Anton Chekhov

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pages: 266 words: 80,018

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding


affirmative action, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Firefox, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, job-hopping, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, kremlinology, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, national security letter, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, web application, WikiLeaks

Few, then, believe Kucherena is an independent player. He was one of very few people allowed to visit Snowden. During his trips to the airport he brought gifts. They included a Lonely Planet guide to Russia, and a guide to Moscow. The lawyer also selected several classics ‘to help Snowden understand the mentality of the Russian people’: Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, a collection of stories by Anton Chekhov, and writings by the historian Nikolai Karamzin. Snowden quickly polished off Crime and Punishment. After reading selections from Karamzin, a 19th-century writer who penned the first comprehensive history of the Russian state, he asked for the author’s complete works. Kucherena also gave him a book on the Cyrillic alphabet to help him learn Russian, and brought a change of clothes. Snowden was not able to go outside – ‘he breathes disgusting air, the air of the airport,’ Kucherena said – but remained in good health.

Dick said: ‘We need to establish whether they [some people] have or haven’t. That involves a huge amount of scoping of material.’ The journalists who published the Snowden revelations had been involved in the most thrilling story of their careers. It was in the public interest. Now, it seemed, they were suspects. Epilogue: Exile Somewhere near Moscow 2014–? ‘Even in Siberia there is happiness.’ ANTON CHEKHOV, In Exile For nine weeks Edward Snowden was mostly invisible. There was the odd photo – of a young man pushing a shopping trolley across a Moscow street. (Surely a fake? The man looked nothing like him!) Another leaked image was more convincing. It showed Snowden on a tourist boat cruising along the Moscow River. It’s summer. He’s wearing a cap, and has a beard. In the distance, a bridge and the golden domes of Christ the Saviour cathedral, blown up by Stalin and rebuilt by Yeltsin.

pages: 212 words: 68,754

Thinking in Numbers by Daniel Tammet


Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, computer age, dematerialisation, Edmond Halley, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, index card, Isaac Newton, Paul Erdős, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Vilfredo Pareto

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library ISBN 978 1 444 73742 4 Extract from The Lottery Ticket by Anton Chekhov; Extracts from Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov © Vladamir Nabokov, published by Orion Books is used by permission; Extract of interview with Vladamir Nabokov was taken from the BBC programme, Bookstand and is used with permission; Extracts by Julio Cortazar from Hopscotch, © Julio Cortazar, published by Random House New York; Quote from The Master’s Eye translated by Jean de la Fontaine; Quote from Under the Glacier by Halldor Laxness, © Halldor Laxness, published by Vintage Books, an imprint of Random House New York.

A dream has no beginning, and therefore no middle and no end. I dreamt I entered a house and found its inhabitants all lying on the floor. Lying, but talking and laughing and eating together. Lying instead of sitting. It was like a scene from a book that I had not read and that had not been written. How many such scenes are there to occupy our dreams, our lives, the pages of a book? Infinitely many. Like Elíasson’s sleepwriter, Anton Chekhov faithfully nurtured a little notebook throughout his remarkable career, though we can suppose that he used his mostly during waking hours. Filled with his day-to-day observations of existence’s minutiae, the pages preserve glimpses of ‘ordinary’ life’s infinite permutations. ‘Instead of sheets – dirty tablecloths.’ ‘In the bill preserved by the hotelkeeper was, among other things: “Bugs – fifteen kopecks.” ’ ‘If you wish women to love you, be original; I know a man who used to wear felt boots summer and winter, and women fell in love with him.’

pages: 240 words: 65,363

Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner


Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Barry Marshall: ulcers, call centre, Cass Sunstein, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, Everything should be made as simple as possible, food miles, Gary Taubes, income inequality, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, medical residency, Metcalfe’s law, microbiome, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, transatlantic slave trade, éminence grise

All we’ve been doing in this book, really, is telling stories—about a hot-dog-eating champion, an ulcer detective, a man who wanted to give free surgery to the world’s poorest children. There are of course a million variations in how a given story can be told: the ratio of narrative to data; the pace and flow and tone; the point of the narrative arc at which you “cut into” the story, as the great writer-doctor Anton Chekhov noted. We have been telling these stories in an effort to persuade you to think like a Freak. Perhaps we haven’t been entirely successful, but the fact you have read this far suggests we haven’t failed altogether. In that case, we invite you to listen to one more story. It’s about a classic piece of advice that just about everyone has received at one point or another—and why you should ignore it.

