Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Why I blog:

I believe that boredom is the result of a lack of personal meaning, and that this is to a great extent is due precisely to the fact that all objects and actions come to us fully coded while we - as the descendants of Romanticism - insist on a personal meaning.

- Lars Svendsen, A Philosophy of Boredom
For a Baroque affect, please go check this out (via Crooked Timber). The "Behaves So Strangely" segment should inspire, in anyone, a sense of wonder about the world, or more precisely, your brain and the strange work it does on your behalf to make the world something meaningful. Before accusing me of espousing un relativisme with respect to the world, just a friendly reminder about the universality of the effect demonstrated in the above clip. We all hear what happens, don't we? If you don't, I'm sure Dr. Deutsch would be very interested in hearing from you! It's a win-win situation!


For my Italian-speaking readers, the inimitable Tyler Brûlé recommended what surely must be the most expensive newspaper per page in the world - Italy's Il Foglio. Coming in at an average of one folded broadsheet, it's loaded with insightful opinion, and as Brûlé says, could point the way of the future for newspapers. I for one, would love something like this in Toronto, a daily morning briefing, crammed with great, intelligent writing.

I dislike big, artery-clogging newspapers, and this slim, elegant approach seems perfect to me. Sure it costs as much as the Corriere Della Sera, but honestly, how many of you make it through the entire Globe, Star or National Post? (I assume none of my readers peruse the Sun dailies, except perhaps for anthropological reasons.)

I'd also be happy to pay a premium to get better content than 24 and Metro, Toronto's free dailies, as they are little more than newswire stories strung together with advertising. A Foglio-like broadsheet would be like your favourite online essayists (or bloggers, if you will), and a spot of the major news stories of the day, in a highly manageable package that one could take on the subway or streetcar, listening to whatever it is people listen to these days on their iPods.

And guess what? They let you download the paper for free later in the day!

Who's up for getting something like this off the ground? Any takers, please? Ken Alexander?

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