43 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2023
    1. I told Agnes that once, when asked to share an inspiring quote for a friend’s wedding, I picked one from Rainer Maria Rilke: “I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other.” In hindsight, my choice seemed silly, and I guessed she would agree. “Yeah, it feels like a way of reassuring yourself that some of the flaws in the relationship are actually really beautiful,” she said, adding that this is “why Socrates thought the poets didn’t know what they were talking about.” The ineffable wisdom they wrote of—inaccessible to others, because it was so mysterious and private—sounded to Socrates a lot like ignorance, she said. The idea that a marriage should hold space for each person’s incommunicable core, she believed, “comes from this pessimism where it’s, like, Look, at the end of the day we know we can’t really help one another, so the best thing we can do is not interfere too much.”
    2. His greatest insight, Agnes believes, was that people are intellectually lonely—they live under an illusion of self-sufficiency. Dialogue was the only way out of their natural state.


    3. We are desperate for information about how other people live because we want to know how to live ourselves
    4. As she saw it, thinking is not something that one person can do alone. It takes two people to have a thought.

      I tend to agree with this.

    5. I had noticed, among my friends, that some of the most successful marriages involved inequality, and clarity about it: one person sacrificed more than the other, and it was O.K.

      This is exactly the relationship that Proust desired, as long as he was the more powerful party.

    6. Arnold Brooks, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, came to Agnes Callard’s office hours every week to talk about Aristotle.

      He and Agnes will fall in love

  2. Nov 2022
    1. But they also made large transfers of advanced weaponry and military know-how to Ukraine. As a result, over time, a failed state defended by a ramshackle collection of oligarch-sponsored militias turned into the third-largest army in Europe—right behind Turkey and Russia—with a quarter million men under arms. 

      This sounds correct.

    2. That was the point when Russia invaded Crimea.

      This appears to be claiming that Putin invaded Crimea because he felt threatened by the US. He felt that the US would have military bases there if he didn't invade it.

    3. According to a speech made at the time by a State Department official, the U.S. had by that time spent $5 billion to influence Ukraine’s politics.

      I think this official should be named.

    4. The previous year, Ukrainian diplomats had negotiated a free trade deal with the European Union that would have cut out Russia.

      It sounds as if Ukraine did this without US prodding.

    5. until quite recently, having Ukraine in NATO was a prospect that struck even many American foreign policy thinkers as a bad idea.

      These arguments might be valid but they are all from authority

    6. There are reasons why the U.S. might want to project power into the Black Sea region.

      Unfortunately he doesn't describe any such reasons.

  3. Dec 2021
    1. Ainsi Françoise et ma tante appréciaient-elles ensemble au cours de cette séance matinale, les premiers événements du jour. Mais quelquefois ces événements revêtaient un caractère si mystérieux et si grave que ma tante sentait qu’elle ne pourrait pas attendre le moment où Françoise monterait, et quatre coups de sonnette formidables retentissaient dans la maison.

      Emily sees the Aunt Léonie doing to Françoise the same thing that M had done to his mother.

    2. le reste de la tour carrée et à demi détruite

      I'm surprised that Saint-Hilaire isn't in perfect shape.

    3. On reconnaissait le clocher de Saint-Hilaire de bien loin

      Lecture pour le 13 janvier

    4. Mais si les acteurs me préoccupaient ainsi,

      Lecture pour le 27 janvier

    5. Françoise, en effet, qui était depuis des années à son service

      Lecture pour le 23 décembre

    6. Maman s’assit à côté de mon lit ; elle avait pris François le Champi

      Lecture pour le 9 décembre

    7. L’angoisse que je venais d’éprouver,

      Lecture pour le 11 novembre

    8. Mais le seul d’entre nous pour qui la venue de Swann devint l’objet d’une préoccupation douloureuse, ce fut moi

      Lecture pour le 28 octobre

    9. Ma seule consolation, quand je montais me coucher, était que maman viendrait m’embrasser quand je serais dans mon lit.

      Lecture pour le 14 octobre

    10. I

      Lecture pour le 30 septembre

    1. The refusal to cry out in pain seems grounded in an entrenched anxiety related to Scarry's axiom: What if all pain is an act, even our own?

      An amazing question whose power I can't explain but which sounds weirdly to the point.

    2. In her 1985 book The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World, Elaine Scarry makes a profound assertion: “To have great pain is to have certainty; to hear about pain is to have doubt.”

      Hefferman calls this "Scarry's axiom".

