Daily Office:
Wednesday, 27 October 2010


¶ In the middle of Seymour Hersh’s “exciting” article about “cyber warfare,” in the cartoon issue of The New Yorker, there’s a lovely tidbit about someone we’d never heard of, an office that we’d never heard of, and a fecklessness that has become all too familiar since January 2009.


¶ What a surprise. Annie Liebovitz, who has never had much time for the fine-arts racket, is finding that her work fails to bring high prices at sale or auction — a matter of no small concern, now that she notoriously needs the money. How could that be? Something inherently lacking about the work? Or something else… John Gapper at FT Magazine.


¶ With Inside Job still very much on our mind — what struck us the hardest was the overt but legal corruption (called “consultancy”) of academic economists — we fastened on a comment to Barbaria Kiviat’s entry at Felix Salmon today, an entry that follows up nicely the one that we linked to yesterday. The gist of the entry is that we’ve all become so indoctrinated by the terms of economic analysis that we can’t see beyond fruitless policy debates even though we know that economists don’t know which way is up.


¶ Brandon Keim’s report on a recent neurological study of focus isn’t his most lucid work, but there may be a bombshell for multitaskers planted not so deep within it. The study involved epileptic patients whos brains had already been invasively wired for pre-surgical study; Moran Cerf and his team made the most of a free ride. The patients were asked to focus on images of famous people (movie stars and sports figures). (Wired Science)


¶ The good people at The Awl have created a new Web site just for Mary H K Choi, called the hairpin. Mary is upset by the current craze for men dressing well; it’s throwing off her guydar.


¶ We don’t pay much heed to polls, but the results of a new Times/CBS poll are nonetheless distressing, precisely because ideas and information, nor to mentioin democratic confidence, appear in such short supply. The more we consider the results, the more impatient we become for the Democratic Party to be supplanted.


¶ The most intriguing part of Poets & Writers‘s interview with Sarah McNally, the owner of McNally-Jackson Books, is her take on Chinese booksellers — which is also a take on herself. (Ms McNally was recently a member of a delegation of American booksellers that paid an official visit to — or was in any case officially received in — China.)


¶ Joshua Brown reports that there are no televisions at his investment management firm, Fusion Analytics. That’s the rule there, and the Reformed Broker can’t believe he managed without it. Which is great for him. When will everyone else in money management realize that television is an obscenely powerful herder?

Have A Look

Obituaries for literary magazines. (HTMLGiant)

Plan to fill in the East River — from years ago. (Strange Maps)

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