Best of the Moment
Rafael Behr | New Republic | 9th September 2013
Kudos to the New Republic for its content-sharing deal with the New Statesman, and kudos again for kicking it off with this well-chosen piece of political commentary. "Britain’s retreat from military intervention in Syria has no proud author. Most of the Tory MPs who defied their whips thought they were dabbling in principled protest. None of them thought they were hijacking British foreign policy"
Izabella Kaminska | FT Alphaville | 10th September 2013
Thoughts provoked by the signs of a bubble in classic-car prices. What determines the value of rare objects? Current supply and demand, obviously, but also expectations for future supply. Utility plays a part, though it may be hard to identify: you wouldn't buy a classic car simply because you enjoyed driving. The biggest factor is likely to be imputed historical significance: "the story and narrative attached to the object"
Laura Helmuth | Slate | 9th September 2013
Basic structure of populations has changed twice in human history: around 30,000 years ago when people started living beyond the age of 30, and in the 19C when the average lifespan doubled in much of the world. Longevity and human development form a virtuous circle. Older people accumulate skills, wisdom, knowledge, and pass them on to younger people. Thirty is a crucial threshold because it allows for living grandparents
Thomas Harding | Washington Post | 7th September 2013
Interview with Brigitte Höss, daughter of Auschwitz commandant, now 80, and living in America. Jaw-dropping throughout. "Brigitte tells me she has never visited the National Holocaust Museum. And while she understands the value of a museum to remind us of the horrors of the past, she says it should be in Auschwitz or Israel, not Washington. 'They always make things worse than it is,' she says"
Thought for the day:
"Anything of any importance cannot help but be unrecognizable, since it bears no resemblance to anything already known" — Jean Cocteau