The Brady Bunch: Drawn from a report by Kelton Research, “Motive Marketing: Ten Commandments Survey” (September 2007); and Reuters Wire, “Americans Know Big Macs Better Than Ten Commandments,”, October 12, 2007. 187 CONSIDER ONE MORE STORY FROM THE BIBLE: This can be found in II Samuel: 12. We are indebted to Jonathan Rosen for bringing to our attention how perfectly this story illustrated our point. Some of the words used to tell it here are his, as we could not improve upon them. 188 ANTON CHEKHOV AND WHERE TO “CUT INTO” A STORY: For this insight, we are indebted to a long-ago writing seminar taught by the great Richard Locke. CHAPTER 9: THE UPSIDE OF QUITTING 190 CHURCHILL AND “NEVER GIVE IN”: Transcript provided by the Churchill Centre at 190 “A QUITTER NEVER WINS, AND A WINNER NEVER QUITS”: In 1937, a self-help pundit named Napoleon Hill included that phrase in his very popular book Think and Grow Rich.

pages: 51 words: 14,616

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx; Friedrich Engels


Anton Chekhov, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, means of production, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair

Barrie, 0-553-21178-1 BRADBURY CLASSIC STORIES, Ray Bradbury, 0-553-28637-4 THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, Ray Bradbury, 0-553-27822-3 JANE EYRE, Charlotte Brontë, 0-553-21140-4 VILLETTE, Charlotte Brontë, 0-553-21243-5 WUTHERING HEIGHTS, Emily Brontë, 0-553-21258-3 THE SECRET GARDEN, Frances Hodgson Burnett, 0-553-21201-X ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND & THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS, Lewis Carroll, 0-553-21345-8 MY ÁNTONIA, Willa Cather, 0-553-21418-7 O PIONEERS!, Willa Cather, 0-553-21358-X THE CANTERBURY TALES, Geoffrey Chaucer, 0-553-21082-3 STORIES, Anton Chekhov, 0-553-38100-8 THE AWAKENING, Kate Chopin, 0-553-21330-X THE WOMAN IN WHITE, Wilkie Collins, 0-553-21263-X HEART OF DARKNESS and THE SECRET SHARER, Joseph Conrad, 0-553-21214-1 LORD JIM, Joseph Conrad, 0-553-21361-X THE DEERSLAYER, James Fenimore Cooper, 0-553-21085-8 THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, James Fenimore Cooper, 0-553-21329-6 MAGGIE: A GIRL OF THE STREETS AND OTHER SHORT FICTION, Stephen Crane, 0-553-21355-5 THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, Stephen Crane, 0-553-21011-4 INFERNO, Dante, 0-553-21339-3 PARADISO, Dante, 0-553-21204-4 PURGATORIO, Dante, 0-553-21344-X THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES, Charles Darwin, 0-553-21463-2 MOLL FLANDERS, Daniel Defoe, 0-553-21328-8 ROBINSON CRUSOE, Daniel Defoe, 0-553-21373-3 BLEAK HOUSE, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21223-0 A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21244-3 DAVID COPPERFIELD, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21189-7 GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21342-3 HARD TIMES, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21016-5 OLIVER TWIST, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21102-1 THE PICKWICK PAPERS, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21123-4 A TALE OF TWO CITIES, Charles Dickens, 0-553-21176-5 THREE SOLDIERS, John Dos Passos, 0-553-21456-X THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21216-8 CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21175-7 THE ETERNAL HUSBAND AND OTHER STORIES, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21444-6 THE IDIOT, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21352-0 NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 0-553-21144-7 SHERLOCK HOLMES VOL I, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 0-553-21241-9 SHERLOCK HOLMES VOL II, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 0-553-21242-7 SISTER CARRIE, Theodore Dreiser, 0-553-21374-1 THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, W.

