From the Ruins of Empire — a review

Books On Asia asked reviewers to pick their top books for 2020. I submitted my four along with the other contributors and gave a short comment. Below is a more fleshed out review. For more reviews, check out booksonasia.net Pankaj Mishra delivers a sweeping account of the intellectual history of anti-colonial thought in the earlyContinue reading “From the Ruins of Empire — a review”

The nearly 400 year legacy of a cutting edge ceramic coffee filter

This NY Times piece on a 1,020 year old shop in Kyoto has been making the rounds online. It got me thinking about other examples of products or skills that have traversed centuries, and a random discovery we made at a shopping stall: a paperless ceramic coffee filter. Last October we travelled to Imari andContinue reading “The nearly 400 year legacy of a cutting edge ceramic coffee filter”

Articulate Noise — Review of Better Living Through Criticism

For a book with “how” in the title, there is not much instruction. Better Living Through Criticism is more of a “watch me think about art, pleasure, beauty, and truth” which is much more entertaining. If writing described as “pontificating” or “a meditation” does not immediately turn you off, you will probably enjoy A.O. Scott’sContinue reading “Articulate Noise — Review of Better Living Through Criticism”