Books and literature

“One profession that is particularly close to my heart, a profession that can get away with nearly anything,” Wagenbreth told his colleagues, “and this group are our dear journalists.” Journalists with a good reputation, he said, had excellent access to officials with security clearances and business executives, and could even travel through the Iron Curtain […]

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What makes Rousseau and his self-described ‘history of the human heart,’ so astonishingly germane and eerily resonant is that, unlike his fellow eighteenth-century writers, he described the quintessential inner experience of modernity for most people: the uprooted outsider in the commercial metropolis, aspiring for a place in it, and struggling with complex feelings of envy, […]

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I want to persuade you that when you have a memory, you don’t retrieve something that already exists, fully formed—you create something new. Memory is about the present as much as it is about the past. A memory is made in the moment, and collapses back into its constituent elements as soon as it is […]

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Without our memories, we would be lost to ourselves, amnesiacs flailing around in a constant, unrelenting present. It is hard to imagine being able to hang on to your personal identity without a store of autobiographical memories. To attain the kind of consciousness we all enjoy, we probably rely on a capacity to make links […]

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Jeeves: And if, in consequence, Mr. Winship should lose the election… Wooster: I imagine democracy would survive the blow Jeeves. J: The talk in the servants’ hall Sir is that Lady Florence has informed Mr. Winship that if he does not win the electon their engagement will be at an end. W: Good God! You […]

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Students who weren’t too overawed by the reputations and accomplishments of the college’s senior members could find them useful in more practical ways. At one High Table, Jane Freeman, who was just beginning to write her thesis and feeling daunted at the prospect of tackling what was essentially the writing of her first book, found […]

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Because the spoken word content on Spotify is so-so most of the time (aside from podcasts like Ologies and the Spycast), I have been trying Audible to provide better quality listening material during walks. So far I have finished James Donovan’s book “Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Colonel Abel” about the espionage trials […]

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Today I received and began reading George Hoberg’s new book: The Resistance Dilemma: Place-Based Movements and the Climate Crisis. The usefulness is threefold. It speaks directly to my concern about how the environmentalist focus on resistance isn’t a great match with building a global energy system that will control climate change. It references much of […]

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Every day I’m bombarded with objections to the evidence for human-caused climate change. Most of them sound respectably scientific, like “climate changes all the time; humans have nothing to do with it.” It’s “the Sun,” or “volcanoes,” or “cosmic rays” that are making it happen, or “it’s not even warming,” some argue. … Scientists call […]

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Because of its restrained and historically accurate storytelling, Bridge of Spies is one of my favourite films. Looking for something a bit meatier than podcasts to listen to on my exercise walks, I am trying out an Audible account with James Donovan’s Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Colonel Abel. It’s the perfect kind […]

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