+I’ve read the New York Review of Books for over 20 years and I’ve noticed a certain deterioration in standards. Not in the articles themselves but in the classifieds. There used to be two pages of classified adverts at the back, but this has now reduced to just one. The main casualty seems to be in the personals. Once upon a time those seeking relationships would write long paragraphs extolling their intellectual and cultural virtues, often, to my mind in the most unaware, flowery language, which suggested that the attention seeker had spent hours if not days crafting a sublime but rather ridiculous picture of themselves. But now two or three lines is the most on offer, inevitably leaving one no wiser as to the character of the advertiser. In the current issue, what is one to make of ‘LOS ANGELES MAN, 78, is ready to get married. Let’s talk.’ Admittedly, that is the most succinct of the current crop of lonely hearts on parade, but gone are the days of mini self-deprecating but deeply profound expressions of an enviably charming personality (one of the standard expressions of which was always a love of Paris and travel, etc., etc.) Perhaps the cost of advertising in the NYRB has become too expensive compared to what one (I imagine) could get on the internet. Most of those who do advertise seem to be in their 60/70 plus age range. Including ‘I am a 90 year old man looking for a partner for my next life. If you believe in re-incarnation write me a letter.’ Even for a Buddhist I imagine it would be quite hard to predict what one might be re-incarnated as. But at least you may not have to wait too long to find out.
+A story on the Fast Company website says:
'We found that drivers who used Autopilot drove an average of nearly 5,000 miles more per year than those who didn’t. In interviews with 36 drivers of partially automated vehicles, they generally said they were more willing to sit in traffic and took more long-distance trips, all because of the increased comfort and reduced stress provided by semi-automated systems.'
I’ve often wondered what the supposed benefit of fully driverless cars is. It’s certainly not got anything to do with tackling climate change. In fact, I can’t think of any new developments relating to cars and their infrastructure which reduces congestion, emissions, pollution and waste.