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.”
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
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.
Sunday, May 20th, 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.
Saturday, May 12th, 2018
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.
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.”
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”).
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
Saturday, April 21st, 2018
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
Thursday, April 12th, 2018
Two pieces that capture the current state of play in the tinderbox that is Syria: “The Extraordinarily High Stakes in Syria” by Noah Rothman in Commentary (whom I usually find hard to read for some reason); and “How Putin’s Folly Could Lead to a Middle East War” by Jonathan Schanzer in Politico.
It’s nice to see Slant Magazine praise something fulsomely and in detail: Chuck Bowen on Billions, Season 3.
Saturday, April 7th, 2018
From 2014: The Economist introduces us to Sebastian de Grazia’s 1962 Of Time, Work and Leisure. Increasingly, leisure is not for the rich but for the poor.
Sunday, April 1st, 2018
What did Jews tend to die of? The entry on morbidity in the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906.
Friday, March 30th, 2018
Thursday, March 29th, 2018
A conversation with Kai-Fu Lee at edge.org. He’s an AI researcher who has worked at Apple, Microsoft and Google, and wrote AI Super-powers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order.
He believes SkyNet fears are ridiculous but that much needs to be done to handle the coming massive loss of jobs.
Sunday, March 25th, 2018
It’s Tim Ferriss’s most soulful interview yet: Jack Kornfield, a guru who talks the talk, walks the walk, sat the sit. With a great selection in the shownotes of links and people mentioned.
As these two leaders discuss morning practices, I’m struck by how many of the perspectives and attitudes they hope for are nicely handled by the Jewish morning prayers.
Craig Mod’s interview with Offscreen Magazine. “In my life, America is three locations: New York City, the Bay Area, and Asheville in North Carolina.” This writer/designer, who first impressed me with his review of the Apple Watch, lives in a small coastal town in Japan — some sort of digital-hipster James Bond. Things are very considered.
Vincent Gallo Sings by one Vincent Gallo. “I know what I look like. It’s certainly not how I would have made myself look. Don’t blame me.”
Friday, March 23rd, 2018
If you’re worried about Facebook, just take a look at WeWork.
Here’s one thing today’s richest man does: hold a spaceflight/robot-themed conference.
Thursday, March 22nd, 2018
It’s a bolt from the red, white and blue: John Bolton is to be National Security Advisor.
Wednesday, March 21st, 2018
In the wake of the White House conference on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which the Palestinians did not attend, Noah Feldman masterfully lays out the land regarding Jared Kushner’s diplomatic push between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Noah on Abbas’s leverage: “In the end, the Arab states can’t actually sign a peace agreement without a Palestinian state signing it, too.”
Monday, March 12th, 2018
In the search for an interesting riff on Black Panther, Teju Cole, photography critic at The New York Times Magazine starts it up, complete with dueling translations of Rilke’s “The Panther”.
Friday, March 9th, 2018
Tyler Cowen has a modest proposal: polarized shopping. “You get better deals from the companies you patronize regularly, most of all from airlines and hotels. It requires only some stretch of the imagination to think that more of those programs could be organized around ideology.”
Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
Jordan Peterson and Camille Paglia light up a brightly-lit room for 1 hour 43 minutes.
Monday, March 5th, 2018
Ladies and gentlemen, hidalgos and Iagos, may it please you to join Andrew Klavan on this sharp essay through racism and religion via Shakespeare.
Sunday, March 4th, 2018
Everything for the ride, the game, the thrill, perhaps the rugs. Paul Manafort, American Hustler in The Atlantic.
Wednesday, February 28th, 2018
Paglia on #meToo: “Treating women as more vulnerable, virtuous or credible than men is reactionary, regressive and ultimately counterproductive.”
Monday, February 26th, 2018
Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion of the 2008 US Supreme Court case discussing the Second Amendment, Distric of Columbia v. Hehher. Surely required reading for being informed on the topic.
Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
As a warplane is downed for the first time since 1982, Israel reevaluates its strategy vis-à-vis Syria.
Thursday, February 8th, 2018
Quincy Jones on Michael Jackson’s bullshit and everyone else’s too. Oh and famous friends.
Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
Watching Mike Pence’s speech to the Knesset [transcript and video at Haaretz], Prime Minister Netanyahu can’t jump to his feet fast enough.
