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Gabrielle Anctil | Beside | 3rd November 2021
Visits to cemeteries are in decline; few people today trouble to walk among the tombstones or lay tributes to loved ones. Since the heyday of the out-of-town burial ground in the 19C, "the cemetery has lost its nobility". Now that burial is being replaced by cremation or even "aquamation" for environmental reasons, a new purpose is required for these abandoned places of death (2,147 words)
Teju Cole | LitHub | 26th October 2021
Musings on literary epiphanies. Beautifully written. "The secret reason I read, the only reason I read, is precisely for those moments in which the story being told is deeply and almost mystically alert to the world, an alertness that sees things as they are or dreams them as they could be. Those moments that are like a dark forest, a wide sky, or a landscape full of human history" (2,552 words)
Zachary Loeb | Real Life | 25th October 2021
On the philosophy of Lewis Mumford, in particular his thinking on why rational actors will willingly swap autonomy for convenience. Conceived decades before the advent of today's privacy trading tech industry, Mumford's idea of "the bribe" has great resonance now. The metastasising power of the "megamachine" he foresaw is such that once we take the bribe, "no other choices remain" (3,338 words)
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Audio: How To Reduce Suffering | Persuasion. Philosopher Peter Singer talks to Yascha Mounk about utilitarianism, altruism, poverty, animal rights, freedom of speech, and how to live a reasonably virtuous life (53m 40s)
Video: Act II Pas De Deux, Giselle | YouTube | Royal Opera House. Close up footage of an outstanding duet danced by Carlos Acosta and Natalia Osipova at Covent Garden in 2015 (5m 11s)
"The superior artist is the one who knows how to be influenced"
— Clement Greenberg