The Year in Review (2023)

"The World is a lot Poorer without You": a tribute to the great minds we lost in 2023
(click on the picture for names and details)

Good news of the year:
Recommended Books:
  • Robert Peckham: "Fear - An Alternative History of the World"
  • Ed Conway: "Material World". Six materials are shaping the future: copper, iron, lithium, oil, salt and sand.
  • Christopher Clark: "Revolutionary Spring". The year 1848 was a fateful year of (mostly failed) revolutions.
  • Kevin Mitchell: "Free Agents - How Evolution Gave Us Free Will"
  • Robert Zubrin: "The Case for Nukes". A compelling defense of nuclear energy.
  • Matthew Desmond: "Poverty, by America". So many people live in poverty because so many rich people benefit from it.
  • Frank Dikotter: "China after Mao"
  • Peter Frankopan: "The Earth Transformed". A history book about how climate change has shaped civilizations across time
  • Yasheng Huang: “The Rise and Fall of the east: How Exams, Autocracy, Stability, and Technology Brought China Success, and Why They Might Lead to Its Decline”
  • Peter Attia & Bill Gifford: "Outlive". Advice from a longevity expert for living longer and more healthily.
  • Antony Loewenstein: "The Palestine Laboratory - How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World"
  • Andrew McAfee: "The Geek Way". The rapid-prototyping, risk-taking spirit of Silicon Valley can be applied as well to other fields.
  • Naomi Klein: "Doppelganger - A Trip into the Mirror World". A messy but inspired and erudite fresco of the social and political scene.
  • Tim Alberta: "The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory". A chronicle of the modern evangelical movement in the USA.

Events in
Tech and Science
  • Katsuhiko Hayashi from Osaka University created eggs from the cells of male mice
  • Marta Zlatic's lab at the University of Cambridge maps the entire connectome of an entire brain of the fruit fly
  • A Weizmann Institute team in Israel creates a faithful model of a 14-day-old human embryo using stem cells instead of sperm and egg.

Cinema. Best Films:
Recommended jazz of 2023 ( ):
  • Ivo Perelman: Seven Skies Orchestra (Fundacja Sluchaj)
  • Steve Lehman: Ex Machina (Pi)
  • Yussef Dayes: Black Classical Music (Brownswood)
  • Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Dynamic Maximum Tension (Nonesuch)
  • Tyshawn Sorey Trio: Continuing (Pi)
  • Kate Gentile: Find Letter X (Pi)
  • Allison Miller: Rivers in our Veins (Royal Potato Family)
  • Lakecia Benjamin: Phoenix (Whirlwind)
  • Ingrid Laubrock: Monochromes (Intakt)
  • Angel Bat Dawid: Requiem For Jazz (Intergalactic Mantra)
  • Fire! Orchestra: Echoes (Rune Grammofon)
  • Henry Threadgill: The Other One (Pi)
  • Sylvie Courvoisier: Chimaera (Intakt)
  • Kendrick Scott: Corridors (Blue Note)
  • Mette Henriette: Drifting (ECM)
  • Perch Hen Brock & Rain: Elegiacal (Wig)
  • Barry Guy's Blue Shroud Band: All This This Here (Fundacja Sluchaj)
  • London Brew: London Brew (Concord)
  • Isaiah Collier: Parallel Universe (Night Dreamer)
  • Walter Smith III: Return to Casual (Blue Note)
  • Yoni Mayraz – Dybbuk Tse (Astigmatic)

Best classical music recordings:
  1. Paavo Jarvi & Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin: Brahms Double Concerto (Ondine)
  2. Klaus Makela & Orchestre de Paris: Stravinsky's "The Firebird" and "The Rite of Spring" (Decca)
  3. Lahav Shani & Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra: Bruckner's Symphony No 7 (Warner)
  4. Nils Schweckendiek & Helsinki Chamber Choir: Saariaho's Choral Works (BIS)
  5. Francois-Xavier Roth & Les Siewcles: "Saint-Saens Symphonic Poems" (Harmonia Mundi)
  6. Raphael Pichon & Pygmalion: Monteverdi's "Vespro della Beata Vergine" (Harmonia Mundi)
  7. Francois-Xavier Roth & Cologne Guerzenich Orchestra: Bruckner's Symphony No 4 (Myrios)
  8. Anne Queffelec: Beethoven's last 3 piano sonatas Op. 109, 110, 111 (Mirare)
  9. Vadym Kholodenko: Rzewski's "The People United Will Never Be Defeated" (Quartz)
  10. Alexandre Bloch & Orchestre National de Lille: Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra (Alpha)
  11. Tõnu Kaljuste & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra: Arvo Part's "Tractus" (ECM)
  12. Gustavo Dudamel & Los Angeles Philharmonic: Thomas Adas' "Dante" (Nonesuch)

Best Art Events:
  1. Egon Schiele at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art
  2. Boris Eldagsen's AI-generated Photograph "The Electrician"
  3. Vermeer Exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  4. Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now at M+, Hong Kong
  5. LuYang Vibratory Field at Kunsthalle Basel
  6. Marc Chagall and Paul Klee at Atelier des Lumieres, Paris
  7. Georgia O’Keeffe at MoMA, New York

Heroes of the year:
Russian journalist Maria Ponomarenko, sentenced to jail for writing about the war in Ukraine
Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza, sentenced to jail for treason
Iranian dissident Narges Mohammadi
Jose Ruben Zamora, a journalist who exposed corruption in Guatemala and now in jail
Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, sentenced to 19 more years of prison

( Current events)

Last year
Quotes | Trivia | Home | Contact
Science, Art, Music, Literature, Travel, etc