Quote of the day

"The neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions"
— Thomas Szasz

Host

From the archives. Profile of John Ziegler, Los Angeles talk-show radio host. “Ziegler is not a journalist — he is an entertainer. He is part of a peculiar, modern, and very popular type of news industry, one that manages to enjoy the authority and influence of journalism without the stodgy constraints of fairness, objectivity, and responsibility that make trying to tell the truth such a drag for everyone involved” (14,300 words)

Living In A Trailer

Travel diary. “I moved on down to Albuquerque. I was coming more and more under the influence of the resort type of trailering, with its seasonal rhythms, north in the summer and south in the winter. Consequently, I was thrown more and more with the resort type of trailerite. These are older people, usually retired. They have to be retired, or else engaged in a work they can carry with, them, to be able to move around like that” (4,530 words)

IBM’s Robot Chef Tells Me What To Cook

Food writer cooks dishes devised by IBM’s artificial intelligence engine, Watson. You tell Watson what you have around the kitchen and Watson mashes a recipe. In brief: It’s never bad, and sometimes it’s amazing. “I fully expected to throw this meal away. That’s all before I ate two of the pizzas. They taste like nothing on earth. The addition of Comté cheese and chives is the sort of genius/absurdity that makes people into millionaires” (2,670 words)

Elon Musk, Stubborn Jerk

Ashlee Vance’s “riveting” biography portrays Elon Musk as an “egomaniacal, stubborn jerk”; a “confrontational know-it-all”; a man “unethical in business and vicious in his personal attacks”. In sum, “Musk sounds almost unbearably difficult to work or live with”. Comparisons with Steve Jobs are inevitable, and, for once, justified. The moral seems to be that if you can change the world, you don’t have to change yourself (1,080 words)

How Things Break Pick of the day

The story behind “the greatest sports photo of all time” — Neil Leifer’s shot of Muhammad Ali towering over a supine Sonny Liston on May 25th 1965. Leifer had one shot that night, and he got it. But the image is not all it seems. We think we see Ali triumphant. But Ali is frustrated, urging Liston to get up. He thinks Liston has taken a dive and is throwing the fight. Which may well be so. If there was a knockout punch, nobody saw it (4,600 words)

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