Posts

September 10, 2014

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3:55 PM | john gray on francis fukuyama
John Gray at Literary Review: The telltale word here, and throughout the two volumes, is 'evolve'. For Fukuyama, as for many other modern thinkers, today and in the past, political development is an evolutionary process. What drives this process is...
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3:52 PM | Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and the critique of pop culture
Alex Ross at The New Yorker: To read the biographies of Benjamin and Adorno side by side—Eiland and Jennings’s new book, seven hundred and sixty-eight pages long, takes a place on the shelf next to Stefan Müller-Doohm’s hardly less massive...
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3:24 PM | How Stephen King Teaches Writing
Jessica Lahey in The Atlantic: Jessica Lahey: You write that you taught grammar “successfully.” How did you define “success” when you were teaching? Stephen King: Success is keeping the students’ attention to start with, and then getting them to see...
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3:19 PM | The Revolutionary Technique That Quietly Changed Machine Vision Forever
From the MIT Technology Review: Computers have always had trouble identifying objects in real images so it is not hard to believe that the winners of these competitions have always performed poorly compared to humans. But all that changed in...
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3:14 PM | What is Art for?
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2:51 PM | Why Scotland Might Just Say Yes to Independence
Mark Blyth in Foreign Affairs (photo: Paul Hackett / Courtesy Reuters): An independent Scotland would have a massively oversize banking system, with assets possibly exceeding 1,000 percent of GDP. This would represent an Icelandic-sized risk to British taxpayers, who would...
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11:04 AM | Art Spiegelman Breaks His Silence on Israel
Mira Sucharov in Forward: Art Spiegelman — celebrated comics book artist, illustrator and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Maus” — has broken his silence on the subject of Israel. At least that’s how he put it to his Facebook followers...
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10:56 AM | Wednesday Poem
Fears in Heaven . My father asks me to call him by his first name which is Ali because we are, after all now the same youthful age It feels extremely odd when this devout Muslim politely asks me to...
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9:45 AM | Between Qaum and the nation
Vijay Prashad in HimalSouthAsian: Faisal Devji and I went to graduate school together at the University of Chicago. We worked with Barney Cohn, a scholar with an adventurous sense of scholarship. Devji’s early studies were conducted at the feet of...
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9:30 AM | Quietest Places in the World
Trevor Cox in American Scientist: While I was on an expedition to record singing sand dunes, I experienced something quite rare: complete silence. The scorching summer heat kept visitors away. Most of the time my recording companion, Diane Hope, and...
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2:39 AM | MH17 – Preliminary report leaves most conspiracy theories intact
Click on image above, or link below, to download report I downloaded the official Preliminary report of the MH17 crash in east Ukraine last night. I must say that although the report appears comprehensive as far as it goes – it doesn’t … Continue reading →

September 09, 2014

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8:51 PM | A break
This is a short note just to say that I will not be contributing posts to M-Phi for the time being.
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7:49 PM | the ideal busts of the Victorian parlor
Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set: The Victorian Age, by most accounts, was dirty and crowded and busy. It was an age in which nobility and refinement were greatly valued because they were so fragile. Ideal busts like those...
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7:46 PM | What David Foster Wallace misunderstood about John Updike
William Deresiewicz at The New Republic: He knew who he was, and he knew 
who he wanted to be: an unembarrassed, unreconstructed middle-American. He shied away from nothing that he saw or learned in modern art or thought—not then, not...
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7:41 PM | THE FALCONERS OF THE EASTERN PONTOS
Alexander Christie-Miller at The White Review: Each autumn as the cold spreads across Russia and Eastern Europe it sets in train a vast migration of birds of prey. Passing through the Caucasus and entering Anatolia, eagles, kites, harriers, buzzards and...
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3:41 PM | Norms for Respectful Classroom/Seminar Discussion
David Chalmers is compiling a useful set of guidelines for respectful, constructive, and inclusive philosophical discussion. It makes sense to concentrate on a single field, like philosophy, since customs often vary wildly from one discipline to the other — but … Continue reading →
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3:26 PM | Ngugi wa Thiong'o tipped for 2014 Nobel prize in literature
Alison Flood in The Guardian: A run of bets originating in Sweden has seen the odds plummet on Ngugi wa Thiong'o, the distinguished Kenyan author, winning the Nobel prize for literature next month. The chances of the recently-retired Philip Roth...
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3:05 PM | Tennis Gets Anxious
Asad Raza in The New Yorker: Change, John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, comes from the changing of generations. Tennis fans understand the sentiment, and a constant theme of U.S. Open commentary is worrying about when the next generation of stars will...
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2:54 PM | Can we talk? The unruly life and legacy of Joan Rivers
Kathleen Geier in After Hours: There's something about the outpouring of sentimental tributes to the late Joan Rivers that just feels wrong. The Rivers celebrations have shown a disconcerting tendency to sanitize this messy, maddening, and sometimes appalling human being....
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2:40 PM | Sean Carroll, E.L. Doctorow, Jo Marchant, Joyce Carol Oates, and Steven Pinker in conversation
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11:02 AM | Can Pseudonyms Make Better Online Citizens?
Erin O'Donnell in Harvard Magazine: People socialize online more than ever: posting photos on Instagram, job-hunting on LinkedIn, joking about politics on Twitter, and sharing reviews of everything from hotels to running shoes. Judith Donath, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman...
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10:39 AM | A Doctor’s Malaise, and a Profession’s
Florence Williams in The New York Times: Sandeep Jauhar’s new memoir, “Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician,” tells the story of two midlife crises: the author’s own,, and that of modern American medicine, now in about its fourth decade...
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10:18 AM | Tuesday Poem
Loss Something in me repeats in an obsessive beat that I may have lost something or left it behind in the café or the bookstore where I’d been I searched my possessions and no loss was found nor did I...

September 08, 2014

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5:00 AM | Monday posts will be delayed and will appear at 2 pm NYC time today
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4:45 AM | Speech, Civility and the Salaita Case
by Gerald Dworkin In a talk given some years ago at the University of Illinois Urbana (UIUC), which is the object of a boycott protesting the Salaita decision, I described myself as a "first amendment fanatic." Having grown up in...
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4:40 AM | “Never Forget”—And How I Can’t Help But Remember 9/11
by Debra Morris Along with thousands of others that day, I emerged from the South Tower of the World Trade Center with a crippling fatigue in my knees. Of the walk down, in my case from the 61st floor, certain...
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4:35 AM | Poetry in Translation
GABRIEL AND SATAN after Iqbal Gabriel All right, mate. Dish out the dirt. Satan Suffering, seeking, yearning, burning I have the strength of hopelessness Gabriel Heavens! Will you ever return? Satan No bazaars, Jaguars, rouge et noir— Bestow these gated...
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4:30 AM | Imran Khan's Misstep
by Ahmed Humayun The 2013 elections in Pakistan gained the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) the government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province as well as the third most prominent position in parliament. This striking success was a vindication of Imran Khan, PTI's leader, who...
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4:25 AM | CATSPEAK
by Brooks Riley
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4:20 AM | Out of Egypt
by Ruchira Paul “And suddenly I knew, as I touched the damp, grainy surface of the seawall, that I would always remember this night, that in years to come I would remember sitting here, swept with confused longing as I...
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