Posts

November 19, 2014

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3:25 PM | The Ghosts and Gains of Waziristan
Operation Zarb-e-Azb is a military offensive being conducted by Pakistani military forces against various militant groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan. Up to 30,000 Pakistani soldiers are involved in Zarb-e-Azb, described as a "comprehensive operation" to flush...
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12:40 PM | Martin weaves more magic in a welcome trip to Westeros
Neela Debnath in The Independent: The eagerly anticipated companion guide to George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has finally arrived. While it may not be as chunky as the original novels, The World of Ice &...
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12:24 PM | Magic tricks using artificial intelligence
From KurzweilAI: Queen Mary University of London researchers have developed a Google Play app called Phoney based on a mind-reading card trick, part of a research exploration into what can be achieved when human intelligence is replaced or assisted by...

November 18, 2014

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5:48 PM | The Generalist
Steve Landsburg in The Big Questions: I never met Grothendieck. I was never in the same room with him. I never even saw him from a distance. But whenever I think about math — which is to say, pretty much...
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5:13 PM | HeadCon '14
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Molly Crockett, Jennifer Jacquet, Michael McCullough, Hugo Mercier, L.A. Paul, David Rand, Lawrence Ian Reed, and Simone Schnall over at Edge.org: In September a group of social scientists gathered for HEADCON '14, an Edge Conference at Eastover Farm....
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3:12 PM | Poet Melissa Green: Virgil would still be proud
Cynthia Haven at The Book Haven: In 1991, Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky was asked what American poets he admired. Of the two or three he shortlisted, he mentioned Melissa Green for “tremendous intensity and tremendous intelligence.” He continued: “In the...
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3:12 PM | Who knows What
Massimo Pigliucci in Aeon: [E.O] Wilson claims that we can engage in a process of ‘consilience’ that leads to an intellectually and aesthetically satisfactory unity of knowledge. Here is how he defines two versions of consilience: ‘To dissect a phenomenon...
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3:10 PM | Not Problematic: In Defense of ‘Serial’
Lindsay Beyerstein in the New York Observer: You’d think This American Life’s true crime podcast, Serial, would be a show you could enjoy with a clear conscience. It’s exhaustively reported, skillfully produced, and engaging to the point of being addictive...
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3:09 PM | On Denis Johnson’s ‘The Laughing Monsters’
Marc Mewshaw at The Millions: Seven years after taking on military intelligence in the National Book Award-winning novel Tree of Smoke, Johnson returns to the subject once again. But The Laughing Monsters is a much slighter affair, a fizzy alcopop...
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3:05 PM | on CHARLES D'AMBROSIO's essays
J. C. Hallman at Bookforum: Even though the essays here are divided into thematic sections, the feel of the book that emerges as the two D’Ambrosios converge is something like the impact of a powerful memoir: It recounts how one...
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1:54 PM | Putem sa ne organizam mai bine decat partidele
Orice ai fi, revolutionar, politician,  afacerist sau ONGist, e ceva ce nu iti permiti sa ignori: costul organizarii. Toate formele de organizare, de la #unitisalvam, la partide politice, la grupari religioase, la fabrici, afaceri, scoli, sindicate, academii, toate acestea sunt grupuri de oameni care se organizeaza. Or, nu este usor sa te organizezi. Costa timp, […]
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11:12 AM | Vape gathers linguistic steam to become Word of the Year 2014
Alison Flood in The Guardian: This was the year of vaping, according to Oxford Dictionaries, which has chosen “vape” – the act of inhaling from an electronic cigarette – as its word of 2014 after use of the term more...
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11:09 AM | Tuesday Poem
Brand New Ancients . In the old days the myths were the stories we used to explain ourselves. But how can we explain the way we hate ourselves, the things we’ve made ourselves into, the way we break ourselves in...
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9:52 AM | For the Monarch Butterfly, a Long Road Back
Liza Gross in The New York Times: Dara Satterfield hadn’t planned to conduct experiments at the Texas State Fair, but that is where her study subjects showed up last month. She was still in Georgia when they arrived, so she...
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1:00 AM | Declan Waugh pushes another anti-fluoride myth
Declan Waugh seems a bit of a late developer. He has only just got around  to finding those papers that anti-fluoride propagandists like to cite as evidence that oral health does not decline when community water fluoridation is stopped. Of … Continue reading →

