Posts

July 23, 2014

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3:33 PM | An interview with Rohan Maitzen
Matthew Jakubowski in Truce: Before I ask more about your blogging—when you decided to pursue your interest in ethical criticism as a research topic, can you say more about that particular choice, especially how becoming a mother made you want...
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3:29 PM | The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted and Speaking Truth to Power
Juan Cole in TruthDig: The map is useful and accurate. It begins by showing the British Mandate of Palestine as of the mid-1920s. The British conquered the Ottoman districts that came to be the Mandate during World War I (the...
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3:23 PM | How Might Quantum Information Transform Our Future?
Scott Aaronson in Big Questions Online: Picture, if you can, the following scene. It’s the year 2040. You wake up in the morning, and walk across your bedroom to your computer to check your email and some news websites. Your...
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3:11 PM | Robert Pinsky: What Are Your Favorite Words?
No summary available for this post.
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1:42 PM | Work Life: Tell the negative committee to shut up
Fanuel Muindi in Science: When I started out in Stanford University's biology doctoral program, I didn't feel ready. My feeling that I was poorly prepared was corroborated by a committee that told me often how underprepared and unqualified I was....
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12:08 PM | Love People, Not Pleasure
Arthur C. Brooks in The New York Times: ABD AL-RAHMAN III was an emir and caliph of Córdoba in 10th-century Spain. He was an absolute ruler who lived in complete luxury. Here’s how he assessed his life: “I have now...
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10:15 AM | Wednesday Poem
Veil of Religion If you are One and your teachings are One why did you inscribe our infancy in the Torah and adorn our youth in the Gospels only to erase all that in your final Book? Why did you...

July 22, 2014

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2:45 PM | A talk with climate defeatist Paul Kingsnorth
Wen Stephenson at Grist: Some have called Kingsnorth a catastrophist, or fatalist, with something like a death wish for civilization (see John Gray in The New Statesman and George Monbiot in The Guardian). Others might call him a realist, a...
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2:40 PM | Minutes that changed the course of rock history
Brian Doyle at The American Scholar: On a spring day in 1964, a boy walked into the Oldfield Hotel in the London suburb of Greenford—or perhaps the White Hart Hotel in Acton, or perhaps an unknown pub on London’s North...
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2:38 PM | how mortality shapes our existence
William Boyd at The New Statesman: I want to start with a luminously beautiful – and luminously profound – quotation from Vladimir Nabokov’s autobiography Speak, Memory. He writes: “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that...
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2:35 PM | Kim Philby and the hazards of mistrust
Malcolm Gladwell at The New Yorker: In December of 1961, a high-ranking K.G.B. agent knocked on the door of the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, asking for asylum. His name was Antoliy Golitsyn, and he had a remarkable secret to share....
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2:01 PM | Lambda calculus and the fixed point combinator in chemlambda (VI)
This is the 6th  (continuing from part I  and part II  and part III and part IV and part V)   in a series of expository posts where we put together in one place the pieces from various places about: how is treated lambda calculus in chemlambda how it works, with special emphasis on the […]
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1:06 PM | Mohammed Suliman’s Tweets from the War in Gaza
Mohammed Suliman's tweets from Gaza (via Juan Cole): Some were just tweeting and posting on Facebook about other people's death like I'm doing. Now people are tweeting about their death. — Mohammed Suliman (@imPalestine) July 20, 2014 Hani mourns the...
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1:04 PM | How to Unmarry Your Wife
Sarah Viren in The Morning News: It was sweltering the day I unmarried Marta, and we weren’t even together. I was with my little brother in a Penske truck, the flat haze of West Texas rising before us like the...
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12:53 PM | Against Intersectionality
Justin Smith in Berfrois: Does a Muslim Chechen migrant laborer in a provincial Siberian city –a ‘Caucasian’ if anyone ever was– enjoy ‘white privilege’? It seems offensive to suggest that he does. Of course, there is some scenario on which...
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12:41 PM | Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League
William Deresiewicz in TNR [h/t: Simon During]: Let’s not kid ourselves: The college admissions game is not primarily about the lower and middle classes seeking to rise, or even about the upper-middle class attempting to maintain its position. It is...
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12:37 PM | Writers or Missionaries?
Adam Shatz in The Nation: Shortly after September 11, I interviewed V.S. Naipaul about his views on Islam for The New York Times Magazine. Much of what he said was predictably ugly, a provocation calculated to offend liberal sensibilities. “Non-fundamentalist...
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11:03 AM | Embodying Culture: My ongoing conversation with Soliman & Glenberg
Would a formal reply make me this guy?I've been exchanging views with Art Glenberg and his colleagues about a paper he published recently in Frontiers. I reviewed it, had reservations but eventually let it through, then published my concerns as a commentary on the original paper. Soliman and Glenberg (2014; S&G) then replied to my reply which I didn't know about until I noticed the commentary had a citation in my Google Scholar profile. I could simply publish a reply to their […]
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10:53 AM | Beyond Energy, Matter, Time and Space
George Johnson in The New York Times: Though he probably didn’t intend anything so jarring, Nicolaus Copernicus, in a 16th-century treatise, gave rise to the idea that human beings do not occupy a special place in the heavens. Nearly 500...

July 21, 2014

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4:50 AM | Buddhist Musings in Ramadan
by Jalees Rehman Ramadan is the month of fasting and a time for spiritual growth among Muslims. The traditionalist approach to "spiritual growth" is for Muslims to complement their fasting with performing additional prayers at night and regular reading of...
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4:47 AM | Waiting On Rhoda
by Tamuira Reid I'm pregnant. You say the words the same way you say I'm an alcoholic, but this time you aren't sitting in a church basement with a shitty assortment of store-bought cookies on your lap. You hear a...
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4:45 AM | Monday Poem
Invisible Disassembling the invisible has its own mathematics, different rules apply, the process has its special calculus because the unseen is huge and impudent, powerful and odd When we were dumb and ignorant the spirit wind would startle us, would...
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4:40 AM | The War on Terroir
by Dwight Furrow Few terms in the wine world are more controversial than "terroir", the French word meaning "of the soil". "Terroir" refers to the influence of soil and climate on the wine in your glass. But the meaning of...
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4:35 AM | Shaping Ramadan
by Shadab Zeest Hashmi The fridge is between pesto and grasshopper green; the dining table is oval. A cubist picture hangs on the wall. It changes meaning, depending on the time of the day and the way I fall into...
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4:30 AM | Perceptions
Annemarie Busschers. Self portrait. 2013 Pencil, graphite, acrylic. More here and here.
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4:20 AM | A Square Peg for Every Round Hole
by Jonathan Kujawa Mathematicians have a soft spot in their hearts for mathematical trifles. These beguiling little puzzles are more amusing than important, and also often devilishly hard. These are the sorts of math problems professional mathematicians are embarrassed to...
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4:15 AM | CATSPEAK
by Brooks Riley
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4:10 AM | What I Write About When I Read About Running
by Kathleen Goodwin I only recently had the pleasure of reading Haruki Murakami's memoir "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running", published in 2009. There were multiple times when reading this elegant little book when I literally gasped...
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4:05 AM | Malevich at the Tate Modern until 26 Oct 2014
His 1908 Adam and Eve gouache on cardboard might almost have been painted by William Blake. There are Gauguin-inspired peasants and a self-portrait in which he looks like Valentino painted by Matisse.
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3:55 AM | Superintelligence: We need to endow robots with human values
Clive Cookson in the Financial Times: Since the 1950s proponents of artificial intelligence have maintained that machines thinking like people lie just a couple of decades in the future. In Superintelligence – a thought-provoking look at the past, present and...
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