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Scandinavian paradox

The popular image of Scandinavians is full of contradictions. Denmark, Norway and Sweden must be by several measures the richest, happiest and most successful societies the world has ever known. [...] Scandinavia is also famous for hedonism and sexual freedom; yet the plots of Scandi noir stories often turn not on crimes but on old sins: adultery, incest, abuse.

Tom Shippey, TLS, December 2 2016

What is a utopian city?

In Utopia Drive, Erik Reece [...] suggests that utopian settlements are constructed to accommodate escape and evasion, to provide safety and privacy in an alarming world. [...] Yet on the question of what constitutes utopia, Reece appears suitably baffled. [...] Reece's utopias are consistently constructed on the struggle to give something up, be it belongings, individuality, alcohol, religion, or sex.

Jacqueline Wilson, review of Utopia Drive by Eric Reece, TLS December 2 2016

Publishers attend their annual Rave

Yet again Rave Technologies assembled an impressive cast of speakers for their annual publishing event (London, October 2017). Despite the event being managed by a vendor, Rave resists any attempt to turn it into a corporate showcase.

This year the theme was broadly based around innovation, specifically digital innovation – you could ask if there is any innovation that is not digital, these days, but of that more below.

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