Ken Norton

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See all 6 books that Ken is reading…
Mark Arax
“When it came time to populate the one thousand miles of our nation-state, we planted 70 percent of the people at the southern end where only 30 percent of the water was made. This wasn’t misplaced people, we told ourselves. This was misplaced rain. In our resolve to move those molecules of water to where the crops and houses grew, California pulled off the ultimate sleight of hand.”
Mark Arax, The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California

Tommy Orange
“This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.”
Tommy Orange, There There

Kurt Andersen
“But what other place on Earth has been more congenial to believers and promoters of mad dreams and schemes of so many kinds? California is America squared.”
Kurt Andersen, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History

Matthew Walker
“In the Northern Hemisphere, the switch to daylight savings time in March results in most people losing an hour of sleep opportunity. Should you tabulate millions of daily hospital records, as researchers have done, you discover that this seemingly trivial sleep reduction comes with a frightening spike in heart attacks the following day. Impressively, it works both ways. In the autumn within the Northern Hemisphere, when the clocks move forward and we gain an hour of sleep opportunity time, rates of heart attacks plummet the day after. A similar rise-and-fall relationship can be seen with the number of traffic accidents, proving that the brain, by way of attention lapses and microsleeps, is just as sensitive as the heart to very small perturbations of sleep. Most people think nothing of losing an hour of sleep for a single night, believing it to be trivial and inconsequential. It is anything but.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Steven Pinker
“There can be no question of which was the greatest era for culture; the answer has to be today, until it is superseded by tomorrow.”
Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

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