Saturday 25 July, 2020

Crooked timber

I never see trees like this without thinking of Kant’s sardonic observation: “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.”

(The Crooked Timber blog btw is unfailingly interesting.)

Quote of the Day

“I thought HIV was a complicated disease. It’s really simple compared to what’s going on with COVID-19.”

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, during a presentation at the BIO International Convention.

Today’s musical alternative to Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme

Chaconne in D minor by J.S.Bach, arranged and played by John Feeley

13 blissful minutes.

Thanks to Seb Schmoller for the suggestion.

A crib-sheet for Congress as it prepares for Tuesday’s antitrust hearings

Scott Galloway’s utterly brilliant list of questions for the tech moguls who are due to be quizzed next week. I doubt the legislators will have the bottle to ask them, though.

Does Elon Musk really want to go here? Really?


Famous mask wearers

On an Instagram account called Plague History, artist Genevieve Blais has been modifying the subjects of artworks to give them face masks.

Lovely idea.

(HT to Jason Kottke)

Long read of the Day: YouTube’s Psychic Wounds by Nicholson Baker

Unmissable. Especially if you’ve never spent any time in the deepest recesses of YouTube’s weirdness.

YouTube, this endless, crowd-curated theater of ourselves, serves up the raw, the cooked, the failing, the heartrending, the shocking, the helpful, and the WTF? any time you want it. So a few months ago, when the Columbia Journalism Review asked me to watch YouTube videos for a little while, as an experiment, to see what news of the world was served up by its freshly tuned algorithm, I of course said yes.

And then I made a mistake. Using YouTube’s own search bar, I looked up some terms that I thought I should know more about before beginning: “deep state,” for instance…


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