Widow, Chinese Economy, Creativity, Social Drinking, Kissinger

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I’m Sorry I Didn’t Respond To Your Email

Rachel Ward | Personal Growth | 17th August 2015

A widow writes: "When you experience a loss like this, you get to see a really wild new amount of life. The spectrum from happy to sad isn’t a foot wide anymore — it’s as far as your arms can stretch and then to the edges of the room and then up the block and over into the next neighborhood. So I am not happy that Steve died. But I am happy a lot of the time, which I didn’t really anticipate on this day two years ago" (2,250 words)

Do Markets Determine The Value Of The RMB?

Michael Pettis | China Financial Markets | 18th August 2015

China's currency would "almost certainly decline in value today without central bank intervention". But in fundamental terms the Renminbi is not obviously overvalued; to judge from China's continuing trade surplus it is modestly undervalued. The more interesting questions to ponder are why the central bank is relaxing its exchange-rate policy now, and whether the markets will do the job better (6,600 words)

The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t

Steven Johnson | New York Times | 20th August 2015

Art thrives in the age of the Internet. Only the music industry has been radically disrupted, and even there the revenues are not lost, but differently distributed. "Writers, performers, directors and even musicians report their economic fortunes to be similar to those of their counterparts 15 years ago, and in many cases they have improved. Against all odds, the voices of the artists seem to be louder than ever" (Metered paywall) (5,600 words)

Dear Lucy: Does Staying Sober Count Against Me?

Lucy Kellaway | Financial Times | 20th August 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

A reader writes: "Am I at a disadvantage at work because I do not drink? Is drinking so important to corporate culture?" Lucy Kellaway replies: Do go to all the corporate and networking functions; but it's perfectly OK not to drink, even in the pub. "No one cares. No one edges away. There are few areas in which diversity has truly arrived at work, but diversity of alcohol consumption is one of them" (990 words)

The Meaning Of Henry Kissinger

Niall Ferguson | Foreign Affairs | 20th August 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Henry Kissinger's writings yield four main principles of foreign policy: To understand rivals and allies one must first understand their history; statesmen sometimes have to act before the facts are in; many foreign-policy decisions are choices between evils; and realism must go hand-in-hand with morality. In Kissinger's view, to have a foreign policy based solely on morality is as dangerous as having one that denies morality (3,600 words)

Laibach In North Korea

Amy Bryzgel | Conversation | 19th August 2015

Laibach, the first Western rock band to play North Korea "is known more for its controversial aesthetics and performances than for its music". The name has strong fascist associations in the band's native Slovenia, and their early stage shows "took on the characteristics of mass totalitarian rallies". Laibach appears to have been heavily influenced by Slovenia's other main cultural export, the philosopher Slavoj Žižek (1,100 words)

Video of the day: The God Helmet

What to expect: Starts flaky but gets traction. Will virtual reality create out-of-body and near-death experiences on demand? (4'40")

Thought for the day

Men are born ignorant; they are made stupid by education
Bertrand Russell

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