November 17, 2014

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5:50 AM | More Is Different
by Tasneem Zehra Husain Emergence is a word deep enough to lose oneself in. It alludes to realities appearing, not suddenly or out of nothing, but slowly dissolving in to our consciousness - like a fuzzy picture, coming into focus....
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5:45 AM | Monday Poem
“The attitude of man is twofold in accordance with the two basic words he can speak.” —Martin Buber, I and Thou . Conjugation In a diner my elbows rest upon Formica. I hold a book. Curlicues of vapor rise above...
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5:40 AM | 7500 Miles, Part III: Ain't No One Gonna Turn Me Around
by Akim Reinhardt I've made some deep runs in my time. I once drove non-stop from central Wyoming to eastern Iowa before passing out at a highway rest stop for a couple of hours, waking up with a scrambled brain,...
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5:35 AM | Perceptions
Tarek Montasser. Gentlemen Joking. 2014. Watercolor on paper. More here and here.
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5:30 AM | American Craziness: Where it Came from and Why It Won’t Work Anymore
by Bill Benzon During the course of my adult life I have witnessed the collapse of the political culture of my nation, the United States of America. To be sure, there have been some good things – the Civil Rights...
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5:25 AM | The Undoing of Abraham
by Josh Yarden Rembrandt, Abraham`s Sacrifice, 1635 On the verge of sacrificing his own son on an alter the one he loves bound for glory pausing to consider which he loves more Abraham says: "Abraham!" and he says, "Here I...
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5:20 AM | an obsession with optics (part 2)
by Leanne Ogasawara His boss was known f...
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5:15 AM | CATSPEAK
by Brooks Riley
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5:10 AM | Pugachev, Pushkin, Tsvetaeva: A Ramble
by Eric Byrd Like Ségur's account of the retreat from Moscow and Grant's mostly martial memoirs, Pushkin's History of the Pugachev Revolt narrates a welter of suffering – axe-armed mobs, corpulent gentry flayed alive, a total civic breakdown in which...
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5:05 AM | Strained Analogies Between Recently Released Films and Current Events: Interstellar and the 2014 Midterm Elections
by Matt McKenna Christopher Nolan's Interstellar may have been advertised as a science fiction blockbuster set in the vast nothingness of outer space, but the message of the film is clearly directed at more terrestrial concerns. While Interstellar attempts to...

November 16, 2014

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10:04 PM | I just arrived home from the street. A beautiful thing happened today
Since more than two years, I have again the feeling that I’m not alone in my country, that many other fellows refused to adapt to the imposture and corruption which still reign here. Today we learned that we are a majority, not a minority, even if are still lead by old secret police and new […]
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6:23 PM | The Knowledge, London’s Legendary Taxi-Driver Test, Puts Up a Fight in the Age of GPS
Jody Rosen in NYTimes' T Magazine Blog: McCabe had spent the last three years of his life thinking about London’s roads and landmarks, and how to navigate between them. In the process, he had logged more than 50,000 miles on...
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6:18 PM | My Hacker, My Source, My Snitch
Gabriella Coleman on Medium: For six years I have been studying the protest ensemble Anonymous. Some challenges come with the job. By definition, Anonymous is a faceless collective. As many participants in this milieu conceal their identities carefully, it was...
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6:10 PM | What next for independence movements in Europe?
Eve Hepburn in openDemocracy: What should the EU do? At the moment, the official position is to keep its head down and say nothing about the internal affairs of one of its valued member-states. But will this strategy work when...
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4:47 PM | Should the United States Declare Books an ‘Essential Good’?
Each week in Bookends, two writers take on questions about the world of books. The French government has declared books an “essential good.” This week, Daniel Mendelsohn and Mohsin Hamid debate whether the United States should do the same. Daniel...
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