Posts Tagged ‘Zadie Smith’

As I spend my days writing about finance it was interesting to read this piece on money and the meaning of life :

“Being rich does not automatically lead to a rich life. There is a difference between money and success. To be totally engaged with all my functions, all my faculties, all my capacities in life — to me that would be success. ” (Harvard Business Review)

– Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg gave a commencement address at Barnard which included great advice on having a rich life, especially  for women :

What about the rat race in the first place?  Is it worthwhile?  Or are you just buying into someone else’s definition of success?  Only you can decide that, and you’ll have to decide it over and over and over.  But if you think it’s a rat race, before you drop out, take a deep breath.  Maybe you picked the wrong job. Try again.  And then try again.  Try until you find something that stirs your passion, a job that matters to you and matters to others.  It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution.  It’s also a very clear path to happiness.

– these travel photographers of the year have found their passion ;

these photographs made me want to take a trip across America (via @brainpicker) ;

– but while I an in New york The Guardian has a list of 10 of the best books set in the city but misses one of my faves, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer;

– the same paper also has 10 of the best books set in London – glad that Monica Ali’s Brick Lane made the cut but I would also have included White Teeth by Zadie Smith.

Have a good weekend.

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poster for The Social Network

I am one of the few people on the planet who is not, and never intends to be, on Facebook. I have the old-fashioned notion that I like to see and talk to my friends – and they mean enough to me that it is worth taking the time and making the effort to make sure I do both.

Nevertheless I went to see The Social Network about the founding of Facebook, just because the script is by Aaron Sorkin , the genius who wrote my favourite TV programme.

I really enjoyed the film because the script is up to Sorkin’s usual high standards and took me back to the dialogue-heavy, fast-talking, walking-in-the-corridors scenes from The West Wing. Sorkin concentrates on the characters, rather than the technology, but credit also has to go director David Fincher, for managing to make scenes about computer programming visually interesting and full of suspense, and to Jesse Eisenberg for his nuanced portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg, who comes across as neither a hero or a villain. I hope all three, and the movie, make the Oscar nominations.

Despite the fact he is a billionaire, I felt sorry for the Zuckerberg portrayed in the movie as he is incapable of forming friendships. The movie highlights the irony that 500 million people use a social network whose creator lacks any social skills.

As Zadie Smith points out in her review of the film:

“When a human being becomes a set of data on a website like Facebook, he or she is reduced. Everything shrinks. Individual character. Friendships. Language. Sensibility. In a way it’s a transcendent experience: we lose our bodies, our messy feelings, our desires, our fears.”

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