If you like anime, see Your Name while still in theaters

I went with my daughter to see Your Name a couple weeks ago, and we both liked it.  Somewhat flawed, and not close to Miyazaki-quality, but still plenty good.

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Leisure reading from 2016 that I forgot to write about

Golden Sun and Gold Rising by Pierce Brown.  Leslie picked these up at the library.  Brown has mastered the genre.  Excellent writing and especially dialogue.  Lots of intriguing ideas.  The whole thing has been carefully “lifted” from the best of other books in the genre.  And then, after several hundred pages, the dawn comes, and you realize, that this genre can get pretty boring.  Even a masterful effort remains bound by the constraints.  Calling Alan Moore, Alan Moore please come to table 9….

Kingkiller Chronicles.  My brother-in-law recommended The Name of the Wind many years ago, and I read it and enjoyed it.  When Elliot read it a few weeks ago, he of course learned there is a sequel (and the final installment of the trilogy is expected… 2020?) Patrick Rothfuss, the author, apparently is something of a fantasy superstar.  Anyway, I am not averse to a good fantasy novel even if it is 1000 pages.  The second book The Wise Man’s Fear was pretty good. Somewhat formulaic.  Fickle, prideful, fairies?  But enjoyable.  A short novella, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, was terrible.

Francis Hardinge. Cuckoo’s Song.  Well, I guess this quasi-horror story might appeal to some.  Not to me.  Also read The Lost Conspiracy.  Fairly juvenile fantasy.

 

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Light science fiction reading

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading short stories and novellas collected in the annual anthology by Gardner Dozois (for 2013 and 1995).  Here’s a few recommendations:

2013

  • Indraparamit Das, “Weep for a Day” A really nice “classical” tale of a child slowly coming of age as her society explores/conquers the wild and those who live there.
  • Paul McAuley, “The Man” Bittersweet tale of our common yearning for connection, somehow.  I did not like, however, his other story in the collection, “Macy Minnot’s…’
  • Megan Lindholm, “Old Paint” A sort of sweet tale, again about coming of age.  I did not know she was author of one of my sons favorite fantasy books, Assassin’s Apprentice.
  • Eleanor Arnason, “Holmes Sherlock” A good description  like Le Guin of a matriarchal world, but the story ultimately not that compelling.  (I see now that Wikipedia also makes the Le Guin comparison.)
  • Robert Reed, “Katabasis” Actually my favorite story in the collection.  About dealing with the past.  A nice review with spoilers is here.  But his story in the 1995 volume, “A Place with Shade” was underwhelming.

1995

  • Ursula K. Le Guin.  Her two stories, “A Woman’s Liberation” and “Coming of Age in Karhide” were both quite enjoyable.
  • Maureen McHugh, “The Lincoln Train” is a nice alt-history, quite short and to-the-point.
  • Geoff Ryman, “Home” strikes a nerve I am sure for people over a certain age as the younger generation casts you aside.
  • Paul McAuley, “Recording Angel” Very interesting even though I could barely figure it out!  The link has an afterword that is worth reading.  Notice his story in 2013 was also one of my favorites.
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Nice reporting from 2016 on koglweogo, the informal militias popping up in Burkina Faso

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Are you joking here New York Times? So what if it is James Heckman… the sample size is 37!

When the boys reached age 30, they earned an average of $19,800 more a year than those in the control group and had half a year more education. (The small sample size — 37 boys in the programs who stayed in the study — means the difference was not very precisely estimated.) When the girls reached 30, they had two more years of education and earned about $2,500 more, the study found.

OK this is probably a worthwhile and well-done study of the small sample.  And as the truism in economics says, “the smaller the sample the harder the methods.”  But writing an article as if this had really convinced someone of the second-generation effects of childcare?  And just based on this paragraph, why not tout a different result, “Heckman finds education useless for raising earnings of women!”

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Trump’s “America First” rhetoric? William Wyler had it pegged back in 1946.

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For everyone who served on a committee that had to write a report

Bottom line? I express as gender female at the university.

Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Tasks with Low Promotability Linda Babcock, Maria P. Recalde, Lise Vesterlund and Laurie Weingart

Gender differences in task allocations may sustain vertical gender segregation in labor markets. We examine the allocation of a task that everyone prefers be completed by someone else (writing a report, serving on a committee, etc.) and find evidence that women, more than men, volunteer, are asked to volunteer, and accept requests to volunteer for such tasks. Beliefs that women, more than men, say yes to tasks with low promotability appear as an important driver of these differences. If women hold tasks that are less promotable than those held by men, then women will progress more slowly in organizations.

Source: [AEA] eTOC for American Economic Review Vol. 107, Issue 3 — March 2017 – mkevane@scu.edu – Santa Clara University Mail

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