Posts

October 31, 2014

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12:09 PM | nabokov's letters to his wife
Eric Naiman at The Times Literary Supplement: We are used to the Nabokov who wrote for a robust, “panting and happy” reader, for the climber of “trackless slopes”. This is the playful Nabokov who loves to fold his magic carpet...
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12:07 PM | on Thomas Pfau’s "Minding the Modern"
Elizabeth Pritchard at Immanent Frame: Let me start with a confession. I am not particularly keen on stories of modernity in which “modernity” figures as a character and in which the plot—surprise—entails a “fall” or “break.” Thomas Pfau’s Minding the...
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11:59 AM | Anne Sexton's band
Kelsey Osgood at Harper's Magazine: From 1967 until their disbanding in 1971, the group wrote and performed. They played at a fundraiser for Eugene McCarthy, at bars where the air was thick with marijuana smoke, in college quads, on radio...
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5:26 AM | Searching for the Fountain of Youth
Sam Anderson in the NYT Magazine (photo Dolly Faibyshev for The New York Times): For more than 100 years, Punta Gorda has claimed to have the Fountain of Youth: an artesian well that once drew such long lines of tourists...

October 30, 2014

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6:32 PM | Chemlambda quines and DNA pairs, speculation
I’m staring at this space view of the walking machine described first in this post: The picture is a screenshot of the chemlambda gui available for download from this page. The .mol file of the walker is available at this link. What is this: is a walker as described in the ouroboros predecessor post, which […]
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1:46 PM | Professor Pinker and Professor Strunk
Geoffrey Pullum in the Chronicle of Higher Education: The voice on BBC radio was that of Professor Steven Pinker, fluent and engaging as ever. But my blood froze as I listened to what he said. On the panel show A...
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1:37 PM | David Graeber and Thomas Piketty: An exchange on capital, debt, and the future
From The Baffler: Moderators: You both appear to think that the prevailing economic and financial system has run its course, and cannot endure much longer in its present form. I would like to ask each of you to explain why....
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1:28 PM | Honey Buzzards GPS Track Animation
Based on real data (latitude, longitude and height) from the University of Amsterdam the animation initially shows the tracks of 12 birds, but then concentrates on a pair - male and female, as they migrate south in Autumn 2010 from...
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1:23 PM | An “Imminent Cure” for Diabetes? The Real Story Behind the Headlines
Wudan Yan in Hippo Reads: You may have read recent media stories stating that a cure for Type I Diabetes is “imminent” and wondered what the buzz was about—is a cure indeed imminent and, if so, what does this mean...
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10:40 AM | Thursday Poem
Mahayana Catholic Each morning I sit Stone still On a pillow And recite The Sutra on Loving Kindness, Then breathe. Afternoons I sit Stick stiff On my cushion And intone The Heart Of Understanding And breathe. At night I lie...
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9:38 AM | The Caribbean Zola
Craig Lambert in Harvard Magazine: In the spring of 2012, Brown University hosted an extraordinary academic conference. “Being Nobody?” honored the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of Slavery and Social Death by Orlando Patterson, Harvard’s Cowles professor of sociology. Giving...
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9:29 AM | Azar Nafisi: ‘Books are representative of the most democratic way of living’
Viv Groskop in The Guardian: Azar Nafisi, 58, is an Iranian writer and professor of English literature. She lives in Washington DC and became an American citizen in 2008. In 1995 she quit her job as a university lecturer in...
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7:20 AM | Zero Hour
Joanna Scutts in Lapham's Quarterly: In The Burning of the World, his recently discovered memoir of the first few weeks of World War I, the Hungarian artist, officer, and man about town Béla Zombory-Moldován writes frequently about his attachment to...
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6:14 AM | Everything and Moore
Tim Martin in Aeon (Illustration by Lee Moyer): Alan Moore is waiting when I get off the train in Northampton, a majestically bearded figure in a hoodie, scanning the crowd that pushes through the turnstiles with a look of fearsome...
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5:47 AM | Dear White People’s Missed Opportunities
Michael Collins in In These Times: Set in the present day, the film follows the lives of five black people on the fictitious Ivy League college Winchester as they navigate race, love and ever-shifting personal identities. Broken into a series...
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3:50 AM | The Quantum Indians: Three Physicists
No summary available for this post.

