Misc. links June 27th - July 5th

James Gleick on what defines a meme.

Practical tips on writing a book. Which is something I permanently want to start doing, soon.

Werner Herzog explains ‘truth intensification’ to Steven Colbert. I quite enjoy Herzog’s candid approach to the subject; while his manipulative antics (mutant albino aligators!) might horrify some, the fact is manipulation is unavoidable. Like an audiovisual equivalent of the Uncertainty Principle, I believe subjectivity stars when the filmmaker choses a camera angle over another or a moment over another. In that sense, all documentary is fiction (or, a lot more like fiction that most people want to believe), and the debate about truthfulness should hinge on what the author is trying to say rather than what is being shown.

A professor and a professional cheat talk about plagiarism, the business of writing college papers for other students, and the paradoxes of Higher Education.

The Elements of Hapiness, a study capturing the entire lives of more than 800 individuals. It’s a shame you can’t download the PDF.