Quote of the day

"Television is not an art but an appliance, through which reviewable material is sometimes played"
Renata Adler

People’s Republic Of Cruiseland

Aboard the Costa Atlantica with high-rolling Chinese holidaymakers, two days out from Shanghai. The Chinese cruise market is potentially huge, but so is the marketing challenge. Companies “have to explain not just what differentiates their brand but why people should spend a week on a boat in the first place”. Chinese passengers eat fast, drink little, and like class distinctions. The rich expect to be treated as rich (6,400 words)

The Well-Written Election Manifesto

A critical reading of British election manifestos. “Almost all of them advocate a prosperous economy, a better deal for young people, a better deal for old people, a better deal for farmers, babies and badgers, a world-class educational system, affordable housing, controlled but fair immigration, higher wages for everybody and equal opportunities for all. The Greens break with this consensus by having a policy for helping bees” (1,500 words)

Memoirs Of The Armenian Genocide

Interview with Tom De Waal, author of Great Catastrophe: Armenians And Turks In The Shadow Of Genocide, about memoirs of the genocide. “There is an important debate about the word genocide, but behind that there is a bigger story about what happened to the Armenians. A more direct route to understanding those bigger issues – certainly in Turkey – is to leave the word genocide to one side and to engage with the real, living human history” (2,600 words)

Who Will Run Britain?

Cut-out-and-keep guide to the British general election on May 7th, and the permutations of coalition government to which it could give rise. The bookies’ current favourite is a Labour government propped up by informal support from the Scottish Nationalists; but never before in a British election has there been such a confusion of parties, so assumptions about voter behaviour and coalition dynamics are largely untested (1,600 words)

The Process Of Invention

A study of American patents suggests that the pace of technological progress following the Industrial Revolution began to slow much earlier than previously thought. Before 1870, around the time Edison invented the light bulb, patents were issued primarily for new categories of technology. Since 1870 by far the largest proportion of patents has been those issued for combinations and applications of existing technologies (835 words)

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