Class, Ethics, Feelings, Multiverses, Tina Brown

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The Rules Of Being Rich

Arwa Mahdawi | Guardian | 1st February 2018

Interviews with upwardly-mobile Americans about adjusting to wealth. Your father drives a taxi, you are a Wall Street lawyer, what could be more natural? But even success has its problems “It wasn’t until he made partner that Faridi lost his sense of embarrassment. But there’s still a gulf between his new life and his old. His best friends from high school work as busboys, and he doesn’t get invited to poker nights at their houses. None of them came to my wedding, Faridi says sadly” (3,100 words)

Utilitarian Philosophy

Olivia Goldhill | Quartz | 3rd February 2018

For the past fifty years the “trolley problem” has been the good quick exemplar of an ethical dilemma: Would you do nothing and let five people die, or save all five by causing the death of a sixth person? Meh. Here’s a better test, which engages you more directly. if you have two working kidneys, will you give one of them to save another person’s life? If so, do it. No need to wait for hypothetical trollies or fat people on bridges. Peter Singer scored top marks on this, by the way (940 words)

The Strange Order Of Things

John Banville | Guardian | 2nd February 2018

We behave more in accordance with what we feel than what we think. And here is a book which says as much. “Nietzsche would have given four cheers for this intricately argued book, scientifically rigorous and humanely accommodating. Antonio Damasio sets out to investigate why and how we use feelings to construct our selves … and how brains interact with the body to support such functions. We are not floating seraphim, but bodies that think – and all the better for it” (870 words)

Scientific Theory And Multiverse Madness

Sabine Hossenfelder | NPR | 22nd January 2018

A scientist argues against theories of a multiverse. They bring nothing but complication. “It is simpler to assume a constant than an infinite number of universes with a probability distribution over them. Therefore, Ockham’s razor should shave off the multiverse. It’s superfluous. The multiverse replaces a simple explanation with a more complicated one. Such a move is only justified if the added complication explains additional data, but for the multiverse that isn’t so” (1,280 words)

The New York Hustle

Craig Brown | New York Review Of Books | 4th February 2018

“Tina Brown is the social diarist skewering the pampered society grotesques of her time with a gleeful and merciless zest. ‘To be a good diarist one must have a snouty, sneaky mind’, wrote Harold Nicolson, and Brown is clearly in possession of Nicolson’s prerequisite. She snuffles around like a prize truffle hog, unearthing all the whiffiest gobbets of conversation. Her pocket-sized sketches have the cruel precision of caricatures by Gillray or Rowlandson and the comic verve of Edith Wharton” (3,531 words)

Video of the day Concussion Protocol

What to expect:

How football injuries appear backwards and in slow motion; like injuries that can ruin a life (5’37”)

Thought for the day

I would like to take you seriously but to do so would affront your intelligence
William F. Buckley Jr.

Podcast of the day Walter Russell Mead | Politico Global

Susan Glasser talks to conservative historian Walter Russell Mead about Donald Trump’s Jacksonianism

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