“The restaurant was once a place for men, a place where men ate, held court, cooked, boasted and swaggered, and wooed women. The recipe book was traditionally ‘feminine’: the kitchen was the place where women cooked, supervised, gave orders, made brownies, to steady and domesticate men. In the myth-world of the nineteenth century, the restaurant existed to coax women into having sex; the recipe book to coax men into staying home.” ~ Adam Gopnik”—The Best Food Books of 2011 | Brain Pickings
“The Internet is dispatching everything in our globalised mega-city. People are essentially wearing the Internet, eating it, hearing it, talking about it all the time, because everything is like a symptom of an Internet driven society. It’s really obvious, though it’s not the main attraction in FSV’s story. FSV is a still life. Everybody’s music sounds like the Internet right now, from Top 40 to underground. Fashion looks like the Internet. It’s this weird impressionism that everything embodies. I think there will be more and more artwork resembling this. Digital clarity has given us another perspective on humanism.”—The Quietus | Features | Escape Velocity | Adventures On The Far Side: An Interview With James Ferraro
“The odd thing is that all this techno-utopianism came from men who would struggle to order a book off Amazon. Alistair Campbell tells a story about how Blair got his first-ever mobile phone after stepping down as prime minister in 2007. His first text to Campbell read: “This is amazing, you can send words on a phone.”—Why doesn’t Britain make things any more? | Business | The Guardian
Further reflection revealed that it’s quite impractical—nearly impossible—to make a cheeseburger from scratch. Tomatoes are in season in the late summer. Lettuce is in season in the fall. Mammals are slaughtered in early winter. The process of making such a burger would take nearly a year, and would inherently involve omitting some core cheeseburger ingredients. It would be wildly expensive—requiring a trio of cows—and demand many acres of land. There’s just no sense in it.
A cheeseburger cannot exist outside of a highly developed, post-agrarian society. It requires a complex interaction between a handful of vendors—in all likelihood, a couple of dozen—and the ability to ship ingredients vast distances while keeping them fresh.
“Information analysts IDC claim that the internet doubles in size every eighteen months. That means that something like 988 exabytes of additional data appeared on the net in the year prior to my typing these words. This is about eighteen million times the information in all the books ever written, which we can hazily estimate is about 55 terabytes of book. Although if you were to take into account all printed material ever, you’d hit about 200 petabytes of information, according to Wikipedia’s information charts.”—Warren Ellis » GUEST INFORMANT: Jim Rossignol
“self-knowledge is surprisingly useless. Teaching people about the hazards of multitasking doesn’t lead to less texting in the car; learning about the weakness of the will doesn’t increase the success of diets; knowing that most people are overconfident about the future doesn’t make us more realistic. The problem isn’t that we’re stupid—it’s that we’re so damn stubborn.”—The Book Bench: Is Self-Knowledge Overrated? : The New Yorker