Thursday, January 24th, 2019
Some good clear thoughts on decision-making in this review by Agnes Callard of Steven Berlin Johnson’s book on the topic.
Thursday, January 17th, 2019
Jonathan Hoefler explores something that typeface designers have long known but that researchers have only now corroborated: horizontal lines appear thicker than vertical ones.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019
Tuesday, January 1st, 2019
Chronicling from “below the API line”, as Venkatesh Rao calls it, are Austin Murphy with “I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon” in The Atlantic and Lauren Hough with “I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America” in The Huffington Post.
The depicted harshness of American work life for so many is terrible not just for those involved but for all. (Also these two share a prodigious unmet need to urinate on the job — is this the top new workplace tribulation?)
Monday, December 31st, 2018
The Six Day War, Fifty Years On is a series of articles by Tel Aviv University’s INSS think-tank including authors such as Gabi Siboni and Moshe Ya’alon.
Saturday, December 22nd, 2018
My first reading of Bikram’s second book in light of Bikram’s sexual assault accusations and exile from the USA, this one is not only weaker than his first due to a more lecturing tone and structure, now it seems downright tawdry, given the clean living Bikram advocates that he himself allegedly was not living up to. Ah well.
Sunday, December 16th, 2018
The nine totally must-read lessons of Brexit by Ivan Rogers, who was fired as Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union for stating some of these truths. Abject.
Saturday, December 15th, 2018
Harvard’s Belfer Center has produced an English translation of the Israel Defense Forces’ 2015 formal defence doctrine directed mainly against Hizbollah. This is the first such publication, which is worrying because pieces of paper now comprise at least some elements of the country’s deterrence.
Friday, December 14th, 2018
Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class
A re-read due to renewing my practice of Bikram’s hot yoga, again I’m struck by how perfectly balanced is its jaunty tone of humor, optimism and inclusion; it’s evidently a product of what in retrospect now seem the buoyant optimistic 1970s.
Thank you JINSA for this bracing, worrying overview of the situation between Israel and Hezballah: “Israel’s Next Northern War: Operational and Legal Challenges” [PDF].
Tuesday, December 11th, 2018
Our subterranean biosphere is teeming with some 20 billion tons of micro-organisms, scientists discover.
“The Effects of Bikram Yoga on Health: Critical Review and Clinical Trial Recommendations”, as published 2015 in Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine.
A screed we need: “When Supplements Become Substitutes” by Joshua Mitchell in the redoubtable City Journal. This conceptual framework clarifies much of what Western societies are concerned about regarding themselves.
Monday, December 10th, 2018
The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success
This book seems like one for our times: a self-improvement topic given fresh life by being supported by social science data. There are sufficient surprising results — similar to say Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow — to warrant reading, despite, when stepping back and taking it on the whole, the thing feeling largely self-evident. But it is not, and probably deserves a reread.
Sunday, December 9th, 2018
The insect apocalypse is here, reports The New York Times. This seems likely to be what does us all in; indeed most of us already have been.
Monday, November 19th, 2018
Saturday, November 17th, 2018
“Respected journalist” Joel Golby has pulled off a rather spectacular series of mini-essays for Vice in Choose Your Own Adventure: Friday Night Edition!. More relevant perhaps for people say a quarter of a century younger than me, but one can appreciate.
Thursday, November 15th, 2018
The more you keep your mouth shut, the more fertile you become.
If you don’t give literature a decisive part to play in your existence, then you haven’t got anything but a show of culture.
Sunday, November 11th, 2018
It All Adds Up
Bellow is meaty to pick up on any topic; we’re confident in the arms of a leading novelist. His tributes to old friends read the richest, even though impressionistic, more journalistic pieces such as his coverage of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty signing are also satisfying.
Saturday, November 10th, 2018
According to The Secret Anglo-French War in the Middle East by Prof. Meir Zamir, British Intelligence provoked the Arabs to invade Israel in 1948. The link is to an episode of the Tel Aviv Review podcast featuring Zamir.
Wednesday, November 7th, 2018
A savvy 69-year-old Dutchman who “identifies as 45” aims to legally reduce his age.
Tuesday, November 6th, 2018
Concentration without effort is the heart of the thing.
America and I, both exceptional, would together elude prediction and defy determinism.
The degree to which you challenge your own beliefs and expose them to destruction is a test of your worth as a novelist.
