Joni Mitchell, Typography, Judges, Sacklers, Hemingway

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Fear Of A Female Genius

Lindsay Zoladz | Ringer | 16th October 2017

Persuasive, enlightening profile of Joni Mitchell — perhaps a mere sketch of the definitive appreciation that remains to be written, but arguably the best yet, and one that salutes the scale of her work and character. She was brilliant, she was brave, she took her inspiration where she could find it. “Most of my heroes are monsters, unfortunately, and they are men. If you separate their personalities from their art, Miles Davis and Picasso have always been my major heroes” (5,800 words)

Boiling Lead And Black Art

Eddie Smith | Practically Efficient | 13th October 2017

Probably the definitive essay on the history of mathematical typography from Gutenberg to LaTeX, including a history of general-purpose typography along the way. “Mathematical symbols are themselves a language, but they are fundamentally a visual representation of human-conceived knowledge — knowledge that would be too inefficient to convey through verbal explanations. This brings the typesetting of mathematics closer to data visualization than to regular printed text” (6,200 words)

The Supreme Court Is Allergic To Math

Oliver Roeder | Five Thirty Eight | 17th October 2017

We expect judges to be well read in the humanities, perhaps somewhat in the social sciences, but not necessarily in mathematics or hard science. Which becomes a problem when they have to rule on cases in commercial law and public policy that turn on statistical numeracy and mathematical logic. “More and more law requires genuine familiarity with the empirical world and, frankly, classical legal analysis isn’t a particularly good way of finding out how the empirical world operates” (2,030 words)

The Family Making Billions From The Opioids Crisis

Christopher Glazek | Esquire | 16th October 2017

Profile of the Sackler family, multi-billionaire makers of OxyContin. The Sacklers keep their name off OxyContin, but display it prominently in their philanthropy — the Sackler Wing in the Met is theirs. “The family’s leaders have pulled off three of the great marketing triumphs of the modern era: The first is selling OxyContin; the second is promoting the Sackler name; and the third is ensuring that, as far as the public is aware, the first and the second have nothing to do with one another” (7,700 words)

Cooking With Hemingway

Stephanie Bernhard | The Millions | 19th February 2014

Ernest Hemingway’s Big Two-Hearted River is “essentially an instruction guide for camping and fishing”. Campfire recipes included. And how do those work in practice? You be the judge. “The flour was a pretty pearly gray, but the batter looked dead and gloppy and the cakes did not ‘bubble to porousness’ in the skillet. They did not bubble at all. Nick’s pancakes bubbled, and mine – following the same instructions – did not. A pinch of research revealed the reason: Nick was secretly using pancake mix“ (2,500 words)

Video of the day The Power Of Humour

What to expect:

How laughter brings us together. Commentary by Trevor Noah, animation by Eoin Duffy (0’49”)

Thought for the day

Logical errors enable us to hold a comfortable opinion on every subject
Bertrand Russell

Podcast of the day Richard Rorty | Entitled Opinions

One of Rorty’s last interviews. Awkward early small talk about birdwatching. Moves on to philosophy around 4’30”

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