Disability, Legalese, Joy, Kosovo, Blockchain

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A Puzzle About Disability And Old Age

Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen | Justice Everywhere | 1st July 2021

Proposition one: Disabled people are not worse than non-disabled people, merely different in certain ways. Proposition two: Old people are not worse that young people, merely different in certain ways. Proposition three: If a young person were offered a pill that kept them physically and mentally young throughout life, they would be wise to take it. Are all three propositions congruent? (900 words)


Decrypting Indian Legalese

Bhavya Dore | Popula | 1st July 2021

Indian legalese might be one of the most joyously inventive languages on Earth, if only so much of such desperate seriousness did not depend on it. Judges spout the sort of prose you might otherwise obtain by seeding an artificial intelligence with a statute book, the Mahabharata, the works of Dickens, and a diet of LSD. No brief quotes can do justice, this is definitely a read-the-whole-thing (1,600 words)


We Learn Nothing

Tim Kreider | The Nervous Breakdown | 29th September 2012

On the aftermath of a near death experience. Following a stab wound to the throat, the author had a euphoric year free from unhappiness and self consciousness. He brewed dandelion wine, delighted in cheesy music and developed a new laugh, "the laugh of a much larger man". The feeling is hard to hold onto, though — we are prone to finding greater clarity in depression than we do in joy (1,685 words)


Audio of the Week: Where Is Mr President?

Out Of The Woods | Miran Hadžić Productions | 22nd June 2021 | Audio

Series showcasing new plays from writers in the Balkans. This one, by Pristina-based writer Agnesa Mehanolli, is a comic political satire about a fraught and chaotic Independence Day rally in Kosovo. The president doesn't appear to speak on cue, and his colleagues and staffers become increasingly paranoid and alarmed. Like The Thick of It with an eastern European twist (26m 39s)


Book of the Week: Blockchain Chicken Farm

by Xiaowei Wang | Courtesy of Asian Review of Books

A series of connected essays on what's different about the development of technology in China, and how that relates to the development of society. The leading essay discusses how the blockchain is being used to verify the origin of organic chickens: customers scan a QR code on a tamper-proof ankle bracelet to find a picture of the chicken and details of its life. Surreal and insightful throughout (256 pages)


Afterthought:
“The great human error is to reason in place of finding out”
Simone Weil


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