Saturday, August 11, 2012

Long Reads #9

Woah, I've been cutting down on the number of essays I've been reading lately. Maybe it's because I don't have wifi, so I can't update.... :/ Anyway, the (relatively few) essays I've read:

My Father and Me: A Spy Story by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee - Contrary to what it's title might suggest, this isn't a work of fiction. It actually details how a Benedict turncoat got his son to betray his country as well. It's actually really sad because at it's very core, it's a tale of how petty revenge led to the destruction of another innocent life. I really have no sympathy for the father, while I find the son quite pitiable.

Vanishing Voices by Russ Rymer - I'm either unlucky or lucky to be the heir of two very widely spoken languages - English and Chinese (Mandarin and Hokkien). Which is why, I never knew that there were languages that were endangered or even about to be extinct (if not extinct). It's really a pity, because I think there are words in every language that are untranslatable, and that we should preserve languages if only to hold on to that special way of viewing the world. And speaking of language, as I start to finish books in Japanese (I need to finish them....), I will be introducing bilingual reviews (English and Japanese, not Chinese!).

Does Meritocracy Work? by Ross Douthat - To me, it's natural that I should go to university. And I dare say that it's the norm for a lot of you. But I never knew that universities could be so unfair in their admissions. (Ok, this is about US universities, but I worry on behalf of my friends). But I don't know how we can improve on their process, or to even give a critique because I'm not well-informed enough. Still, this is an article everyone should read, because it's food for thought.

Well, three articles this week. But I did write more about each article. So I guess the ideal number would be between three and seven, to strike a balance between quantity and depth.

So, what did you read this week?

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