The Walkman Was a Machine for Daydreaming


Remembering the Walkman.

I can’t help missing that clunky old device. There’s something more human about technologies that have an intuitive connection between what they look like and what they do. When the tape ribbon moves, the music plays; when the ribbon is wrinkled, the music sounds garbled. This logic is the logic of our own bodies, with organs and limbs whose motions are connected to their functions, and which are susceptible to injury and gradual breakdown.

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Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow — Lenny

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Hugh Hefner (1926–2017): A literary legacy of sex-supported fiction publishing


An obituary. Many of us don’t realize this, but Playboy has published some solid literary pieces from great writers.

Early on, as Josh Lambert reported in Tablet in 2010, Hef was frustrated and disappointed by anti-semitism and stifled by the hiring practices at Esquire. In response, he happily hired some of the country’s top Jewish editors: Nat LehrmanSheldon WaxArthur Kretchmer, and August Comte Spectorsky. But Playboy didn’t become a prestigious venue for literary writing until the sixties, under the eye of editor Robie Macauley, who attracted bylines from some of the greatest science fiction writers of the day — Arthur C. ClarkeRay BradburyIsaac Assimov, and many others. With numerous Nebula nominations and wins, Playboy became synonymous with quality sci-fi.

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Peter Clark — Melville House

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It’s not just that the rise of emerging economies is shifting the dynamics of global luxury consumption. Nor that young Indian designers are exposed to global influences and produce collections that deftly integrate these. It’s also that in fact because of the weighty history of misperception as well as moral ideas regarding restraint versus excess, emerging Indian designers are driven to produce something with a peculiarly unique alchemy for global fashion audiences, beyond cliches and speaking an exciting language of the now.

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Dr Phyllida Jay — Vestoj

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Bastards and Game of Thrones


Now that we are all waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones which will only air next year, here is an article on the categories of bastards in medieval Europe.

Much as in Medieval Europe, there are several different kinds of bastards in Game of Thrones, falling into sometimes overlapping categories. The first and most obvious type of bastard is one born to a known “highborn” father who recognizes the child as his but whose mother is either unknown or known to be low status. Here the most memorable example is Jon Snow, Snow being the surname for Northern bastards of this type (though of course — spoiler alert — Jon’s parentage turns out to be more complicated, and extremely throneworthy regardless of any niceties of marriage law), or Sand, Sand being the surname for bastards from the south. It is quite clearly better to be a Sand than a Snow, with the warm sunny climate of the south both more openly licentious than the restrained north, and more tolerant of children born to extramarital sex.

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Sara McDougall — OUPblog

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The story behind the unforgettable photograph.

Yes, Jonathan Briley might be the Falling Man. But the only certainty we have is the certainty we had at the start: At fifteen seconds after 9:41 a.m., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky—falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame—the Falling Man—became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew’s photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves. The picture is his cenotaph, and like the monuments dedicated to the memory of unknown soldiers everywhere, it asks that we look at it, and make one simple acknowledgment.

That we have known who the Falling Man is all along.

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Tom Junod — Esquire

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Recommended by Ankit

The news – why do we subject ourselves to it?


How many times do you check your mobile feed for the latest news? And how many hours do you spend listening or watching to news. Speaking for myself, I don’t remember 99% of the news I read daily.

Rolf Dobelli, author of The Art of Thinking Clearly argues that consuming news has a darker side. He argues that the daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It saps our energy. It grinds us down. It impacts our ability to make good decisions and think clearly. It attacks our creativity. “I would not be surprised if news consumption at least partially contributes to the widespread disease of depression,” he writes.

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Antonia Case – New Philosopher

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Notes on a Foreign Country


Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad In a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen.

By then, New York had morphed, thanks to the Internet, into a cocaine-and-steroids version of itself. Only a few years after September 11, we had in fact become less introspective. The compassionate efforts to understand our new, uncertain world were replaced by an ever more certain set of ways to manage it—money, marriage, brownstone, children, organic market, Pilates—all of it fueled by a sleazily exuberant stock market. September 11 had been just another dip in the market. During the most catastrophic years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, New York threw a giant party.

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Suzy Hansen

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