Culture

  • John Tolkien started to write the Silmarillion one hundred (one HUNDRED!) years ago and continued to work on it until he died, 41 years ago. Forty years later, an Illustration and Graphic Design student worked all by himself, for about one year, to produce a wonderful deluxe, hand-illuminated edition of the Silmarillion. But he can’t publish it. Because other people, who are NOT those who wrote those texts, haven’t given permission (synthesis from the interview):
  • File formats are the alphabets of the digital age. Some Universities, or at least some Faculties of some Universities still are so culturally retarded to not deal with this fact. They more or less implicitly require students to use only proprietary file formats to study and graduate. A recent, real world example from Italy is here. Luckily, not all Universities are like that. I found out with great pleasure that the University of Guelph got its requirements for Electronic Thesis formats straight.
  • Ancient Balinese scripts are incised with a sharp knife on both sides of lontar palm leaves that are then blackened with soot. The leaves are held and linked together by a string that passes through the central holes and knotted at the outer ends. Today, many young people cannot read lontar inscriptions like this: Several experts, worried “that the knowledge and wisdom contained in lontar inscriptions will go nowhere” once those leaves deteriorate or are lost, are working to photograh the entire lontar script collection of the library of Bali Cultural office, translate it to Balinese, Indonesian and English and put everything online.