Quicklinks: 20 – 26 February 2023

When I was a kid and visited rock pools, I’d always look carefully, hoping to see an octopus in the wild. It never happened. This would have been the dream!

This article looks at conservation and animal distributions and suggests that, maybe, we’re trying to save animals in the wrong places. Perhaps where animals are now is only where they have been pushed by human expansion, rather than being the best places for them. It shows the complications of dealing things in the real world and how our desire for a “correct” world clashes with the reality that the world is always changing. Conservation is important but what are you conserving and when is your conservation harming more than its helping? These sort of questions are not limited to animals but are also applicable to humans. It’s difficult to say who belongs where because human history is a history of migration. Who is “supposed” to live where will change depending at what time you choose.

Fungal ballet dancers.

Due to the widespread outrage over the Roald Dahl edits, Penguin will also be publishing the unedited versions of his books. It’s better than nothing, but the altered versions should never have been made.

This Twitter thread gives a list of some of the changes that were made to Roald Dahl’s books. While you can see where some of them are coming from, others completely boggle the mind. This is the way that literature dies. There’s even more at the link but it’s tricky to see if you don’t have a subscription.

Apparently, Roald Dahl was completely against publisher’s changing his words after he died. I don’t blame him. As an author, his words were everything. They built his reputation, they earned him his livelihood. When you write, you choose the words that you feel best convey the ideas and emotions that you wish to share with your audience. To change an author’s words without consent is to change their ideas and meaning. Penguin better hope Dahl’s wish doesn’t come true, or they will be eaten up by a giant crocodile.

As expected, Mamokgethi Phakeng will be leaving UCT. As part of her deal for leaving, she will be paid R12 million!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s