|This is a copy of my newsletter, that comes out Tuesdays. Sign up here
Great article weaving Michelangelo, Florence, and Dostoevsky.
- Why Does Mount Rushmore Exist? by Sam Anderson
The author travels to the Midwest with his family in winter to see the bizarre monument to four American presidents. He wonders about why we have such a large monument in the middle of nowhere. Is it representative of something uniquely American?
- Annie Dillard’s Impossible Pages by Sam Anderson
Obviously on a Sam Anderson kick! This is a short piece of writing with excerpts of Dillard’s writing.
- The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race by Jared Diamond (Discover)
As a man chronically drawn to revisionist history, I was properly seduced by the mention of this article in another article recently published in the New Yorker. I am drawn to the idea that progress is not always a given, and that assuming so can be dangerous. From my anecdotal observation, things change but not always for the
- To Understand Rising Inequality Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies Then and Now by Neil Irwin (NYTimes)
For people my age, it would be useful to read this article as a way to understand the difference between how we look at the job market and how our parents do. While some of the jobs are the same, the possibilities that may have been imbued with those jobs, the implied future of those careers have been circumcised.
Let me know what you have been reading in the comments below!
- “Cynthia Nixon and the Age of Inexperience” by Frank Bruni (NYTimes)
Frank Bruni, through an interrogation of Cynthia Nixon’s bid for governor of New York, analyses why people like Nixon or Donald Trump, are encouraged to apply for jobs that they aren’t qualified for. I appreciate his analysis of the situation. There is something going on here that goes deeper than a general mistrust of elites or the processes of government.
We live in a time when all knowledge feels like it is up for question, where superstition mingles freely with facts. So who do we turn to in order to parse out the two? Experts, of course.
- “Laws Concerning Food and Drink; Household Principles; Lamentations of the Father” by Ian Frazier (The Atlantic)
- Icarus (Netflix)
- Wild Wild Country (Netflix)
Most people reading this newsletter will have heard of this six-part documentary by now. It is concerned with the social and legal battles of a religious group that moved to the Oregonian wilderness in the 1980’s. Many of the factual revelations (e.g., the construction projects undertaken by the group) are almost too grand to believe. So are the more sinister acts.