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Monday, August 22, 2016

How Nostalgia Drives The Music Industry, by Hua Hsu, New Yorker

We’ve grown accustomed to the baby-boomer-fuelled regularity of Rolling Stones reunion tours, but the return of bands like Dinosaur Jr. is a reminder of how yearning for the past shapes pop history, even for generations who once thought they were too cool for it.

A Once-Declining British Resort Town Sees New Life, Post-Brexit, by Steven Erlanger, New York Times

Many of the old bed-and-breakfast inns along the city’s seafront had either deteriorated or shut, the attractions had faded and become dated, and young people had stayed away. Even the two main political parties in Britain, which often came to Blackpool for yearly conferences, stopped coming in 2007.

Now the city is trying to reinvent itself as a seaside resort for the modern age. It also hopes to take advantage of a possible consequence of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union: an increase in the number of Britons who choose not to vacation abroad.

The Euro And Its Threat To The Future Of Europe By Joseph Stiglitz – Review, by John Kampfner, The Guardian

t’s two months since Britain’s worst foreign policy blunder of the modern era and it still rankles. The vote to take us out of the European Union was not about economics, less still diplomacy; it was a collective act of myopia, distrust, arrogance and fury. It was about emotions, negative ones; and behaviour is something that economists struggle to capture.

Joseph Stiglitz does better than most. For years the former chief economist at the World Bank and adviser to President Clinton has been inveighing against the rise in inequality and unaccountable elites. In his latest book, he returns to one of his pet hates, the single currency project of the Brussels establishment, and sets about disembowelling it.

A Doubter’s Almanac By Ethan Canin – Review, by Anita Sethi, The Guardian

Doubt battles with certainty throughout the engrossing seventh book from US novelist and short-story writer Ethan Canin, which explores the tortured mind of a mathematical genius and the blessing and burden of being gifted. “If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things,” wrote Descartes. Doubting makes Milo Andret an excellent mathematician, adept at questioning received wisdom, but we read in horror as he becomes consumed by crippling self-doubt.