Current listening: *The Incomparable Bola Sete 🎶

A new Geri Allen album??

Sure, it’s just a live recording, but I’m here all day for this one. Heck, here all year. 🎶

Finished reading: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 📚

Great day at the used book store 📚

I’ve been working on an essay on Sam Bankman-Fried and Sam Altman for a couple weeks now. Today seemed like a good day to finish it.

Why are the traits they share—among others, naiveté, narcissism, love for humanity but only in the abstract, reducing complex realities to simple equations—so common?

I like the new Wikipedia app… but it doesn’t always get everything right:

Screenshot of Maurizio Pollini’s entry in Wikipedia. The photo is cropped to show only the top of his bald head.

Finished reading: *The New Leviathans* by John Gray

Finished reading: The New Leviathans by John Gray. A book with no single overarching thesis beyond an examination of how liberal democracy is in crisis in the West, and how the alternatives at the moment, primarily Russia and China, are… unsavory. Gray’s book, just 3 brisk chapters, helpfully resuscitates Hobbes as interested in the wide range of forms Leviathan can take to provide order, peace, and freedom to its citizens. Unfortunately, all of these are more or less totalitarian—which is why Gray finds in Hobbes a helpful thinker for our age, in which the world is converging on forms of surveillance capitalism:

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Current listening: a new Arvo Pärt album, Tractus, featuring a new, chamber-choir arrangement of Pärt’s setting of words from a sermon of John Henry Newman. 🎶

Rest in peace, Terence Davies. 🎞️

The first film I saw of his was his relatively recent documentary about Liverpool, *Of Time & the City*—a film of great beauty, full of profound reflection on memory & how profoundly the world has changed since the 1960s.

Here’s a quotation that reflects his sensibility, from the NYT obituary linked above:

“The first thing that goes is subtlety. The first thing that goes is any kind of restraint or even wit sometimes. I don’t know how to deal with that in the modern world.”

No words strike fear into a Minnesota United fan’s heart quite like “must-win home game.” #COYL ⚽️