Sunday, May 31, 2015

Daily Thoughts 05/31/2015


 Daily Thoughts 05/31/2015

I checked the Twitter and Facebook for the library in the morning.

I started reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  Henrietta Lacks was a poor black woman from Virginia.  Her cells were taken from her during a cancer operation and cultured for medical use.

I also started reading The Age of Selfishness Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis by Darryl Cunningham. It is a graphic novel.  The story opens with a rather unflattering biographical section on Ayn Rand.  The art is rather severe in its style, with grays, blacks, light blues, and oranges.  The drawings have a very angular intense quality to them.  There is a lot of anger in the pictures. The biographical section on Ayn Rand reads like a philosophical tragedy.

I spent some time looking through my notes from Book Expo America.  One of the amazing things I learned is that the new Harper Lee novel, Go Set A Watchman has a print run of 2 million copies.

I watched Edison the Father of Invention which is part of the PBS American Experience dvd series.  I also watched a few episodes of Years of Living Dangerously which is a show about climate change.

I finished reading The Age of Selfishness Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis by Darryl Cunningham at the laundromat.  It was hard to put down.  The story skewers the international financial system in a compelling way.  There are some very unflattering portrayals of Alan Greenspan and his connection to Ayn Rand.  Darryl Cunningham manages to portray both liberalism and conservatism in an equally bad light.  The Tea Party is portrayed as being worse than both conservatives and liberals.

There are some very dark descriptions of financial corruption in the 2008 financial crisis.  This includes some apt descriptions of fraud during the forclosure crisis in the United States.  The book describes how the banks basically took from the middle class and poor in the United States and Britain to prevent a financial meltdown.  He describes the idea of austerity as a way to transfer wealth from the middle class and poor to the wealthy.

Darryl Cunningham describes how selfishness and greed are not virtues, especially in unregulated financial systems.  The comics of buildings that represent corporations talking to each other are a bit disconcerting. Corporations like AIG and Goldman Sachs are not spared. The tone of the drawings are dark with a lot of angst in them.  The final statement about altruism not being a weakness drives home the story in this graphic novel.

There is a list of sources for further reading and a glossary of financial terms in the back of the graphic novel.

Web Bits

A Lively BEA

The city's public library system is ripe for upheaval

An Article on the Mount Vernon Public Library Spring Soiree

Inflatable Space

Google's Project Loon Gets Autolauncher, Mesh Networking

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