Noel Malcolm | Standpoint | 1 March 2013
Review of Alan Ryan's History of Political Thought from Herodotus to the Present. "To say that Alan Ryan has an unusually sharp and subtle intellect is not putting it strongly enough. He is, quite simply, one of the cleverest people in Britain ... This is a colossal and deeply engrossing work, by someone incapable of writing a dull page"
Kevin Ashton | Medium | 27 February 2013
Tracing the supply chain and the division of labour required to deliver a can of Coca-Cola. Aluminium from Australia, formed in California. Flavourings from Mexico, Sri Lanka, South America. "The number of individuals who know how to make a can of Coke is zero. The number of individual nations that could produce a can of Coke is zero"
Eric Lichtblau | New York Times | 1 March 2013
Researchers at US Holocaust Memorial Museum complete 13-year project to catalogue all ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps, killing factories set up by Nazis in Europe. They expected around 7,000; they found 42,500. "You literally could not go anywhere in Germany without running into forced labor camps" (Metered paywall)
Sam Knight | Prospect | 25 February 2013
Reflections on hearing the Slovak pianist Mikuláš Škuta play Bach: "Until I saw those fingers, those hands, my pleasure in the Goldberg Variations had been in their construction—in the filigree, the pattern-making. But now I realised there was also the drama of their execution. This music was physical as much as it was intellectual and emotional"
Chris Arnade | Scientific Americam | 27 February 2013
"Here is a way to get paid well on Wall Street. Find a friend at a competing bank and take opposite sides of the same large bet. In a year one of you will have a huge profit and get paid well. The other will have lost and perhaps be fired. The sum of your profits will be zero, but the sum of what you get paid will be positive. Split the pay"
Thought for the day:
"It is, as history attests, a grave error to conclude that because our vices are social rather than natural, they will be easier to cure" — Alan Ryan