Soy Sauce, Rats, Revolution, Philosophy, Andrew Sullivan, Pit Bulls

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The Building Blocks Of Japanese Cuisine

Ryan Healey | Lucky Peach | 20th September 2016

A guide to choosing and using the sauces and seasonings that are the foundations of Japanese cuisine — shoyu (or soy), miso, sea salt, gyosho, rice vinegar, mirin. “When tasting fish sauces side by side, you are looking for a pronounced, yet not stinky, saltiness. The fermented fish flavor should infuse your mouth with a taste of the sea. If a fish sauce is too salty yet has an intrinsically good flavor, put the bottle in the freezer until the salt crystals solidify. Decant and use” (3,400 words)

Man Versus Rat

Jordan Kisner | Guardian | 20th September 2016

Mankind’s long war on rats may soon end in victory. Until now rats have defined all manner of extermination campaigns thanks to their prodigious reproductive powers. A male and female can produce 15,000 descendants in a single year. When poison thins out a population, the survivors mate faster until their numbers recover. What humans have needed all these years is a rat contraceptive; and now an American company claims to have developed one. “This will change the world” (5,080 words)

The Coming Anti-National Revolution

Robert Shiller | Project Syndicate | 19th September 2016

The revolutions of the 21st century will seek to overthrow the nation-state, because the nation-state has become an engine of injustice. “Entirely by chance, some are born in poor countries and others in rich countries”. To level this inequality, borders must melt away — but in the interests of free trade, not free migration. As transport and communication costs fall towards zero, unlimited free trade will equalise wage rates around the world, removing the main incentive to migration (960 words)

How They Wrestled With The New

Thomas Nagel | New York Review of Books | 19th September 2016

Review of Anthony Gottlieb’s Dream Of Enlightenment, discussing the efforts of the great 17C and 18C thinkers — Descartes, Rousseau, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Hume — to modernise philosophy by incorporating the lessons of the scientific revolution, the fragmentation of the Christian church, and a growing scepticism about the divine right of kings. “It isn’t that they speak our language, but that we speak their language, because our world has been significantly formed by them” (4,300 words)

I Used to Be a Human Being

Andrew Sullivan | New York | 18th September 2016

Extreme blogger Andrew Sullivan tells how he closed the Daily Dish because pressure of work was killing him, and restored his health through meditation. He returns to society persuaded that tech is stupefying us. “Just as modern street lighting has slowly blotted the stars from the visible skies, so too have cars and planes and factories and flickering digital screens combined to rob us of a silence that was previously regarded as integral to the health of the human imagination” (7,100 words)

Pit Bulls Are Chiller Than Chihuahuas

Brian Hare & Vanessa Woods | Atlantic | 19th September 2016

Dog bites kill 25 Americans each year and send 300,000 to the emergency room. The most aggressive dogs by almost every measure are chihuahuas, according a survey of 4,000 owners. Pit bulls are “consistently ranked as one of the least aggressive dogs”, except in their treatment of new dogs, but even in this they are milder than Miniature Schnauzers. So why do 900 American cities have laws against pit bulls? Because their appearance strikes fear into people, and they get a bad press (740 words)

Video of the day: Mad God: Stop-Motion VR

What to expect:

Animator Phil Tippett explains how to model and shoot stop-motion for virtual reality (4’23”)

Thought for the day

All passions exaggerate. It is because they exaggerate that they are passions

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