Best of the Moment
Adam Minter | The Atlantic | 1st November 2013
Travels through the scrapyards of southern China. Gripping. "I saw a row of a half-dozen electrical transformers smoking into the night. I backed off: older transformers contain highly toxic PCBs. I didn’t like it, but there’s not much to be said when you’re standing in the middle of a scrapyard in a village you’ve never heard of in a province you’ve just barely heard of, as the guest of somebody you’ve just met"
James Crabtree | FT Magazine | 1st November 2013
Anand prepares to defend his world chess title against Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen in the game's biggest confrontatation for more than a decade. Conventional wisdom holds that age counts against Anand, facing a man who is younger and, his admirers say, fitter and hungrier. “Age is part of it. For instance, I recognise that [Carlsen] is going to do certain things because he’s 22 and there are certain things I can do because I’m 43”
Anonymous | Telegraph | 2nd November 2013
Arguably the world's worst architect. Her one great project was Nicolae Ceausescu's People's Place in Bucharest, for which three historic districts of the city were destroyed and 40,000 people uprooted. Two mountains were levelled for marble. One million Romanians worked on the building site. The project consumed one-third of Romania's national budget for five years. The result: “One of the world’s worst eyesores” (Metered paywall)
Chris Willman | Hollywood Reporter | 31st October 2013
Revered musician and producer discusses culture, technology and business models of the music and film industries. "The car industry gets decimated and people go into apoplexy. The recording industry gets destroyed and people seem to be sanguine or happy about it, almost, because they're getting everything for free. People in Hollywood, we should go up there with pitchforks and torches to Silicon Valley now"
Helen Vendler | New York Review Of Books | 1st November 2013
Review of Holding on Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore, by Linda Leavell. "Yet another tile in the Moore mosaic, valuable for its rendering in detail both the extreme pathos and the dreadful pathology of two generations of the Moore household." Her father John, whom she never knew, went insane, cut off his right hand, and died in an asylum; she slept with her mother until she was 60
Thought for the day:
"The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man"— B.F. Skinner