5 Interesting Links for 03-06-2015

Art (Archeology)

Beautiful, well-preserved Greek mosaics recovered in a southern Turkey excavation site with discoveries dating back to 2nd Century BC. (Via Erin M. Hartshorn)

Advertising (Life)

That advertising drives perception is well-known especially in the areas of body image, but gender roles is another place where ads have had a real impact. This article both provides an amusing glimpse into the past and scary evidence of the power of advertising to not just drive social perceptions, but do it amazing quickly. Just imagine what those companies could have accomplished if they turned their hands toward social justice.

Indie (Publishing)

A comparison of Apple and Amazon’s policies toward indie authors. It’s heavily biased toward Apple, but provides facts to back up each point.

Self-Driving Cars (Technology)

Some thoughts about human behavior changes once the self-driving cars are available.

Historical Fiction (Writing)

Tips for making your historical fiction feel realistic.

A Country Masquerade by Margaret McGaffey Fisk

This entry was posted in Art, Music, Crafts, etc., Interesting Links, Life, Psychology, Publishing, Technology, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 5 Interesting Links for 03-06-2015

  1. Linda Sprinkle says:

    Re: Which publisher to use, it’s obviously not the either/or situation the author writes his post about. He uses both services to sell his books. Since the Amazon services he talks about require exclusivity, I’m assuming there’s another way to sell on Amazon that does not. Indie publishing seems complex to me because I’m just starting to delve into it. 🙂

    Re: Self-driving cars-whether or not the author’s idea of fewer cars because one shuttles around between people depends on whether the laws allow them to drive around without a human in the car, in case something goes wrong. I suspect that the earliest cars will not be given that amount of autonomy, especially when you consider the issues we all have with glitches and the occasional crash of our home and work computers. The question at least partly depends on whether we trust the cars not to break down or otherwise endanger people, especially our children.

    Re: Writing historical fiction: One of the few issues I have with the addicting “Downton Abbey” is the occasional foray into modern slang that pops out of the characters’ mouths. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s very jarring.

    I’ve always thought that one of the best ways to learn history is to read books written during the time period you’re studying. I wish schools would connect the subjects they teach in that way. I think children would learn so much more. I think the literature would make the facts, dates, and names of historical figures come alive in a way that might help them relate to what they’re learning in a way that would be more memorable.

    • marfisk says:

      Re: Publishers Yes, it’s a choice whether to go exclusive on Amazon or not. I included the article more for the information used to back up the opinion, and if you were heavier into indie at this point, you might hear it differently as well because there’s a lot of push to go exclusive Amazon,

      On the cars: I agree, though at the same time, the computers would be no less glitchy than people, and we let people drive alone in the car all the time ;).

      For the historical fiction, I absolutely agree with you and completely disagree all at once :). I do think the best way to learn history is to read books written during the period. However, there is some attempt to do that in English classes where good books get a bad rap because they don’t meet modern expectations. There’s also the risk of taking the presentation in the book (fiction or non-fiction) as the absolute truth because it was written during the period when those authors had their own misconceptions, biases, and deliberate obscuring of truth to support an opinion as much as we do now. Even archaeological data is infected by the same because there is no true objectivity. So, as far as teaching using period/local texts, I think there are dangers on both sides of the equation but a talented teacher could manage around those. I had one such teacher for my history of the world course and she brought the information to life through video, short excerpts from period texts, and role playing to help us see through the eyes of a native in the period.

      BTW, without the instances before me, I can’t say for sure it’s the case here, but I do know there’s a lot of cases where authors or programs were accused of modern slip-ups when those same slang phrases were in use in the period. Amazing how little certain things have changed.

      • Linda Sprinkle says:

        Well, re: the cars-we do tend to trust ourselves more than we trust our machines. 🙂

        I agree with you about the lack of objectivity throughout human history. I suspect that authors in previous times ran the same gamut we do today, with some writing scathing commentary on life all the way to those who write with rose-colored glasses. Ditto for historians. History is far from unbiased.

        But I think novels bring history to life in a more memorable way. If history teachers and English teachers taught it together, there could be discussion about the accuracy of both written history and the literature of the period. But we’ve got this education model that treats every subject as if it’s completely separate from every other subject, thus the cry of irrelevance from students. Relevance really shows up when the connections between subjects are explored.

        You’d have to research slang phrases for authenticity. But sometimes you know a phrase came out of a technology that hadn’t been invented yet, so is unlikely to have been used at that time. Those are the most blatant times when it’s jarring. Sometimes you get surprised to find that modern society has merely resurrected a phrase that was common, but had gone out of favor.

        • marfisk says:

          Yes, exactly what I meant on the phrases, and true for the novels as well. I was a bit of a history buff to start with, so I found the period novels grand. Though I’d almost recommend more narrative style biographies than straight novels.

          And sadly true on cars, but then, if we didn’t, no one would be allowed to drive because we cannot guarantee we’ll always be at our best. I did read somewhere of an attempt to equip the ignition sequence with a basic breathalizer at one point. It was met with much angst as an invasion of privacy, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s a case of private and public good. You can’t drive while impaired and so will not cause accidents and kill people, nor will you have to live with the guilt. At the same time, it didn’t report you to the cops or anything for trying, so you avoid those consequences of making decisions when impaired as well. Then, of course,there would be cases of false readings or system failure so you couldn’t drive when you needed to, but…

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