Thursday, November 12th, 2015
With the villain’s quasi-sibling bond to the hero, 2015’s 007 movie deflates to an incestuous Möbius Strip.
Monday, December 17th, 2012
I’ve tried to enjoy schlepping water, thinking that it serves to keep us to some human roots.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Annoyances and upsets with the iPhone 4S have been more than offset by its screen, the silkiness of its surfaces, the camera, and the third-party market for both software and hardware.
Thursday, March 25th, 2010
It’s amazing, given the adulation he enjoyed elsewhere, that the Israeli public knew from the start not to trust US President Obama.
Monday, March 8th, 2010
It’s 1983: Go for the Apple IIe with 64k that could be opened up as a hobbyist machine? Or the smaller, sleeker and newer IIc with double the memory but a closed case?
Thursday, July 30th, 2009
There’s nothing else around here except empty desolate pretty hills. The Israel Trail passes by a bit to the west. The shops are mostly franchises, almost all homegrown: Super-Pharm, Aroma, Tzomet Sfarim, Cup O’ Joe’s, LaMetayel, Mega, Fox, Castro, H&O.
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
So, finally, we stopped yesterday; the Israeli assault on Gaza of late 2008/early 2009 is over. With it, Israel lost moral purity and made vital strategic gains.
Friday, January 9th, 2009
Even if it did nothing, was just a prop in a futuristic movie, the MacBook Pro would be impressive; it’s like a sculpture of my previous computer, the MacBook, except it’s actually an improved computer!
Thursday, August 7th, 2008
Irit, the Jam and I walk from Brighton to Gatwick Airport.
Friday, December 7th, 2007
Ariel Sharon’s disengagement policy reflected an understanding that ownership of the Palestinian issue is shared with Egypt and Jordan. If Tony Blair were to acquire this view, perhaps he really could help facilitate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Thursday, October 25th, 2007
There she was, sitting outside the apartment block! How did she do it? Dogs—or at least Jam—must have some sort of navigational sense we don’t understand.
Monday, February 26th, 2007
I have had something very flattering: a request. Juan Carlos has asked me for comments on Casino Royale.
Thursday, February 8th, 2007
The Mrs is skeptical of David Allen’s Getting Things Done self-management system because it eschews the rigors of time management in lieu of what feels right. But GTD is about informed feeling.
Saturday, July 10th, 2004
I want to get people in my pics, but it’s tougher when you’re no longer a wide-eyed teenager, because people generally don’t like to think they are a spectacle.
Tuesday, June 19th, 2018
Tyler Cowen: Why read news?
If you follow the news, you will work at it every day, more or less. Better those compound returns than to do something else once every three months and a half.
Sunday, June 17th, 2018
As my year of diving languorously into the murky waters of the Wake wore on, I came to feel that it was this failure, this impossibility, this grand futility of the Wake, that constituted its secret theme, its true aboutness.
Saturday, June 16th, 2018
First she called herself a Joycean, then she realized she’s more of a Joyceaholic. A great fun rueful erudite walk around the city that is James Joyce.
This is not the first time I’ve broken up with Joyce. A couple of years ago I decided we were in a co-dependent relationship. Except how could that be true if I was the only dependent one?
Friday, June 15th, 2018
What a lovely episode of Westworld is the latest, “Kiksuya”. I think the show has been great recently, such as crashing into the Shogun version of Sweetwater in “Akane no Mai”, and James Delos’s incarceration and repeated relaunches in “The Riddle of the Sphinx”.
There is so much death depicted in Westworld; I haven’t watched Game of Thrones nor The Walking Dead so perhaps that is par for the course nowadays on tv but it’s new for me. In reality this level of mayhem only exists in pockets (and of course among the non-human), so I suppose it is important that we be reminded of it.
I love the ongoing reversal within Westworld that the real world shot outdoors is fake while the indoor sets underground, reached through Lost-like hatches, are real. And the music; beautiful! And the scenery, beautiful! Without these two elements, how great can a moving picture story ever be?
