Conspiracy is a nearly irresistible labor-saving device in the face of recalcitrant complexity.

Henry Louis Gates, quoted in The Signal and the Noise. Cf. William Gibson:

Conspiracy theories and the occult comfort us because they present models of the world that more easily make sense than the world itself, and, regardless of how dark or threatening, are inherently less frightening.

–Six-and-a-half billion people on this planet. And I’m only one pixel.
–Here’s an interesting essay & audio piece in the New Yorker on Mozart, written by a guy who has spent some time listening to the master’s works–all of them. “A hundred and eighty CDs… reissued in a handsome and surprisingly manageable array of seventeen boxes. During a slow week last winter, I transferred it to an iPod and discovered that Mozart requires 9.77 gigabytes.”

–Russia not only has a lock on the club scene, it’s also got the biggest hole in the world. I hope they do something cool with it when the mining peters out, like a waterslide. [via digg]
Update: I ought to have done some fact-checking. The biggest man-made hole in the world, Bingham Canyon, is actually here in the States. That’s 4000 feet of hole-ness outside of Salt Lake City. I still think the Russian one looks cooler, but they are both begging for a water park. Or some trees.

–I’m a sucker for conspiracy theory and revisionist history. The Associated Press reports on a newly-discovered copy of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln, a letter urging governors to support a Constitutional amendment to protect slavery. But then again, as historian Thomas DiLorenzo writes, this isn’t really news. I’m not usually much interested in biography, but I’m looking forward to DiLorenzo’s new book arriving this fall.