Friday, September 24, 2021

Paradise Lost: The Rise and Ruin of

  C.H. Sisson’s, published in 1980. In his introduction, “On Translating Dante,” Sisson writes:

“. . . all literary encounters have a certain unceremoniousness about them. We surround ourselves with books so that we can call up Montaigne, or Eckermann, or Virgil, or Andrew Marvell, as the mood takes us or the drift of our interests at the time suggests. There are scores or hundreds of merely casual encounters, and some of more intimate significance. The latter have their times in one’s development as a reader or a writer.”

“The books there on the bookshelves told their stories,

Line after line, all of them evenly spaced,

And spaces between the words. You could fall through the space

Mark Twain’s interpretation of a perilous journey.

Paradise Lost: The Rise and Ruin of

The once-utopian accommodations site, now headed by an alum of surveillance-analytics firm Palantir, has gone back on its always-free ethos.

More than 5000 healthcare workers across 25 different US states were studied as part of the study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine this week. 

Researchers found the Moderna vaccine was 96 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid infections, beating Pfizer which was found to be 89 per cent effective.

Australia Covid news live: Moderna more effective than Pfizer, study finds

Rolling Stone – The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

“In 2004, Rolling Stone published its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It’s one of the most widely read stories in our history, viewed hundreds of millions of times on this site. But a lot has changed since 2004; back then the iPod was relatively new, and Billie Eilish was three years old. So we’ve decided to give the list a total reboot. To create the new version of the RS 500 we convened a poll of more than 250 artists, musicians, and producers — from Angelique Kidjo to Zedd, Sam Smith to Megan Thee Stallion, M. Ward to Bill Ward — as well as figures from the music industry and leading critics and journalists. They each sent in a ranked list of their top 50 songs, and we tabulated the results. Nearly 4,000 songs received votes. Where the 2004 version of the list was dominated by early rock and soul, the new edition contains more hip-hop, modern country, indie rock, Latin pop, reggae, and R&B. More than half the songs here — 254 in all — weren’t present on the old list, including a third of the Top 100. The result is a more expansive, inclusive vision of pop, music that keeps rewriting its history with every beat…”

Recall Totaled: Newsom Survives, But Will Journalism That Matters Prevail? Capital & Main


Revolt of the Delivery Workers Grub Street


Priciest Food Since 1970s Is a Big Challenge for Governments Bloomberg


You Really Can Fight Poverty With One Weird Trick: Giving People Money Jacobin

An Epic Takedown Appears to Be in the WorksLittle Green Footballs (RH)

Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead. WSJ

Chinese Regime’s Forced Organ Harvesting Could Spread to Other Countries, NGO Director Warns Epoch Times 

More of China, less of America’: how the superpower fight is squeezing the Gulf FT

Adam Tooze’s Top Links: Is Evergrande “China’s Lehman moment”? AT

As Evergrande totters, cracks in stressed Chinese developers widen as rating outlook dims and borrowing costs jump  South China Morning Post

China Property Fear Spreads Beyond Evergrande, Roiling Markets Bloomberg

More of China, less of America’: how the superpower fight is squeezing the Gulf  FT

  1. “How can something be ill if it is not alive?” — Viruses were typically not thought to be alive, but discovering “giant viruses” and that they can be infected with smaller viruses raises the question of what life is
  2. Two puzzles about truthfulness — from Wolfgang Schwarz (Edinburgh)
  3. “Today, mathematicians and others routinely stray outside our comfortable three dimensions” — but what, exactly, is a dimension?
  4. Did you hear about the upcoming “Boss Baby” philosophy symposium? — even The Onion thought, “this is Onion material” (ok, the AV Club, but still). Yet it’s a real event, and this article about it explains what motivated it
  5. “Chairs are what philosophers call ‘ordinary objects’… their existence is as obvious as possible, but the more we try to suss out where they are, the more ‘sus’ they become” — quite possibly the most entertaining thing you’ll watch today, and it’s about ontology and mereology. Seriously.
  6. Ideological extremism, methods extremism, psychological extremism — Quassim Cassam (Warwick) makes some distinctions and sees what can be learned from them
  7. “The important thing is to be ruthless with the books that are not good. Just stop reading, put them down, usually throw them away, don’t give them away – if you give them away you could be doing harm to people” — advice on how to read, some of which implies advice on how to write