The Deep Music of the World


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The title of Michelle O’Sullivan’s This One High Field invokes a similar take on time. The poem from which it comes, “The Measure”, is buzzing with a sense of the moment, its individuality, opening: “Such stillness. And the mouth / of the ditch caught in moonlight.” The attention it demands is laced with wonder and curiosity, the brief lines are packed and jumpy with detail, and then they open out into a sense of a view as a whole: “air-stung trees on this one high field”. The single moment becomes the special place.

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Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin — Dublin Review of Books

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Marie Kondo at Work: Can Your Office ‘Spark Joy’?


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To start, set aside a day in the office to de-clutter and put each item through the “spark joy” test, Jefferson said. “Give people time to decide if all those desk tchotchkes, old stale reports, and books they never got around to reading really deserve a home in their space,” she said. Schedule a donation pick-up or ask for volunteers to drop off the stuff. “It creates an awesome ‘reset’ and the end result is a lighter, more spacious office.”

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Knowledge@Wharton

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Everyone knows you go home


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Sylvester recently published her second novel, Everyone Knows You Go Home, which traces the trauma several generations of a Mexican American family face as they try to cross the border and settle into comfortable lives. When Martin and Isabel decide to get married on Día de los Muertos, Isabel knows his family history is fraught. But the appearance of Martin’s deceased father, Omar, and arrival of Martin’s teenage nephew from across the border help the family reconcile with their past. The premise, of a spirit helping to shed light on lost history, has been compared to that of Coco, but Sylvester’s work is less interested in revelations and happy endings. Her characters are marked by happenstance and ignorance, a testament to the devastating effects arbitrary laws can have on the lives of everyday people. The novel has been hailed as timely in the wake of increased anti-immigrant rhetoric, commentary Sylvester has explicitly rejected as well-intentioned but flattening. Like her parents’ reasons for immigrating, Everyone Knows You Go Home revels in uncertainty and refuses easy answers.

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Alana Mohamed — Village Voice

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The world’s most unproductive entrepreneur


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Over the next few years, Low and his conspirators would use 1MDB to borrow billions of dollars from global capital markets, and would simply take much of the proceeds for themselves. To achieve all this required Low to do constant networking, set up immensely complicated financial and legal arrangements, and splash out tens of millions of dollars along the way to win friends and influence people. Low in fact worked hard at his corruption, and displayed unmistakable entrepreneurial flair–a huge amount of effort deployed to make his country poorer not richer.

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Andrew Batson’s Blog

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Money: 5,000 Years of Debt and Power


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The first lie is that if finance is entirely free, globalised and unregulated, it will develop instruments to insure against risks (derivative products), rendering impossible the spread and intensification of the blaze. After two decades of stable inflation and financial liberalisation, the financial community, the media, and the political establishment loved to proclaim that systemic crisis had now become impossible (‘this time it’s different’). But the impossible did happen. This owed not to some external mega-event but rather to the fact that speculation had eroded from within any sense of reason and any barrier to the appeal of greed. This first lie is also the basis for the other two.

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Michel Aglietta — Verso

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Outspoken to Unspoken: Searching for Anne’s Voice after She Marries


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I loved the first four, where we journey with Anne from ages 11 to 25. Here was the character from the movies in all her spunk, wit, ambition, and imagination. She writes stories, goes to college, teaches, almost marries the wrong man, becomes a school principal, befriends prickly people, wins over the conniving Pringle clan, and comes to know herself better.

But when Anne Shirley becomes Anne Blythe, she doesn’t seem like the same person. I barely recognized her. I couldn’t find the spark and ambition of her earlier years. While she retains her quirky expressions, love of nature, and propensity to meet kindred spirits, her voice changes. After marriage it flattens and, in some cases, disappears altogether.

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Charlene Kwiatkowski — The Curator

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Lukes on power


What are the “dimensions” of power to which Lukes refers? He begins his account with the treatment of power provided by the pluralist tradition of American democratic theory, including especially Robert Dahl in 1957 in “The Concept of Power” (link). This is the one-dimensional view: power is a behavioral attribute that applies to individuals to the extent that they are able to modify the behavior of other individuals within a decision-making process. The person with the power in a situation is the person who prevails in the decision-making process (18).

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Daniel Little — Understanding Society