The Hundred-Year Marathon
China's ambition to become the world's dominant power has been there all along, virtually burned into the country's cultural DNA and hiding, as [Pillsbury] says, in plain sight... The author is correct to assert that China constitutes, by far, the biggest national challenge to America's position in the world today."--The Wall Street Journal
The Age of Chat
Earlier this spring, I took the bus to the Moscone Center, in downtown San Francisco, where almost thirty thousand people had gathered for the annual Game Developers Conference (G.D.C.), which I was attending as a journalist. I had spent the previous few months out on maternity leave, and I was glad to return to work, to have meetings, to temporarily exit the domestic sphere. Participating in public life felt incredible, almost psychedelic. I loved making small talk with the bus driver, and eavesdropping on strangers. “Conferences are back,” I heard one man say, sombrely, to another. As my bus pulled away, I saw that it was stamped, marvellously, with an advertisement for Taiwanese grouper. “Mild yet distinctive flavor,” the ad read. “Try lean and nutritious grouper tonight.”
The Startling Intimacy of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour
n the same way, and as a result we feel disconnected, adrift, lost. The mind-boggling inescapability of Taylor Swift’s latest endeavor—a sixty-date stadium romp known as the Eras Tour—offers one enormous exception. The tour recaps all ten of Swift’s studio albums, presenting each as an epoch, with its own elaborate sets, costumes, and vibes. (The scope of the show reinforces the hysterical demands on twenty-first-century pop stars: be something new every time you show up, or don’t show up at all.) Swift cancelled her previous tour, in 2020; the sweeping concept of this one, combined with the long delay to see her live again, guaranteed that the demand for tickets would be preposterously high. Ticketmaster bungled the rollout so badly that the company received a public talking-to from Swift herself. Not long afterward, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to investigate whether Live Nation Entertainment, which owns both Ticketmaster and many major concert venues, has an illegal monopoly. The tour, which concludes in November, could, by some foggy estimates, make Swift a billionaire.
The Defiance of Salman Rushdie
hen Salman Rushdie turned seventy-five, last summer, he had every reason to believe that he had outlasted the threat of assassination. A long time ago, on Valentine’s Day, 1989, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, declared Rushdie’s novel “The Satanic Verses” blasphemous and issued a fatwa ordering the execution of its author and “all those involved in its publication.” Rushdie, a resident of London, spent the next decade in a fugitive existence, under constant police protection. But after settling in New York, in 2000, he lived freely, insistently unguarded. He refused to be terrorized.
The Mysticism of Paul Simon
n January 15, 2019, Paul Simon dreamed that he was working on a piece called “Seven Psalms.” He got out of bed and scribbled the phrase—alliterative, ancient-feeling—into a spiral notebook. From then on, Simon periodically woke between 3:30 and 5 a.m. to jot down bits of language. Songwriters often speak about their work as a kind of channelling—the job is to be a steady antenna, prepared to receive strange signals. Some messages are more urgent than others. Simon started trying to make sense of what he was being told.
The message that popped up on my phone was a little shocking. It was late January 2020, and COVID-19 was hitting China hard. The note from my Chinese friend initially appeared to be analyzing the impact of the worsening crisis on the country’s GDP numbers. But there was more. He was trying to understand the rationale behind some of the Chinese government’s decisions and was troubled by what he saw. This was a system he knew from the inside out. Serving members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the Chinese Communist Party’s top decision-making body, had once been his dining companions. He understood the way they thought. And his conclusion was a dark one. It seemed to him that the Chinese leadership had reached a decision: if China was going to take a hit from the pandemic, the rest of the world should too.
cover of Maybe, inside page with girl and piglet sewing leaves together, kobi yamada Collection of books by Kobi Yamada Discover More Books by Kobi Yamada Noticing Trying What Do You Do With an Idea? What Do You Do With a Problem? What Do You Do With a Chance? The Candy Dish MAYBE A Story About the Endless Potential in All of Us Maybe is a celebration of the possibilities we hold inside us.
Prediction Machines, Updated and Expanded: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence
"What does AI mean for your business? Read this book to find out." ― Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google Artificial intelligence seems to do the impossible, magically bringing machines to life―driving cars, trading stocks, and teaching children. But facing the sea change that AI brings can be paralyzing. How should companies set strategies, governments design policies, and people plan their lives for a world so different from what we know? In the face of such uncertainty, many either cower in fear or predict an impossibly sunny future.
AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future
How will artificial intelligence change our world within twenty years? A WALL STREET JOURNAL, WASHINGTON POST, AND FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR - "This inspired collaboration between a pioneering technologist and a visionary writer of science fiction offers bold and urgent insights."--Yann LeCun, winner of the Turing Award; chief AI scientist, Facebook