Tuesday, June 12th, 2018
Internet Trends 2018 — all the stats. A presentation by Mary Meeker.
Thursday, June 7th, 2018
Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
Justice Anthony Kennedy: “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”
Saturday, June 2nd, 2018
Bernard Lewis, 102 by Yonoson Rosenblum:
Lewis was one of the first to take note of the “Declaration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders,” issued in an obscure London Arabic paper in February 1998 by Osama bin Laden. Lewis began his piece in Foreign Affairs as only one deeply immersed in Arabic literature could, with attention to the declaration as a “magnificent piece of eloquent, at times even poetic, Arabic prose.”
At times, he has been a player, not just chronicler of events. Well before the Yom Kippur War, he was tasked by Egyptian diplomat Tahseen Bashir with bringing to Israeli leaders the message that President Sadat was ready to make peace. Bernard met with then prime minister Golda Meir, whom he describes as having a “personal filtration system” that allowed through only what she wanted to hear, as well as Moshe Dayan, Yitzchak Rabin and Menachem Begin. Only the last was eager to pursue the diplomatic feelers.
Thursday, May 31st, 2018
The Dawn of Day
This is a delicious book to pick up in spurts — BMW punchy as Emerson is Rolls-Royce bubbly — but I couldn’t say what it’s chiefly about, where it starts, where it ends, how it fits in with Nietzsche’s other books, nor whether I’ve even read it before (I do remember particular points but perhaps they’re also mentioned in the other books). As usual this 19th-century giant sounds as if he writes… this morning.
Tuesday, May 29th, 2018
Newsweek excerpts Ronen Bergman’s upcoming book about the Mossad, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations. The chapter recounts an Egyptian missile program being developed by ex-Nazi engineers (comic-book nefarious!).
After failing to subvert it with mail bombs and intimidation, Israel recruited a high-living Hitler favorite and produced enough evidence — echoes of Netanyahu’s recent evidence cache on Iran’s nuclear program — to persuade the German government to take benign steps to intervene and halt the program.
The institutional fallout included Isser Harel’s ouster, the IDF coming in to rebuild, and it seems the resignation of Ben-Gurion himself.
Monday, May 28th, 2018
Having just seen Sam Smith on a televised weekend concert, I was reminded of Spectre and went and found a podcast episode where they satisfyingly eviscerate his lazy theme song, “The Writing’s on the Wall”.
Revenge of the Audience. In the comments after this Variety article about Solo, people consider why this movie is a box office disaster.
Watching Carrie Fisher tell her son about his Dad in Catastrophe, s3e6, she removes her glasses and her bitter old character eccentricities and we see just her face and eyes and she is as glittering onscreen as ever. Yet in the two new movies they gave her static scenes, which I think is a significant reason for Star Wars fatigue: what they did to the original troika in these new movies is distasteful.
I know why I didn’t see Solo: because The Last Jedi.
Sunday, May 27th, 2018
Reality-driven development: a good critique of agile in favor of kanban for software development.
Saturday, May 26th, 2018
Prince William will make the first ever official tour of Israel by a member of the British royal family (Jordan first though).
I think this is quite a big deal; Britain has complicated feelings towards Israel — to wit, the country’s non-appearance to date in 25 James Bond movies.
Thursday, May 24th, 2018
Michael Pollan’s everywhere-on-the-internet excursion into psychoactives is excerpted in The New York Times Magazine.
“I” now turned into a sheaf of little papers, no bigger than Post-its, and they were being scattered to the wind. But the “I” taking in this seeming catastrophe had no desire to chase after the slips and pile my old self back together.
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
From February 2016 to February 2018, global average temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius, reports Aaron Brown in Real Clear Markets. He notes that “none of this argues against global warming” as “the 1950s was the last decade cooler than the previous decade” but worries that “statistical cooling outliers garner no media attention”.
Great fun illustrated article on the aesthetics of Trumpism by Nick Hilton.
