icb.

"You build your mind, so make it into something you want to live with. Nobody has ever said anything more valuable to me."

Marilynne Robinson, profiled by Wyatt Mason (Times)

Clay, me, and Wes on top of Mt. Pilchuck

Clay, me, and Wes on top of Mt. Pilchuck

“For a certain amount of time we tested out W-2 drivers, but that’s when we provided equipment,” Steven Hsaio, Spoonrocket’s CEO, said in an interview. “It wasn’t the most financially sound decision.”

Like many start-ups, Spoonrocket could afford to bring contractors onto its payroll if it wanted to. (In May, the company announced it had raised $11 million in a funding round led by Foundation Capital.) But optimizing for growth means lowering costs, and lowering costs means constantly looking for new ways to squeeze out inefficiencies. Hsaio says that Spoonrocket is testing out a new bidding system, in which drivers will compete against each other for deliveries, giving the most work to the drivers who are willing to work at a lower price.

“I ultimately think it’s really good,” Hsaio says. “We can’t tell [drivers] what to do or how to do their job. They’re their own entrepreneurs.”

Kevin Roose, "Does Silicon Valley Have a Contract-Worker Problem?," New York

"Putting down ‘Harry Potter’ for Henry James is not one of adulthood’s obligations, like flossing and mortgage payments; it’s one of its rewards, like autonomy and sex. It seems to me not embarrassing or shameful but just self-defeating and a little sad to forego such pleasures in favor of reading a book that might just as easily be enjoyed by a child."

Christopher Beha, "Henry James and the Great Y.A. Debate," NYer

"

As I am now generalising a period of my life with the object of clearing my way before me, I can scarcely do so better than by at once completing the description of our usual manners and customs at Barnard’s Inn.

We spent as much money as we could, and got as little for it as people could make up their minds to give us. We were always more or less miserable, and most of our acquaintance were in the same condition. There was a gay fiction among us that we were constantly enjoying ourselves, and a skeleton truth that we never did. To the best of my belief, our case was in the last aspect a rather common one.

"

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

"And when [Jaggers] and I were left alone together, he sat with an air upon him of general lying by in consequence of information he possessed, that really was too much for me. He cross-examined his very wine when he had nothing else in hand. He held it between himself and the candle, tasted the port, rolled it in his mouth, swallowed it, looked at his glass again, smelt the port, tried it, drank it, filled again, and cross-examined the glass again, until I was as nervous as if I had known the wine to be telling him something to my disadvantage. Three or four times I feebly thought I would start conversation; but whenever he saw me going to ask him anything, he looked at me with his glass in his hand, and rolling his wine about in his mouth, as if requesting me to take notice that it was of no use, for he couldn’t answer."

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

"

Gently I wave the visible world away.
Far off, I hear a roar, afar yet near,
Far off and strange, a voice is in my ear,
And is the voice my own? the words I say
Fall strangely, like a dream, across the day;
And the dim sunshine is a dream. How clear,
New as the world to lovers’ eyes, appear
The men and women passing on their way!

The world is very fair. The hours are all
Linked in a dance of mere forgetfulness.
I am at peace with God and man. O glide,
Sands of the hour-glass that I count not, fall
Serenely: scarce I feel your soft caress,
Rocked on this dreamy and indifferent tide.

"

Arthur Symons, “The Absinthe Drinker”

"Williams said the $4 million prize money she earned would keep her construction of a new house on track."

Times

Wes’s garden, summer 2014

Wes’s garden, summer 2014

"

And all this despite the fact that memories are very fragile things, ephemeral things, this is not exact knowledge, but a guess that a person makes about himself. It isn’t even knowledge, it’s more like a set of emotions.

My emotions … I struggled, I dug into my memory and I remembered.

"

Pyotr S., psychologist

(in Voices From Chernobyl, by Svetlana Alexievich)

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