Future format?

Mickey Kaus, one of the pioneers of political blogging, is trying out a new Twitterized set-up. Not because he’s wildly enthusiastic about the T-word, but because it offers hope of getting back to the spirit of the good old days:

kaus files new format


Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , ,

Retro Russian

soviet nostalgia bar bulgaria time

A Soviet nostalgia-themed restaurant and bar in Sofia. From Yana Paskova’s images of life in the new Bulgaria.

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What millennials think about news

They’re quite keen on keeping abreast of current affairs, but handing over money can be  a problem for some of them:

“I don’t think you should pay for news,” Eric, a 22-year-old Chicagoan, said. “That’s something everybody should be informed in. Like, you’re going to charge me for information that’s going on around the world?” And then there’s 19-year-old Sam from San Francisco: “I really wouldn’t pay for any type of news because as a citizen it’s my right to know the news.”

Posted in Journalism | Tagged , ,

In town tonight: the queen of fado

Mariza is at the Barbican in a few hours. I just hope she sings this, definitive proof that not all fado songs are melancholy.


Posted in Music | Tagged ,


Though Britain was still struggling out of austerity, the meals at Christ Church high table were more luxurious than anything I’d come across before. It was there that I first tasted oysters — and thought wonderingly of my mother’s taste fondness for them. The dons I saw most were the small band who lived in college, among them the economist Sir Roy Harrod, who pointedly refrained from ever addressing a single remark to me in my three terms’ residence. One night I was sitting opposite him  at dinner when he had a guest, for whose benefit he was identifying the various notables seated around the table. I heard his guest ask who I was, and Harrod replied, quite audibly, “Oh, that’s nobody.” The guest gave me a pitying glance and looked away.

John Carey, “The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books”.

Posted in Literature, Notebook | Tagged , ,

Educating Roger


Times have changed… Roger Scruton, former editor of The Salisbury Review, pays a visit to the Michaela Community School in Wembley. Photo posted on Twitter by the school’s headmistress, Katharine Birbalsingh (alias @Miss_Snuffy).

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Twitter fakes

There’s a 31 percent likelihood that even he is a bot, apparently.  James Gleick on the rise and rise of not-so-human online voices :

Because the Twitterverse is made of text, rather than rocks and trees and bones and blood, it’s suddenly quite easy to make bots. Now there are millions, by Twitter’s own estimates—most of them short-lived and invisible nuisances. All they need to do is read text and write text. For example, there is a Twitter creature going by the name of @ComposedOf, whose life is composed of nothing more than searching for tweets containing the phrase “comprised of.” […] Readers of Isaac Asimov’s many robot books, beginning with I, Robot in 1950, or viewers of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s 1982 movie based on Philip K. Dick’s story, might have expected the androids to make their entrance with more fanfare; but this is how the future really happens, so ordinary that we scarcely notice.

Posted in Social Media, Technology | Tagged , , , ,

He saw it coming

J.G. Ballard writing about social media before it even existed. From an article in Vogue magazine, 1977:

ballard quote

[HT: Suzanne Heath]

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The Greek Minister of Awesome


Another angle (slightly rude) on the Eurozone crisis. German satire rules!

[HT: Tyler Cowen]

Posted in Comedy, Money, Politics | Tagged ,

Re-write, re-write

For World Book Day, a page from the manuscript of “Nineteen Eighty-Four. Big Brother Is Watching You. (Apologies for the grainy quality of the image.)

orwell 1984 big brother

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