Refugees, Ojeda, Commentary, Volcanoes, Bitcoin

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From Afrin To Ghouta

G.M. Tamas | Verso | 4th March 2018

The great Hungarian philosopher on the injustice of modern Europe. How have we reached the point at which what we fear is not the perpetrators of horror but the victims of horror, who seek refuge? “It is precisely the few who manage to escape from various locations of hell, yesterday called Aleppo, now called Afrin and Ghouta, tomorrow who knows. It is not victorious armies or fearsome insurgents, but terrified refugees driven insane by pain and mourning and by the cruelty of armed men.” (1,400 words)

He’s JFK With Tattoos

Michael Kruse | Politico | 2nd March 2018

Interesting throughout. Portrait of a US Army vet who voted for Trump, was horrified by what he saw, then ran successfully for state senate as a Democrat in West Virginia. “His campaign manager is a truck driver, his communications director is a single mother who lives in Mingo County with her parents and her 5-year-old son. And yet fresh internal polling Ojeda shared with me shows he’s not only projected to win the race, but he’s beating his two likeliest GOP opponents among GOP voters” (3,700 words)

I Should Have Made Him For A Dentist

Janet Malcolm | New York Review Of Books | 5th March 2018

Affectionate apologia for Norman Podhoretz, whose memoir. ‘Making It’, was savaged on publication in 1967, and savaged again — or ignored – when re-published in 2017. His trajectory from liberal to neo-conservative made him a difficult friend. But he could think and he could write. “Norman can’t help being Norman. Podhoretz writes about his hero with a finely judged mixture of affection and mockery. He knows as well as his critics that Norman’s ambitiousness verges on the insane” (3,490 words)

David Pyle On Volcanoes

Caspar Henderson | Five Books | 5th March 2018

Oxford University volcanologist David Pyle explains the nature and use of volcanoes. “Volcanoes can be thought of as valves that help the exchange of gas, rock and heat between Earth’s interior and surface. At the present day, humans are busy releasing so much carbon dioxide that the contribution from volcanoes is dwarfed – by about a factor of 60. But for billions of years before the industrial revolution, volcanoes helped to keep climate equable — as part of Earth’s life-support system” (2,530 words)

Bitcoin Boon Or Bubble?

John Kay | 5th March 2018

Bitcoin has market value, but not a fundamental value. Is this sustainable? “Usually there is a kernel of truth in the narrative that attracts investors into financial follies. In 1720, people were right to believe that international trade was set for exponential growth even if they were wrong to believe that would be translated into exponential growth in the value of shares in the South Sea Company. In 1999, they were similarly right to recognise that the internet would have major economic impact” (2,900 words)

Video of the day The Kiosk

What to expect:

Animation. A homage to Olga, whose sweet tooth trapped her inside the kiosk in which she worked (6’52)

Thought for the day

The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal
C.S. Lewis

Podcast of the day When Anaesthesia Fails | The Guardian

“As the surgeon made the first incision, she woke up”. A C-section. Consider yourself forewarned
(32m 51s)

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