Posts

September 19, 2014

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8:11 PM | The Writer and the Valet: The Story of Dr. Zhivago
Frances Stonor Saunders in the LRB: In his youth Pasternak looked, Marina Tsvetaeva said, ‘like an Arab and his horse’. In older age, he looked the same. Sinewy and tanned from long walks and tending his orchard, at 66 he...
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8:00 PM | Review of T. Parsons' Articulating Medieval Logic
(I was asked to write a review of Terry Parsons' Articulating Medieval Logic for the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. This is what I've come up with so far. Comments welcome!)Scholars working on (Latin) medieval logic can be viewed as populating a spectrum. At one extremity are those who adopt a purely historical and textual approach to the material: they are the ones who produce the invaluable modern editions of important texts, without which the field would to a great extent simply not […]
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7:14 PM | Philosophy of Captivity
Richard Marshall interviews Lori Gruen in 3:AM magazine: 3:AM: A recent book of yours looks at ethics and animals. You begin by looking at the position of human exceptionalism, something that goes back to at least Aristotle. What is the...
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4:10 PM | Friday Poem
Deeper Often at night, sometimes out in the snow or going into the music, the hunch says, "Deeper." I don't know what it means. Just, "Push it. Go further. Go deeper." And when they come talking at me I get...
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2:51 PM | How Much Cosmic Inflation Probably Occurred?
Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging, and nothing focuses the science like an unexpected experimental result. The BICEP2 claimed discovery of gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background — although we still don’t know whether it will hold up … Continue reading →
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12:14 PM | Was There an 'Early Modern' Period in Indian Philosophy?
Justin E.H. Smith at berfrois: If philosophy questions everything, surely it must also question the periodization of its own history. Professional historians themselves tend to agree that the imposition of periods on the past –premodern, Renaissance, early modern, and so...
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12:11 PM | Impressionism Into Modernism in america
Natasha Geiling at The Smithsonian Magazine: To be considered a serious artist in late-19th-century America, you had to have studied in a European, academic workshop, testing your brushtrokes among the masters of the continent. But art is nothing if not...
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12:04 PM | oliver sacks loves libraries
Oliver Sacks at Threepenny Review: When I was a child, my favorite room at home was the library, a large oak-paneled room with all four walls covered by bookcases—and a solid table for writing and studying in the middle. It...
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11:12 AM | OUR DELHI BREAD
Saskya Jain in MoreIntelligentLife: I don’t remember thinking of running away when I asked Ram Singh, our house help, to get my small grey suitcase from the storeroom. We were living in a government flat surrounded by a big garden...
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10:58 AM | Artificial Sweeteners May Disrupt Body’s Blood Sugar Controls
Kenneth Chang in The New York Times: Artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, causing metabolic changes that can be a precursor to diabetes, researchers are reporting. That is “the very same condition that we often...

