From National Book Festival, II: Military science fiction author David Weber

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An earlier session Saturday afternoon at the National Book Festival had featured novelist David Weber, who focuses on military science fiction and fantasy.  Weber is author of the “Honor Harrington” series with a female hero.

Clip 1  (how Weber first got published)

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Weber talks about storytelling.

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Weber talks about the author’s “soap box” as projecting “who he is.” He also discusses the fact that most readers don’t have personal experience with violence.

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Weber talks about cinema and TV adaptation, as opposed to literary fiction.

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Weber talks about the difference between fantasy and science-fiction. It’s easier to draw “good and evil” characters in fantasy, he says.

(Published, Monday, September 7, 2017, 3 PM EDT)

From National Book Festival, I: Kristof and WuDunn speak about inequality (“A Path Appears”)

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I did attend the National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress, in Washington DC Saturday afternoon, September 5, 2015, and I wanted to pass along some video remarks by Sheryl WuDunn and (husband) Nicholas D. Kristof, about their book and accompanying video series (shown on PBS)  “A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity” (Vintage); their site.

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A recurring theme is that inequality needs to be addressed in the earliest part of childhood, with interventions appropriate for the situation (like deworming in some countries, or improving the opportunity for parent-child contact, or very early education. Another idea is that “personal responsibility”, as a moral ideal, needs to be viewed with regard to the capability of someone brought up in poor circumstances to grasp the idea.  Kristof points out that rich people give less of their resources proportionality because their lives are somewhat shelter from “walking in other people’s shoes”, they are insular.

Clip 1

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3  (why rich people donate less in proportion to resources — “insularity” problem)

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4     (here is the comment on “personal responsibility”)

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6   (a parable)

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(Published Sunday September 6, 2015, at 5:45 PM EDT)