pages: 544 words: 168,076

Red Plenty by Francis Spufford


affirmative action, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer age, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, John von Neumann, Kitchen Debate, linear programming, market clearing, New Journalism, oil shock, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, RAND corporation, Simon Kuznets, the scientific method

For a general exploration of what Soviet intellectuals under Khrushchev knew about the world, see Robert English, Russia and the Idea of the West: Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000). 7 But Marx had drawn a nightmare picture: for Marx’s vision of the alienated dance of the commodities, and its philosophical roots and imaginative implications, see Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History (New York, 1940), ch. 15, and Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, pp. 226–74. 8 Machine-Tractor Station: the rural depots, with their own specialised workforce, where the equipment for mechanised farming was kept (until Khrushchev disastrously sold the machinery to the collective farms, which had no budget to maintain it). For the sorry history of Soviet agriculture, see Alec Nove, Economic History of the USSR, 1917–1991, final edition (London, 1992). 9 It looked like the set for some Chekhov story: specifically, ‘Peasants’, in Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Little Dog and Other Stories, 1896– 1904, translated by Ronald Wilks (London: Penguin, 2004) – though Emil appears to be thinking of ‘Gooseberries’ in the same collection. See also Janet Malcolm, Reading Chekhov: A Critical Journey (New York: Random House, 2001). A portrait of Soviet peasant life more contemporary with Emil’s walk (but no less depressing) is Solzhenitsyn’s ‘Matryona’s House’, in Matryona’s House and Other Stories, translated by Michael Glenny (London: Penguin, 1975). 10 A good Kazan Muslim: the implication here is that, at least on his father’s side, Emil Arslanovich is a Tatar.

For a general exploration of what Soviet intellectuals under Khrushchev knew about the world, see Robert English, Russia and the Idea of the West: Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000). 7 But Marx had drawn a nightmare picture: for Marx’s vision of the alienated dance of the commodities, and its philosophical roots and imaginative implications, see Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History (New York, 1940), ch. 15, and Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, pp. 226–74. 8 Machine-Tractor Station: the rural depots, with their own specialised workforce, where the equipment for mechanised farming was kept (until Khrushchev disastrously sold the machinery to the collective farms, which had no budget to maintain it). For the sorry history of Soviet agriculture, see Alec Nove, Economic History of the USSR, 1917–1991, final edition (London, 1992). 9 It looked like the set for some Chekhov story: specifically, ‘Peasants’, in Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Little Dog and Other Stories, 1896– 1904, translated by Ronald Wilks (London: Penguin, 2004) – though Emil appears to be thinking of ‘Gooseberries’ in the same collection. See also Janet Malcolm, Reading Chekhov: A Critical Journey (New York: Random House, 2001). A portrait of Soviet peasant life more contemporary with Emil’s walk (but no less depressing) is Solzhenitsyn’s ‘Matryona’s House’, in Matryona’s House and Other Stories, translated by Michael Glenny (London: Penguin, 1975). 10 A good Kazan Muslim: the implication here is that, at least on his father’s side, Emil Arslanovich is a Tatar.

Kiselyova, The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The View from the Information Society (Berkeley CA: University of California Press, 1995) Manuel Castells, The Information Age: Volume III: End of Millennium (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998) Martin Cave, Computers and Economic Planning: The Soviet Experience (Cambridge: CUP, 1980) Janet G. Chapman, Real Wages in Soviet Russia Since 1928, RAND Corporation report R-371-PR (Santa Monica CA, October 1963) Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Little Dog and Other Stories, 1896–1904, translated by Ronald Wilks (London: Penguin, 2004) L. G. Churchward, The Soviet Intelligentsia: An Essay on the Social Structure and Roles of Soviet Intellectuals During the 1960s (London: RKP, 1973) Robert Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivisation and the Terror- Famine (London: Pimlico, 2002) Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Gambler, translated by Hugh Aplin (London: Hesperus Press, 2006) Vera S.

Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, East Village, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, New Journalism, Ronald Reagan, Yom Kippur War, young professional

The reason I still speak, think, dream, and quake in fear in Russian has to do with my parents’ dictum that only Russian be spoken in the home. It’s a trade-off. While I will retain my Russian, my parents will struggle with the new language, nothing being more instructive than having a child prattle on in English at the dinner table. Not to mention that after borrowing $9,600 for one floor of 252-67 Sixty-Third Avenue we cannot afford a television, so instead of The Dukes of Hazzard, I turn to the collected works of Anton Chekhov, eight battered volumes of which still sit on my bookshelves. Without television there is absolutely nothing to talk about with any of the children at school. It turns out these little porkers have very little interest in “Gooseberries” or “Lady with Lapdog,” and it is impossible in the early 1980s to hear a sentence spoken by a child without an allusion to something shown on TV. “NEEEEERD!”

My parents aren’t telling me to become a writer—everyone knows that immigrant children have to go into law, medicine, or maybe that strange new category known only as “computer”—but placing the bookcase in my room sends the unmistakable message that I am our family’s future and that I have to be the best of the best. Which I will be, Mama and Papa, I swear. The bookcase contains the collected works of Anton Chekhov in eight dark blue volumes with the author’s seagull-like signature across every volume’s cover, and most of the collected works of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Pushkin. In front of the Russian greats stands a siddur (the Jewish daily prayer book), enclosed in a plastic case and coated with fake silver and fake emeralds. It is written in a language none of us understands, but it is so holy that it blocks out the Pushkin that my parents have all but committed to memory.

pages: 251 words: 44,888

The Words You Should Know to Sound Smart: 1200 Essential Words Every Sophisticated Person Should Be Able to Use by Bobbi Bly


Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Anton Chekhov, British Empire, Columbine, Donald Trump, George Santayana, haute couture, Honoré de Balzac, John Nash: game theory, Network effects, placebo effect, Ralph Waldo Emerson, school vouchers, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs

tort (TORT), noun In law, a civil misdeed requiring compensation of the victims. Cutting the branches off a neighbor’s tree that went over the fence into your yard is, at most, a TORT, not a felony. tortuous (TORE-chew-us), adjective Intricate and indirect; not straightforward. “[Critics] don’t know that it is hard to write a good play, and twice as hard and TORTUOUS to write a bad one.” – Anton Chekhov, Russian dramatist totem (TOH-tuhm), noun Anything that serves as a venerated symbol. Our various formal and informal gardens are TOTEMS to our emphasis on the importance of the natural world. tout (TOWT), verb To publicize in a boastful, extravagant manner. Eloise TOUTED the excellence of her family’s new personal chef to a gauche and distasteful degree. tractable (TRACK-tuh-bull), adjective Easy going; easily managed.

pages: 219 words: 51,207

Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion by Alain de Botton


Anton Chekhov, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley

(illustration credit 4.12) Our favourite secular books do not alert us to how inadequate a one-off linear reading of them will prove. They do not identify the particular days of the year on which we ought to reconsider them, as the holy books do – in the latter case with 200 others around us and an organ playing in the background. There is arguably as much wisdom to be found in the stories of Anton Chekhov as in the Gospels, but collections of the former are not bound with calendars reminding readers to schedule a regular review of their insights. We would face grave accusations of eccentricity if we attempted to construct liturgies from the works of secular authors. At best, we haphazardly underline a few of the sentences that we most admire in them and which we may once in a while chance upon in an idle moment waiting for a taxi.

pages: 222 words: 53,317

Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman


3D printing, algorithmic trading, Anton Chekhov, Apple II, Benoit Mandelbrot, citation needed, combinatorial explosion, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, digital map, discovery of the americas,, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, HyperCard, Inbox Zero, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mandelbrot fractal, Minecraft, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Parkinson's law, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, software studies, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Therac-25, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

We find it in our ecosystems and in the chaos of technology that we rely on every day. We find it in the Greek pantheon, and in many other stories we tell ourselves. Storytelling, in fact, allows us to indulge our desires for either biological or physics thinking. Some stories are finely crafted machines with no extraneous parts; everything fits together. We see this in “Chekhov’s Gun,” dramatist Anton Chekhov’s principle that any element introduced in a story must be crucial to advancing the plot. A loaded rifle introduced early in the first act of a play must go off by the third. On the other hand, there are some stories in which color is added, creating a richness of experience without necessarily moving the plot along. Homer’s catalog of the invading Greek ships in the Iliad, and Kramer’s growing list of never-seen eccentric friends on Seinfeld—Bob Sacamano, Lomez, Corky Ramirez—are not essential plot points, but they are important.

