Links: Margins, the movie biz, Norman Rush, cheating, diet, methane

* “Let’s talk about margins” is a beautiful essay about much more than its obvious topic, though margins are indeed important and I thought a lot about the margins for physical copies of Asking Anna. Some of the best-designed paperbacks I’ve seen, ever, are the New York Review of Books books, so I decided to mimic their margins. CreateSpace’s paper quality is not as high and their binding not quite as good but I wanted to approximate the experience of that series. The Vintage Contemporaries series also has high-quality design; here is one discussion of the covers. My edition of Bad Behavior is a Vintage Contemporary, although apparently it is now under another imprint. Excellent Sheep has weirdly shitty paper quality, given the subject and sense of historical vision.

I think Steve Jobs would have liked “Let’s talk about margins.”

* “Last Call: The end of the printed newspaper,” and this is not good.

* “If Video is Booming, Why are Revenues Evaporating?“, or, is the video business becoming more like the book business but with prettier principals?

Handsome New York City pig on a leash

Handsome New York City pig on a leash

* There is a remarkably specious and stupid NYT article called “Teaching Is Not a Business,” whose subtext is, “We should keep doing things the way we have always done things and will always do things.” Good luck with that. The programs David L. Kirp cites at the end of the article are particularly hilarious to anyone who has worked on or in them.

* Ferguson and the Modern Debtor’s Prison.

* Relatedly, Have the cops gotten too good at catching criminals?

* On Norman Rush; Mating is one of the best novels I’ve read. Subtle Bodies, not so much. Notice: “Ideas in fiction are more potent when they don’t come armored against their own contradictions.” The same is often true in nonfiction. You often don’t have to pick a side, especially in arguments about fundamental values.

* Dubious source, but, “Think men are the unfaithful sex? A study shows WOMEN are the biggest cheats – they’re just better at lying about it.”

* Hard science about diet: What makes us fat.

* Methane is seeping from the sea floor, in what may turn out to be the most important news, possibly ever.

* Body normalization, good luck! Though I don’t perceive it as meant as a political statement.

* Geek Sublime by Vikram Chandra, pre-ordered based on the review.

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