This next product, emblazoned with the number 45, looks more like a golfer’s baseball cap than a trucker’s … that styling — №45 in fancy serif font — would be perfectly at home on the label of a $100 bottle of scotch. Someone wearing this cap would not be immediately outing themselves as a ‘deplorable’ (as was, to a large extent, the appeal of the MAGA hat). It’s a flashback to a moment when the Trump brand was all about luxury hotels and links courses. No wonder it’s on sale.
Hilton also wrote a piece on Trump-based magazine covers.
Monday, May 21st, 2018
The Closing of the Hi-Gloss Colonel of American Letters Tom Wolfe’s Eyes. The New York Times obituary by Deirdre Carmody and William Grimes.
Caroline Glick praises the genius of Trump’s recognition of Israel’s capital. I’d go further: its most important function is as the crowning piece of pressure on the Palestinians to finally strike a deal with Israel and end the existential conflict; it transforms East Jerusalem from a given they have pocketed into a prize they can win.
What a bonanza it will be when the Palestinians, like the surrounding Arab nations, finally acknowledge they are licked, and accept what they can get from intense genuine negotiations. There should be little shame in admitting defeat — after all, the combined armies of the Arab nations repeatedly failed to defeat Israel. The ideal models here are Japan and Germany, which, after defeat by the United States and the Allies, reconstituted themselves, moved on, and with their national genius become formidable in their own realms. The Palestinians too can become formidable, well positioned to become at very least the eternal prospering middlemen between powerful Israel and the wider Middle East.
70 years after independence, Israel is flourishing in nationhood and statecraft, with a burgeoning birthrate, economy, set of alliances; it has likely possessed nuclear weaponry since 1963, an ICBM global delivery system since 2008. Indeed, Israel under-projects its power; David Goldman accurately coined her a “pocket superpower”. All this means that as Israel strengthens and they weaken, the longer the Palestinians continue to hold off the less they will eventually get.
Up to now, the only pressure the Palestinians faced to encourage them to make a deal was Israeli settlements in the West Bank, bargaining chips being built in front of their eyes. Now under Trump, the USA has changed its approach and added its own diplomatic pressure to bear — epitomized by the Jerusalem recognition. More fundamentally, the region has changed; the Palestinians’ traditional patrons and enablers — Egypt and Saudi Arabia — have at the very least lost interest in their perpetual campaign against Israel.
This sea-change will hopefully lead the next generation of Palestinian leadership to realize that there is no longer any benefit to holding out (not that there ever was) and succeed in conveying this to the people. Here’s hoping, and to fruitful and harmonious דו-קיום (co-existence) sooner than we think possible.
Saturday, May 12th, 2018
Make it work, ‘cos you’ve got opposites.
Friday, May 11th, 2018
It’s ominous yet futile, the Western media’s circumlocutions to avoid the traditional names of the various wars between Arabs and Israel. Here’s an example from today, “1 Gazan killed, 49 wounded by Israeli fire in border protest” by the Associated Press and posted at Yahoo (currently owned by Verizon). The paragraph in question:
Another large-scale protest is planned for Tuesday, when Palestinians mark their “nakba,” or catastrophe, referring to their mass uprooting during the Mideast war over Israel’s 1948 creation. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven out or fled homes in what is now Israel. More than two-thirds of Gaza residents are descendants of refugees.
I can’t remember when I last saw the capitalized term “Independence Day” in any international media news reports, nor the term “War of Independence”. Ditto for the Yom Kippur War, the Six Day War and the somewhat less heroic Sinai War.
I understand that these are inherently pro-Israel terms, told from an Israeli point-of-view. But they are vivid, concise, accurate, individuated terms. I’d also have thought that if they were transliterating Nakba they’d also be doing Yom Ha’atzma’ut in the vaunted name of balance. Moreover any war from which a nation-state arises deserves the term War of Independence.
