Category Archives: miscellany

Interviews for Five Books

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As ever, I continue to interview and edit for Five Books, a literary recommendations site which asks public figures, authors and academics to discuss their desert island book choices in their specialist subject. We publish long, discursive interviews on topics from philosophy to physics three times a week. Our site’s audience is growing fast: this month we’ve had around 300,000 unique visitors.

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Daniel Goleman about the concept of ’emotional intelligence’; Will Storr, author of Selfie, on immersive nonfiction; the Scottish intellectual Alan Taylor about the best works of Muriel Spark; Lisa Feldman Barrett on the how emotions work; and the philosopher Christian B Miller on moral character.

Browse all our interviews on our homepage (, or follow us on Twitter (@five_books) where we recently gained our 10,000th follower.

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A trail of digital breadcrumbs

I’m appearing on Cormac Moore and Daniella Moyle’s show on the Irish station iRadio tonight to discuss phone data and personal privacy. I’ll post up the podcast later if possible. If you heard the show and want to read some more of my work on technology and privacy, you might be interested in:

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Revival of links blog and a move to WordPress

I’ve now transfered my links-blog archive from The Browser to

This transfer has largely been done for my own benefit, to help me locate articles and pictures I have stumbled upon in the past – but there is a large chance that many of the older links will no longer work due to the degeneration of websites (i.e. link rot)

Later this page will be transformed into my personal website. Until then, a few recent browsings:

1. Tetris, Tetris, everywhere. I knew there were more people like me. My favourite.

2. Too much information: NZ prime minister brings press conference to an awkward halt.

3. Poignant, funny piece on soldiers’ small talk in Afghanistan. “A third voice from the darkness suggested that Long Island is also in New England. But the first two soldiers — both from Boston — told him to shut up, because Long Island is definitely in New York, and New York is not on anybody’s New England list.”

4. List of the most prestigious diseases, according to medical professionals. Asthma makes surprise entry at 19. (Up or down from what I couldn’t say). h/t Tyler Cowen

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