In the News 06.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 06.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 06.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 06.11.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Twenty Years Later, Everything Is The Truman Show

Two decades ago, The Truman Show seemed preposterous. “We would laugh about how unrealistic some of it seemed,” said co-star Laura Linney, remembering conversations the cast and crew would have on the film’s Seaside, Florida set. “We couldn’t quite believe that someone would want to tape themselves, so that people could tune in and watch what was considered at the time to be mundane, and see that as entertainment.”

“By no means did I think that this movie was going to be prescient,” agreed Sherry Lansing, who oversaw the production of over 200 films—including The Truman Show—during her tenure as C.E.O. of Paramount. “That suddenly, we were going to have all these reality shows—the Kardashians, The Real Housewives. When I watch reality television and people who live in front of the camera—there are many now who do—I wonder how much of this is real, how much of it is just because they’re in front of the camera. Do they really know themselves? But every time I watch one, I think of Truman.” Screenwriter Andrew Niccol echoed her: “When you know there is a camera, there is no reality,” he said. In that respect, Truman Burbank “is the only genuine reality star.”

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair

First Canada Tried to Charm Trump.
Now It’s Fighting Back.


The Canadians could see the trouble looming in the summer of 2016. Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s trade minister at the time, found herself, along with millions of Canadians, fixated on the unfolding United States presidential election, and it was becoming impossible to overlook the gathering clouds of protectionism. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were each casting aspersions upon Nafta as if it were self-evidently a bad deal for American workers, especially for the hollowed-out working and middle classes in the Midwestern states, like Ohio and Michigan, that would decide the election. Incredibly, at least according to Trump, America’s seemingly benign and milquetoast northern neighbor was an economic predator taking advantage of its naïve neighbor; America was the victim and Canada the villain.

American ignorance about Canada has long been a fact of life — and an eye-rolling joke — for Canadians. But with the election of Trump, Americans’ lack of knowledge suddenly appeared to the inner circle of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to be a geopolitical threat. What was most troubling was less that Trump lacked a sophisticated understanding of Canada-United States relations but that he apparently deliberately didn’t care to develop one. He seemed to treat facts as negotiating tools, as if conducting diplomacy with an ally was the same as a brass-knuckled, zero-sum Manhattan real estate transaction. At a closed-door fund-raiser, Trump bragged about this tactic, gleefully recounting a White House meeting with Trudeau in which he insisted, against Trudeau’s protestations, that American had a trade deficit with Canada. “I didn’t even know,” Trump told the crowd. “I had no idea.” He then doubled down on his fact-challenged assertion via tweet: “P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S. (negotiating), but they do … they almost all do … and that’s how I know!”

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

How WeWork Became The Most Hyped Startup In The World

On a Thursday morning in March, a group of young professionals file through the security gates of a co-working space in Moorgate, tapping their membership cards as they enter. Receptionists greet them cheerily, sometimes by name, welcoming them into a large, wood-floored communal lounge. A mural on the back wall, painted pink and peach and blue, proclaims: “Make It Happen!”

The space belongs to WeWork, a US company that provides shared workspaces and offices to startups, freelancers and, increasingly, global corporations. WeWork’s model is simple: it takes on large commercial leases, does the space up in its signature style of hip decor and prosecco on tap, then rents it out in smaller chunks and on shorter terms.

Read the rest of this article at: Wired


What Are We?

‘If there’s one theme in all my work it’s about authenticity and self-expression,’ said the philosopher Bernard Williams in an interview with The Guardian in 2002. Authenticity was already an influential cultural ideal during Williams’s lifetime (he was born in 1929 and died in 2003) but it has become only more so since. What is more familiar and compelling than the injunction to be true to oneself, to keep it real? Williams explored the force and appeal of this ideal, and his work still helps us makes sense of it. But, as he was also keenly aware, being true to yourself can be dangerous.

