Thursday News: Twitter streaming, on not reading, WSJ bookclub, and favoring sons
Twitter app brings free NFL games to Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and the Xbox One – Twitter is branching out (and trying to cash in) by having a version of its app on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Microsoft’s Xbox One, where it’s all about live streaming (although you can also view your timeline during whatever you’re watching:
NFL’s Thursday Night Football games will all be streamed via the app (and will be free to access without a pay TV subscription or a Twitter account), as well as content from MLB, the NBA, and media organizations including Bloomberg News. Exclusively on Apple TV viewers will be able watch “live premium video [and] Tweeted video clips” side-by-side, says Twitter, an experience which sounds a little disorientating. – The Verge
On Not Reading – Amy Hungerford’s very interesting essay on how all of us – including literary scholars – do as much refusing as we do reading. While she’s focused particularly on those who study and work professionally with literature, many of her points have broad applicability, from the sense of conflict we have over what to read and what to skip, to the way books themselves are intertwined with their marketing and with the circumstances of their publication.
Consider, however, the fact that, as Matthew Wilkens points out, in 2011 more than 50,000 new novels were published in the United States alone. “The problem of abundance” is a problem for every person who has an internet connection, and it is a professional problem in every corner of literary study. Nonreading, seen in this light, is not a badge of shame, but the way of the future. Franco Moretti has been making this point for years about the literary production of the 18th and 19th centuries, inspiring a few labs-worth of scholars to turn to machine reading — for example, using algorithms to find patterns in a particular era’s literary works. This is a form of not reading that holds tight to the dream that our literary scholarship should be based on the activity of reading as much as humanly or inhumanly possible.. . .
II f one’s scholarly bailiwick is the present and the recent past, the problem of abundance is acute. If one is inclined to turn to machine reading for help, copyright law immediately sets up a roadblock. And the various aids scholars use apart from digital tools to navigate the problem — mainly, a cadre of other scholars with whom one collectively covers the field, and editors at academic presses or curators of archives who have tended the field over time — are largely unavailable. The Restoration-era scholar considering what to read among Alexander Pope’s complete works is aided by generations of readers who have studied these works, written about them, and produced edited collections of them. In contrast, the scholar of contemporary literature is thrown back on the literary press, on trade editors, and on book buyers for retail outlets. While any given reviewer may be an excellent reader, and any book buyer may have excellent taste, the literary market as a whole is vulnerable to forces that have less to do with literary discernment and more to do with money, class, contemporary pressures on journalism, the geography of cities, and the social networks that circumscribe the reach of editorial attention or a bookstore’s clientele. – Chronicle of Higher Education
For WSJ Book Club, a Fantasy World of Daemons – Room author Emma Donoghue has chosen The Golden Compass for the Wall Street Journal Book Club, which you can participate in through Twitter, Facebook, or newsletter. Donoghue recommends the book for readers of all ages:
“It’s an extraordinarily gripping, complex and interesting literary work,” says Ms. Donoghue, the next host of the WSJ Book Club. She finds the young-adult label to be limiting—“a kind of literary ghetto”—and feels a sense of mission to get people of all ages reading fiction marketed for young audiences. “It would be a shame if anyone was put off by the fact that the main character is 12.” . . .
In a way you could see Pullman as part of a whole generation of writers for children who don’t soft-slope things any longer. So many things, for instance death, used to be so taboo in children’s fiction, and now you see those story lines turning up all over the place. These books really take children seriously. There’s a line where Mrs. Coulter says children shouldn’t worry about big difficult ideas. But really the whole trilogy is saying that the big difficult ideas are just as important for children to wrestle with as for adults, and that if anyone saves us, it’s as likely to be the children. – Wall Street Journal
What Does It Mean For Our Daughters When We Show a Preference for Sons? – Although this story’s hook may make you roll your eyes, the piece itself tackles a recent Economist article that is focused on research suggesting that couples with sons stay married longer than couples with only daughters. Even if you don’t read the original article (which is provocative – and you can only imagine some of the comments), the shorter piece raises a lot of concerns around how our societal preoccupation with gender as (an artificially) binary paradigm has troubling implications and consequences.
Throughout the Economist story, fathers shared their concerns about not being able to bond with daughters the same way they would be able to with sons. And indeed, data and studies support this, with time-diary data from 2003 to 2006 showing that American married fathers with a child between the ages of six and twelve spent 40 minutes per day more with sons than daughters, usually playing sports or watching TV.
“This is just more stark evidence of the fact that from the moment a gender is assigned to an infant — and sometimes, increasingly, to a fetus — from the moment an entity is gendered, that determines so much about how that person is going to be treated,” Juliet Williams, PhD, and a professor of gender studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, tells Yahoo Beauty.
She adds, “People continue to deny what’s hiding in plain sight: How insistently and relentlessly we sort human beings based on their gender and how it manifests in ways that are both obvious and in ways we would never have thought.” – Yahoo