January: A Month of Experiments

January.  A month of experiments. READING I got through 75 books last year; I’m going to try to break that record this year.  So far, I’m doing well, having finished 10 books so far: Young Stalin.  A great history of how Stalin got started.  I still don’t fully understand why he became an ardent communist, but…

“Our political life favours the extremes of speech; the man who is gifted in the arts of abuse is bound to be a notable, if not always a great figure.” J. K. Galbraith, The Great Crash 1929

The Profits of History

This morning, this warning notice appeared in the Economist Espresso: “The purpose of Nebula, which floated yesterday, is, well, nebulous.  It is a ‘blank-cheque company’, raising cash to conduct unspecified future technology deals.  Ventures of this sort raised more than $10bn in 2017, close to the record set in 2007.” I happen to be reading Galbraith’s…

“We are all migrants through time.”

I just finished Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.  Like all of his books, it creates an absolutely beautiful world in which you lose yourself as someone else, and he gives you license to imagine what the experience of a specific other person and a general “other people” might be.  Every sentence is true; some are…

Young Stalin

Two quotes I found interesting from Young Stalin, by Simon Sebag Montefiore: Stalin attended a wild party given by Alyosha Svanidze.  They were drinking cocktails of melon juice and brandy, and got wildly drunk.  Yet Soso (Stalin) lay on a sofa on the verandah reading silently, making notes.  So they started to look for him: ‘Where…

“If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, This is the best season of your life.” Wu-Men, quoted in Wherever You Go, There You Are