The US Vice President draws parallels between America’s and Israel’s stories. He sets a 2019 deadline for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. And he recites Shehechianu in Hebrew.
This historic speech furthers the momentum of the new American way in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To paraphrase the Grateful Dead: More than this I will not ask.
Monday, January 22nd, 2018
For 42 minutes Walter Russell Mead [transcript] puts not a sentence, not a word out of place — let alone an idea — in discussing the first year of the Trump presidency.
WRM is interviewed by Susan Glasser at The Global Politico [podcast] mainly through the prism of his book Special Providence, which divides American foreign policy into four schools: Hamiltonian, Jeffersonian, Wilsonian and Jacksonian.
Amazon Go physical grocery store opens in Seattle, featuring no check-out.
Thursday, January 18th, 2018
Next step in the Trump strategy for wrapping up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: US cuts payments to UNRWA by about half.
Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
If you read one brief op-ed piece this year, surely it must be Of Crudeness and Truth by Andrew Klavan in City Journal. “For Nurse Ratched, read Hillary Clinton, CNN, The New York Times, Yale University, Twitter, and Google/YouTube —— all the tender ministers of polite silence and enforced dishonesty. If Donald Trump’s boorishness crashes like a bull through the crystal madhouse of their leftism — well, good. It’s about time.” Like other forms of tyranny, at first we found political correctness amusing. One consequence of it: this risky presidency.
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
In what seems a common pattern, Jony Ive started early, eschewing the liberal education of say Oxbridge, instead selecting the most renowned college in the field in which he was already winning prizes: industrial design. And this great achiever of our times grew up under the happy and mighty influence of his father, an educator who rose to prominence due to character and a drive to bring design literacy to British education.
The bulk of this book about Ive constitutes one of the stronger, more detailed histories we have of Apple itself, told mainly from the perspective of the IDg, the internal design group he leads. We learn for instance that in order to meet Steve Jobs’ deadline for creating the iMac — the first product upon Jobs’ return and which revived the company — they needed to streamline the product process by making the files of the design software interoperable with those of the manufacturing software.
Someone says Ive is even less replaceable at Apple than Jobs. This isn’t quite fair because Jobs worked to make himself replaceable. Let’s hope Ive does as well.
Was The Bonfire of the Vanities the American novel’s last hurrah?
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
The next step in the Trump shibboleth-marauding strategy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal appears to have just happened: The President has threatened the Palestinians with withholding aid if they continue to refuse to come to the negotiating table.
These were merely tweets, a new lower level of presidential statement, but nonetheless they’re another demonstration to the Palestinians that they do in fact have things to lose by maintaining the conflict indefinitely. It seems a softening up before negotiations begin so that this time they will finally actually end with a deal.
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
Another Tim Ferriss Show link, this time a joyful 2-hour interview with Terry Crews, artist, athlete, movie actor, taboo-dispeller, celebrity, self-help book aficionado.
Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.
Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.
A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.
Sunday, December 24th, 2017
Jonathan Haidt lists the centrifugal and centripetal forces acting on American society in his essay Age of Outrage. I learned a new word: “intersectionality”.
Monday, December 18th, 2017
This investigative piece by Josh Meyer in Politico depicts a DEA investigation into global Hezballah criminal activity undercut by an Obama Administration hell-bent on a deal with Iran.
Monday, December 11th, 2017
There has never been a West European post-Second World War policy in [the Middle East] except to await the American position and then stake out something more favourable to the Arabs.
Also Abraham Ben-Zvi briefly compares Trump’s defiance of his own government regarding Israel to that of Truman and Kennedy, rather propelling The Donald into the pantheon.
Marcus Pretzell is one German member of the EU Parliament who supports the declaration and says other do too but fear to speak up.
Finally, Rashid Khalidi’s response illustrates the unhappy thrashings-about of the opposing side.
Thursday, December 7th, 2017
On the eve of US recognition of Israel’s capital, very much in-the-loop Ambassador Ron Dermer speaks (three paragraphs at a time!) to the Global Politico podcast.
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
The guys at The Soul of Enterprise podcast interview George Gilder. I guarantee you he’ll bring you at least some new perspective. It’s about time.