pages: 401 words: 108,855

Cultureshock Paris by Cultureshock Staff


Anton Chekhov, clean water, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, Louis Pasteur, money market fund, QWERTY keyboard, Skype, telemarketer, urban renewal, young professional

No matter what you wish to watch, you’ll probably find it, from international classics in elegant and historical surroundings to offbeat performances in funky, non-mainstream storefronts. The Comédie Française itself now performs at three venues (see its website), with an expanded repertoire ranging from the classics of Molière, Racine and Corneille to works by playwrights such as William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett and Anton Chekhov. These are performed in French of course, although there are performances in the original language from time to time. For current and upcoming productions at some 60 theatres in all parts of the city, access www. La Cartoucherie in the beautiful Bois de Vincennes at the eastern edge of Paris is a complex of eight theatres, staging an imaginative range of international works, both classics and avant-garde.

pages: 346 words: 101,255

The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George


American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Anton Chekhov, Bob Geldof, Celtic Tiger, clean water, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, informal economy, job satisfaction, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, land reform, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Steven Pinker, urban planning

The great architect Le Corbusier considered the toilet to be “one of the most beautiful objects industry has ever invented”; and Rudyard Kipling found sewers more compelling than literature. Drains are “a great and glorious thing,” he wrote in 1886, “and I study ’em and write about ’em when I can.” A decent primer on sanitary engineering, he wrote, “is worth more than all the tomes of sacred smut ever produced.” Anton Chekhov was moved to write about the dreadful sanitation in the far-eastern Russian isle of Sakhalin. And Sigmund Freud thought the study of excretion essential and its neglect a stupidity. In the foreword to Scatologic Rites of All Nations, an impressive ethnography of excrement by the amateur anthropologist—and U.S. army captain—John Bourke, Freud wrote that “to make [the role of excretions in human life] more accessible . . . is not only a courageous but also a meritorious undertaking.”

pages: 347 words: 112,727

Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Anton Chekhov, computer age, David Brooks, digital map, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Golden Gate Park, index card, Isaac Newton, Mason jar, pez dispenser, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

Spoiled Iron 3. Knives That Won’t Cut 4. Coating the Can 5. Indiana Jane 6. The Ambassador 7. Where the Streets Are Paved with Zinc 8. Ten Thousand Mustachioed Men 9. Pigging the Pipe 10. Between Snake Oil and Rolexes 11. The Future Epilogue Photographs Acknowledgments About Jonathan Waldman For Mom and Dad, and whoever bought that stupid sailboat Only entropy comes easy. —ANTON CHEKHOV PREFACE: A JANKY OLD BOAT They say a lot of things about boats. They say a boat is a hole in the water that you throw money into. They say boat stands for “bring out another thousand.” They say that the pleasures of owning and sailing a boat are comparable to standing, fully clothed, in a cold shower while tearing up twenty-dollar bills. Consequently, they say that the best day of a sailor’s life, aside from the day he buys a boat, is the day he sells it.

pages: 350 words: 103,988

Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, Deng Xiaoping, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, first-price auction, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, George Gilder, global village, Hernando de Soto, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job-hopping, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, lone genius, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market friction, market microstructure, means of production, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, ought to be enough for anybody, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, proxy bid, purchasing power parity, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Stewart Brand, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, yield management

But AT&T was such a strong incumbent that market forces alone would not have brought any new competitors. Ending the telephone monopoly required government action. At the time it was controversial: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” AT&T’s supporters said. Hindsight shows the antitrust authorities were right to intervene, as the breakup of AT&T quickened innovation and lowered long-distance prices. Competition can be liberating. In The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekhov conveys the thrill of winning. The estate of impoverished aristocrats (the cherry orchard of the title) was auctioned off. Lopakhin, a businessman of humble origins, described the bidding: “I bid forty. Him—forty-five. Me—fifty-five. So he’s going up in fives, me in tens…Well that was that. I bid the mortgage plus ninety, and there it stayed. So now the cherry orchard is mine! Mine! Great God in heaven—the cherry orchard is mine!

pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation by Satyajit Das


9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Attending investors probably believed that his closeness to his successor might provide valuable insights into the Fed's future policy. The sixty-year-old Bernanke gave the impression that he did not expect official rates to increase to their long-term average of around 4 percent in his lifetime. There is in fact little agreement on the appropriate policy response. As Russian playwright and doctor Anton Chekhov wrote in The Cherry Orchard, “If many remedies are prescribed for an illness, you may be certain that the illness has no cure.”22 Policymakers are making it up as they go along. The measures are basically of limited use but are presented to a credulous public as sound policy. At the start of the GFC, the choice was always pain now or agony later. Policymakers have consciously or unconsciously chosen the latter, engineering a long period of stagnation or a managed depression.

pages: 341 words: 116,854

The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square by James Traub


Anton Chekhov, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, jitney, light touch regulation, megastructure, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, rent control, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal

Like Ludlam, Aaron was deeply versed in classic drama, and loved the idea of running old plays through a kitschy modern sensibility. He had invented something he called Super-Theatrics, based on the insight that “you could deejay or sample any style of theater onto any text.” One of his first productions at Show World was Pervy Verse, which he described as “a retelling of The Bacchae in fetish gear.” He put on a production of Waiting for Godot, as well as all twelve of Anton Chekhov’s early comedies, which Chekhov had called vaudevilles. He staged a “Ridicu-fest” to honor Ludlam’s work. Nada Show World’s first hit was God of Vengeance, a 1910 Yiddish play by Sholem Asch that takes place in a brothel. The play had attracted a supremely odd combination of blue-haired ladies and Hasidic Jews; the latter invariably arrived without their identifying hat or overcoat, for God of Vengeance was a notorious play that had been banned for blasphemy.

pages: 504 words: 147,660

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction by Gabor Mate, Peter A. Levine


Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, corporate governance, epigenetics, ghettoisation, impulse control, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, phenotype, placebo effect, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), source of truth, Yogi Berra

It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood. ALICE MILLER Breaking Down the Wall of Silence In the search for truth human beings take two steps forward and one step back. Suffering, mistakes and weariness of life thrust them back, but the thirst for truth and stubborn will drive them forward. And who knows? Perhaps they will reach the real truth at last. ANTON CHEKHOV The Duel AUTHOR’S NOTE The persons, quotes, case examples and life histories in this book are all authentic; no embellishing details have been added and no “composite” characters have been created. To protect privacy, pseudonyms are used for All my patients, except for two people who directly requested to be named. In two other cases I have provided disguised physical descriptions, again in the interests of privacy.

pages: 481 words: 121,300

Why geography matters: three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism by Harm J. De Blij


agricultural Revolution, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, computer age, crony capitalism, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Khyber Pass, manufacturing employment, megacity, Mercator projection, out of africa, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

As Figure 11-3 shows, the Russian Far East incorporates one real island, named Sakhalin, and this is an important component of this region's physical as well as cultural geography. From the mid-nineteenth century on, the Russians and the Japanese repeatedly fought over Sakhalin Island, and not until the end of World War II was Soviet control confirmed. When the Russians held it, they used Sakhalin as a penal colony (the great writer Anton Chekhov in one of his books described the terrible conditions under which prisoners lived), but during Soviet times Sakhalin became an increasingly important source of fuels ranging from oil in the north to coal in the south. In post-Soviet years additional finds of oil reserves have made Sakhalin Island a key constituent of the commodity-based Russian economy. Russia's enormous size bestows it with a large inventory of natural resources, among which oil and natural gas have been the key money makers during the post-1991 period.

pages: 487 words: 147,891

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Misha Glenny


anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, colonial rule, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, forensic accounting, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, place-making, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, trade liberalization, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile

