It is raining all day in Philly today. So, let’s start with some new books!
- Peter Burke has a new book out, entitled “The Polymath: A Cultural History from Leonardo da Vinci to Susan Sontag.” And here are a few thoughts from Tyler Cowen:
Is Leibniz — amazing philosopher, an inventor of the calculus, mastery of languages, theologian, diplomacy, legal reform, inventor, political theorist, and supposed expert on China — the most amazing polymath of all time?
Leonardo seems a little thin in actual achievement (though not imagination) once you get past the visual arts. And there are fewer than fifteen paintings to his name.
When lightweight digital video—on cameras and cell phones—became available, it sparked the recent and ongoing second revolution in documentary filmmaking, making the camera a virtual extension of the filmmaker’s body and integrating filmmaking with daily and private life. The outpouring of astoundingly creative and personal documentaries in recent years is the result of those technical advances and of a renewed and deepened sense of the inseparability of the political and the personal, the breaking down of the barriers between the public and private realms.Richard Brody
The pandemic has made it harder to meet people. Classes and clubs have moved online. Students often eat alone. But they’re making the most of it.
- David Byrne Likes Reading Aloud to His Friends via “By the Book”.
“Sharing words is like sharing food,” says the musician and former Talking Heads frontman, whose new book is “American Utopia.”with Maira Kalman
- The 2020 NBA season has just ended, but if you are curious how the next one might look like, read here.
Until the next time.