Iran, FIFA, Nico Muhly, Painting, Design, El Chapo

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A Breathtaking Deal With Iran

Edward Luce | Financial Times | 20th July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Barack Obama's "breathtaking" nuclear deal with Iran is America's "most significant act of diplomacy in a generation" — comparable to Nixon in China, or Reagan's meetings with Gorbachev. Opponents of the agreement insist that Iran is an evil country which cannot change. Obama rightly sees Iran as a rational country open to negotiation. "Iran is a more promising candidate for peaceful change than Saudi Arabia" (919 words)

That FIFA Movie

David Goldenberg | FiveThirtyEight | 21st July 2015

The FIFA film United Passions, described by one critic as “a sugar-coated pile of manure”, claims a place in the record books as America's "lowest-grossing domestic release of all time". Not even the bad publicity helped. The film cost $27 million, mostly paid for by FIFA; it made $918 on its opening weekend "and maybe nothing after that". The average audience consisted of less than one paying customer per screening (1,200 words)

How To Listen To Music

Nico Muhly | Gilded Birds | 21st July 2015

Composer discusses what to listen for in a new piece of contemporary music. "Some music starts with a tiny germ and then it’s rub, rub, rub, rub, rub into a larger structure. I feel like Thomas Adès’s music is like that. There’s other music like John Luther Adams where it’s an atmosphere, and the drama of it is, you get the sense that if you weren’t there it would still happen. It’s like some gigantic natural thing that’s just hanging out" (1,340 words)

The Feeling Of Finishing

Marion Coutts | Intelligent Life | 20th July 2015

When the artist stops working on a painting, the painting is finished. Unless it is "unfinished", a slippery category based on our view of the artist's intention: the artist didn't intend to stop working at that point. "Things can get in the way: an artist’s attention wanders, a better idea appears, the money just runs out. Sometimes history intervenes. The enemy is at the door and the work must be abandoned. Death is the great unfinisher" (870 words)

Web Design: The First Hundred Years

Maciej Cegłowski | Idle Words | 20th July 2015

Brilliant, funny, provocative talk about technology and design. The first third argues that civil aviation design flatlined after the Boeing 747 because the 747 was good enough for getting round the world fast. The second third argues that the Internet has reached the same stage of development: It's done. The third third takes issue with software and AI visionaries who claim that the digital revolution is only just beginning (6,600 words)

El Chapo At The Breakfast Table

Ginger Thompson | ProPublica | 20th July 2015

American and Mexican narcotics agents discuss the escape of Sinaloa cartel boss El Chapo. The official story, that he fled his jail cell on a motorbike through a mile-long tunnel, is incredible. The Mexican government must have decided to free him. Why? "The heads around the table shook back and forth. Chapo, they believed, had been thrown back into the drug world to — wait for it — restore order. Things have gotten that crazy" (2,090 words)

Video of the day: Nobody Tells This To Beginners

What to expect: Advice for anybody starting out in any creative job. It takes time for your skills to catch up with your taste (1'50")

Thought for the day

Work fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours
Jerome K. Jerome

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