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I drove along the A45, I had her up to 58
This week: The Da Vinci myth, the truth about Trump, and the rise of the murder machine.
(Shorter than usual because I've been busy on a book proposal)
This week a Da Vinci painting of disputed authenticity and doubtful quality was sold for $400m at Christies. I found this brief and waspish commentary on the mechanics and meaning of the deal absolutely fascinating. Here is an educational and elegantly done primer on on Da Vinci's art, from Jonathan Jones of the Guardian. See also a piece I did for The Economist's 1843 magazine (formerly Intelligent Life) a few years ago, on why the Mona Lisa is so popular. It contains some clues as to why Da Vinci - a great painter but probably not of the very top rank - is still the biggest deal in the world.
THE FIRST BOT PRESIDENT
Something has been bugging me about the idea that Trump is more "real" than other politicians. To me he seems oddly inhuman. So I wrote about it.
WE SEE DEAD PEOPLE
Why is it OK to exhibit Egyptian mummies and not Native American bones? The politics of human remains.
Excellent, endlessly interesting interview with Tyler Cowen, one of the very best minds around, and someone who is just a great model of how to think, and how to live. From the excellent Longform series (they are very good interviewers).
In fact I mention TC here, in this (mercifully short) interview with me conducted by Robert Cottrell, founder and editor of the indispensable The Browser, the best bit of the internet.
"In the first four years after World War I, more Americans died in car accidents than had been killed during the war." One of the many things this piece made me reflect on was that our worries about the safety of self-driving cars seem out of proportion when compared to the the human-driven automobile - or "murder machine" as it's called here.
There's just nothing not to like about this story.
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