links for 2009-01-23

  • "The burden of freedom, the responsibility of finding—or creating—one’s own purpose and meaning without the guidance of authoritative, inherited creeds and values, is too heavy for all but a few. The rest of us cannot endure for long the tensions of uncertainty. We must, at some point, stop questioning, quiet our doubts, turn away from moral and metaphysical inquiry and toward life. Untrammeled skepticism ends in paralysis. This is true of societies as well as of individuals. No purely rational justification can be offered for trust and self-sacrifice. But without them, social life is chaos, a war of all against all."
  • "He smashed the china, soiled the sheets, sunbathed nude and was either drunk or stoned – Arthur Rimbaud was an impossible house guest, but he liberated the true poet in his lover Verlaine, writes Edmund White"
  • " is a web site devoted to collective historical storytelling. It captures and presents sets of related stories that describe interesting events from multiple perspectives, allowing groups of people to recount their shared history in the form of interlinked anecdotes.

    The site is structured as a series of projects containing related, interlinked stories. The stories are indexed by their characters and the topics they cover, and may be sorted by various criteria. Readers can rate the stories, and add comments, or other stories."

    "Currently, the Folklore site only supports a single project, about the development of the original Macintosh, but that will be changing soon."