September 18, 2014

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6:58 PM | You can play with the priority choice “viral”
You can download  the awk file check_and_balance_18_09.awk and play with chemlambda with the priority choice “viral”. This priority choice privileges the moves which increase the number of nodes in favour of those which decrease it. More concretely DIST>BETA>LOC-PR. It is one of the priority choices from the post When priority matters. How to use it: […]
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6:09 PM | How to Predict the Unpredictable
Steven Poole in The Guardian: "Prediction is very difficult," the great Danish physicist Niels Bohr was fond of saying, "especially if it's about the future." This book doesn't in fact claim to teach you how to predict what is really...
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3:12 PM | References, Please
Tim Parks in the New York Review of Books: In the age of the Internet, do we really need footnotes to reference quotations we have made in the text? For a book to be taken seriously, does it have to...
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3:06 PM | Americans are not the world
Joe Henrich and his colleagues are shaking the foundations of psychology and economics—and hoping to change the way social scientists think about human behavior and culture. Interesting article from last year by Ethan Watters in Pacific Standard: In the summer...
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2:53 PM | laurie lee: a walker-writer of genius
Ronald Blythe at the Times Literary Supplement: How he would have hated it – to be remembered as a centenarian. The youth with the violin and the spate of fresh words. He is best remembered as a walker-writer of genius....
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2:50 PM | the heartbreaking story of the last passenger pigeon
Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set: In the last years of her life, Martha began to lose her feathers. Sol Stephan, General Manager of the Cincinnati Zoo, where Martha spent most of her years, began collecting the feathers in...
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2:48 PM | Scottish nationalism and British nationalism aren’t the same
Billy Bragg in The Guardian: For me, the most frustrating aspect of the debate on Scottish independence has been the failure of the English left to recognise that there is more than one type of nationalism. People who can explain...
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2:47 PM | artforum and what's Wrong With the Art World
Jerry Saltz at New York Magazine: But, in a sense, more important than the articles are the advertisements — the porn of the art world. This is where the art world does its peacocking, more out in the open than...
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2:39 PM | Pakistan: Infrastructure and Politics
Ijlal Naqvi in Tanqeed: The introduction of independent power producers in Pakistan marks a key transition to a new logic of infrastructure development, one in which the role of the private sector is enhanced and a fairly rigid ideology of...
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2:34 PM | Mark Blyth: Independence an Obama Hope Moment for Scotland
No summary available for this post.
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2:16 PM | The Transformation: Is it possible to control cancer without killing it?
Jerome Groopman in The New Yorker: For almost thirty years, William Kuhens worked on Staten Island as a basketball referee for the Catholic Youth Organization and other amateur leagues. At seventy, he was physically fit, taking part in twenty games...
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1:29 PM | The real problem with “open data”
Recently there has been a growing push for “Open Data”, that is, for the principle that the raw data from scientific studies should be made freely available online. It’s easy to see the appeal: having the raw data freely accessible means that anybody can check the validity of a paper, and creates a potential for … Continue reading »
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10:20 AM | Thursday Poem
For a Stone Girl at Sanchi half asleep on the cold grass night rain flicking the maples under a black bowl upside-down on a flat land on a wobbling speck smaller than stars, space, the size of a seed, hollow...
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5:48 AM | Witness The Singularity AI Nanotech Co-Evolutionary Merger
How is this for some exciting news, straight from the same source as “I Let My Computer Use My Brain” three years ago, but much advanced in the ways artificial intelligence (AI) has integrated itself further so that most anybody can now work with it, or better, play with it and do cutting edge research nevertheless:  read more

September 17, 2014

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5:28 PM | where are our flying cars?
David Graeber at The Baffler: A secret question hovers over us, a sense of disappointment, a broken promise we were given as children about what our adult world was supposed to be like. I am referring not to the standard...
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5:26 PM | The new european divide
Thomas Rothschild at Eurozine: History is being rewritten in eastern Europe. The glorification of the SS is not a marginal hobby confined to a few isolated nutters. In 2012, no less a man than the Latvian president, Andris Berzins called...
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5:22 PM | Scott and Zelda still inspire new books
Adam Gopnik at The New Yorker: Second acts there may or may not be, but American epilogues go on forever. Scott and Zelda’s friends from the Jazz Age would doubtless have spit up into their morning coffee—or, more likely, into...
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4:39 PM | Martin Amis’s ‘Zone of Interest’ Makes European Publishers Squirm
Rachel Donadio in the New York Times: In France, they say they’re puzzled by the humor. In Germany, they say it will be difficult to market. Martin Amis’s latest novel, “The Zone of Interest,” a satire set in a concentration...
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4:34 PM | Kingdom of Slaves in the Persian Gulf
Sam Badger, Giorgio Cafiero and Foreign Policy In Focus in The Nation: Since FIFA picked Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, the tiny and über-rich Gulf emirate has increasingly come under scrutiny for its failure to protect the human...
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3:16 PM | The Mathematics of Ebola Trigger Stark Warnings: Act Now or Regret It
Maryn McKenna in Wired: The Ebola epidemic in Africa has continued to expand since I last wrote about it, and as of a week ago, has accounted for more than 4,200 cases and 2,200 deaths in five countries: Guinea, Liberia,...
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