Friday, August 12th, 2022
Hamas stays out of the fray in Israel’s latest Gaza blow-up, further fractalizing the Palestinian movement.
Tuesday, August 9th, 2022
I agree with the sentiment in this Haaretz op-ed piece “It’s Time for Israeli Media to Start Calling Gaza Victims by Their Names”, an issue I blogged about during a previous Gaza altercation back in 2014 and haven’t changed my mind. What regular folks here in Israel care about are the disruptions caused due to incoming rocket fire — and that’s totally legit. But for the record the media should be noting whom Israel kills in order to ameliorate the aggression — especially when they are non-combatants. Perhaps one argument against doing so is that we must rely on the notoriously mendacious Palestinians themselves for the facts. If that is truly the issue, then we should enlist the aid of credible third-party organizations for corroboration, such as the Red Cross (if they even are allowed to operate within the ghastly fascistic theocracy that the Palestinians have founded in Gaza…).
Friday, August 5th, 2022
Yippee, Conrad Black is back, juicy and crunchy as ever:
Our [hard Left] enemies leapt from the jaws of bitter and total defeat, hijacked the careening gadfly of esoteric conservationism, and transformed it surreptitiously into a well-camouflaged battering ram that has inflicted immense costs and opprobrium on the corporate world and great sadness and inconvenience on the laboring proletariat on whose behalf the Marxist Left has supposedly been crusading these past 150 years.
The second most important country in the Western Alliance is almost detached from it, all by the apparently innocuous and meliorist actions of Germany’s peppiest environmentalists.
Conrad Black, Triumph of Davos Man
News I can use: to be published in the academic journal Experimental Gerontology, “Frequent sauna bathing offsets the increased risk of death due to low socioeconomic status” — a prospective cohort study of middle-aged and older men.
Thursday, August 4th, 2022
At last, a British publication (The New Statesman, with muchos kudos for the great rebranding) addresses the bonkers British practice of placing washing machines in kitchens and consequently lacking space for dishwashers (or vice versa, the causality is mysterious):
Non-Brits find having a washing machine in the kitchen hilarious (as well as unhygienic, which it is). But the idea of bringing smelly socks near food preparation surfaces apparently pales in comparison to the shady plastic tub in the sink, its fleet of mugs bobbing in the oily foam.
The article even addresses that other bugbear: “UK residents commonly have separate hot and cold taps, whereas single mixer taps have long been the norm in Europe.”
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022
Britons should be honored by this Palestinian diatribe against them.
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022
Telegraphy made relevance irrelevant.
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining.
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
The act of thinking … is as disconcerting and boring on television as it is on a Las Vegas stage.
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
Ventriloquism, dancing and mime do not play well on radio, just as sustained, complex talk does not play well on television.
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
Monday, August 1st, 2022
Saturday, July 30th, 2022
Nice on Nietzsche. And nice that reviewer John Gray mentions La Gaya Scienza as one of his best books. Time for a reread.
Wednesday, July 27th, 2022
Really good interview with Seth Godin who had dropped off my radar because his posts felt too brief and too pat unto banality. I love his back-of-the-bottle trick for public speaking. Plus he closes with Eli Goldratt!
As soon as you make the decision not to work at Goldman Sachs everything you’re doing should be because you are trying to enable your mission, not because you are trying to make a living.
Brave of Tablet to publish this inflammatory Hunter Biden laptop story by Lee Smith:
There is so much data on Hunter Biden’s laptop that it’s hard to keep straight the sequence of images and information that have come from it since the New York Post started sourcing stories to the personal computer in October 2020. The most recent release includes 80,000 images that a Switzerland-based cyber expert recovered from deleted iPad and iPhone accounts backed up on the laptop.
There are more pictures, texts, and emails about the younger Biden’s business deals, drug use, sex life, and family relations. Hunter referred to his stepmother, first lady Jill Biden, as a “vindictive moron.” There’s a contact nicknamed “Pedo Peter,” which appears to refer to his father: Joe Biden often used the alias “Peter Henderson,” the name of a character in a Tom Clancy novel, when he traveled.
Thursday, July 21st, 2022
On Israeli Policy Pod, Ehud Yaari for the (more or less) hour. When asked who is the greatest of the many great men he met, he is unequivocal: Sadat.
Wednesday, July 20th, 2022
The virtues involved in being a good driver —the mix of independence and cooperation, knowledge and responsibility — really are virtues well suited to citizenship in a sprawling and diverse republic.
Tuesday, July 19th, 2022
Haaretz travel writer Moshe Gilad writes of hiking Israel’s abandoned Jerusalem line and how it could be put to use but is being stymied by Israel Railways — a reminder of the typical national dysfunction.
