Fischer on the trouble with Nietzsche’s dictum


Cover of The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer (First Scribner Paperback Fiction edition 1997)

As my hands were cuffed behind my back, and I had a zet at the footwear of my arresting officers, I couldn’t help hailing Nietzsche’s dictum, what does not kill me makes me stronger. One could add that what doesn’t kill you can be extremely uncomfortable and can give you a very nasty cold. I sneezed with no hands and discharged some nose marrow across the short distance between my nostrils and the gleaming footwear of the detective in charge of the operation, where it spread-eagled and made itself at home.
The trouble with Nietzche—who in any case never prescribed instructions regarding conduct while being hand-cuffed on chilly floors in undignified circumstances—is that you can never be sure when he’s doing some levity or not.
The Metropolitan Police had the same problem with me. They were hugely unconvinced by my responses to their questioning.

— from The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer, named by Granta Magazine as one of the best British novelists under 40 in 1994

Bongbong Marcos on the family business

Monocle magazine feature on Imelda, Bongbong Marcos
Monocle Magazine April 2013, courtesy of Jing Garcia

Monocle Magazine April 2013, courtesy of Jing Garcia, that features the article about Imelda and Bongbong Marcos

“When I saw what my father went through in 1986 I didn’t want anything to do with politics,” [Bongbong Marcos] says. “I wanted to make money.” After high marks at the London School of Economics he earned an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. But, he says, he realised that politics was in his blood. “It’s the family business.”

— From the April 2013 issue of Monocle Magazine in an article written by Mort Rosenblum entitled “It’s All Relative—Philippines.”

Scribble meets Scribblerjack

The Lamy Scribble: Box, pen, and refill.

JAKARTA—Ever since I stumbled upon the Lamy Scribble, I knew I had to have it, despite a history of buying fine quality ballpoint pens, which I would neglect, and eventually, lose afterwards. (Fortunately, this hasn’t happened to my fountain pen acquisitions, save for one painful incident involving a Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 that, I believe, was plucked from my backpack while relieving myself in a restroom in SM North. To that culprit whom I have yet to forgive: I admire your timing more than your taste in fine writing instruments. But I digress.)
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb on drinking

A bunch of drinkers who refuse to be identified as Jonathan Perez (left) and Alexander T. Magno (right) at a now-defunct watering hole in Quezon City.

Another idea from Rory Sutherland: the U.K. guidelines for patients with mild problems coming from alcohol are to reduce the daily consumption to under a certain number of grams of alcohol per Continue reading

Pardon the self-promotion: mentions on Twitter

An flyer, usually distributed during Online Onsite, an event in which editors go to schools and work outside the newsroom.

On December 12, 2012—yes, 12-12-12— got what you may call a break.

Minutes after the Pope posted his first historic tweet, InterAksyon got the ball rolling and wrote an article about it, which included his tweet and reactions to it, all embedded in one story using [See: The Pope has tweeted]
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb on frauds

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Sarah Josephine Taleb, Wikipedia)

Modernity has replaced ethics with legalese, and the law can be gamed with a good lawyer.
So I will expose the transfer of fragility, or rather the theft of anti-fragility, by people “arbitraging” the system. These people will be named by name. Poets and painters are free, liberi poetae et pictores, and there are severe moral imperatives that come with such freedom. Continue reading

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Fragilista

Cover of Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder

The fragilista belongs to that category of persons who are usually in suit and tie, often on Fridays; he faces your jokes with icy solemnity, and tends to develop back problems early in life from sitting at a desk, riding airplanes, and studying newspapers. He is often involved in a Continue reading