The Man Who Sold More Books Than Rowling

I have been coming across a lot of Indian blogs lately.  While I haven’t been intentionally seeking them out, I do enjoy getting a different cultural perspective on things.   Recently, I came across a post by “Guru” (an abbreviation of his name and not a claim to any special spiritual knowledge or powers). 

The post is titled The Man Who Sold More Books Than Rowling and is regarding the author, Harold Robbins.  Robbins apparently didn’t limit his story-telling to novels, but enhanced the story of his own life to journalists and even family and friends.  As a result, when he died, newspapers didn’t print the true details of his life but the fantastical ones he had invented, which the papers incorrectly assumed to be the truth.  (Read a biography of Harold Robbins at who2.com.)

Guru also has a book list on his site (books he wants to read) that avid readers might be interested in.

Guru, a Ph.D. and scientist, also blogs about a lot of sciency things, some of which are over my head (did you know that the presence of ferrotoroidic order is quantified by a vector, called the toroidization?  yeah, me neither).  But most of which are interesting even to the average person, such as this one about informational cascade, which looks at how the chances of people coming up with the correct answer to a question can be increased or decreased when they answer as a group.

Guru’s blog is called Entertaining Research and is full of interesting information, so check it out.

Leitmotif

I came across an interesting article recently on a blog called Leitmotif titled Piracy Protects Property Rights.  It talks about government censorship and fraud in India and pirated movies, and how one leads to the other.  After buying what he thought were the movies, Babel and 300, the author states:

Both movies were so grotesquely mutilated by the government censors that I had no interest left in watching or even owning them and they provided me with no value for the money I had spent. Note that the censorship was actually a government act of fraud and violation of property rights: The movies I ended up inadvertently owning were neither created by the director/producer nor were they the ones I was led into believing as being what I desired to own.

Thus, the knife of government censors slices both ways–they mutilate the property of the creators and fraudulently expropriate the money of the consumers who have no way of ascertaining the integrity of the product they are purchasing.”

I recommend you follow the link and read the entire piece or browse other articles on this blog, which covers a wide variety of topics, including books, animal rights, philosophy, and sports

Another post I found interesting was one called American Monopoly on Stupidity.  I suppose as an American, I should be offended by it, but I found myself laughing and nodding my head in agreement as I read through this post.  Perhaps that’s because I’m smarter than the average American (or think I am), or perhaps it’s because I’m too stupid to know when I’m being insulted (oh, that’s not me — he must be talking about someone else — everyone in America besides me, yeah that must be it).

The author also writes poetry.  Here is an excerpt from an untitled poem:

“You broke the morning sun
On a flat non-stick pan,
The searing sound hissed in my sleep
Your milk and eggs,
Or, your health and strength
Such discipline you demanded
Even the yolk knew better than to seep”

Definitely give this site a visit.  There’s something of interest here for everyone (except maybe dumb people).