Sunday, July 17th, 2022
Saturday, July 16th, 2022
At the Washington Institute, they note that popularity among Arab populations for the Abraham Accords remains low and that — surprisingly — it’s highest among… Palestinians!
Friday, July 15th, 2022
The maker of Linen, a service to make Slack conversations accessible, talks about how this time he went about starting a startup properly and got income within a month. Impressive.
The Spectator’s best London rooftop bars.
Great bit of analysis on why in the UK it’s the Conservatives who are more ethnically diverse.
Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
Paula Wright has done us a service if we are willing to listen with her piece “We Need To Talk About Karen” on the danger of giving women a pass on malignant behavior. She uses some nice literary references as well, such as Les Miserables and Tess of the D’Urbervilles (though of course the feminist-inclined might point out that these are works penned by men).
It’s all fine and dandy lionising supposedly benign female traits, like “empathy” and “equality” but the evidence is right before our eyes that the female of the species can be just as deadly as the male, if by sleight of hand and not yet recorded in official statistics.
Why is this relevant?
As more women enter politics and managerial positions; as workplace policies become shaped by the invisible hand of female strategies of competition, whilst at the same time we remain both ignorant and in denial about them – this is why we must talk about Karen.
Saturday, July 9th, 2022
Walther Russell Mead illustrates his Jacksonian stream of American foreign policy thinking by showing how much affinity it has with Israel. I think for the most part WRM partakes of it himself.
As I learned from an emigre last night in at a meetup in London, Belarusians have taken to Telegram for news for anonymity.
Friday, July 8th, 2022
Melanie Philips soberly points out the parallels between Britain’s Johnson, America’s Trump, and Israel’s Netanyahu:
Despite the singular characteristics of this British implosion, there are striking similarities between Johnson and two other extraordinary world leaders—Israel’s former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and America’s former president, Donald Trump. All three were brought to power by voters repudiating the defeatist and self-destructive story being told about their nation by a progressive elite that had lost touch with reality.
In these different contexts, Johnson, Netanyahu and Trump were all seen to deliver what the public had so desperately sought but been denied for so long. All three, however, are flawed characters.
Thursday, July 7th, 2022
“Punch a TERF, smash the Zionists!” Fathom magazine, the journal of BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Center, begins a series investigating the ramifications of the post-modern sociological revolution, ie, wokeness.
Wednesday, July 6th, 2022
Sunday, July 3rd, 2022
While working on things that aren’t prestigious doesn’t guarantee you’re on the right track, it at least guarantees you’re not on the most common type of wrong one.
Paul Graham, What I Worked On
Wednesday, June 29th, 2022
Reflecting on this nice history of Meteor, the first reactive web framework, I never could build anything with it, though did attend a number of London meetups, because I was seeking reactivity and componentization after building increasingly functional websites. Only once Vue came along did I get the aha moment.
In The Atlantic, a beautifully—if overly politely—written piece on family estrangement, the sting is in the head; no doubt to get it past the young
censors editors, the author has expunged all mention of religion and therefore duty from his discussion, save in this first line, which encompasses all that follows: “Sometimes my work feels more like ministry than therapy.” Author Joshua Coleman is a practicing therapist and prolific author. Looking around, his fee per webinar on the topic is $25. And he’s also a tv composer!
Anyhoo, the plot thickens, and my suspicions are correct: while he squeezed them out of the text body, he shoehorned in his convictions at the very edges as frames; look at this 1-star Amazon review of his book by one Acer Girl:
He fails to recognise how the nuclear family itself is being redefined and gay/lesbian parents are becoming more accepted, so it is rather inevitable that people will start to place less emphasis and importance on blood ties alone – so I really don’t understand the alarmism he tries to create around this. Above all, what I found really demoralising is his attack on one of the founding principles of western civilisation – autonomy and individual liberty. People’s right to live their lives in whatever way they wish and to associate and disassociate with whomever they wish. He claims this right should be policed.
And the final piece in the puzzle: he himself has been cut off by his own daughter! Estrangement is an underly-noted fault-line in the post-religious West; whether to honor or cast off the 5th commandment to honor one’s father and one’s mother — that has become a question.
Tuesday, June 28th, 2022
Zohar Atkins on Peter Thiel’s Zero to One:
Thiel says that monopolies pretend to be competitive while competitive companies pretend to be unique. The same is true of the book itself. It pretends to be another business book, but is actually a work of theology. Thiel is secularizing the Biblical insight that the human being is created in the divine image, that is, created to be a unique being. Cain fails to affirm his uniqueness and so looks to compare himself with Abel for validation. This basic sense of insecurity ensures a violent world. Many people and businesses can succeed in a narrow sense through imitation, but they fail to meet the human calling to be differentiated.
No wonder ZA gets the Tyler Cowen grant.
