Tag Archives: New York Review of Books

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* There are 500 demonstrations per day in China. (Courtesy: New York Review of Books)

* The Chinese pioneered goldfish. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

* There’s no obvious way to get around the new USPS requirement to enter a destination address into a computer system to mail a package. (Courtesy: Personal experience)

* At least some USPS employees deny the existence of the Mail Isolation and Tracking system. (Courtesy: Personal experience)

Open Source Services Model in Fashion History

Caveat emptor, I am mostly ignorant of this tidbit from The Cut of Coco by Anka Muhlstein in New York Review of Books: Chanel’s approach reminds me of the services and add-on model to open-source offerings in the software sector:

Far from being upset, she immediately saw the advantage of being copied as a form of free publicity, especially for her perfumes. Once she returned home, she organized a private runway presentation in London and specified in the invitations that her guests were welcome to bring their dressmakers, who would be free to make sketches and take notes. This innovation underscored not only Chanel’s intelligence but also her ambition.

Stephen Breyer on why You should Study the Humanities

Here’s an excellent explanation as to the value of the humanities from a NYRoB interview of Justice Stephen Breyer:

It’s true, I’ve always thought that it was not particularly useful to study law as an undergrad. We are only allowed to live one life: it’s the human condition, there’s no escaping it. In my view, only by studying the humanities can we hope to escape this fundamental limitation and understand how other people live. Because literature, history, or philosophy all provide extraordinary windows on the world. Foreign languages, too, are fundamental.