In his essay ‘Moral Luck’ (1976), Williams discusses Paul Gauguin’s decision to leave Paris in order to move to Tahiti where he hoped he could become a great painter. Gauguin left behind – basically abandoned – his wife and children. This was on the face of it a very selfish thing to do, and you might think that Gauguin’s action was morally indefensible. Williams, however, thinks that Gauguin’s eventual success as a painter constitutes a form of moral luck, in that his artistic achievement justifies what he did. It provides a justification that not everyone will accept, but one that can make sense to Gauguin himself, and perhaps to others. ‘Look,’ we can imagine Gauguin saying to himself, ‘I was right … I knew I had it in me.’

Williams imagines Gauguin to be conflicted. He also freely admits, however, that his ‘Gauguin’ is not necessarily true in all details to the historical French artist. Williams introduces Gauguin as a useful prop in a thought experiment designed to explore the role that authenticity, achievement and luck play in justification. Williams also just assumes, for the purposes of argument, that Gauguin did in fact succeed, which is to say that Gauguin did create valuable art, and that this art was a great expression of his gifts as a painter.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

Anthony Bourdain’s Moveable Feast


When the President of the United States travels outside the country, he brings his own car with him. Moments after Air Force One landed at the Hanoi airport last May, President Barack Obama ducked into an eighteen-foot, armor-plated limousine—a bomb shelter masquerading as a Cadillac—that was equipped with a secure link to the Pentagon and with emergency supplies of blood, and was known as the Beast. Hanoi’s broad avenues are crowded with honking cars, storefront venders, street peddlers, and some five million scooters and motorbikes, which rush in and out of the intersections like floodwaters. It was Obama’s first trip to Vietnam, but he encountered this pageant mostly through a five-inch pane of bulletproof glass. He might as well have watched it on TV.

Obama was scheduled to meet with President Trần Đại Quang, and with the new head of Vietnam’s national assembly. On his second night in Hanoi, however, he kept an unusual appointment: dinner with Anthony Bourdain, the peripatetic chef turned writer who hosts the Emmy-winning travel show “Parts Unknown,” on CNN. Over the past fifteen years, Bourdain has hosted increasingly sophisticated iterations of the same program. Initially, it was called “A Cook’s Tour,” and aired on the Food Network. After shifting to the Travel Channel, it was renamed “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” and it ran for nine seasons before moving to CNN, in 2013. All told, Bourdain has travelled to nearly a hundred countries and has filmed two hundred and forty-eight episodes, each a distinct exploration of the food and culture of a place. The secret ingredient of the show is the when-in-Rome avidity with which Bourdain partakes of indigenous custom and cuisine, whether he is pounding vodka before plunging into a frozen river outside St. Petersburg or spearing a fatted swine as the guest of honor at a jungle longhouse in Borneo. Like a great white shark, Bourdain tends to be photographed with his jaws wide open, on the verge of sinking his teeth into some tremulous delicacy. In Bourdain’s recollection, his original pitch for the series was, roughly, “I travel around the world, eat a lot of shit, and basically do whatever the fuck I want.” The formula has proved improbably successful.

People often ask Bourdain’s producers if they can tag along on an escapade. On a recent visit to Madagascar, he was accompanied by the film director Darren Aronofsky. (A fan of the show, Aronofsky proposed to Bourdain that they go somewhere together. “I kind of jokingly said Madagascar, just because it’s the farthest possible place,” he told me. “And Tony said, ‘How’s November?’ ”) A ride-along with Bourdain promises the sidekick an experience that, in this era of homogenized tourism, is all too rare: communion with a foreign culture so unmitigated that it feels practically intravenous. Parachuted into any far-flung corner of the planet, Bourdain ferrets out the restaurant, known only to discerning locals, where the grilled sardines or the pisco sours are divine. Often, he insinuates himself into a private home where the meal is even better. He is a lively dining companion: a lusty eater and a quicksilver conversationalist. “He’s got that incredibly beautiful style when he talks that ranges from erudite to brilliantly slangy,” his friend Nigella Lawson observed. Bourdain is a font of unvarnished opinion, but he also listens intently, and the word he uses perhaps more than any other is “interesting,” which he pronounces with four syllables and only one “t”: in-ner-ess-ting.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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