Friday 12 November, 2021

Cafe society

Quote of the Day

”He only feels life through his brain, or through sex, and there is a gulf between these two separate departments.”

  • Ottoline Morrell on Bertrand Russell (she would know, since she had a long affair with him)

She was an interesting, generous woman and quite a good photographer. Some of her pictures are on her Wikipedia page.

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

J.S. Bach | French Suite No.2 in C minor BWV813 | András Schiff


Long Read of the Day

The Internet’s Unkillable App

Well, of course I was bound to enjoy this paean of praise by Dave Pell in which he argues that the noisier our digital lives get, the more popular the humble newsletter becomes. I’m hoping that you might like it too.

Cave paintings. Petroglyphs. Smoke signals. Carrier pigeons. Telegraphs. The Pony Express. Airmail. Blogs. Myspace. Human modes of communication come and go, each replaced by a new technology and a faster method of delivery. But somehow, the humble newsletter survives. In an era with countless ways to reach out and bombard someone, newsletters have not only endured; they’re more popular than ever (and not only as some artisanal relic kept alive by the same people who keep buying vinyl LPs). More and more writers—including, ahem, some excellent ones right here at The Atlantic—are competing to entice us with the perfect subject line and the most sublime greeting…

Read on.

Mario Vargas Llosa: How I Lost My Fear of Flying

A lovely little essay by a great writer:

There are certain naïve people who believe that a fear of flying is, or can be explained by, a fear of death. They are wrong: fear of flying is fear of flying, not of death, a fear as particular and specific as a fear of spiders, or of the void, or of cats, three common examples among the thousands that make up the panoply of human fears. Fear of flying wells up suddenly, when people not lacking in imagination and sensitivity realise that they are thirty thousand feet in the air, travelling through clouds at eight hundred miles an hour, and ask, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ And begin to tremble.

It happened to me, after many years getting on and off aircraft as often as I change my shirts…

Frank Pasquale on digital capitalism

Frank Pasquale is one of the geniuses in my line of business and this 16-minute Keynote is a paradigm of a perfect Keynote talk: just the right length and profundity. And memorable because you come away with the central message he wanted to get across.

Try it.

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