“The real money started coming in when they opened up the airport at Idlewild,” as JFK was originally known. Idlewild had a maritime equivalent in 1990s Ukraine—Odessa. As I stroll along Primorsky Boulevard from Sergei Eisenstein’s famous steps toward the Opera House, Odessa looks magnificent as it hugs the northern Black Sea coast. Indeed, the recent reconstruction of the center is so evocative of a glamorous past that I can imagine Anton Chekhov, Isadora Duncan, and their fashionable friends sweeping in and out of the Londonskaya Hotel, where they used to stay. A century ago a visit to Odessa was de rigueur for the moneyed classes of Russia and Europe alike. This elegant illusion is maintained as I walk up Derebasovskaya Street, where peddlers are wooing tourists by performing with live snakes and crocodiles (less harmful than some of the other reptiles that creep around here).

pages: 449 words: 127,440

Moscow, December 25th, 1991 by Conor O'Clery


Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, haute couture, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Sinatra Doctrine, The Chicago School

On Moscow television on November 30 Yeltsin said he could not imagine a union without Ukraine, but that Russia could not sign a union treaty if Ukraine didn’t. The die was cast. The Soviet president could not bring himself to believe that Ukraine would vote for independence. Most Russians felt they and Ukrainians were politically and culturally of the same stock—Slavs descended from the once united Rus people. Classic Russian writers like Anton Chekhov and Mikhail Bulgakov placed their tales in Ukraine. Gogol and Shevchenko were born there. So too was Brezhnev. Gorbachev and his wife both had Ukrainian blood. They believed Ukraine was to Russia what Bavaria was to Germany. It had been part of greater Russia since the “Eternal Peace” between Russia and Poland three centuries earlier, when Kiev and the Cossack lands east of the Dnieper went over to Russian rule.

pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari


23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, drone strike, European colonialism, experimental subject, falling living standards, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

It is highly likely that networks controlling vital infrastructure facilities in the USA and many other countries are already crammed with such codes). However, we should not confuse ability with motivation. Though cyber warfare introduces new means of destruction, it doesn’t necessarily add new incentives to use them. Over the last seventy years humankind has broken not only the Law of the Jungle, but also the Chekhov Law. Anton Chekhov famously said that a gun appearing in the first act of a play will inevitably be fired in the third. Throughout history, if kings and emperors acquired some new weapon, sooner or later they were tempted to use it. Since 1945, however, humankind has learned to resist this temptation. The gun that appeared in the first act of the Cold War was never fired. By now we are accustomed to living in a world full of undropped bombs and unlaunched missiles, and have become experts in breaking both the Law of the Jungle and the Chekhov Law.

pages: 685 words: 203,949

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin


airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump,, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

In the extreme, an encyclopedia entry could tell you every possible fact about a person or place, leaving nothing out—but such an entry would be too unwieldy to be useful. The usefulness of most professional summaries is that someone with perspective has used their best judgment about what, in the scheme of things, should be included. The person most involved in editing the entry on Charles Dickens may have no connection to the person writing the entry on Anton Chekhov, and so we end up with idiosyncratic articles that don’t give equivalent weight to their lives, their works, their influences, and their historical place. For scientific, medical, and technical topics, even in peer-reviewed journals, the information sources aren’t always clearly on display. Technical articles can be difficult to understand without specific training, and there are controversies in many fields that require experience to understand and resolve.

pages: 578 words: 168,350

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West

Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, British Empire, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, continuous integration, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Guggenheim Bilbao, housing crisis, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of agriculture, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Marchetti’s constant, Masdar, megacity, Murano, Venice glass, Murray Gell-Mann, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, working poor

Like all organisms, we metabolize energy and resources in a highly efficient way in order to combat the continuous fight against the inevitable production of entropy in the form of waste products and dissipative forces that cause physical damage. As we begin to lose the multiple localized battles against entropy we age, ultimately losing the war and succumbing to death. Entropy kills. Or as the great Russian playwright Anton Chekhov poignantly remarked, “Only entropy comes easy.” A central feature of how life is sustained is the transportation of metabolic energy through space-filling networks across all scales to service and feed cells, mitochondria, respiratory complexes, genomes, and other functional intracellular units, as symbolized here. However, these very systems that sustain us are continually causing damage and degrading our bodies.