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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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I'm having the fifth beatle flashbacks
children of dune - leto 1
So, anyone following along with the Glowing Gene's Discoverer Left Out Of Nobel Prize in relation to Dr. Douglas Prasher, posted 10/9/2008.

In Wikipedia - actually, this is interesting in an entirely different way. Stats on the page views.

September 2008 - 16 views
October 2008 - 2,342 views
October 15, 2008 - 1,300 views

I'm wondering what today will show. Google on his name hits a lot of pages. I'm not entirely sure whether I'm supposed to walk away inspired or really depressed. And it's not like I wasn't pretty cynical about the Nobels before now, especially with Horace "Eww, American Literature Yucky" Engdahl's inspirational and unique viewpoint that, I'm utterly sure, had no bearing on this year's objective choice.

I do not care what anyone says, Mercury is totally not un-retrograding yet(winterlive can attest to my startling lack of sanity). I am still cranky.

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*darkly* There is a lot of staring bitterly at my cubicle wall. I blame Mercury.

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Twenty five percent completed with a projected completion date of 10/17/2008. I will lose faith in reality if it's actually ready to be used tomorrow; that's just too weird for state government.

Lest you think the french have had it great this year, what with the non-objective lit nobel (when is a nobel in literature objective, exactly? I admit the notion has me puzzled, but I never looked into their inner workings before); apparently one of the 3 people who worked together to discover the HIV has been forgotten when the two others got 1/4 each of the prize (seen here - the other half of the prize went to a German researcher)... I am baffled that it took so long for the HIV discovery to be awarded with a Nobel, for one, but with that weird mishap on top that's kinda of.. yeah, cherries on the failcake I guess? *g*

Somewhere they talk about the prize being limited to three people.

*blinking* Okay, I'm really surprised now; it took them this long to get around to acknowledging the discovery of HIV? Really? Not great failcakes.

(Clarification regarding objectivity: in the sense of a judge coming out to specifically state American literature had no chance whatsoever. Not in actual judging, which is always subjective, which is beside the point. I'd find it less irritating if they said they weren't into the American Lit short list this year rather than a sweeping statement about American literary culture as a whole.)

it took them this long to get around to acknowledging the discovery of HIV? Really? Yeah, that's what I said! It seems so weird, right? Kind of unthinkable. I mean, it was 84, already! The peer review thing has happened a while back, you'd think.

(right - I agree the sweeping statement was kind of off-putting. So much so that I actually never went to investigate more about it, I just bzuh'd & moved on. Nobel peeps are weird!! *g*)

They must have awfully long peer reviews. *blank* I really have no clue what to do with that. It's that weird.

I remember reading somewhere that back in the early days of the Nobel, they got bit on the ass one too many times by awarding prizes to discoveries that turned out to be really, incredibly wrong later on. So apparently they now take a wait-and-see attitude, or, as you say, awfully long peer review. :-)

I can see that. Though I'd say HIV's been pretty well established by now.

I have hopes that the renewed publicity will lead to a gig in his field. Also, that the US citizen recipient of the prize will take advantage of the tax advantages of giving money away (to, say, the guy who gave him the gene).

I'm usually just a lurker here (*waves*), but as a Swedish person with a comparative literature degree, I feel I need to step up and say that those statements by dear Horace makes me ashamed that he gets to represent a national institution that I'm ordinarily very proud of. I've been feeling for a long time that his leadership is causing the prize to devolve into a game of "Who can we pick this year that no one has ever heard of, so that we can feel superior to all?" and I resent that. I always found Horace to be elitist, obscure, too fond of himself and generally quite annoying, although admittedly a very smart man, but the fact that he actually went and insulted the entire literary output of the US in one breath just makes me cringe. I feel the urge to apologize for him being an idiot and assure you that I don't think I've ever met any other Swedish person, in the literary field or otherwise, who feels like that. I mean, seriously, I think I'm entitled to a Permanent Secretary of the Academy who doesn't sound like he's about to become a thread on Fandom Wank. God.

I hate to say it, but most literary level conflict seems to follow fandom wank patterns. It's surreal and weirdly hysterical.

*hugs* I swear I do not blame Sweden. Mostly I blame the field of literature entirely for creating a kind of rarified atmosphere that pretty much all literary critics of all stripes carries around like a backpack of "My learnings are deep, yo." And it's not like I was wildly inspired by most authors considered in that category anyway. I have deeply plebian tastes.

I've read that longevity helps. The longest wait was 50 years between discovery and prize. I think another was 35 years. Since it's not awarded posthumiously, you have to make sure you stay healthy.

You know, that's when you make sure all your medical wills hve a clause for Nobel prizes, just in case. "Do not pull plug until Nobel is decided! kthnx."

LOL. That is brilliant. I can see Rodney putting that in his will.

Rodney would. "AS LONG AS I HAVE A HEARTBEAT I AM ELIGIBLE. BRING ME TO THE STASIS CHAMBER UNTIL I WIN." I mean, cryogenics could change the face of Nobel Awards forever.

"He was frozen fifty years ago!"


Giggle, Giggle.

I can see the vid playing over and over in front of his stasis chamber. "Wake me up when the Nobel idiots call and not before!"

I wrote out a treatise on how they award the Nobel, but I doubt you're interested. It's complicated how they pick and choose, and I don't think it's a system that makes anyone happy.

Horace "Eww, American Literature Yucky" Engdahl's inspirational and unique viewpoint that, I'm utterly sure, had no bearing on this year's objective choice

I still don't really feel this was well confirmed to be accurate. England does publish more books, and near half of the books in Germany are translations - but I wasn't overwhelmed with the work of this year's winner. [I read it in French - unclear about translation availability.] I've noticed most chains have foreign languages sections/translated sections.

I think it's more due to physical approximation and political interaction that Europeans talk to each other more than we talk to them. It's a big deal to make a cross-ocean flight to attend conferences. I know people do it quite frequently, but it's still an investment. Most of the YA authors I've seen still come over this direction to come to ours though.

There's expectation of bias--as people, there's no way to get around that. Then there's stating deliberate exclusion of an entire country, which I find both crass and problematic. It's one thing to say, for example, I did not care for the current crop of shortlisted American authors. It's another thing to dismiss a country's entire literary population offhand. Because it's the US, it's considered far more acceptable than him dismissing the continent of Africa, or the entirety of China, which I'd find equally offensive. There's a massive line between "This crop of authors doesn't work for me" and "This country doesn't work for me."

I agree with that. We do get shunted to the side frequently because it's almost trendy to be anti-american. That behavior isn't acceptable.

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