Roger Federer stands 6ft 1in, but he must feel like he’s taken a walk in the valley of the giants. Holy cow, just look at the other guys left in his quarter of the draw. Kevin Anderson, his next opponent, is 6ft 8in, while the two other quarter-finalists are John Isner (6ft 10in) and Milos Raonic (6ft 5in).
—Nick Bollettieri, in The Independent
Does the world have too many writers, or not enough? What about comparative literature professors? How should we think about the future of literary culture when the written word is becoming so much more culturally dominant at the same time as books and journalism are falling apart?
What variable are we changing at the margin? If people watch less TV and write more, that is probably a plus. I also would favour fewer photographs and more writing. But I wouldn’t cut back on charity to increase the quantity of writing. If only comparative literature professors were people who simply loved books — at the margin a bit more like used book store owners and somewhat less like professors — and would compare them to each other…then I would want more of them. Until then, I don’t know how to keep the extra ones busy.
—Tyler Cowen in Theo asks, and I intersperse my answers
I loved this (underlined) bit. Merely evaluating ‘change’ can be too broad, too subjective to whims. Evaluating variables that are changing at ‘the margin’, is a way better approach.
We had been sailing across the Aegean in a small wooden sloop, heading for the harbour at the northern end of Kythnos, but were blown so far off course by the Meltemi that we almost missed the island altogether. Having just managed to claw our way around its southern tip into the shelter of a providential cove, we rode out an anxious night and awoke to rosy-fingered dawn and a perfect sandy bay. There was not a soul in sight. But the beach was not empty. In the shade of a tin shelter on driftwood stilts, occasionally strolling into the sea for a dip and a roll in the shallows, lolled a dozen ample sows. I hope those pigs still have the beach to themselves.
—Roger Deakin, in Swimming
“I think success is the best revenge — and silence, as a presence,” she said. “When I chose to change my future, my life, I was like, ‘Where’s the one place I can find silence?’”
—Lindsay Lohan, in this NYT post
I love that phrase – silence is the best presence. Few people realise the value of it. Even fewer achieve it. My best wishes to Lindsey.
Continue reading Silence, the best presence
“It’s horrible how mismanaged most Silicon Valley companies are in capital.
Microsoft always wanted to have a lot of cash on hand. Apple had no cash 15 years ago in 2000. Who did the most innovation? The cash does not help. The cash insolates you in a bad way. It’s a bad thing that companies store cash.”
—Reed Hastings (Netflix), to John Doerr (KPCB)
“everything is tough” and you can grit your way through it and come out the other side, battle-tested, and with rings on your fingers
—Fred Wilson, paraphrasing Brad Stevens, in Paying Your Dues – AVC