Monthly Archives: November 2018

Bertrand Russell on Bernard Shaw and wit as a substitute for wisdom

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Bertrand Russell on why he never spoke to Bernard Shaw ever again

George Bernard Shaw was much overrated, except as a playwright.

Utopia - you are standing in it!

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Rivera by Andrea Kettenmann (1997)

Books & Boots

The German art publishers Taschen recently repackaged their Basic Art range into a standardised, large, hardback format, retailing at £10. Each volume in the series focuses on one famous painter or art movement.

The attraction of Taschen editions is that the text is factual, accurate and sensible, and the books have lots of good quality colour reproductions. Even if you don’t bother to read the text, you will be able to skim though plenty of paintings, alongside photos where relevant, of the artist or movement being discussed. The text of this one was written (as usual) in Germany, back in 1997, then translated into English.

Rivera’s life story is brilliantly told in the imaginative, sardonic and whimsical Dreaming With His Eyes Open: A Life of Diego Rivera by journalist Patrick Marnham, published in 1998, so not much in the text surprised me, although, being much shorter, it had the effect…

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Sweden Not a Socialist Success

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The History of Oceania: Every Year

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Roman emperors did not like creative destruction

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Brendan O’Neill on the singling out of Israel for Leftist opprobrium

Why Evolution Is True

This well-argued Spectator piece by Brendan O’Neill is behind a paywall, but I’ve put some excerpts from it below.  His argument, with which I happen to agree, is that the singling out of Israel among all states for special opprobrium by the Left reflects anti-Semitism constantly disguised with the euphemism “anti-Zionism.” As you’ll see in the excerpts below, O’Neill answers some Leftist arguments for why Israel deserves to be singled out, and, at the end, he argues that the hysterical anti-Israel sentiment of the Left may be responsible for the rise in anti-Semitism in the West.

Some excerpts:

Airbnb has taken the extraordinary decision to stop advertising homes for rent in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. It is extraordinary because Airbnb still advertises places to stay in Tibet, a place many Tibetans consider to be unjustly dominated by China. And in Crimea, recently annexed by Russia. And in Northern…

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Patton to Ike on the death camps

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Oldest World Maps

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Pinker interviewed in New York Times

Why Evolution Is True

For a bit of a digestif this Thanksgiving, have a look at a new interview of Steve Pinker in the New York Times. As it emphasizes the progressivism I’ve described on this site before, you might not learn much new, but you will find out whether he intends to run for office, how his work on the world’s improvement has changed him personally, why people still reject Pinker’s progressivism despite copious data in its favor, and, as the interviewer asks, “Does it matter that some things are improving if other things are getting worse?” (What a question!)

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