State of the World with Ian Bremmer
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Hump day recommendations, Nov. 8, 2023

Read: “A Wizard of Earthsea,” by Ursula K. Le Guin. I loved this foundational high-fantasy novella as a child but recently rediscovered it full of Taoist and existentialist themes I was too young to appreciate then. The prose is at once swift and epic, and Le Guin masterfully inverts the well-worn tropes of the genre to weave a tale of hubris and redemption. Pick it up from your local library for a brief but intense escape to another world. - Matt

Watch and Listen: “Now and Then.” As the one member of your newsletter team old enough to remember when the Beatles were making records, I have to drop this official video for the new Beatles tune, which was made possible by AI advances that cleaned up the sound from an old cassette tape. This is the real deal. It has all the beautiful minor-key melancholy that defined the band’s later years. You can also learn here how AI saved this recording. - Willis

Watch: “It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball” – but as Billy Beane, GM of the cash-strapped Oakland A’s in the early 2000s found out, it was even harder to be scientific about it. The 2011 film "Moneyball" tells the (mostly true) story of how Beane and Yale economics nerd Peter Brand (Podesta in real life) revolutionized the American pastime by focusing on mathematical probabilities rather than human intuitions. Regardless of how you feel about the way that modern statistical analysis has changed the game, "Moneyball" stands up as one of the great sports films of all time. - Alex


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