Rarely do we long for the logistics of air travel, but if there is anything that can redeem a long plane ride, it’s a long book. Recently, I had a few trips scheduled in short succession, a prime opportunity to get lost in story. Reading has always been a sanctuary for me. The time now is harder to come by, which is why a few contained hours at thirty or forty thousand feet can be welcome.
If you’re like me, which is to say your love of books and stories far outpaces your available time, you have an extensive I’ve-been-meaning-to-read list. Nathan Hill’s acclaimed novel, The Nix, had languished on my bedside table for ages. Finally, I vowed to dive in.
It is, among its many characteristics, a definitively long book, so ideal for my present needs. Closing out at over 700 pages, the story meanders, with a multitude of characters and plot twists. We encounter love, and loss, and complicated family dynamics. So, all very familiar.
Usually, when I finish a book, I like to sit with it for a...
My first visit to the Aspen Ideas Festival was as enriching and exhausting as I imagined it could be, filled to the brim and them some with stimulating dialogue, intriguing people, and provocative ideas. It’s enough to make your head spin. The closing session on my last day was a real ringer, featuring first a conversation between Common and Arthur Brooks, and then Cass Sunstein on stage interviewing Mark Zuckerberg.
Let’s just go ahead and call them Cass and Mark, because now I feel like I know them both. Plus, it makes it much easier to relay the substance of what they talked about. Cass pushed Mark on all the topics you’d think he might, all the reasons Facebook has been publicly under fire—privacy, use of data, propagation and facilitation of false information. Mark is clearly a master of the art of the talking point. Not to say, in quite so many words, that he was evasive, but he did have an agenda and a message.
Before the last couple years, was the concept of ‘fake news’ somethi...