October 29, 2014

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7:14 PM | the Crippling Sadness That Overtook Evelyn Waugh
John Banville's 1995 essay at The New Republic: This was a very low period for Waugh. There was an urgent necessity for him to find a way of making a living, and eventually, with deep foreboding, he took a post...
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7:09 PM | The Grim Future if Ebola Goes Global
Maryn McKenna at Wired: It is not guaranteed, they say, that a successful vaccine against Ebola can be “developed, produced, and distributed” in time, and in large enough amounts, to throw a fence of containment around the disease. If not,...
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7:00 PM | “The Death of Klinghoffer,” at the Met
Alex Ross at The New Yorker: The protest failed because it relied on falsehoods: the opera is not anti-Semitic, nor does it glorify terrorism. Granted, Adams and his librettist, Alice Goodman, do not advertise their intentions in neon. The story...
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2:57 PM | The Science of Interstellar
The intersection — maybe the union! — of science and sci-fi geekdom is overcome with excitement about the upcoming movie Interstellar, which opens November 7. It’s a collaboration between director Christopher Nolan and physicist Kip Thorne, both heroes within their … Continue reading →
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11:32 AM | Laughing ourselves to life
Howard Jacobson in New Statesman: If I were to give this essay a title, it would be “Waiting for Calvin”. Not John Calvin the theologian, nor Calvin Klein the fashion designer, but Calvin, a Navajo baby whose first laugh I...
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11:15 AM | ‘Data smashing’ could automate discovery, untouched by human hands
From KurzweilAI: From recognizing speech to identifying unusual stars, new discoveries often begin with comparison of data streams to find connections and spot outliers. But simply feeding raw data into a data-analysis algorithm is unlikely to produce meaningful results, say...
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10:38 AM | Wednesday Poem
A Ball Rolls on a Point The whole ball of who we are presses into the green baize of a single tiny spot. A aural track of crackle betrays our passage through the fibrous jungle it's hot and desperate. Insects...
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8:18 AM | Against Carceral Feminism
Victoria Law in Jacobin (image “Prison Blueprints.” Remeike Forbes/Jacobin): Casting policing and prisons as the solution to domestic violence both justifies increases to police and prison budgets and diverts attention from the cuts to programs that enable survivors to escape,...
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7:05 AM | Morality and Discourse in Serbia
Keith Doubt on Eric Gordy's Guilt, Responsibility, and Denial: The Past at Stake in Post-Milošević Serbia, in Berfrois (Belgrade, Serbia. Photograph by Jamie Silva): The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as...
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6:53 AM | Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin
Over at The Physics arXiv Blog: Taleb and co begin by making a clear distinction between risks with consequences that are local and those with consequences that have the potential to cause global ruin. When global harm is possible, an...
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3:06 AM | A cognitive neuroscience approach to the problem of identity
(Note:  This post appeared on Scientia Salon on October 24, under the title Identity, a neurobiological perspective, with numerous comments.  I am placing a copy here for convenience.  The discussion has closed on Scientia Salon, but I would be happy to continue it here.) The philosophical problem of identity is epitomized by the paradox known as … Continue reading »

October 28, 2014

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10:00 PM | Criminal investigation of MH17 tragedy – where is it at?
I thought this der Spiegel interview with Fred Westerbeke about the ongoing criminal investigation of the MH17 tragedy could be of interest. Especially as I have been accused of ignoring the “official version” of the incident. At least this investigator … Continue reading →
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9:53 PM | The new look of the chemlambda gui, new downloads and a video demo of the space view
Here is a short video with a demo of the space view of chemlambda molecules and their interaction. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPzsSpkl8Fw   At this link you can download the tar archive which contains the gui I play with.  I would be grateful if as many as possible download it and spread it in as many places, not […]
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3:15 PM | Schubert: the secret of song
Jonathan Rée in Prospect: Every October for the past 13 years, the Oxford Lieder Festival has been bringing classy performances of classical art songs to what used to be a rather unmusical town. I love it: great art taken seriously,...
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