
On the madness and charm of crushes | Philosophers' Mail
On the madness and charm of crushes | Philosophers' Mail
"You are introduced to someone at a conference. They look nice and you have a brief chat about the theme of the keynote speaker. But already, partly because of the slope of their neck and a lilt in their accent, you have reached an overwhelming conclusion. Or, you sit down in the carriage – and there, diagonally opposite you – is someone you cannot stop looking at for the rest of a journey across miles of darkening countryside. You know nothing concrete about them. You are going only by what their appearance suggests. You note that they have slipped a finger into a book (The Food of the Middle East), that their nails are bitten raw, that they have a thin leather strap around their left wrist and that they are squinting a touch short-sightedly at the map above the door. And that is enough to convince you. Another day, coming out of the supermarket, amidst a throng of people, you catch sight of a face for no longer than eight seconds and yet here too, you feel the same overwhelming certainty – and, subsequently, a bittersweet sadness at their disappearance in the anonymous crowd." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Crushes: they happen to some people often and to almost everyone sometimes. Airports, trains, streets, conferences – the dynamics of modern life are forever throwing us into fleeting contact with strangers, from amongst whom we pick out a few examples who seem to us not merely interesting, but more powerfully, the solution to our lives. This phenomenon – the crush – goes to the heart... more... - Maitani
3quarksdaily: Why Noam Chomsky Is One of America's Great Public Intellectuals -
3quarksdaily: Why Noam Chomsky Is One of America's Great Public Intellectuals
"Noam Chomsky is a world-renowned academic best known not only for his pioneering work in linguistics but also for his ongoing work as a public intellectual in which he has addressed a number of important social issues that include and often connect oppressive foreign and domestic policies, a fact well illustrated in his numerous pathbreaking books. Chomsky’s oeuvre includes too many exceptionally important books to single out any one of them from his extraordinary and voluminous archive of work. Moreover, as political interventions, his many books often reflect both a decisive contribution and an engagement with a number of issues that have and continue to dominate a series of specific historical moments over the course of 50 years." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Why Superstition Works: The Science of Superstition in Sports and Life -
Why Superstition Works: The Science of Superstition in Sports and Life
"In the South Pacific there is a place so remote that few people have ever heard of it, let alone seen it: the Trobriand Islands. The Trobriands are located off the east coast of Papua New Guinea, and no white man had set foot there until the late 1700s. During World War I, however, the islands were visited by a man who would one day become a legend in the field of anthropology, Bronislaw Malinowski. Malinowski was a stork of a man—thin, pale, and balding—often seen wearing a pith helmet and socks up to his knees. He had terrible eyesight, was a hypochondriac, an insomniac, and on top of it all had a strong fear of the tropics—in particular, an abhorrence of the heat and the sultriness; to cope, he gave himself injections of arsenic." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Malinowski was, nonetheless, a keen observer of humankind. And as he watched the Trobriand Islanders go about their lives, he noticed something odd. When the islanders went fishing their behavior changed, depending on where they fished. When they fished close to shore—where the waters were calm, the fishing was consistent, and the risk of disaster was low—superstitious behavior among them was nearly nonexistent." - Maitani
I wonder if everyone avoided shaking Moises Alou's hand on game days. ;-p - rönin
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