Posts

January 28, 2015

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10:13 PM | Armand Marie Leroi's rewarding study of Aristotle's science
Adam Rutherford in The Guardian: In this lush, epic and hugely enjoyable book, biologist Armand Marie Leroi explores the idea that it was another ancient Greek giant whose shoulders we may all stand upon. In his mid 30s, around 346...
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7:57 PM | A Graphene Discoverer Speculates on the Future of Computing
Katia Moskvitch in Scientific American: What does graphene mean for the future of computing? It is certain that silicon will be used for transistors—semiconductor devices that are the building blocks of modern computers—for at least the next five to 10...
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7:52 PM | The Blog Comment That Achieved an Internet Miracle
Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic: Last month, an improbable Internet exchange inspired many who noticed it to reconsider what's possible when debating politics online. It began when MIT professor Scott Aaronson published a blog post on a sexual harassment controversy....
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5:01 PM | The name of the rose and the smell of the article
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” wrote Shakespeare.  Yes, but an article about the rose’s smell wouldn’t smell as sweet at all. The form of the article as a mean for disseminating research is more and more questioned. I liked  Idiot things that we we do in our papers out of … Continue reading The name of the rose and the smell of the article →
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4:51 PM | A Review of Herbrechter's "Critical Posthumanism"
John Bruni at berfrois: If posthumanism signals the end of a certain way of describing—or, more precisely, orienting—selfhood, then we might ask, as Ralph Waldo Emerson did at the start of his famous essay, “Experience” (that addressed, among other crucial...
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4:48 PM | Conversation as Performance: On ‘BOMB: The Author Interviews’
Nick Ripatrazone at The Millions: The art of literary conversation, by whatever name, is certainly not new.Hannah Rosefield opened her review of John Freeman’s How to Read a Novelist to a larger discussion of our cultural obsession with the interview...
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4:45 PM | Pope Francis, Radical Leftist?
Elizabeth Stoker Breunig at The New Republic: In any analysis of a public figure, partisan interests will influence one’s opinion, and there isn’t anything particularly productive about pointing out that conservatives tend to forgive in conservative leaders what they don’t...
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3:47 PM | Information, search, and causes – Workshop in Turin
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12:22 PM | 21 + 21 = 42
Carley Moore in TNB: Last summer I turned 42 years old. On the morning of my birthday, my then-boyfriend asked me what I was doing when I was 21, half that age. I said, “Baking quiches, dropping acid, and chasing...
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12:10 PM | Unconscious thought not so smart after all
Alison Abbott in Nature: If you have to make a complex decision, will you do a better job if you absorb yourself in, say, a crossword puzzle instead of ruminating about your options? The idea that unconscious thought is sometimes...
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11:56 AM | Ram Manikkalingam: Extremists Can Be Our Friends
No summary available for this post.
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11:54 AM | Why free speech is fundamental
Steven Pinker in the Boston Review: More than two centuries after freedom of speech was enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, that right is very much in the news. Campus speech codes, disinvited commencement speakers, jailed performance artists,...

January 27, 2015

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10:05 PM | Larry Sultan's photos capture, tenderly, the paradise of Southern California – and the tensions and desires that complicate it
Morgan Meis in The Smart Set: When I look at photographs by Larry Sultan I smell eucalyptus and lavender. Those are the plants I can name. I also smell the gnarled bushes and brown weeds, the nameless desert flowers that...
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7:32 PM | Raising Elvis
Allison Gehlhaus in Brain, Child: It’s been an eye-opening twelve years. A time to examine some preconceived—literally—notions regarding the raising of boys and girls. Especially my own. I had been stunned and hurt by the comments I heard after the...
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6:55 PM | Claude McKay Walks in Ferguson
David X. Noval in The Critical Flame: Claude McKay, born in Jamaica in 1890, is the first modern master of the sonnet form. Yeats of course had turned out a few—one a classic—as had Pound. Cummings wrote plenty of sonnets,...
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6:49 PM | “They are artificial microbes that can be created to make …”
My brother  Dragos Buliga, a sharp film director and media producer, asked me to describe to him in lay terms what he sees in these demos pages. I came up with this. (See more at chemlambda vision page.) They are artificial microbes that can be created to make a computer do anything without knowing what … Continue reading “They are artificial microbes that can be created to make …” →
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6:44 PM | Sean Carroll: Death and Physics
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3:07 PM | Remembering Robert Stone
Stephen Goodwin at The American Scholar: Robert Stone, who died on January 10, was a member of the all-but-vanished tribe of hard-living, two-fisted, wildly ambitious American novelists who grew up in Hemingway’s slipstream. In the 1960s, when Bob was writing...
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3:04 PM | THE CREATOR, By Mynona
Michael Dirda at The Washington Post: When I first picked up this eerie-looking paperback, attracted by the half-spider, half-human figure on the cover, its author was completely unknown to me. That doesn’t happen a lot (he said immodestly). I could...
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3:01 PM | Michel Houellebecq Defends His Controversial New Book
Michel Houellebecq interviewed at Paris Review: Where did you get the idea for a presidential election, in 2022, that came down to Marine Le Pen and the leader of a Muslim party? Well, Marine Le Pen strikes me as a...
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1:47 PM | Man Down: why men are ridiculous
Amanda Marcotte in Slate: Men: Notes From an Ongoing Investigation may be the most provocative title in a long list of provocative book titles from essayist Laura Kipnis—a remarkable feat for a woman whose previous works include Against Love and...
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1:31 PM | Can This Treatment Help Me?
Austin Frakt and Aaron E. Carroll in The New York Times: Consider aspirin for heart attack prevention. Based upon both modifiable risk factors like cholesterol level and smoking, and factors that are beyond one’s control, like family history and age,...
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12:54 PM | Tuesday poem
Insomnia I wake up in the middle of the night hear the house settling, the ceiling creaking realize I have no bottled water canned food, flashlight, rifle or bullets stored in the hidden room off of my office my children...

January 26, 2015

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10:29 PM | Hypocrisy
Credit: The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe This cartoon reminded me of some of the local campaigners against fluoridation. They almost all are either strongly connected to the “natural” health movement and its businesses, or, because of their beliefs, are customers … Continue reading →
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5:50 AM | The Politics of Barbarism
by Ahmed Humayun Is there a method to the madness of Islamist extremism? Yes, if a voluminous literature produced by militants in Arabic and other languages is to be believed. One example of the genre is the militant manual, the...
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5:35 AM | Monday Poem
$hip of $tate I'm on a big boat (which the nautically savvy call ship) if this ship's a cocoon of light atmosphere its steel will float, but it will tip if its load’s unbalanced— if its equilibrium is off it...
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5:30 AM | Remembering Old Friends: Cars I have known and loved
The first car I bought and paid for on my own, after the divorce, was a 1992 maroon Toyota Corolla. I loved that car, and so did my children! The story of the Corolla is the story of my family.
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5:25 AM | perceptions
Liliana Porter. Man with Axe, 2011. More here and here.
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5:20 AM | Flogging Hate
by Maniza Naqvi Flogging newspapers with hate drawn up as free speech is a cheap self serving marketing trick. Nothing new there. Hate sells war. It sells weapons. It sells newspapers. Hate sells. Floggings and cartoons to caricature Muslims as...
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5:15 AM | CATSPEAK
by Brooks Riley
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