Nigerians in Space

ephemera from Deji Olukotun, author of the novel from Unnamed Press
My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.

—Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)

How reading Kazuo Ishiguro can make you a better writer.

Author Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels have explored everything from post-war Japan (An Artist of the Floating World), to landed gentry (Remains of the Day), to a dystopian near-future (Never Let Me Go). The sheer beauty of these works has led to their adaptation to film, and inspired entire franchises such as Downton Abbey. Ishiguro is that rare combination of a commercial success who is also widely respected as a literary writer. But he also has a lot to teach us as writers.

image credit: Surian Soosay

How reading Kazuo Ishiguro can make you a better writer.

Author Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels have explored everything from post-war Japan (An Artist of the Floating World), to landed gentry (Remains of the Day), to a dystopian near-future (Never Let Me Go). The sheer beauty of these works has led to their adaptation to film, and inspired entire franchises such as Downton Abbey. Ishiguro is that rare combination of a commercial success who is also widely respected as a literary writer. But he also has a lot to teach us as writers.

image credit: Surian Soosay

As far back as 1949, Chicago’s Armour Research Institute (known as the IIT Research Institute today) had studied the effects of nuclear explosions on the environment and atmosphere. In 1958, the program was approached by the United States Air Force and asked to determine the hypothetical consequences of a nuclear explosion on the Moon. Sensing that national morale was low after the Soviets launched Sputnik, the U.S. government coined a plan: they’d nuke the Moon, causing an explosion so big that it’d be visible from Earth. They hoped the explosion would not only boost the confidence and approval of Americans, but serve as a show of power to the Soviets.

—We almost nuked the moon. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed.

(Source: priceonomics.com)

Secrecy—stealth—is not a preserve of the human species. It is a matter of survival for all our brothers, sisters and cousins in the animal world from which we have evolved. Whether in times of peace or in times of war, we all harbor secret thoughts, feelings, desires, objectives, and so forth that we want to share only with those we absolutely trust, and that we want to carefully conceal from those who would take advantage of us if they knew what we had in mind.

A Tutorial for Beginners to PGP

I love this philosophical take on encryption. - Deji

(Source: pitt.edu)

I organized this awesome event last night with writers from Haiti. Incredible readings and a great discussion.  Deji

penamerican:

Thanks for coming out to our summer evening of Haitian literature at the Queens Museum with Haiti Cultural Exchange and Akashic Books as part of the Selebrayson! Haiti arts and culture festival. Katia Ulysse and Jean-Euphèle Milcé shook the house.