- paradoxdruid hooks me up with Indexed, a web comic somehow simpler than xkcd and thus even more conceptually elegant. Each morning, author Jessica Hagy posts a graph drawn on an index card. Two favorites:
- Gourmet takes Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's Oblique Strategies into the kitchen:
"What wouldn't you do?"
"I had an idea to make mussels with basil and garlic," he told me. "I was going to call the dish 'pesto mussels' or something, but as I was getting ready to cook, Melissa pointed out that two months prior she made a mussel dish with a watercress cream, which, of course, would look exactly the same as 'pesto mussels.'"
The mussels and basil were already ordered and on their way, so Ian asked Melissa for advice; she suggested pasta. Ian cooked the mussels and pasta and tossed them with the basil, and that's when the strategy came into play: "There's an Italian no-no when it come to eating fish with cheese. It's rarely done. Because it's such a faux pas, I would never have gone there. But because the card said I should, I did." In the end, Parmigiano-Reggiano added depth with out strong-arming the more delicate flavours in the dish.
- Errol Morris names
five favorite films on Current TV. Though thin on substance — it's
Current, after all — the segment nevertheless piques my interest, and
strongly, in Kazuo Hara's The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On, a documentary about a WWII veteran desperately, and angrily, trying to find out the fate of his army buddies.
If you're looking for slightly more content, do check out Morris' list of favorite books as well. Curious line about Dale Carnegie's How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: "I dare anyone to read it without an immediate and overwhelming desire to open up your veins in the tub."
- Tyler Cowen, who comes from a somewhat libertarian perspective, defines "progressivism" as reasonably as possible, to the best of his ability in eleven points. Selections:
And he defines "conservatism" as reasonably as possible, to the best of his ability in ten points. Selections:
1. There exists a better way and that is shown by the very successful polities of northwestern Europe and near-Europe. We know that way can work, even if it is sometimes hard to implement.
6. Limiting inequality will do more to check bad governance than will the quixotic libertarian attempt to limit the size of government.
10. The United States has to struggle mightily to meet the progressive standards of western Europe and we should not equate the two regions in terms of their operation or capabilities. Yet there is an alternative strand in American history, if not always a dominant one, showing that progressive change is possible. Think Upton Sinclair and Martin Luther King and the organizers of early labor unions.
1. Evil is real and there exist evil nations in the world; the relatively virtuous Western powers require strong states to fend off such evils. This distinct from "big government" in the sense advocated by modern liberals.
2. In international affairs, in the twentieth century, the United States in particular has been unselfish to a remarkable degree. We therefore should trust the United States with unprecedented power. In fact we have no alternative. Some cultures really are better than others.
7. We do not have either the resources or the norms to remake society in the direction of a fully-comfortable-for-everyone social democracy. We do need welfare states to keep a polity in running order, but we should be modest about what such regimes can accomplish. They cannot overcome a fundamental lack of proper values as found in many poor or disadvantaged communities.
- Dick Cavett and Jimmy Fallon talk shop about talk shows in New York.
I've never seen Fallon in action, though I routinely look to Cavett's
back pages for examples of How It's Done. (It would not be entirely
inaccurate to say that I aim to perform a slight bit of
re-Cavettization on the media scene.) I assure you, based on my limited
experience, that when Cavett speaks the following about preparation, he
speaks the truth:
Listen rather than formulate. Don't ask about peeves and favorites. Make it a conversation.
You can be inhibited by the notes, and then there’s that awful moment where you think, “Oh shit, his lips have stopped moving, and I’m not quite exactly sure what he said, because I was thinking what I might say next.” Jack Paar said to me, “Kid, don’t do interviews. That’s clipboards, and David Frost, and what’s your pet peeve and favorite movie. Make it a conversation.” And I didn’t get it immediately. And then I realized, well, that’s what Jack did. He didn’t ever, “I’ve got one more I want to ask you, okay, let’s move on to geography.” It’s a lesson that has not been learned by enough people in the world.