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This Morning's New York Times

An unusually large number of things to comment on in this morning's New York Times. As always, the Times requires registration to read their articles; as always, there are ways around that.

Roy Grace has died. Not that I'd ever heard of Roy Grace, but it turns out that he helped create both the suitcase gorilla and the spicy meatball ads, both of which are pretty major cultural items. I still think it's odd that advertisements are such a big part of our cultural literacy, but I know, they're made that way.

There's a long article about the very interesting work of Amartya Sen, and critics of that work, particularly in light of the current situation in India. I've heard Sen speak, and read some of his stuff, and find him interesting, thought-provoking, and persuasive. His famous dictum that "No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy" suffers from the difficulty of defining 'famine' and 'functioning democracy'; it would be easy to do each in terms of the other without noticing, and turn it into a tautology. His work is more nuanced than that, of course, and is the kind of reading that rewards serious thought. Put Sen on my list.

There's also an article about the Alexandria Library, or perhaps library@alexandria. It's a good idea, regardless of software, access, rights, etc., to try to convert every extant book to a form that will be easily convertible to whatever the next format will be.

OK, that's it. I am now anti-war. I still don't see any good alternatives, but Bush has fully convinced me that if their plans (and I call them plans, but I don't trust that they are thought out well enough to seriously be called plans) are carried out, it will in fact be worse than continued sanctions. Faugh. I still support, in principle, a UN decision to disarm Iraq by force; I just can't support handing the implementation of that decision to Bush and his advisors, who are, of course, the only ones with the power to implement it.

On a serious note, I missed the obituary of Tom Glazer who evidently wrote "On Top of Spaghetti".

Thank you,
-Vardibidian.

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