His start in politics was accidental. Last year, he ran for student-union president unopposed and ended up in an advisory role on the New York City Department of Education’s panel for educational policy. He assumed that he would actually get to influence the decision-making. “But the students were more like props,” he said. Annoyed, he proposed a bill to beef up students’ role on the panel, which is one of his campaign issues.

–Laura Parker “Teen-Ager Tries to Unseat New York State Senator, When He Isn’t Smashing Laptops: Stuyvesant’s Tahseen Chowdhury is looking beyond high school.” The New Yorker



When a child first catches adults out — when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just — his world falls into panic desolation.

–John Steinbeck East of Eden

millions and millions

In recent years, as competition for donations of money and art has increased, the Met has sought to keep up with expanding museums in New York like the Museum of Modern Art, now in the midst of a major renovation, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, which recently opened a new home in Manhattan’s meatpacking district, where it is drawing large crowds.

Over the last 13 years, even as Met attendance has soared from 4.7 million visitors to 7 million, the museum has seen a steep decline in the proportion of visitors who pay the full suggested amount, from 63 percent to 17 percent.

Met admission fees provide 14 percent of its $305 million operating budget, or $43 million, which Mr. Weiss said puts the Met at the low end among its peers. That figure is expected to increase to 16 or 17 percent — or $49 million — with the policy change.

–Robin Pogrebinj “Met Changes 50-Year Admissions Policy: Non-New Yorkers Must Pay” The New York Times


In these times Christianity is relatively less spoken of (in relationship, I mean, to what otherwise is talked about so much). But in the talk which is heard (for the attacks are in no way a discussion of Christianity), it is not infrequent that Christianity is presented in a certain almost enervated form of coddling love. It is always love, love; spare yourself and your flesh and blood; have pleasant days or delightful days without self-made cares, for God is love, love — of strenuousness nothing must be heard; everything must be the easy talk and easy nature of love. But understood in this way, God’s love easily becomes a fanciful and childish conception, the form of Christ too mild and mawkish for it to be true that he was and is a stumbling block to the Jews, to the Greeks foolishness: it is as if Christianity were in a second childhood.

The matter is very simple. Christianity has abandoned the Jewish like-for-like.

Soren Kierkegaard Works of Love


I would say that one of the other reasons for our news addiction is ego. Facebook and news publishers understand how much of our identity is tied up in this consumption and that’s what they manipulate. It’s this need to be seen as well informed. We have this great word now: virtue signalling. Knowing everything that’s going on in the world, having an opinion on these news stories, having the right opinion on these news stories, we believe says something about us. We want to be in the club of the elite, smart, informed intelligent, compassionate, interesting people. We don’t want to be on the side of the ignorant people or the people who have tuned out. These are what the publishers exploit.

–Ryan Holiday “Seriously, You—OK, We—Need To Stop Watching The News This Year” Observer

You really might as well wait for a weekly like the Economist to tell you what the net position is at the end of the week.

To follow the daily or hourly news cycle is the media equivalent of day-trading: it’s frenzied, pointless and usually unprofitable. I’d much rather read an item which just showed me the photos or documents. And if you’re going to write some text, take a position or explain something to me. Give me opinion or reference; just don’t pretend you’re providing news. That’s not news.

Nick Denton: What I Read (2011) The Atlantic