  4. Oct 2021
    1. There are some cheaper eye tracking solutions available for the desktop

      As far as I can tell, this refers to open source projects that don't really explain how to set them up. E.g., oculomatic.

    2. I wonder where page notes fit into annotations?

    1. Remarkably, no African state would be conquered by Europeans until the 19th century

      Wow! That's not how I imagined it.

    2. polities such as Benin, Kongo and Mali that featured thriving urban centers, exquisite artisanship and legal and administrative systems on a par with much of medieval Europe. Early on, Portugal discovered the folly of sending soldiers charging up beaches in plate armor and changed tack to making alliances, transacting with informed and eloquent African leaders largely as equals and outsourcing the deadly business of capturing humans for enslavement.

      Outsourcing: Africans are also complicit in slavery.

    3. French proposes this royal spectacular as the motive force in the creation of the Western world. The prospect of directly tapping African gold by skirting the traders of Islamic North Africa was certainly high on Henry the Navigator’s list. Yet by the time gold was found in quantity (in 1471, the year French takes as the starting date of Africa’s entry into modernity, with the Portuguese fort at Elmina in modern-day Ghana as its key locus), Henry was long dead. Instead, it was slaving that saved his skin, and slaves would soon outstrip gold as the most valuable commodity in Europe’s expanding Atlantic sphere.

      I find this paragraph confusing. Is it saying that the Portuguese didn't have special access to gold?

    4. Portugal imported first African slaves from Lagos in 1444.

  5. Feb 2021
  6. Oct 2019
  7. Mar 2018
    1. This was always a worry about the American experiment in capitalist liberal democracy. The pace of change, the ethos of individualism, the relentless dehumanization that capitalism abets, the constant moving and disruption, combined with a relatively small government and the absence of official religion, risked the construction of an overly atomized society, where everyone has to create his or her own meaning, and everyone feels alone. The American project always left an empty center of collective meaning, but for a long time Americans filled it with their own extraordinary work ethic, an unprecedented web of associations and clubs and communal or ethnic ties far surpassing Europe’s, and such a plethora of religious options that almost no one was left without a purpose or some kind of easily available meaning to their lives. Tocqueville marveled at this American exceptionalism as the key to democratic success, but he worried that it might not endure forever.

      Capitalism, corporate capitalism at least, seems to work against everything that conservatives profess to believe in. I wonder if the two can ever be separated?

  8. May 2016
    1. She needed those relationships. But she also relied on filmed verification of her impact on others. The reciprocal gaze that marks her early photographs would be furthered and intensified in the collaborative form of portraiture in her mature work

      Here is a reason to appreciate such photos although I've tended to dislike them, especially if the expression is cold.

    1. And if they fail in Indiana or Cleveland, as they likely will, they need, quite simply, to disown their party’s candidate. They should resist any temptation to loyally back the nominee or to sit this election out. They must take the fight to Trump at every opportunity, unite with Democrats and Independents against him, and be prepared to sacrifice one election in order to save their party and their country.

      But they won't.

    2. Trump is their man, however inarticulate they are when explaining why.

      And their explanations sound like those of Sanders supporters.

    3. Muslims and Mexicans are the new Jews

      Thank goodness for one big difference: there are a whole lot more of them.

    4. Mass movements, he notes (as did Tocqueville centuries before him), rarely arise when oppression or misery is at its worst (say, 2009); they tend to appear when the worst is behind us but the future seems not so much better (say, 2016).

      I don't think that the Arab Spring occurred during a time after the worst had passed.

    5. Hence many Democrats’ frustration with him. Those who saw in his campaign the seeds of revolutionary change, who were drawn to him by their own messianic delusions, came to be bitterly disappointed by his governing moderation and pragmatism.

      And these people fucked us by not voting in 2010. Real smart, progressives.

    6. In the end, all these categories were reduced to one thing: traffic, measured far more accurately than any other medium had ever done before.

      So, there is money in politics, only it is from a different source.

    7. But it is precisely because of the great accomplishments of our democracy that we should be vigilant about its specific, unique vulnerability: its susceptibility, in stressful times, to the appeal of a shameless demagogue.

      We couldn't have had a demagogue before? This is a sincere question, but it seems to me that we have come very close. Thinking of Huey Long, Joe McCarthy....

    8. And when all the barriers to equality, formal and informal, have been removed; when everyone is equal; when elites are despised and full license is established to do “whatever one wants,” you arrive at what might be called late-stage democracy. There is no kowtowing to authority here, let alone to political experience or expertise.

      Beginning to sound as if this hurts Sullivan where he lives.

  9. Mar 2016