Daniel Soar

Daniel Soar is an editor at the LRB.

The Sixth Taste

Daniel Soar, 9 September 2021

Foodis money. Or it can be, if you know how to transform it into profit. Ajinomoto Co. is Japan’s biggest producer of condiments and seasonings, with annual revenues of ¥1 trillion, or around $9 billion. Its most successful product by far – on shelves across East Asia since 1908 – is Aji-No-Moto, often sold in a little glass bottle with a trademark red label....

At the Pace Gallery: Trevor Paglen

Daniel Soar, 19 November 2020

The​ usual four white walls, but in each corner a screen, surveilling the gallery. Normally the display is pale pink but at times it flicks to grey, indicating that someone somewhere is watching. It could be you, at home, clicking on the website for Octopus (2020), the installation project by Trevor Paglen that allowed the stay-at-homes, the voyeurs, the disabled, the bored, the ill, the...

Short Cuts: Built from Light

Daniel Soar, 16 April 2020

Sometimes​ another world is there – you glimpse it out of the corner of your eye. In 1965 an engineer called Ivan Sutherland – he had effectively invented the whole field of computer graphics by writing a program called Sketchpad which allowed users to draw directly onto a screen – had a vision of the future. ‘The ultimate display,’ he wrote in a conference...

Sometimes​ you just have to think of England. It may be embarrassing, it may be awful, but it exists. Max Porter’s Lanny – his second novel – is partly about an idea of England. It’s set in an unnamed village, ‘fewer than fifty redbrick cottages’, within commuting distance of London, a place that is ‘a cruciform grid with the twin hearts of church...

Short Cuts: The Hitchens Principle

Daniel Soar, 21 March 2019

On Sunday​, 30 September 2007, in the late afternoon, four men met in an airy, book-lined apartment in Washington DC and had a two-hour discussion around a marble table. The subject, it seemed, was the misguidedness, stupidity and sometimes dangerousness of religious belief. Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens: over the previous few years each had published...

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