Thursday, June 07, 2018

What I'm reading 6/7/2018

Art of Manliness - 21 Western Novels Every Man Should Read -
As Western writer Jack Schaefer notes above, the cowboy embodied strains of the ancient chivalric code, but he wasn’t the aristocratic knight-in-shining-armor of England or even the pious, settled farmer of early America; rather, he was a kind of everyman hero: a regular man who yet was more autonomous, independent, and free than an ordinary fellow. Riding atop his trusty steed, he knew both how to protect others and how to survive himself, and evinced a taciturn, brass tacks, self-made nobility.

I love Western novels.  I have read most of the ones on this list and a huge number of Louis Lamour, Will Johstone, and Zane Grey novels beside.  In my opinion they are highly underrated, the stories are usually at least as good as most fantasy / science fiction novels, but, more than that, they tell a story about America.  About who we are and want to be.  One of the reasons that I love America is our vision of ourselves.  I know we don't always live up to it, but most actually try.  That vision of ourselves is incorporated in most westerns.  Another place that it pops up is in Heinlein's works as the Competent Man,  although I disagree with the wikipedia assertion that the competent man can do things perfectly.  As I see it it's that they can do a myriad of things competently and can use those skills to develop other skills.

Business Insider - Google is staring down the barrel of another massive fine and a crackdown that could rip the company apart -

There is a growing awareness of the ways in which big technology companies have grown horizontally and spread into multiple areas, redefining traditional thinking about what constitutes a monopoly. Should the EU win this fight, it may eventually result in Google having to unbundle Android from search.
 Ars Technica - Machines that suck CO₂ from the air might be cheaper than we thought -

Reforestation is an obvious option, but its potential impact is probably smaller than you think. Other biological schemes could include growing biofuels to burn in power plants that capture emissions and store them underground. Recently, we’ve also seen a couple of working pilot projects that look like a power plant run in reverse—they suck in air and harvest concentrated CO2, ready for storage.
I have long maintained that if Carbon Dioxide is truly an existential issue we would engineer a way to deal with it.

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