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Why Europe works

Of course China is growing faster than Europe. It’s easy to grow fast if you starve and impoverish your people, and then suddenly introduce a free market with imported technology, international trade and almost no environmental controls. That’s catch-up.

Good artists copy. Great artists steal. China is accelerating faster than all of us but will the Big Bang approach pay off? There’s something about Europe’s integration that’s more gradual, and natural, kind of like the 50 States.

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The best cure for one’s bad tendencies is to see them fully developed in someone else.

Alain de Botton
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My TV

Douglas Copeland explains new TV habits in the hyperconnected era:

“I’ve noticed that people now discuss TV the way they once discussed novels. What chapter are you on? Wasn’t so-and-so’s character great? Are you watching the new season? You watched it all in one night? Our long-form attention span is shifting to a new medium.”

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Life and art can happen at any moment. If I go to the studio based on what the clock says, what am I supposed to do if I don’t have any feeling or thoughts right then?

— Chinese artist Xu Bing
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Architecture: Designs on immortality

“The Skyscraper Index” which has previously predicted the rise of multiple financial crisis may also predict the rise and fall of powerful tech companies.

There is also, however, another correlation: that between corporations commissioning gargantuan headquarters and a peak beyond which there is only decline. Is the news that the world’s technology giants – including Apple, Google and Facebook – are planning ambitious buildings something we ought to be nervous about?

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Perfection is always simple, and it is always natural. Perfection is the deepest understanding and fullest expression of what is essential. Perfection is the shortest path to a goal, the simplest proof, and the clearest expression. Perfection is always democratic; it is always generally accessible . . . 

— Vasily Grossman, An Armenian Sketchbook