I’m so sorry to hear about the death of Denis Dutton. The writer, philosopher and academic founded one of my favorite websites, Arts & Letters Daily, which links to thoughtful and challenging writing, much of it long-form. (The New Yorker just dubbed him “the intellectual’s Matt Drudge.”) I occasionally exchanged emails with Dutton when he linked to essays on World Hum. A link on ALDaily sent a flood of readers, and it made me happy, because I always wanted World Hum to be read by the same people reading Harper’s, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and other sources for Dutton’s site.
I love this quote from Dutton that the Los Angeles Times just dug up:
A few years ago, Bill Gates was boasting that we’ll soon have sensors which will turn on the music that we like or show on the walls the paintings we like when we walk into a room. How boring! The hell with our preexisting likes; let’s expand ourselves intellectually.
Dutton helped many of us aspiring to do just that.