The Art Of Larry Gagosian Culture

Entertaining profile of art-dealer Larry Gagosian, from his beginnings selling posters in a Los Angeles parking-lot. Jeff Koons explains Gagosian’s magic touch: “The art world was kind of in this inertia. He brought a sense of liquidity and the possibility of acquisition. There was no longer this sense among collectors that if someone else had a piece, ‘I missed the boat.’ Larry brought the realization that, hey, these things can move” (7,600 words)

The End Of Pieties World

The editor of National Review reflects ruefully on the new face of the Republican Party. “Trump is operating on the rather insulting assumption that he can’t act presidential — i.e., with too much dignity — while also attempting to appeal to his Republican voters, and so far he has been proved right. It’s just one of the ways in which he has seemed to understand the party he is seeking to take over better than its longtime loyalists” (800 words)

Can A Cat Have An Existential Crisis? Thought

Animals know fear. Whether they know anxiety “is more debatable because it has a component that fear doesn’t have and the component is time”. But they show the symptoms, and they get the pills. Zoo animal have been medicated for decades. Mine-sniffing army dogs get Xanax for PTSD. “Giving human drugs to animals isn’t just species narcissism. We know these drugs work for animals because they were originally tested on animals” (2,600 words)

Are History’s “Greatest Philosophers” All That Great? Thought

Given that the population of ancient Attica was no more than 300,000, it seems scarcely credible that such a tiny place could have given us three of the greatest philosophers in history — Plato, Aristotle and Socrates. Surely what the ancients had was not transcendent genius, but the “historical luck” of being born when philosophy was still in its formative stages. We rank them so highly because all philosophy refers back to them (1,800 words)

Who Was Ramanujan? People Pick of the day

Appreciation of Indian maths genius Srinivas Ramanujan, whose life has been newly filmed as The Man Who Knew Infinity. “Ramanujan was an experimental mathematician, going out into the universe of mathematical possibilities to find interesting facts, and only then building theories based on them”. He possessed “an aesthetic sense of which seemingly random facts would turn out to have deeper significance” (11,900 words)

Video of the Day: Microsculpture

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