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“Atheists take religion too literally ”
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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Are Football Tickets Under-Priced? Money

Seemingly yes, at least for the top clubs. Prices are higher in the secondary market. Why leave money on the table? Four possible reasons. A full house every time is good for morale and for home team advantage. The clubs value lifelong local customers over fickle tourists. Fans spend the savings on merchandise. And higher prices would raise expectations, making life harder for owners and managers. Good comments thread, too (600 words)

The Proust Book Club Culture

Marcel Proust was 38 and in poor health when he began A la récherche. He finished it 13 years later — an “extraordinary pace” at which to write seven long volumes, each sublime. He believed — correctly, in the event — that he was writing to deadline. He died in 1922, shortly after completing the last volume. He writes about remembering; and yet his message is that we have no control over what we remember (1,760 words)

The Truth About The Resistance World

The French Resistance was brave but ineffective. “Most resistance actions within France failed. The Allies were going to win, whether the Resistance helped them or not.” After the war, Resistance leaders played “a curiously small part in political life”. But they were vital to the recovery of national pride. The fact of the Resistance allowed a Frenchman “to look at a Russian, British or American soldier without blushing” (3,200 words)

A Future History Of America World

Review of The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry, by Ned and Constance Sublette. At most 500,000 survived the passage from Africa to slavery in America, yet in 1860 four million slaves were tilling American fields. Slavery was more a domestic industry than a transatlantic trade. “Most American slaves were not kidnapped on another continent … Some states produced slaves as their main domestic crop” (1,820 words)

The Woman Who Made Science Beautiful Science

“In 1679, a year after the birth of her second daughter, Maria Sibylla Merian published The Wondrous Transformation of Caterpillars, the result of almost two decades of observations. It was unlike any other book yet written. There were other publications on insects, but no one had ever drawn their full life cycle … Her blossoms had holes, her leaves were half chewed, and her blooms had lost their petals” (1,230 words)

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