Adam Gopnik, Luck, Tex-Mex, Sex, Copyright


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Collecting Memories

Uli Beutter Cohen | Creative Independent | 12th March 2018

Interview with Adam Gopnik about life in New York. Topics include libraries, statuary, gentrification, Brooklyn, gun control, time travel. “The myth of New York is the bustle, dynamism, and relentless movement. The reality of New York is that you trudge along on the crowded subway and you make your way through garbage strewn streets, and then you enter into your own world of beauty or love. It can be a big world, like the Frick Collection, or it can be a tiny basement apartment” (2,240 words)

Ironies Of Luck

Morgan Housel | Collaborative Fund | 14th March 2018

Why don’t we try to quantify luck, given its role in our lives? “Investors hire risk managers; no one wants a luck consultant. Companies are required to disclose risks in their annual reports; they’re not required to disclose lucky breaks that may have led to previous success. There are risk-adjusted returns, never luck-adjusted returns. This is the irony of investing: Risk and luck are different sides of the same coin, but we treat one as critically important, and the other like it doesn’t exist” (936 words)

The Myth Of Authenticity

Meghan McCarron | Eater | 7th March 2018

A love-letter to America’s most undervalued and misrepresented cuisine. “The standard narrative about Tex-Mex is that it’s an inauthentic, unartful, cheese-covered fusion, the kind of eating meant to be paired with unhealthy amounts of alcohol. There’s a lot of easy-melt cheese, the margaritas are made with a mix, the salsas come from a bottle. Those assumptions are entirely wrong. Ask Texas to choose between barbecue and Tex-Mex, and all but the most dedicated partisans will quail” (4,950 words)

Does Anyone Have A Right To Sex?

Amia Srinivasan | London Review Of Books | 15th March 2018

The question is not answered. The discussion is complicated, and perhaps tries to address too many intersectional edge-cases. But perplexing and difficult aspects of human desire are investigated with directness throughout. If we envisage a human right to housing, or work, or education, or the pursuit of happiness, then why not also to sex, which is no less fundamental to a flourishing life? By making sex a repugnant market, do we produce far more repugnant alternatives? (5,200 words)

Spotify And Player Pianos

Sarah Jeong | Verge | 14th March 2018

A deep dive into the paralysing complications of American copyright law. Spotify faces a $1.6 billion lawsuit for allegedly neglecting a clause written a century ago to regulate pianola scores. “With every innovation from player pianos to internet radio, legislators have tacked on some new patch, creating an untenable monstrosity of flapping bits held together with staples and Scotch tape. If you want to launch a streaming service, you’ll need billions of dollars and lots of lawyers” (3,500 words)

Video of the day Only Slightly Exaggerated

What to expect:

Animated homage to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, depicting the delights of the state of Oregon (1’30”)

Thought for the day

We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done
Alan Turing

Podcast of the day An Expensive Free Watch | Reply All

Alex Goldman and P.J. Vogt investigate a drop-ship scam and find a whole phishing industry
(31m 21s)

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