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Postscript: Paul Samuelson

by John Cassidy from The New Yorker In the fall of 1996, I arranged to interview Paul Samuelson in his office at M.I.T. for an article I was writing on the state of economics, which is available online to subscribers. At the allotted time, 12:00 if I remember rightly, there was no sign of Samuelson, who was [...]
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Even Bigger Than Too Big to Fail

Editorial from The New York Times Asserting that it “is among the strongest banks in the industry,” Citigroup announced on Monday that it would soon repay $20 billion of federal bailout money. This from a bank that has been in the red for most of the past two years, that is expected to limp through 2010 [...]
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On the Couch with Philip Roth, at the Morgue with Pol Pot

by Charles Simic from The New York Review of Books blog As a rule, I read and write poetry in bed; philosophy and serious essays sitting down at my desk; newspapers and magazines while I eat breakfast or lunch, and novels while lying on the couch. It’s toughest to find a good place to read history, since [...]
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The Noughties: a fond(ish) farewell

by Toby Young from the Telegraph I was in a French ski resort on January 1 2000 and the first thing I thought about, when the fog of the previous night began to clear, was the Millennium Bug. Deputy US Defence Secretary John Hamre had predicted it would be ‘the electronic equivalent of the El Niño’. Just how [...]
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I Could Fix That

by David Runciman from The London Review of Books In the final year of the last century, George Stephanopoulos, Bill Clinton’s one-time aide and press secretary, published a memoir of his time in the White House entitled All Too Human: A Political Education. Back then, it seemed like a terribly exciting book: 1999 was the year of [...]
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Memo to Danes: Even You Cannot Control This Summit

by Naomi Klein from The Nation On Saturday night, after a week of living off of conference center snack bars, a group of us were invited to a delicious home-cooked meal with a real live Danish family. After spending the evening gawking at their stylish furnishings, a few of us had a question: Why are Danes so [...]
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The globalization of religion

Richard Dawkins’s heart leaps up as high as any Romantic poet’s when he beholds a rainbow. But he has taken issue with Keats’s complaint that when scientists “unweave” a rainbow they spoil it. Mike King in Postsecularism ripostes that Dawkins is trying to “arrogate to science what is the proper domain of a quite different [...]
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Iranian banknotes uprising

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Buy Local, Act Evil

By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow from Slate As the owner of several energy-efficient light bulbs and a recycled umbrella, I’m familiar with the critiques of “ethical consumption.” In some cases, it’s not clear that ostensibly green products are better for the environment. There’s also the risk that these lifestyle choices will make us complacent, sapping the drive to call [...]
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The Millions Interview: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

by Anna Clark from The Millions The Russian language is the real hero of Tolstoy’s masterpiece; it is his voice of truth. The English-speaking world is indebted to these two magnificent translators, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, for revealing more of its hidden riches than any who have tried to translate the book before. — Orlando Figes After [...]
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Too big to burn: AIG plays God in a man-made firestorm

By McKenzie Funk from Harper’s The first light we ran was at Main Street and Jamboree Road, near the Hyatt, and we ran it mostly because we could. Chief Sam flicked on his siren, and eighteen lanes of traffic froze in place. We nudged into the intersection. We accelerated. We swerved. We accelerated again. Our red Ford [...]
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Turner Prize: Art is beautiful again

by Alastair Sooke from Telegraph Do you remember the days when the Turner Prize ignited a firestorm of controversy? When the fag butts, empty vodka bottles and used condoms that surrounded Tracey Emin’s notoriously unmade bed had the nation up in arms – even though it didn’t win? Well, not any more. This week, the artist Richard Wright [...]
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Interview: Martin Amis

by James Knight from Vice Magazine Martin Amis is one of the great writers of contemporary fiction. Even if he’d given up putting pen to paper after his third novel, Money, this would be an irrefutable fact. Period. Sorry. He writes grippingly of ugly characters consuming for the sake of consumption, blind to their own greed. His [...]
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Fair Warning

TO THE JAPANESE PEOPLE: America asks that you take immediate heed of what we say on this leaflet. We are in possession of the most destructive explosive ever devised by man. A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what two thousand of our giant B-29s can carry [...]
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Who killed John Keats?

by John Barnard from Times On Friday July 27, 1821, five months after Keats’s death, the Morning Chronicle printed, under the heading “John Keats, the Poet”, a long letter written by someone identified only as “Y”. The letter was reprinted by Edmund Blunden in his book Shelley and Keats as they struck their Contemporaries (1925), with the [...]
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A Cartoon

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Thinking in Dark Times—Six Questions for Roger Berkowitz

By Scott Horton from Harper’s Fordham University Press has just put out Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics, a collection of papers from a conference convened at Bard College to mark Arendt’s hundredth birthday. I put six questions to Roger Berkowitz, a professor at Bard and academic director of the Hannah Arendt Center [...]
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All That

by David Foster Wallace from The New Yorker Once when I was a little boy I received as a gift a toy cement mixer. It was made of wood except for its wheels—axles—which, as I remember, were thin metal rods. I’m ninety per cent sure it was a Christmas gift. I liked it the same way a [...]
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Reckoning with Torture: Memos and Testimonies from the "War on Terror"

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.4077528&w=600&h=400&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]
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Bill Viola: Anthem (1983)

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.4070064&w=600&h=400&fv=file%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fubu.artmob.ca%2Fvideo%2Fflash%2FViola-Bill_Anthem.flv] The Anthem, in Israeli religion, is a chorus sung, repetitively, between each verse of a psalm. The piece centers on a single piercing scream and on the extension of this scream by a little girl eleven years old under the engine shed at Union Railroad Station in Los Angeles. This initial cry, which only lasts [...]
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