Hope Jahren | 3rd December 2013
Think of Hope Jahren as a sort of Penelope Trunk (http://blog.penelopetrunk.com) for the academic world. A refreshingly, almost excessively, honest writer. The recommendation goes both to this post, and to her blog in general. "A thin skin is the way to go. Only if you let the criticism cut to the bone can you fully examine the wound and clean it up so it can heal. But promise me that you’ll also let the praise in, and absorb it just as deeply"
Mark O'Connell | New Yorker | 3rd December 2013
iPhone App called Days of Life is "as chillingly simple and straightforward as its name suggests." You punch in your date of birth, gender, country of residence, and the app estimates your natural life expectancy. The selling point is that it will "terrify you into productivity". A note advises older users: "In case your settings determine you should already be dead, the app adds 10 more years to your life expectancy.”
Ian Steadman | New Statesman | 2nd December 2013
Bitcoins worth $100m were looted from an online trading site in recent days — one of the biggest robberies in history. And with a bit of effort you can still see the thief online as he goes through process of trying to launder the proceeds, breaking his hoard down into small lots and combining those with other small lots. The end-result will be anonymity, but it's a time consuming process, and he may yet get caught by his victims
Felix Salmon | Reuters | 4th December 2013
Top 20% of pieces bring in 90% of auction revenues every year, and get 90% of headlines. Smarter to focus on artists who aren’t selling well: "The auction houses do a very good job of expectations management: if the estimate is low, and the price realised is equally low, it’s easy to think there’s nothing newsworthy going on — even if, a few years ago, the same piece might have sold for multiples of what it’s now able to fetch"
Mark Lilla | New York Review Of Books | 4th December 2013
Discussion of Claude Lanzmann's film, Last Of The Unjust, about Benjamin Murmelstein, head of the Judenrat — council of Jewish elders — which helped the Nazis to run Theresienstadt concentration camp as a "model ghetto", for propaganda purposes, and for holding Jews en route to Auschwitz and Dachau. Murmelstein "likens himself to Scheherezade, keeping Theresienstadt alive by telling stories to both Nazis and Jews"
Thought for the day:
"There's no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons" — Gilles Deleuze
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