“The Moment” is an occasional column/blog by novelist Amit Chaudhuri in The Paris Review.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2018
In the wake of America’s withdrawal from the Iran deal, an Israel-Iran war is unlikely but still…
Tuesday, May 8th, 2018
Even as the USA is troubled at the national level, it is often flourishing locally, argues James Fallows, who has spent five years criss-crossing the country with his wife.
“America is becoming more like itself again,” he writes. “More Americans are trying to make it so, in more places, than most Americans are aware.”
This is good, it seems to me; better than if the reverse were true.
Monday, May 7th, 2018
Morocco will sever diplomatic ties with Iran over its support for the Polisario Front.
Saturday, May 5th, 2018
I keep referring back to this article by Kyle Chayka — beautifully and ironically illustrated by Daniel Hertzberg — and in a nice homologue I keep forgetting the term it coins, airspace:
It’s the realm of coffee shops, bars, startup offices, and co-live / work spaces that share the same hallmarks everywhere you go: a profusion of symbols of comfort and quality, at least to a certain connoisseurial mindset. Minimalist furniture. Craft beer and avocado toast. Reclaimed wood. Industrial lighting. Cortados. Fast internet. The homogeneity of these spaces means that traveling between them is frictionless, a value that Silicon Valley prizes.
The title says it’s sterile but is it? The word never appears within the article. Isn’t airspace more a vocabulary? Here in Brighton there are nasty pastiches of it (Tortilla: Real Californian Burritos and Tacos), lovely expressions (Gails Bakery) and sophisticated extensions (Smallbatch Coffee).
Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
Ben Thompson concisely contrasts Amazon and Apple. “I’m not sure that Amazon will beat Apple to $1 trillion, but they surely have the best shot at two.”
Eric Posner and Glen Weyl provide some diagnosis of and solutions for our new Gilded Age.
Joss Whedon on making The Avengers: “There’s very little that I didn’t look at. It’s like, This is a Dr. Strangelove moment. This is The Abyss. This is His Girl Friday. It’s constant. You have to have all that stuff sort of in a blender in your head.”
“Jon [Favreau] said, ‘Look into his eyes. If you look into his eyes you will know. Is he being asked a question or is he asking the question?’” On the making of Iron Man’s HUD.
Tuesday, May 1st, 2018
Ehud Yaari in The American Interest: “Israeli inaction came face-to-face with Iranian proactivity, and Israel now finds itself counting its losses even as the Syrian war winds down.” It seems we have been fighting the last war.
Jaron Lanier on social media: “We got into this by trying to be socialist and libertarian at the same time, and getting the worst of both worlds … we have to choose.”
Sunday, April 29th, 2018
“Our statement is a non-statement.” In this 2007 interview, Robert Culp (“the talent”) speaks of I Spy and his partner Bill Cosby (“the genius”).
Friday, April 27th, 2018
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un enters South Korea for a summit with President Moon Jae-in. They jointly plant a tree and sign a friendly declaration.
This review of The Jewish Joke: An essay with examples (less essay, more examples) has examples.
Thursday, April 26th, 2018
I liked Michelangelo because the obsessive and extreme torsion of his figures was so obviously derived from that of Jack Kirby.
Geoff Dyer, Comics in a Man’s Life
I can’t go for a few moments without sliding back my chair and gazing with massive self-love at my library.
Geoff Dyer, on books, in Unpacking My Library
Living abroad meant a move out of quotation marks.
Geoff Dyer, on books, in Unpacking My Library
Of course they should do it, what are they waiting for? Venice mulls charging for day-trippers — again.
Saturday, April 21st, 2018
Being drunk is better for creative problem-solving.
We have entered an uncanny valley of algorithmic culture. I believe it’s still easy to step out of, but even easier not to. And maybe it’s merely a speeding up of how things have always worked.
In Amtrak’s magazine The National, alum David Schisgall welcomes the College’s new overlordettes, for in July 2018, after years of legal wranglers and decades of dusty nazal-gaving, Deep Springs will go co-ed.
