2023-08-30 Links

Daily Reads:

Hilariously self-loathing ads in the London Review of Books. I spent a lot of time on this

Bertrand Russell "In Praise of Idleness": what is work? Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid. The second kind is capable of indefinite extension: there are not only those who give orders but those who give advice as to what orders should be given. Usually two opposite kinds of advice are given simultaneously by two different bodies of men; this is called politics. The skill required for this kind of work is not knowledge of the subjects as to which advice is given, but knowledge of the art of persuasive speaking and writing, i.e. of advertising.

Mathias Sundin: Three steps to become a fact-based optimist

Ed Brenegar: Where Leadership Starts For many their genuine contribution as leaders happens outside of their job. They, too, are invisible, except to those whose lives are changed by their acts of leadership initiative.

Automattic announced a 100-year hosting plan for $38,000. I wonder who is this actually for?

Catching up on Ben Werdmuller: AI in the newsroom: the hard sell was an article I had to share with several colleagues. Homesick was an article I had to share with my daughter.

Scott Eblin: How to be someone’s best boss ever

SK Ventures with more provocation: AI isn’t good enough is a startling headline, and the nuanced prediction is worth a read, particularly about the ‘so-so automation’ which I see aplenty at work.

Werner Herzog interviewing Michael Perry a week out from his execution.


You will see that the most powerful and highly placed men let drop remarks in which they long for leisure, acclaim it, and prefer it to all their blessings. They desire at times, if it could be with safety, to descend from their high pinnacle; for, though nothing from without should assail or shatter, Fortune of its very self comes crashing down. – Seneca


The Best of Baroque Music is keeping me company on my reading.