Social media & the human heart 🔗

From Mallory Owens’s review of Bruno Maçães’s History Has Begun: It would be disturbing enough if, as Maçães predicts, the great lords of Silicon Valley left us to amuse ourselves in our virtual sandboxes while they went off to conquer the solar system. With an ever-expanding arsenal of digital tools at their disposal, however, they are unlikely to show such restraint. Their war against reality can never truly be won until they have triumphed over the most stubborn and deceitful of all things, the human heart.

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When was the last time I link to a Slate article? Maybe never.

In any case, their “Best Jazz Albums of 2021” is excellent—introduced me to a number of albums I hadn’t yet heard; all the ones I have heard I also loved, especially the Mingus and the Shepp/Moran. 🎵 🔗

Tyler Cowen’s conversation with biographer-historian Ruth Scurr is delightful—bookstores, Cambridge, finding a book’s form, & much more. 🔗🎙

Beautiful light in my office this morning.

A fresh layer of snow overnight + fire-red sunrise.

Incredibly excited for the future of Slant Books. They have some wonderful titles coming in their first year as an indie not-for-profit press. 🔗📚

R.I.P, Robert Bly, one of Minnesota’s great poets. I’ll remember him most for his translations of Thomas Tranströmer; among if not the first translations into English of the incredible Swedish poet. 📚 🔗

A beautiful obituary of Chinese philosopher and aesthetician Li Zehou. 🔗

This sunrise this morning… unreal. 💥 🏡

Alan Jacobs on distributism & the need for new institutions 🔗

In the Hedgehog Review, Alan Jacobs describes the potential for “A New Guild System”: I envision a world in which the increased fragmentation of our media scene—fragmentation created by institutions that have lost their sense of purpose and individuals who have lost trust in those institutions—leads, over time, to the rise of new institutions that are built on stronger foundations. is certainly part of this new-institution-building. And many developments in web3 seem dedicated to the same purposes: distributing political & economic power in new ways; thinking through what institutions could look like if organized differently—in more distributed, bottom-up forms.

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