Friday, April 20th, 2018
Another nice ongoing Grauniad series, this one where authors and writers describe their typical writing day.
The Paris Review compiles interviews from its archives on writing while under an influence.
Eventually I get down to writing and then the real problems begin.
Friday, April 13th, 2018
Trainwreck Interview on CNN...
JUDGE: Few client communications found so far in documents...
Bill Gates engineered mosquitos kill each other using SEX...
Thirty Years On, How Well Do 'Global Warming' Predictions Stand Up?
Venezuela urged to stop spread of measles, diphtheria...
NETFLIX's top spokesman fired over use of racial term...
'Let everybody f---ing in'...
GALLIANO: Liberate men with satin and corsets...
And DC hits them right back...
Young Trumpies Hit DC...
Oscars Academy Bends Membership Rules in Diversity Push...
FACEBOOK's Relentless Drive to Track Every Detail of Users' Lives...
SOCIALIST BERNIE EARNS MORE THAN $1M -- AGAIN...
Big brands drop social influencers over fake follower fears...
Michelle O says memoir is 're-humanization' effort...
Democrats and the Immigration Trap
A Reckoning: What Kind of Country Are We?
Nixon Lied, Smeared His Foes and Had Accomplishments
Did the FBI Frame Flynn?
The Trump Boom Is Real and Just Getting Started
Top 10 Fallacies About the Republican Tax Act
The Charles Krauthammer I Knew
Trump's Immigration Policies Are Surprisingly Popular
'I Think We're at the Beginning of a Soft Civil War'
Call 911! The Liberal Resistance Has Lost Its Mind
Melania Trump, Agent of Coat Chaos
Charles Krauthammer: An Extraordinary Life
Elena Kagan Is Up to Something
New Liberal Standard: Bullying GOP Women Is OK
Melania, That Jacket Was a Mistake!
Links for the intellectually curious, ranked by readers.
Poverty reduces brainpower needed for navigating other areas of life
Mux is hiring engineers to make online video infrastructure better
GitLab 11 released
Big Trouble at 3nm
Ask HN: Have you shipped anything serious with a “serverless” architecture?
A sad update about a scissors maker that went viral
On the Rise of FinTechs – Credit Scoring Using Digital Footprints
Break down of a C64 demo effect
Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro
New Charges in Huge C.I.A. Breach Known as Vault 7
Show HN: I trained a neural network to write Kanji
Unix Wildcards Gone Wild (2014)
Methane leaks from US gas fields dwarf government estimates
Carlo Rovelli on the ‘greatest remaining mystery’: The nature of time
How We Got to Be So Self-Absorbed: The Long Story
Smart, efficient news worthy of your time, attention, and trust.
It's been 30 years since we were warned about global warming
The big picture: How police brutality drives cities into debt
First family fashion scandals
Netflix drops top exec for "descriptive use of the N-word"
The big picture: The changing face of American protests
Go deeper: 5 consequential immigration moments this week
The big picture: Why NYC cabbies are committing suicide
Uber and Lyft won't necessarily win the scooter war
Go deeper: How Yanela became a false symbol of Trump child separation
What Trump's approval rating means for the midterm elections
Jay-Z partners with Silicon Valley venture capitalist
Chinese retail is winning the future
UK opposition leader Corbyn would recognize Palestinian state
The US and South Korea indefinitely suspend military drill
Iran falsely claims Syrian forces encircling Al Tanf US outpost
Ambassador Haley: Russia will be responsible for Syria war escalation
Failed Israeli-Russian deal opens SW Syria to Syrian bombardment, Iranian/Hizballah presence
Sarah Netanyahu: Fraud case based on false testimony
More Unrest for Jordanian Monarchy Without Urgent Social Reforms
Will Erdogan Let Go If He Loses the June 24 Election?
