‘Scotoma’? Really?

Yeah, blind spot. Mainly SEO reasons, for a unique and memorable URL.

So what’s it about?

The main section is a literal ‘news’ letter - a letter about a newspaper!

If you digest the New York Times with breakfast, this is the newsletter to accompany nightcaps. Those diligent and hallowed columns too have occasional blind spots. This is corrective metacommentary from far outside America, a critique of NYT columns. Why NYT? Because it really does try.

Yes, there is a form of scotoma exclusive to global elites, stuff they fail to notice or acknowledge. This letter covers both local and global aspects of it, if sometimes slightly wonkish.

Journalists of even the near future, like their readers, will be generalists. This newsletter hopes to show what changes in the reporting and analysis would eliminate the need for something like Elite Scotoma to exist!

@ the NYT: 😬🙏 I don't trust myself to critique writers I do not respect and admire. I can only attempt a critique of that which I care about enough to spend time thinking over deeply and, within humans bounds, fairly. If you come across this newsletter, I hope you'll find it cannot hurt your manifest pursuit of excellence.

I remain acutely aware that not only am I critiquing writers far better than myself, I’m also the sort of writer who needs editors and this newsletter doesn’t benefit from any.


A subsection called Presbyopia launched November 2022. Details on it here.

Post Date

I admit to an acute case of l'espirit de l'escalier. As you might suspect from the somewhat footloose or hurried text, most posts are written over a short span. Additional points and even clinchers occur weeks later, on long nature walks or when making tea right after. In the newsletter’s spirit of tackling arguments thoroughly, some posts get a post-script section, with third or fourth thoughts.

Forward Links

Sometimes, after I comment on an NYT column here, some writer comes up with a more elaborate or better developed thesis of a point I make in passing, or a journalist reports something I speculated at. Partly in the same spirit as Post Date, but also a bit of ‘told you so’ or ‘you heard it hear first’, I edit the posts to add these links. Sadly, Substack doesn’t give us much leeway in formatting (or I’d have used JavaScript to zhuzh it way up with interactive graphics)… So these links are marked with an asterisk, like so[*].

Why subscribe?

To show you want it to continue. And to get full access to the newsletter and website. Never miss an update. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox.

Subscribe to Elite Scotoma

A critique of New York Times columns with a wonkish perspective from the Global South. Why NYT? Because it really tries.


Generalist writer. Student of science, economics and history | sach.ink | Heart in Bogotá, mind in Maastricht, feet in Pune | research DOT mentor AT outlook DOT com