Telling all is the function of intellectuals.
The historic task of a civilization is to remake the world in its own image.
Thursday, November 1st, 2018
In this survey of Palestinian opinion conducted 25-27 October 2018 in the West Bank and Gaza [.doc] by the Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah University, there’s a drop in support for “the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders as a final solution for the Palestinian cause” from a mere 34.6% to a meager 16.4% if it includes “some land exchange”. But if they don’t want this, what do they think they can achieve that’s any better?
Important to consider: despite choice fatigue, users do benefit from some symbolic choices, this piece argues.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2018
Species eradication and wiping out animal populations seem to me a more dire problem than mere climate change. It should be our environmental priority.
Thursday, October 25th, 2018
British influence in the EU has been far greater than recognised, this piece argues. If this was better understood in Britain — and if, say, the BBC had devoted a couple of hours a week to pure Europe news — I’m guessing Britons would be much more pro-Europe today and the Brexit own-goal would not have occurred.
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
The 1953 Bergren Residence, on the market for $2m, is a pretty Wrightian Lautner, especially around the fireplace.
Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
Sunday, October 14th, 2018
You’re ♬ never ♫ too old ♬ to ♫ be young. “The Average Age of a Successful Startup Founder Is 45” in the Harvard Business Review.
Saturday, October 13th, 2018
I’m with Thomas (now Giselle), as robust as it blimmin’ gets with his Empire for Liberty.
My own sort of wacky view about it is that the American Revolution was basically a dispute over the course and direction and ground rules of the Empire.
Friday, October 12th, 2018
Worrying that you’re late is one of the signs of a good idea.
Paul Graham, How to Get Startup Ideas
Hussein Agha, senior Fatah member, discusses at some length — and it seems to me with honesty — the prospects of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
When Palestinians are close to reaching an agreement and are genuinely faced with giving up 78 per cent of their homeland, they feel surrender, so they recoil. Whenever Israelis find themselves at a similar point and try to justify giving up material assets in return for mere words, i.e. promises about future conduct, they recoil.
An interview at the impressive Fathom Journal with Lyn Julius, author of Uprooted.
The Jews were intrinsic to the rhythm of life in the Middle East. It all ended in the space of a generation. Some 850,000 Jews fled 10 Arab countries; most found refuge in Israel, where over half the Jewish population has roots in Arab or Muslim lands.
Try to do things that would make your friends say wow.
Paul Graham, “How to Do What You Love”
Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Now that’s a web site: New York City tree map — every last one, including street view, species, diameter. [via Kottke]
Monday, October 8th, 2018
Friday, October 5th, 2018
The Power of Pull
John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, Lang Davison
The core ideas are repeated so unabashedly often that distaste for the repetition makes me want to reject the ideas. Perhaps though repetition is deliberate, like in television commercials, working under the rhetorical theory that the reader will be irritated into remembering the message?
At any rate, the book posits three steps to getting anywhere: find the resources you need, attract others to your vision, and move at the appropriate pace to implement it. Crossing these three steps is the idea that innovation tends to occur not at the heart of things but at the edge, and so there must be an interplay between the incumbents and the hungry marginal outsiders. And the current business paradigm of digital transformation pumps up these perennial dynamics to where they must now be utilized as a framework.
The book’s blurbs are so hyperbolic and from such high-powered people, perhaps its simplicity is its power and the repetition worked on me: I dismiss the book merely because I understand it, and I understand it due to the repetition. And my understanding the book proves it a good one.
Since a few years have now passed since publication, some of the enterprises cited as exemplary wonders in the making, like Shai Agassi’s Better Places, have collapsed, giving further if unintentional insight into the topic.
You could argue that I missed the point entirely, in that I don’t even mention here the concept of “pull”. But that’s because to me it gradually lost any meaning, they used the term so often, and became a stand-in for “good”.
Saturday, September 29th, 2018
Tim Berners-Lee announces his startup Inrupt to support and popularize Solid, a platform to enable people to regain control of their own data.
Thursday, September 27th, 2018
In case anyone else was mildly traumatized by the way fonts appear on MacOS Mojave due to the disabling of subpixel antialiasing, here’s the solution by Github user alexanderyakusik:
defaults write -g CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled -bool NO
Also, in System Preferences > General, check Use font smoothing when available.