Best of the Moment
Michael Lewis | Vanity Fair | 1st August 2013
Sergei Aleynikov was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to eight years in jail for stealing computer code from his former employer, Goldman Sachs. He'd been in charge of maintaining the high-frequency trading platform. He was foolish and naive, but he didn't deserve jail time, and wouldn't have got it without Goldman's intervention. First of two parts. (Note also the comments, which call Lewis out on some technical points)
Adam Piore | Nautilus | 1st August 2013
The best answer here comes from Rebecca Paul Hargrove, designer of America's most successful state lotteries, and a keen student of human weakness. When you buy a lottery ticket, you don't really buy the chance of winning, which is close to zero; you buy the dream of winning. "For $2 you can spend the day dreaming about what you would do with half a billion dollars — half a billion dollars!”
Bee Wilson | New Yorker | 29th July 2013
Entrancing review of William Sitwell’s new book, A History of Food in 100 Recipes, which starts with a recipe for ancient Egyptian bread found on a tomb in Luxor, and ends with “Meat Fruit,” a recipe for liver parfait dipped in mandarin jelly and shaped to look like an orange, from Heston Blumenthal. "Until the eighteenth century, recipes as a genre are not really like our recipes at all. They are instructions for servants"
Rebecca Harrington | Medium | 31st July 2013
Slight, inspired, charming. Which is to say, as charming as any piece can be that tells of love and pork butchery: "Let’s say you were a single woman/man of taste and deportment. Or just a person looking for some violent, curious, and unmarried male friends. You should go to a pig butchery class at the Brooklyn Kitchen. It is literally stuffed with unmarried men gazing at a dead pig being cut up piece by piece by a butcher"
George Saunders | 6th Floor (NYT) | 31st July 2013
Graduation speech. Slow to build in the first half, overly sentimental throughout, but with some magic moments towards the end. "Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness"
Thought for the day:
"I am against revolutions because they always involve a return to the status quo" — Henry Miller