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Posts Tagged ‘Fitzgerald

“Troubles hurt the most when they prove self-inflicted”*…

 

Clicking on VOTE web button on website

 

Earlier this year, Georgia’s Secure, Accessible, and Fair Elections Commission held a public meeting at the state capitol to answer a pressing question: What should Georgia do to replace its aging, touchscreen voting machines, as well as other parts of its election system? In the preceding years, security vulnerabilities in the state’s election system had been repeatedly exposed: by Russian operatives, friendly hackers, and even a Georgia voter who, just days ahead of the 2018 midterms, revealed that anyone could go online and gain access to the state’s voter registration database.

Computer scientists and elections experts from around the country had weighed in during the seven months of the commission’s deliberations on the issue. They submitted letters and provided testimony, sharing the latest research and clarifying technical concepts tied to holding safe, reliable elections. Their contributions were underscored by commission member Wenke Lee, co-director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for Information Security and Privacy, and the group’s only computer scientist.

Despite this, the commission ultimately did not recommend measures backed by Lee and his colleagues at places like Stanford, Yale, Princeton, MIT, and Google — including the recommendation that the state return to a system of paper ballots filled out by hand, combined with what scientists call risk-limiting audits. Instead, the commission recommended buying a system that included another, more expensive touchscreen voting machine that prints a paper ballot. Months later, Lee was at a loss to explain: “I don’t understand why they still don’t understand,” he said.

With its decision, Georgia’s counties remain among the 33 percent of counties nationwide that use either machines with no paper trail or machines that print paper ballots, which are then scanned on separate machines. The vast majority of the rest of the counties use paper ballots filled out by hand, which are then scanned or counted by hand…

Georgia is one of many states that is adopting or considering voting technology that some experts say decreases security and election integrity: “Georgia’s New Election System Raises Old Computer Security Concerns.”

[Most of those voting systems run on Windows 7, a dated operating system that’s demonstrably vulnerable to hackers… and that reaches “end of life” in January.]

* Sophocles

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As we wonder why, we might recall that it was on this date in 1946 that notices were tacked onto the doors of African-American churches in Fitzgerald, Georgia reading “The first n-gger who votes in Georgia will be a dead n-gger” [without the ellision].

420px-Ben_Hill_County_Georgia-5 source

 

Written by LW

July 16, 2019 at 1:01 am

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not”*…

 

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Occhiolism

n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room.

Just one of the sadnesses catalogued in “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows“…

… a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig [c.f., here]. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for…

* Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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As we bury our heads in our hands, we might recall that it was on this date in 1920 that Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald were married in the Rectory of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.  They adjourned with friends to the Biltmore Hotel, where they intended to honeymoon, but were thrown out that night for rowdiness.  (Undeterred, they moved two blocks down 42nd Street to the Commodore Hotel… from which they were ejected, again for rowdiness, a few days later, at which point, they took the party to Westport for the summer.)

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Written by LW

April 3, 2015 at 1:01 am

Judging a cover by its book…

 

Artist Sharm Murugiah has imagined covers for the (as yet to be published) mass-market paperback editions of Quentin Tarantino’s screenplays.  Click here for a zoomable version.

[TotH to GeekTyrant]

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As we confuse our genres and mix our media, we might recall that it was on this date in 1920 that This Side of Paradise was published.  Francis Scott Fitzgerald had written a first draft off the novel while stationed in Alabama during World War I; then titled “The Romantic Egotist,” it was rejected.  Fitzgerald re-wrote the novel, re-titled it, and got a friend to get it to Maxwell Perkins at Scribners, who took it on and oversaw its polish and publication.

Set in Princeton, This Side of Paradise was the most influential “college novel” of its age, and introduced a new set of perspectives and values that came to characterize a cohort of intra-war writers.  Critical reception was ecstatic; sales were strong– and Fitzgerald found instant fame and riches.

Still, the reception of his work wasn’t universally positive:  John Grier Hibben, the President of Princeton, lamented “I cannot bear to think that our young men are merely living four years in a country club and spending their lives wholly in a spirit of calculation and snobbishness.”

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Written by LW

March 26, 2013 at 1:01 am

Elegant Endings (and Blissful Beginnings)…

 

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Best reason to go adventuring in Wonderland:

Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.

– the last line of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

19 other conclusive gems at Flavorwire’s “Famous Last Words: Our 20 Favorite Final Lines in Literature.”

And for a complementary collection of such wonders as…

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

—the opening line of Gabriel García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)

…visit the American Book Review’s “100 Best First Lines from Novels.”

 

As we reach for our library cards, we might recall that it was on this date in 1910 that Alice B. Toklas moved in permanently with Gertrude Stein.  The two women turned their Paris home (22 rue de Fleurus) into an artistic and literary salon, where they hosted Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and many others– several of whom appear, with Ms. Stein herself, in the lists above.

Cecil Beaton’s photo of Stein and Toklas at home (source)

 

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