Best of the Moment
Matthew O'Brien | Atlantic | 8 January 2013
Yes. There is an Austin Powers-ish plan taking shape in the margins of American political debate for the US Treasury to keep government debt within statutory limits by minting a trillion-dollar platinum coin and depositing that coin with the Federal Reserve. Now read on
Julian Baggini | Aeon | 9 January 2013
Many of the world's finest restaurants serve coffee from a Nespresso machine. Which is dispiriting, in a way: You could make the same thing at home. But coffee-making is a process that can be automated and optimised, as Nespresso has done. So, which do you prefer: The best, or the human?
Avizier Tucker | Foreign Affairs | 9 January 2013
Overview of shale-gas revolution and its likely impact on geopolitics. Main effect will be felt in Russia, where Gazprom's export revenues will collapse as gas prices fall and new supplies come online in central and eastern Europe. Whole Russian economy, and government, will come under pressure
Michael Kinsley | Bloomberg | 8 January 2013
She's got a tough job. But is there much to be gained at the margin by travelling so much and working such long hours? "I don’t mean to be ungallant. It’s just that she clearly has been working herself to death in her current job as well as in her past two, as senator and first lady"
Seth Stevenson | Slate | 4 January 2013
Review of The Anatomy of Type, by Stephen Coles — a book for serious typography nerds, ie, most of us nowadays. Here is Coles on Verdana: "Its large, broad lowercase letters with slightly flaring terminals, and its loose spacing, can appear almost horsey when viewed large, or in print"
Adam Davidson | New York Times | 8 January 2013
For: Useful primer on Pigovian taxes, which are taxes designed to deter people from doing things that cause gross inconvenience to others, such as driving in crowded cities. Against: Doesn't actually address the excellent question raised in the headline