Calculating the Incalculable: Thoreau on the True Value of a Tree

“What would human life be without forests, those natural cities?” BY MARIA POPOVA More than two years after a fire started by a teenage boy destroyed 47,000 acres of old-growth forest in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, having just resolved to face the new year like a tree, I found myself on the brink of tears before the blackened trunk of an ancient ponderosa pine as I walked the sylvan scar tissue of the tragedy. A conversation with my hiking companion — a dear friend currently working with the Navajo Nation on preserving and learning from their own ecological inheritance — led … Continue reading Calculating the Incalculable: Thoreau on the True Value of a Tree

THE DUDES WHO USE ASTROLOGY TO JUSTIFY THEIR BREAKUPS

by Hussein Kesvani  Maybe the incompatible signs are to blame — or maybe it’s just an excuse Christine, a pseudonymous 28-year-old clerk at a law firm in Dublin, isn’t convinced that her ex-boyfriend Steve, who ended their five-year relationship in November, knows the difference between Aries and Aquarius. “He definitely doesn’t understand what a rising sun is, or what’s meant by a planet going into a [zodiac] sign,” she tells me with a sigh. What’s more, Christine, a believer in all things astrology, had patiently tried to talk to Steve about the value of astrology, that “even if he couldn’t get his … Continue reading THE DUDES WHO USE ASTROLOGY TO JUSTIFY THEIR BREAKUPS

Concentrate!

The challenge of chess – learning how to hold complexity in mind and still make good decisions – is also the challenge of life Jonathan Rowson is the co-founder and director of Perspectiva, a research institute in London. He is the author of The Moves that Matter: A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life (2019). Listen here Edited by Marina Benjamin Arriving at the chess board is like entering an eagerly anticipated party. All my old friends are there: the royal couple, their associates, the reassuringly straight lines of noble infantry. I adjust them, ensuring that they are optimally located in the centre … Continue reading Concentrate!