Masks, Disability, Hayek, Neurology, Onassis

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Their Spirits Were Trapped In Those Masks

Avi Steinberg | Topic | 6th December 2017

Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology contains the “life masks” — faces molded from clay — of 72 individuals from the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Caddo Nations, prisoners of war who were captured and detained in the 1870s, the Guantanamo Bay inmates of their time, “consigned to an indefinite confinement without any formal charges or trial, as de facto prisoners of war”. To whom, now, do their faces belong? Hardly to Harvard (3,600 words)

My Quadriplegic Husband And Me

Laura Dorwart | Catapult | 6th December 2017

When you love and live with a disabled person, what you want is understanding, indifference. and, from time to time, practical assistance — but what you tend to get is fear and pity. “When I lie awake at night, I don’t fantasize about miracle cures and redemption songs. I dream of ramps. Ramps leading up to showers and houses and waterfalls, to haunted hayrides and carriages and job interviews and Capitol Hill. Restaurant hostesses and flight attendants are not afraid. Doctors listen” (1,520 words)

Reflections On Hayek

Samuel Bowles et al | Vox EU | 8th December 2017

Friedrich Hayek saw the market economy as an information-processing system, deriving equilibria from the actions of large numbers of individuals by treating prices as signals. A brilliant formulation. But was Hayek correct to deduce from this that markets and governments were fundamentally opposed, and that markets should take over much of the work of governments? “One can appreciate his insights into the functioning of market economies without idealising the system itself” (2,500 words)

A Brain Specialist On President Trump

Ford Vox | Stat | 7th December 2017

Written dispassionately as a diagnosis, though obviously it could easily be repurposed as a political polemic. Tests are in order. “The president’s apparent symptoms are advancing and warrant medical evaluation by relevant specialists. Given the sensitivity of his case, an independent panel would be appropriate. It’s entirely possible that the president does not have predementia or is not progressing toward dementia. But he is definitely behaving as such” (2,200 words)

Hanging Out On Onassis’s Yacht

Patrick Leigh Fermor | Paris Review | 8th December 2017

Patrick Leigh Fermor describes staying on Hydra with the Greek artist Nikos Ghika, as Diana Cooper and various Churchills drop in. “A giant steam yacht (with an aeroplane poised for flight on the stern) belonging to Onassis came throbbing alongside. It was followed by an immense three-masted wonder ship with silk sails, miles of corridor, dozens of Impressionist paintings, baths to every cabin and regiments of stewards, belonging to his brother-in-law, Niarchos” (1,675 words)

Video of the day Extrapolate

What to expect:

As if the moving hand, drawing a line, discovers new orders of magnitude. By Johan Rijpma (1’53”)

Thought for the day

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought
Henri Bergson

Podcast of the day Ray Dalio | Bloomberg View

World’s top hedge-fund manager talks to Barry Ritholtz about finding meaning in life and work

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