Daily Office:
Thursday, 7 October 2010


¶ We would like to think that mention of the “fragility of Pakistan” marks an advance of sorts in the awareness of American diplomatic and military officials that our alliance with the government of Pakistan may turn into a pillar of salt at any moment. (NYT


¶ We can’t think when we’ve been so keen on Chopin. Never, probably. And what we’re really into is listening to different performances. The music, qua sheet music, has become transparently familiar. Always fond of Vladimir Ashkenazy’s reading of the Nocturnes, for example, we’re surprised by how much more we like Artur Rubinstein’s way with the Ballades and the Scherzos. Now we’re going to look into some of the recommendations made by David Patrick Stearns, in a genial tour d’horizon of new Chopin recordings, at the Philadelphia Inquirer.


¶ The abstract metrics of macroeconomics (does that even makes sense?) tend to fly right over (and through) our heads, but we’re not so hopeless with tangible assets — in today’s case, commercial real estate, which, according to the party line, has bottomed out. Nonsense! cries Jim Quinn — and he backs up his claim that things are going to get worse with a lot of comprehensible charts and graphs. Yves Smith, hosting Mr Quinn’s piece, begins by pointing out that a square-footage-per-capita figure of 24 betokened excess capacity to her when she had occasion to study the market over twenty years ago. Now, according to Mr Quinn, that figure has jumped 46 — compared to 13 in Canada. 


¶ In a presentation (delivered at the Frankfurt Book Fair) that’s sure to be linked to far and wide, James Bridle pitches Open Bookmark, a proposed medium for storing and sharing the aura of reading a book, which in his view replaces the concept of the copy. Don’t miss it! (booktwo.org; via The Morning News)


¶ Sloane Crosley celebrates the Gotham-as-Gigantic-Hamlet myth as enthusiastically as anybody — she leaves her housekeys in her unlocked mailbox! — but she is finding that there are limits, beyond which “trusting” morphs into “thoughtless.” (NYT)


¶ Daniel Larison’s eloquent and sensible call for the dissolution of NATO. (The Week; via Real Clear World)


¶ At 5 o’clock this morning, Mario Vargas Llosa got the call, right here in New York City. The Stockholm call. (NYT

¶ Benedicte Page’s list of five MVL must-reads. (Guardian)


¶ Lucky Nige takes a walk in West Surrey and passes directly in front of a house that we’ve always admired.

Have A Look

Executive Suite Primer. (Weakonomics)

Natasha Vargas-Cooper and Sasha Frere-Jones are not impressed by The Social Network. We loved the movie, but we see their point, and, anyway, the exchange makes us LOL. (The Awl)

The End of the Bacon Bubble? (WSJ; via The Morning News)

¶ The Mandelbox Trip. (via MetaFilter)

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