Hooligans, Experimental Psychology, Jesus's Wife , Classical Music, Commas


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Among The Khuligans

James Appell | Foreign Policy | 15th June 2016

Russian soccer “recalls the mostly white, mostly male, working-class nature of the sport in Western Europe two-plus decades ago, before safety regulations, stadium policies, and commercialization”. The clubs are poor, the stadiums are bleak, it’s only the hardcore fans who come, and they are mostly drunk. Sometimes fights break out, but those tend be accidental. The serious fights are arranged in advance, away from the stadium, where the police won’t interfere (1,500 words)

Deontology Or Trustworthiness?

Daniel Kahneman & Molly Crockett | Edge | 16th June 2016

Conversation about experimental psychology. Many interesting points. “If you enhance people’s serotonin function, it makes them more deontological in their judgments.” “People punish almost the same amount, even when the target will never find out that they’ve been punished.” “You would probably require more compensation to break someone else’s leg than your own, but you would be willing to pay less money to save someone else’s leg then to save your own” (5,400 words)

The Unbelievable Tale Of Jesus’s Wife

Ariel Sabar | Atlantic | 15th June 2016

An eminent American historian produces a fragment of papyrus bearing the words, “Jesus said to them, My wife”. Carbon-dating shows the papyrus to be ancient. Is Christianity about to be up-ended? I think you can guess the answer, but still, the pursuit of the truth is highly entertaining, extending as it does “from the industrial districts of Berlin to the swingers scene of southwest Florida, and from the halls of Harvard and the Vatican to the headquarters of the East German Stasi” (13,000 words)

New York Chronicle — June

Jay Nordlinger | New Criterion | 14th June 2016

Jay Nordlinger has the gift of describing new and difficult music in plain and familiar terms. Here he is on Franck Krawczyk’s Après: “The music is baldly modernist. It is suspenseful and angry, resembling the soundtrack of a scary movie, I thought. At some point, I was startled to hear a piano. I had not noticed the piano onstage. That instrument is joined by the harp — putting me in mind of Britten, who liked to employ the harp, often spookily. Before this movement is over, we have declarative brass” (2,920 words)

Shirley Jackson, Annotated

Benjamin Dreyer | Signature Reads | 10th June 2016

Random House editor discusses his “favorite comma in all of literature”, from the first paragraph of Shirley Jackson’s ghost story, The Haunting of Hill House. “It’s not grammatically necessary; you might argue that it’s incorrect. But here it is, the last breath of the paragraph, and I like to think that it’s SJ’s way of saying: ‘This is your last chance to set this book down and go do something else, because from this point on it’s just you, and me, and whatever it is that walks, and walks alone, in Hill House’” (475 words)

Video of the day: Jacques Lacan

What to expect:

Alain de Botton introduces the life and work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (8’10”)

Thought for the day

Wisdom looks bigger the further away it is
Terry Pratchett

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