📰 The Truth Is Out There // Atavist
A father’s disappearance, dark family secrets, and the hunt for bigfoot.
📰 Bordieu’s Theory Of Taste // Dynomight
I find Bourdieu personally appealing, and I think this book has important ideas. Still, here’s how I read that quote:
- “My ideas are too complex to be contained in normal human language.”
- “By being obscure, I can force everyone to take me more seriously.”
I don’t buy it. Mostly I feel the writing style just forced me to waste a huge amount of mental effort decoding everything. So, feeling vengeful, I decided to distill the basic idea of the book (as I understand it) into the ultimate un-Bourdieu style: A linear argument in seven parts, based on comics.
📰 Comparison Is the Way We Know the World // n+1
Comparison is the way we know the world. And yet we make rules about things that cannot be compared to each other. Take apples and oranges. Why wouldn’t you compare them? Both are fruit, both have sweetness, one is usually more sour than the other, one has an inedible part on the outside, the other an inedible part on the inside, both contain calories, nutrients and vitamins, albeit different ones, and you can make juice out of either, but you need different kinds of machines for each. These seem to me useful ways of getting to know apples and oranges.
A curated monthly movie club with special guest contributors.
📰 The Problem of Misinformation in an Era Without Trust // NYT
“The roots of wrongness often reside in confusion, powerlessness and a need for social connection.” Building trust requires cultivating this social connection instead of torching it. But extending compassionate overtures to people who believe things that are odious and harmful is risky too.
📰 The Disturbing Impact of the Cyberattack at the British Library // New Yorker
The effect on the B.L. has been traumatic. Its electronic systems are still largely incapacitated. When I visited the library last Monday, the reading rooms were listless and loosely filled. “It’s like a sort of institutional stroke,” Inigo Thomas, a writer for the London Review of Books, told me.
📰 ‘Starting Soon, Nerds’: Levy Rozman Wants to Teach You Chess // NYT Magazine
There’s an easy explanation for why someone like Hikaru Nakamura, one of the few chess streamers and YouTubers whose reach rivals Rozman’s, has attracted such a vast audience: Nakamura, an American grandmaster, is one of the highest-ranked chess players in history. The influence of Rozman — the world’s 6,689th-ranked player, according to the International Chess Federation, known by its French acronym, FIDE — is tougher to account for, the product of an attention economy where packaging, social media savvy and on-camera charisma are at least as important as expertise.
📰 Studio Trickery // New Left Review
The rise of McCartney’s reputation at the expense of Lennon’s over the last few decades has something to do with the way popular music has become a less crucial part of youth culture. People still listen to music, it still changes and develops, but it is no longer the main vehicle for social comment or subcultural identity, far less important than social media; perhaps on the same level as clothing. Gone is the idea that pop music could ‘say’ something, that it could be a means of commenting on society, or an integral element of an oppositional counter-culture. McCartney’s solo work now seems unexpectedly prescient, anticipating modern listening habits.