Mark Hurrell.


Weeknote 19 – 22

01 March 2020

For as a guiding concept, IDM raises way more issues than it settles. What exactly is 'intelligence' as manifested in music? Is it an inherent property of certain genres, or more about a mode of listening to any and all music? After all, it’s possible to listen to and write about 'stupid' forms of music with scintillating intellect. Equally, millions listen to 'smart' sounds like jazz or classical in a mentally inert way, using it as a background ambience of sophistication or uplifting loftiness. Right from the start, IDM was freighted with some problematic assumptions. The equation of complexity with cleverness, for instance — what you might call the prog fallacy.


Most of these IDM artists knew each other socially and sometimes collaborated. All were British.

Simon Reynolds for Pitchfork

Particular industries, and still more individual companies, may be committed to distinctive, concrete goals and ideals. GM may aspire to build good cars; IBM, to make typewriters, computers, and other business machines; and AT&T, to improve communications. Executives who rose up through these companies, on the mid-century model, were embedded in their firms and embraced these values, so that they might even have come to view profits as a salutary side effect of running their businesses well.

When management consulting untethered executives from particular industries or firms and tied them instead to management in general, it also led them to embrace the one thing common to all corporations: making money for shareholders. Executives raised on the new, untethered model of management aim exclusively and directly at profit: their education, their career arc, and their professional role conspire to isolate them from other workers and train them single-mindedly on the bottom line.

Buttigieg carries this worldview into his politics. Wendell Potter, at The Intercept, observes that 'a lot' of Buttigieg’s campaign language about health care, including 'specific words' is 'straight out of the health-insurance industry’s playbook.' The influence of management consulting, moreover, goes far beyond language to the very rationale for Buttigieg’s candidacy. What he offers America is intellect and elite credentials — a combination that McKinsey has taught him and others like him to believe should more than compensate for an obvious deficit of directly relevant experience.

This is a dangerous belief. Technocratic management, no matter how brilliant, cannot unwind the structural inequalities that are dismantling the American middle class. To think that it can is to be insensible of the real harms that technocratic elites, at McKinsey and other management-consulting firms, have done to America the Planet.

Daniel Markovits for The Atlantic

'Ich bin der ich bin,' Kiefer said. I am that I am. 'It was what God said to Moses when he asked for God’s name. It is a. … What is it called again? That word?'

'I don’t remember,' I said. 'But I know what you mean.'

He reached for a phone.

'I’ll call a friend,' he said. 'He is a university professor and should know.'

'Hello?' he said and explained the situation.

'Tautology! Of course! Thank you!'

He hung up the phone.

'It is a tautology,' he said.

Shortly after we sat down for lunch, the cook brought in the food and wine, and Kiefer began to talk about flying, which he loved. He always took a helicopter whenever he was going anywhere, he said. It was the simplest option.

'One of the pilots I used the most died later, by the way,' he said. 'In an accident in the Alps. They crashed when they were carrying timber over there.'

For a few seconds we continued to eat in silence.

'Do you have a helicopter?' he said and looked at me.

'No, unfortunately,' I said.

'You should get one!' he said.

Karl Ove Knausgaard for the New York Times

  1. We picked the date because it looked good and wouldn’t cause any US/European formatting confusions 

  2. Monochromatic style with clean white and greys 

  3. dontstopdontstop­dontstopdontstop cover 

  4. dontstopdontstop­dontstopdontstop interior 

  5. Cedric Price at the AA 

  6. The reviewer in his nice coat 

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