Israeli Forces Take Charge of Insulating the Syrian Border from Hostile Control
Israel Switches from Nonengagement in Syrian War to Lead Player Alongside the US
Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
An End to the UN's Human-Rights Farce
Germany's Merkel Calls on Europe to Counter Iran's "Aggressive Tendencies"
Jewish Journalism Struggles to Survive
Looming Sanctions Could Cripple Iran's Auto Industry
Israeli Non-Profit to Receive UN Award for Saving the Lives of Palestinian Children
Iran Oil Exports Slide after U.S. Sanctions
Telling the Truth about Hamas
Japan Could End Iran Oil Loading from October
Cyber Week Showcases Israel as Leading Cyberpower
French Finance Minister: Most French Firms "Won't Be Able to Stay" in Iran
Israeli Technology Makes Impact at Soccer World Cup
Report: Hizbullah Pulling Back from Israel-Syria Border
Iran Responds to Pompeo's 12 Demands
Israel Deploys Electronic Eye to Track Fire Kites and Balloons from Gaza
Israel Shows Power of Good Defense
US–Chinese trade war puts scientists in the cross hairs
To make plastic, just add blood
Silica nanograins form perfect 12-sided cages
Publisher Correction: Cryo-EM structure of human rhodopsin bound to an inhibitory G protein
Distant galaxy’s ring of light proves Einstein right
Ancient gibbon from Chinese tomb may be first ape to go extinct since the Ice Age
Methane leaks from US gas fields dwarf government estimates
Genetically modified bacteria enlisted in fight against disease
A quarterly magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute, edited by Brian C. Anderson.
City Journal's Leonardo
Farewell, Old Friend
The Indispensable Man
Who's Really to Blame at the Border?
The High Cost of Tariffs
Brain candy for Happy Mutants
Judge orders Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to go back to law school
Browser extension to fix the NYT's squeamishness about calling Trump a liar
Brilliant billboard modification protesting ICE's treatment of migrant children
Firefighters burn down careers with sweet, sweet pornography
Large retro wall clock for $7.50
Weekend Tunes: Spinal Tap - Stonehenge
Mental health of black people harmed by police murders of unarmed black people, says medical research
U.S. Navy plans immigrant internment camps to detain tens of thousands in CA, AL, AZ
Paul McCartney takes James Corden on a tour through Liverpool
Coffee expert asked to guess difference between cheap and expensive coffee
Jogger in Canada accidentally crosses over U.S. border and gets detained for 2 weeks
MTV reviving Daria and Aeon Flux
Men arrested for stealing shed by trying to drag it down the road behind a truck
Watch this absolutely glorious slo-mo collision of two vortex rings
U.S.A. fact of the day
What if sleep was a commodity?
The NBA vs. the NFL
Friday assorted links
China-U.S. fact of the day
Do liberals and conservatives shop differently?
What should I ask Michelle Dawson?
U.S.A. fact of the day
Was the Colombian peace deal so wonderful?
Thursday assorted links
Is the bilateral approach to trade liberalization really so bad?
Will the European Union ruin the internet?
Is democracy in danger?
FRED now has crypto data
*High Growth Handbook: Scaling startups from 10 to 10,000 people*
Rumors and news on everything Apple since 1997
This week on AI: Previews of Apple's iOS 12 & tvOS 12, 2018 iPhone rumors & more
Simple hack bypasses iOS passcode entry limit, opens door to brute force hacks
Apple Business Chat makes European debut at Cannes Lions
Apple launches keyboard service program for 'small percentage' of MacBook, MacBook Pro owners
How to pick which wireless speaker is best for you
Review: Netgear's Cable Orbi Kit delivers fast whole-home Wi-Fi
'Fallout Shelter' studio sues 'Westworld' publishers for cloning iPhone game
Supreme Court rules police always need warrant for cell tower location data
No Lightning or USB-C in a future iPhone is a very bad idea
How to manage Safari notifications in macOS High Sierra and Mojave
Coupon Deals: Save up to $400 instantly on Apple's Mid 2017 MacBook Pros, plus no tax in 48 states & 0% financing [u]
Apple's next-gen 'A13' iPhone and iPad chipset will remain 7nm