Finished reading: London’s Fields by Mark Waldon 📚 ⚽️

A delightful oral history looking at some of London’s football clubs: their histories, rivalries, grounds, & fan bases. I most enjoyed chapters on Orient, Millwall, Brentford, Wimbledon, Fulham, & Charlton—clubs that don’t get much attention state-side.

Review: *The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution Is Transforming Currencies and Finance* by Eswar S. Prasad 📚

Eswar Prasad, The Future of Money Reading Eswar Prasad’s The Future of Money was an odd experience. Let’s start by clarifying the author’s starting point. Prasad is the definition of an elite: a graduate of some of the world’s most prestigious universities (Madras, Brown, U of Chicago) a long stint at the IMF an occupant of a endowed chair in economics at an Ivy League school a senior fellow at the center-left-think-tank-to-rule-them-all Brookings Institute possessor of an advisory appointment as research associate at the National Bureau for Economic Research I mention all these roles not to impress you, but rather to give you a sense of what to expect from The Future of Money: cryptocurrency filtered through the perspective of someone deeply entrenched in the structures, institutions, and frameworks that define the world as it currently is.

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Everything about central bank digital currency (CBDC) is the stuff of totalitarian nightmare.

~A powerful essay against CBDCs 🔗

Expert ≠ leader (or vice versa):

The pandemic has shown us the dangers of expert rule, and the failures of political and institutional leaders to heed them. It has also demonstrated, through its absence, what good governance might look like.

~Joseph E. Davis in The New Atlantis

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. 🔗📚