‘power of the moment’

The central work on the program was Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, which had never yet been recorded. Sound engineers from EMI in London had come over for the occasion to document this performance for posterity.

Led by Bruno Walter, who had been Mahler’s assistant as a young man, the symphony commenced, a strange universe consisting of tentative beginnings, torn intermezzi, intemperate outbursts, savage irony, and sadness. The audience knew of the symbolic power of the moment, and for some among them the Sunday (concert series) ritual became a kind of communion with something much greater and more important. When at the beginning of the last movement, the strings launched with one huge heaving musical sigh into their passionately ruminative chorale theme, some members of the audience recognized the hymn Mahler had used: “Abide by Me.”

The members of the audience went their separate ways knowing that they had partaken in something extraordinary. They could not possibly know that with this concert they had been present at the end of an era, that the people composing the audience would never again come together quite like this, that many of them would soon be dispersed around the world, or dead.

-Philipp Blom Fracture: Life and Culture in the West, 1918-1938 (2015)



Sesame Ventures isn’t designed to contribute revenue to the Workshop—there’s hope that the HBO deal has helped secure the TV show’s future. Rather, Sesame Ventures is its own entity, which the Sesame Workshop wants to succeed on both Silicon Valley’s terms—as an investment vehicle that funds ambitious projects—and in terms of the Workshop’s traditional mission. That is, Sesame Ventures anticipates helping the Workshop to approach digital technology in the same experimental spirit with which it once approached TV, and to prepare it for future technological shifts.

-Adrienne Raphel ‘Inside the venture-capital arm of ‘Sesame Street’” The New Yorker


A distinction is sometimes made between the American civilians killed in those terror attacks and the American soldiers killed in wars before and after. But in many ways they seem the same. They were all civilians at some stage, they were all citizens in the end, and they were all killed in conflicts over the same liberties.

The more we assign the soldiering to a select few volunteers—we don’t have an equalizing draft and there is no required national service—perhaps the easier it is to forget what it means to share a common citizenship or feel a sense of indebtedness or appreciation. If we no longer share in the service, risk and obligation, maybe that explains why many of us no longer observe Memorial Day.

Nowadays we’re just trying to be practical. We use the time to go shopping.

-John Bussey ‘How Can We Return to the Roots of Memorial Day?‘ The Wall Street Journal


As soon as you begin to live the life of faith in God, fascinating and physically gratifying possibilities will open up before you. These things are yours by right, but if you are living the life of faith you will exercise your right to waive your rights, and let God make your choice for you.

-Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest

‘the choices that you make today matter’

Live each day as if you will live forever. That means, first and foremost, that you should treat the people around you as if they too will be around for a very long time to come. The choices that you make today matter, because their consequences will grow greater and greater.

-Peter Thiel via Kif Leswing in Business Insider

Admittedly, it is a bit hard to defend Gawker Media. I often disagree with Gawker’s news judgment, and it has routinely published items over the years that crossed the line of good taste. I’ve been on the other side of Gawker’s critical pen, and it is not fun. Even so, I believe in a free press, and that means freedom of speech for Gawker’s brand of journalism.

Mr. Denton does too, but he also would like to see more transparency on the financial side. As for the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, “it’s a big case that involves the balance of power between public figures and the press,” he said. “I think it’s in the public’s interest and the media interest for the motives of people on both sides to be out there.”

It would be great to know the answer.

-Andrew Ross Sorkin ‘Gawker Founder Suspects a Common Financier Behind Lawsuits‘ The New York Times