A Ruffian Catch-Up
In Case You Missed...
Next week I’ll be in the Scottish Highlands with my family. I haven’t been for many years, which is, of course, stupid of me. Here in London we live within a few hours of one of the most sublime and alien landscapes in the world, a region marinated in history, and we think ho, hum, maybe next year.
We’ll be travelling on the sleeper train. One of my best travel memories is going to sleep to the rocking of the rails and waking up in a completely different world, almost a different planet, as if I’d dreamed it into existence. Of course, given the state of the rail system, it’s possible we’ll wake to the awesome majesty of Euston Station.
Before I go I thought I’d provide a catch-up service: a sample of recent editions from recent weeks. I know that even with my favourite newsletters I miss editions because I’ve got too many damn emails or too much to read elsewhere, so they lie deep in my in-box, reproaching me. If that’s happened to you with the Ruffian, or if you’re a new joiner, you should find this useful.
Last week’s (actually this week’s) was about me and Martin Amis (free to read). Bonus pic below (this was after I’d seen him talk for the first time. He was promoting a new book, I’m not sure which, possibly Night Train, but I was a student and didn’t feel I could afford a hardback. He said “I understand”. I know, great anecdote.
The Two Creatures Inside Us - this is about one of life’s fundamental trade-offs. Lots of people have told me they loved this one and found it really useful in thinking about work and life. It’s mostly paywalled but I think you’ll find the Ruffian’s modest fee worth it.
The Happiness Paradox - this one’s about two different types of happiness and why we still have trouble reconciling them, by way of the two best US TV shows, Succession and White Lotus. Includes details of some fascinating research on the relative happiness of men and women. Most of this is behind the paywall which have I mentioned is EXTREMELY GOOD VALUE?
Really interesting Flashpoints conversation with an expert on knife crime - why is it rising, and is stop-and-search the answer? Some free, some paywalled.
The Tortoise - my take on the personality of Labour’s leader Keir Starmer. Even if you’re not into politics you’ll find it interesting on the psychology of leadership. Free.
What Machines Don’t Know - why AI will make the humanities more important, with help from Iris Murdoch (I’ll be returning to this theme soon). I’ll pair that with Answer Machines which is about why AI will increase the value of good questions. This last one I’m temporarily taking out from behind the paywall as a special gift just because I’m in a holiday mood.
Do feel free to share any or all of these widely. And if you haven’t yet taken out a paid subscription, please do!
After the jump - things I’ve been enjoying this week.
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