Sunday, June 26th, 2022
Tom Johnson, author of “I’d Rather Be Writing”, a blog on technical writing, chronicles his journey away from smartphones. We know the topic but the author is pretty specific in his upset regarding how he feels that the phone has degraded his sense of self.
Sometimes, I’d occasionally pull out my phone without any particular reason, unlock the screen, and just stare at it dumbly, not sure about which app to open. When I caught myself doing this, I was kind of shocked, but also too desensitized to act. At every spare moment of inattention, I occupied my focus with some info from my phone. Something was wrong.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2022
Monday, June 20th, 2022
Writing one sentence per line. OK it could be my coffee kicking in, but dagnabit, maybe Sivers is a genius.
Thursday, June 16th, 2022
So Marc Andreessen’s interview with Tyler Cowen is making some waves because he seemed unable to justify Web3 (see tweets from Ian Bremmer, and, more predictably caustically, Nassim Nicholas Taleb). Personally I think Andreesse ha’s made the case better elsewhere, for instance, saying that if the internet had originally had a money layer then we’d never have had spam. But for me, as the developer of a new RSS reader, I was more interested in Tyler’s question about RSS:
Tyler Cowen: Do you still use an RSS reader?
Mark Andreessen: I do. This is actually an exciting moment on that topic for those of us who love these things. I use Feedly, which I like a great deal. It’s a guy. The guy who does it is a guy who used to work for us, a wonderful guy. I think it’s a great product and the inheritor of the now-lost Google Reader, the ruthlessly executed Google Reader.
This is talking about books, but Substack — one of our companies — has a new reader. It’s primarily for reading Substack. It basically is recreating, in my view, the best of what Google Reader had. That’s the other one that is getting a lot of use right now. I use both of those.
TC: Why does RSS at least seem to be so much less important than before?
MA: RSS is one of those things. I would say this gets into a broader, overarching, huge debate-fight happening in the tech industry right now. Internet got built on two models, which are diametrically opposed.
So Marc Andreessen uses Feedly and Substack! I wonder why both. I also want to know which reader TC uses — I seem to recall him saying that he does use one. The man seems to reply to hoi polloi — maybe I’ll ask him.
Incidentally I was surprised that this was not one of the better Conversations with Tyler. It didn’t really warm up into a good actual converation. For instance, I’d have thought MA would have asked TC, the world’s most renowned information omnivore, which RSS reader he uses. MA came across as a bit robotic, whereas I hadn’t gotten that impression from him before.
Tuesday, June 14th, 2022
Monday, June 13th, 2022
What a nice bunch of independent-minded eccentrics they are over at the New English Review, where they have published an excellent brief frank primer on Israel’s perspective on Jordan by Mordechai Nisan. It begins with a nicely articulated section entitled “Jordan is an Israeli Interest: Four Reasons”. Then you can guess what the opposing second section is entitled, and it’s just as bracing. These two sections articulate pretty much what almost all Israelis believe, because it is the simple reality of things. The third section, however, “Conclusion”, goes I think where most Israelis, this one included, will not tread.
Friday, June 10th, 2022
Good for him: the great Guy Zohar quickly demolishes a climate alarmist report on Israeli TV [Hebrew video]. From here in the UK, it puzzles me why Israel also jumps on the bandwagon of American neuroses. But everybody does it — we can’t just switch off what has until 5 minutes ago been a salutary cultural parent for over a century.
Wednesday, June 8th, 2022
To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Mark Antony in Julius Ceasar speaking of Brutus: “And in 2022 the United States is a serious country.” Upon receiving a Bradley Prize, Wilfred M. McClay, Professor of Classical History and Western Civilization at Hillsdale College, begins (as published in the redoubtable City Journal):
A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to have dinner with a very wise friend, here in Washington, at his favorite seafood restaurant near Dupont Circle. I remarked that he seemed to be spending more and more of his time in a certain foreign country. He acknowledged the fact, paused for a moment, and then said: “I want to live in a serious country.” It may be relevant to point out that the foreign country in question is Israel, where seriousness is an existential requirement. But it is equally important to point out that the gentleman in question is an American patriot of the highest order, the author of distinguished books on the subject. For him to say such a thing was therefore, for me, a very serious matter.
Thursday, May 26th, 2022
The Londonist surveys Platinum Jubilee afternoon teas. Lovely foodie photography.
Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
Some 45 years after his victory, Kan tweets Menachem Begin’s historic victory speech [Hebrew].
So it seems that video gaming positively impacts childrens’ intelligence
We analyzed 9855 children from the USA who were part of the ABCD dataset with measures of intelligence at baseline (ages 9–10) and after two years. At baseline, time watching (r = − 0.12) and socializing (r = − 0.10) were negatively correlated with intelligence, while gaming did not correlate. After two years, gaming positively impacted intelligence (standardized β = + 0.17), but socializing had no effect.