• I’m pleased to see that Minnesota-based climate journalist & scientist Eric Holthaus, my favorite writer from the soon-to-be-shuttered slow news site The Correspondent, has started his own Substack newsletter, The Phoenix.

  • 2020 strikes again. I was a Correspondent subscriber from its US launch, and greatly valued the “unbreaking news” approach to important issues. I’ll miss the thoughtful, deeper dives it championed.

    The Correspondent will stop publishing on 1 January 2021. | The Correspondent

  • In the end is my beginning.

    I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
    For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
    For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
    But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
    Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
    So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

    — T.S. Eliot, “East Coker”

  • I can’t choose a favorite between Lax & Szymborska, but no one could write this as she did:

    Beyond the reach
    of our presence.

    In the paradise lost
    of probability.

    Somewhere else.
    Somewhere else.
    How these little words ring.

    — Wisława Szymborska, “The Railroad Station”

  • Apt night reading:

    This is the use of memory:
    For liberation - not less of love but expanding
    Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
    From the future as well as the past.

    — T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

  • I’m working on a longform piece on this, but my non-expert reading of Justice Department publications on federal election fraud suggest the President & Postmaster General should be charged with fraud. I hope the House & states’ Attorneys General are ready for a fight.

  • What a difference a decade makes.

  • It took COVID-19 to get me to subscribe to Apple News+; I wonder how many people have done the same. My month-long drew trial ends in a couple weeks. Its UI is mediocre; the content is…fine.

  • Her uncle is reading her Brian Floca’s wonderful Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11. She looks up & says:

    “I don’t want to go to outer space because I’m still a little kid.”

  • After several years away, I’m contemplating renewing my lapsed subscriptions to The Atlantic and the New Yorker. I have a yo-yo relationship with both of these publications; I wish they had peers with greater interest in the cultural & social institutions of the Midwest.

  • Is it evening reading time yet?

  • My Kindle Keyboard turns nine this month. It’s not perfect, but its designers got plenty right. Its weight-saving materials & size limit fatigue. Physical buttons allow me to read & hold hands at the same time. I hope device makers occasionally revisit these old designs.

  • Without prompting, my daughter brought out her cardboard box “spaceship” today. She hasn’t played with it in months, & we haven’t talked about today’s significance. She did this on her own.

    We’ll be reading some Evoloterra-themed books this evening before bedtime.

  • It’s been quite some time since I have felt such revulsion for an “author” as I am experiencing with Bill Browder, whose Red Notice pushes just about all of my buttons. His criticisms of Putin have merit, but to describe the him as an “imperfect vessel” would gild the lily.

  • My Kindle Keyboard is still going strong nearing its ninth birthday. Kept in airplane mode, the battery life’s decent. The UI’s mediocre, but physical page-turn buttons are great. The reading light disturbs others. A refurbished Oasis is enticing; is an upgrade worth it?

  • Delayed Gratification readers: Would you recommend the journal to a curious non-subscriber? How well does the slow news approach work in practice? What have you most appreciated about the journal? How’s focus balanced between UK & world news?

  • Although I’m reading more than ever before, it often feels like I’m understanding less.

    This piece from New Yorker editor Michael Luo describes both why I supported The Correspondent & prefer the local free alt-weekly.

    The Urgent Quest for Slower, Better News | New Yorker

  • If I’m writing a book I tend to secrecy, but when I’m translating one I’ll rope in anyone useful. My plumber provided diagrams when I was working on a short story about a piece of jewellery lost in an S-bend.

    Between worlds: in praise of the literary translator | Prospect

  • As if on cue, the new issue of Jacobin arrived in today’s mail.

  • I just re-upped my annual subscription to The Athletic. I’m happy to support a publisher that:

    • pays excellent writers a fair wage,
    • doesn’t deluge me in privacy-invading ads, &
    • embraces modern technology.

    I want newspapers to survive, but they only manage 1/3 at best.

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