Posts in: Reading

Despite EA & crypto, we're still living in the Victorians' world πŸ”—πŸ’°πŸ“š

Derek Thompson’s short, pensive essay on his own entanglement with effective altruism (EA) and Sam Bankman-Fried leaves off before getting to a problem that enabled both, a problem with the Internet in general: we humans just seem to be at our best when operating locally, in-person. Just as crypto’s promise of “trust in a trustless world” struck many as ridiculous, so too EA has been ridiculed for its impersonal approach to altruism.

Continue reading β†’

D.C. Schindler on beauty and hospitality πŸ“š

Instead, beauty effects a completeness that strengthens our capacity to be open and hospitable. It is fitting, in this respect, that we tend to think of giving the quality of beauty, more directly than the quality of truth or goodness, to our background surroundings, the encompassing atmosphere inside of which our existence unfolds. ~from Love and the Postmodern Predicament

Finished reading: The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq. Profoundly bleak, even for Houellebecq, though there are some moments of beauty, particularly late in the novel. πŸ“š

In life and work alike, his contradictions are pressed together like layers in metamorphic rock. It is in the nature of monoliths not to grow old.

~Alex Ross on Thomas Mann, in the New Yorker. My favorite Mann is *The Magic Mountain*β€”it speaks with clarity to our world. πŸ”—πŸ“š