Home FreewheelingWeekend Ruminations Weekend Ruminations of an over wrought mind – 16th July 2023

Weekend Ruminations of an over wrought mind – 16th July 2023

by Venky

(Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash)

The acclaimed novelist Joyce Carol Oates once said, “the mere passage of time makes us all exiles”. Transitioning from hour to hour and day to day, humanity is an involuntary metronome of time travelers. Bound by its vice like grip and just allowed to float free for a fleeting while. We have made innumerable transition within the past seven days, some of which even escaping our realisation. So, here’s recalling the methods, music and madness of a week gone by:

Book of the Week

John McPhee turned 92 in March. 2023. He still continues to write with an optimism that is frightening and a verve that cockles the very heart of his readers. In a new string of pearls, which he terms an “old people projects”, McPhee reminisces about the virtues and vicissitudes of a life, long and well lived. Bemoaning the deluge of “time-outs” in basketball, positive that he sat across a table from Ernest Hemingway in a bar in Spain, and wrangling with the editor of Time to return a submitted draft manuscript so that the same may be submitted to The New Yorker instead, “Tabula Rasa” is a random anthology of musings, memories and methods of one of the greatest authors in the literary world.

Article/Longform Article/Blogpost of the Week:

The EU can manage without Russian liquified natural gasBen McWilliams, Giovanni Sgaravatti, Simone Tagliapietra, Georg Zachmann

Published as a Policy Brief under the aegis of the Belgian think tank, ‘bruegel‘ the captioned piece provides four options available to the European Union (EU) to initially curb, before completely eliminating its dependence on Russian LNG. The four options, in brief, being,

Wait-and-see – delaying any action until 2027;

Soft sanctions – discourage additional purchases but not breaking long-term contracts.

EU embargo – an embargo on Russian LNG, to reduce exposure to an unreliable and adversarial entity; and

EU embargo with EU Energy Platform offer – The EU bloc tears up existing trade structures and returns to the table as one entity to negotiate.

The Policy Brief can be found here: the-eu-can-manage-without-russian-liquified-natural-gas-(9197)_7.pdf (bruegel.org)

Song of the Week

Shakedown Street by The Grateful Dead

During the period 1974-76, one of the most iconic rock bands of our era, or any era for that matter, proceeded to rent a Front Street Warehouse in San Rafael. Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist was busy rehearsing with the Jerry Garcia Band for the recording of Cats Under The Stars. It was at this time that the Grateful Dead decided to capture the sound of the room, installing studio recording equipment. Thus was born Shakedown Street, the band’s tenth studio album. Following the song’s success, After the song’s success, many Grateful Dead followers, (“Deadheads”), used the name of the song for the vending areas outside of Grateful Dead concerts during the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Podcast/Talk of the Week:

The quest to save macroeconomics from itself – An NPR Planet Money podcast featuring Emi Nakamura, Jeff Guo, Keith Romer and Dave Blanchard

Emi Nakamura, a pioneer in the field of “empirical macroeconomics.” speaks about the myriad and unconventional ways in which data can be employed reveal some of the oldest mysteries in macroeconomics, Adam Smith’s invisible hand, the consequences of government spending, and the inner workings of inflation, among others. Watch out for the unexpected reference to Jeff Goldblum!

The podcast may be heard at: What is empirical macroeconomics? Emi Nakamura explains. : Planet Money : NPRy

Movie/Show/Series of the Week

Kavaludaari (“Crossroads”) is a mystery/crime flick in Kannada, featuring Rishi in the lead role. However, the movie is held aloft by a spectacular and effortless performance by veteran Anantnag. Shyam (Rishi), a sincere traffic policeman stumbles across the skeletal remains of a family and decides to pursue the antecedents leading to the trio’s murder, almost four decades back. This endeavour takes a positively dangerous turn when an acquaintance with a journalist, Kumar (Achyuth Kumar) who has fallen into bad times leads to clues that points to the highest echelon of political power. If Shyam needs to save his life, let alone crack the case, he needs the assistance of a retired, alcoholic and reclusive cop, Muthanna (Anantnag). Muthanna may hold the keys to some deadly doors that necessarily need to be opened. Will Shyam, Kumar and Muthanna cobble together the pieces in the jigsaw puzzle? Kavaludaari is a effervescent, exciting and evocative roller coaster.

Quote of the Week

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…” – Henry David Thoreau

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