Best of the Moment
Tim Harford | Undercover Economist | 24th September 2013
One: Switch off the alerts. "Someone has always just sent me an email. I’ll answer when I am ready." Two: Don't bother sorting your incoming email into folders — just search the archive when you need to find something, it's four times faster. And a pro tip: "If you’d like to really aggravate a busy person, send them an email with an attachment saying 'please see the attached letter', and add no elaboration"
K.A. Semënova | McSweeney's | 24th September 2013
"A new person had appeared on his Who to Follow list: a lady with a little dog. @Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov, who had by then been a fortnight on Twitter, and so was fairly at home there, had begun to take an interest in new arrivals. Sitting in a Starbucks, surfing, he saw, on her profile page, a fair-haired young lady of medium height, wearing a béret; a white Pomeranian dog was running behind her"
Steven Teles | National Affairs | 20th September 2013
The root problem of American government is not one of size, but of complexity, which leads to incoherence and opacity. "Imagine a world in which constitutional norms forced government to act directly and transparently or forgo action. Americans would have a government that did fewer, simpler, bigger things, and they would be able to more effectively reward politicians for successes and to hold them accountable for failures"
Adam Shatz | Nation | 17th September 2013
On the life and music of Charles Mingus. "Like Mailer, he wanted to impose his tumultuous, overbearing personality on the dramas of postwar American life ... For sheer range of expression, his work has few equals in postwar American music: furious and tender, joyous and melancholy, grave and mischievous. It moves from the rapture of the church to the euphoria of the ballroom"
Alice Lee | The Toast | 24th September 2013
"An elephant mysteriously vanishes. A giant frog is waiting in your apartment. Your cat mysteriously vanishes. Two moons hang in the sky. Your wife mysteriously vanishes. A strange man comes to you and asks you to find a sheep, or a woman calls and asks for ten minutes of your time. If any of these things sound familiar, you might want to get a new collar for your cat. Note: This applies to men only"
Thought for the day:
"Belief is dangerous in politics" — John Gray