Wednesday 10 July, 2024

Medieval laundry

In a Provencal village

Quote of the Day

“One thing about which fish know exactly nothing is water, since they have no anti-environment which would enable them to perceive the element they live in.”

  • Marshall McLuhan

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Wagner | Prelude to Lohengrin


Long Read of the Day

Effects of Aging

David Friedman is Milton’s son, and described by Wikipedia as “an American economist, physicist, legal scholar, and anarcho-capitalist theorist”. He’s inherited some of his old man’s qualities — particularly a libertarian streak, curiosity about ideas, and an argumentative temperament. All of which makes for a nice, readable Substack blog. I was struck by this recent post on the effects of ageing, not least because he and I are near contemporaries.

The peg for the piece is that “the effect on the presidential candidates of aging is currently a hot political topic”.

Almost everyone commenting on the subject has an axe to grind, a conclusion he wants people to reach, which makes it hard to know what claims to believe. I, however, have a source of information on the subject that, though limited — my sample size is one — I can at least trust, since it is my own experience. I am a year older than Donald Trump, two years younger than Joe Biden, so my first hand evidence of the effect of aging on me may be at least relevant to the effect on them.

Interesting and readable throughout. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

My commonplace booklet

Happy Finns

According to the Economist, Finland has roughly 3.5m saunas, more than one for two Finns. All government buildings have saunas.

To which Stowe Boyd attaches the comment:

Perhaps that is one of the reasons that the UN — for seven years in a row — has declared Finland the happiest country in the world. That, and gender equality, free education, universal affordable health care, trust in government institutions, and family-centric social policies.


Many thanks to the readers who wrote tactfully that the date on Monday’s edition (7 July) was wrong. Monday was, in fact, the eighth day of the month. One reader inquired if my difficulty with dates might be a reflection of drinking too much Rosé in a hot climate. Naturally, I couldn’t possibly comment.

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