We are beginning to witness a paradox at the heart of capitalism, one that has propelled it to greatness but is now threatening its future: The inherent dynamism of competitive markets is bringing costs so far down that many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring those costs to near zero. [more]
Back in October 2013, Tom Stoppard was awarded the PEN / Pinter Prize and delivered a brilliant speech on writing, writing and life, writing and politics, and theatre. You will be well served to either / or / and read the speech here or listen to it here.
Here's a sample:
Honesty is seldom ingratiating and often discomfiting.
...I will spare you my rite of passage into a world that was not polarised but fractal, and my obsequies over the England we have mislaid. I'll just mark the place with a list, incomplete and in no particular order. Here goes.
Surveillance. Miss-selling pensions and insurance. Phone hacking. Celebrity culture. Premiership football. Dodgy dossier. Health and Safety. MPs' expenses. Political correctness. Internet porn. Targets as in the NHS. Managers as in the BBC. Bankers' bonuses.
We are selling the family silver, by which I mean the family honour. I began in newspapers, and I revered them. Perhaps I romanticised them. A journalist photographer in one of my plays says "I've been around a lot of places. People do awful things to each other. But it's worse in places where everybody is kept in the dark. It really is. Information is light." So my other mantra on human rights was: a free press makes all the other freedoms possible.
Celebrating forty years of Pink Floyd's Darkside of the Moon.
A Couple of weeks back, BBC2 aired Tom Stoppard's radio play celebrating forty years of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. A wonderful trailer was created to promote the play and, when BBC2 aired the play, the video looped behind the sound. I'm sharing with you the trailer and the full length audio of the play.
In my opinion, the radio play is "classic" Stoppard in that he tackles physics, philosophy and how one influences the other. The performances are very fine. If you are either / or a Stoppard / Pink Floyd fan, I highly recommend it. Enjoy!
Wonderful review in today's Wall Street Journal about a new recording by Keith Jarrett and Michelle Makarski of Bach's Six Sonatas for Violin and Piano. The journal examines the difference between Jarrett's approach to Jazz and Bach, how Bach, even though the composer relied on improvisation, it was an entirely different of imporvisatiuon.
Mr. Jarrett's musical life as an active improviser, he suggests, frees him of the compulsion to add something extra when he turns to Bach, a fellow improviser. That includes heart-on-your-sleeve emotion—though, in its honest search for Bach's voice, the recording conveys both passion and tenderness. "I don't think Bach would appreciate what Christopher Hogwood once called 'teardrop' style," Mr. Jarrett says. "On early instruments, expressivity depended on how good your pitch was, and how graceful you could be. Michelle and I are pretty direct players," he adds, "but I think we understand grace."