Slavoj Zizek, Left-Handedness, Trump, Etiquette, Sound

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Slavoj Žižek Chooses His Favourite Plays

Lisa Thompson | Five Books | 4th October 2016

The plays in question are Oedipus At Colonus; Richard II; The Hostage; The Measures Taken; Not I. But the discussion is as much about staging as it is about text. Žižek considers theatre a greatly inferior medium to film, and says that he avoids seeing his favourite plays on stage for fear that doing so would fix them in his mind in a diminished form. His ideal version of a play would be “a weird combination of minimalist theatre and spectacular cinema, superficially akin to Olivier’s Henry V” (3,900 words)

The Mystery Of Left-Handers

Hannah Fry | BBC | 3rd October 2016

Why are so few people left-handed? Chimpanzees in the wild divide 50-50 between right- and left-handers. But humans are 90% right-handed, as were Neanderthals. The preference seems to have a genetic basis, and to be decided very early in life: 90% of babies in the womb suck their right thumbs. It may also have some cognitive links: “When you look at rare conditions, like Down Syndrome, epilepsy and cerebral palsy, the ratio of left- to right-handers is more like 50:50 rather than 1:10” (1,300 words)

Strangers In Their Own Land

Arlie Russell Hochschild | Mother Jones | 31st August 2016

Book extract. Liberal sociologist moves to Louisiana seeking to understand why so many Americans support Trump and the Tea Party. “Trump offers the blue-collar white men relief from a taker’s shame: If you make America great again, how can you not be proud? Trump has pumped his fist in the air and left mainstream Republicans helpless. Not only does he speak to the white working class’ grievances; as they see it, he has finally stopped their story from being politically suppressed” (5,400 words)

Silicon Valley Etiquette

Romain Serman | Medium | 3rd October 2016

Manners matter when dealing with venture capitalists, and, indeed, everybody else. Rule one: Arrive on time — meaning, in practice, 3-4 minutes early. Being late signals that you are disorganised, that you don’t respect the person you are meeting, and that you cannot be trusted to keep to an agreement. Rule two: Reply promptly to email. “You have few hours to answer the emails you receive. Same day is the norm. Next day is acceptable. Anything beyond 24 hours could be a problem” (2,200 words)

Introducing The Ancient Greeks

Christopher Gribbin | Bryn Mawr Classical Review | 2nd October 2016

Review of Edith Hall’s Introducing The Ancient Greeks, describing Greek society in the 2,000 years between the Mycenaeans and the triumph of Christianity — roughly 1600 BC to AD 400. Hall identifies ten characteristics of the Greeks that she contends were consistent across time and place. They were seagoing; suspicious of authority; individualistic; inquiring; open to new ideas; witty; competitive; admiring of excellence; wildly articulate; addicted to pleasure” (1,900 words)

Build Your Sonic Brand

Jack Hitt | California Sunday | 29th September 2016

How companies use the emotional power of sound in their branding and marketing. MGM probably started it with the lion’s roar. “BMW doors close with a clunk that must be in concert with the acoustics of the rest of the car, like the notes produced by the exhaust or the hum of the window motor. Drivers of the BMW M5 are probably unaware that the engine sound they hear when driving is a replication piped to the interior of the car via the speakers of the sound system” (3,100 words)

Video of the day: Watchtower Of Turkey

What to expect:

Impressions of a journey across Turkey, by Leonardo Dalessandri (3’33”)

Thought for the day

The days of the digital watch are numbered
Tom Stoppard

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