Time, Fasting, Bag Men, Propaganda, Marilynne Robinson


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Entangled Time

Elise Crull | Aeon | 2nd February 2018

Quantum entanglement says that particles can interact even when separated by vast distances of space. It now seems that the same may be true for particles separated by time: They can interact across time, and perhaps without ever coexisting. The science is tentative, but already enough to encourage new ways of thinking about time. What is the relationship between a lump of clay and the statue that it forms? How does one describe an entity whose constituent parts are not even coexistent? (1,400 words)

The Derangements

Beau Friedlander | Lapham's Quarterly | 14th February 2018

Depressive suicidal ex-drunk finds redemption in extreme fasting. Once you stop fainting, the effects are transcendental. Two hundred calories per day is about right. “I usually do some kind of fast every month, sometimes with little in the way of mental changes but occasionally with notable psychic shifts on the order of something plate tectonic. I’m almost always in a state of nutritional ketosis, and I have found that it has pronounced positive effects on mood and mental acuity” (3,500 words)

Meet The Bagman

Steven Godfrey | SB Nation | 10th April 2014

How to buy college football players, in the words of a man who delivers the money. “The Bag Man excuses himself to make a call outside, on his ‘other phone’, to arrange delivery of $500 in cash to a visiting recruit. The player is rated No. 1 at his position nationally and on his way into town. We’re sitting in a popular restaurant near campus almost a week before National Signing Day, talking about how to arrange cash payments for amateur athletes” (5,600 words)

The Monopoly On Narrative

Branko Milanovic | Global Inequality | 16th February 2018

There is nothing new about propaganda masquerading as journalism. What is new is that America and Britain are now on the receiving end of it. “Non-Western media are not only creating their own global narratives but are also trying to create narratives of America. For people from small countries (like myself) this is just something totally normal. But for many people in the US and the UK this comes as a total shock: how dare foreigners tell them what is the narrative of their own countries?” (1,014 words)

Poetry Of Puritanism

Marilynne Robinson | TLS | 14th February 2018

The American character is better and stronger than Americans seem to realise. Americans blame America for slavery and racism, but these were not original sins; they were part of America’s European inheritance. “I was educated to the belief that this country was an awkward attempt at a civilization, a crude imitation of something profound and elegant and intrinsically elsewhere. Objectively speaking, this is remarkable, considering what was then the very recent history of Europe” (3,400 words)

Video of the day The Dog Photographer

What to expect:

Introduction to the work of William Wegman, famous for his photographic portraits of Weimeraners (3’20”)

Thought for the day

Never offend an enemy in a small way
Gore Vidal

Podcast of the day A Reckoning At Facebook | New Yorker

David Remnick talks to Nicholas Thomson of Wired about the post-election moral crisis at Facebook
(19'46")

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