First, in the interest of fair play, I link to Philip Pullman’s essay on Thursday’s British referendum, “The Thousand Causes of Brexit.” Pullman, author of The Golden Compass series of fantasy books, wanted Britain to remain in the EU. He’s bitter about the defeat of his views at the polls, but what’s odd about his examination of the causes that led to Brexit is that he simply ignores the contemporary issues of immigration, territorial security, and national sovereignty that led to the referendum in the first place. Thus, he does not change my mind from yesterday’s post, but I will also add this: it will take a long time for Britain to unwind itself from the EU–years, in fact. And whether Pullman will concede it or not, Britain will continue to cooperate with the EU on matters that are important to both polities.
As I sometimes do, I am reading several books at once, juggling them like balls in the air: Steven Strogatz’s The Joy of X is a delightfully-clear guided tour of the entire of world of mathematics: I just finished his chapter on calculus, and I can say that I understand that field much more than I used to. The Portable Veblen: A Novel, by Elizabeth McKenzie is a funny, sweet romantic novel about a plain-Jane heroine with some well-crafted prose in the tale. I am about to start The House at the Edge of the World, by Julia Rochester. It is supposed to be very good. We shall see.