Posts

December 05, 2014

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2:37 PM | the dual identity of Vita Sackville-West
Rachel Holmes at The New Statesman: In 1936, Vita Sackville-West published a biography of Joan of Arc. Clad in armour and boys’ breeches, brave, zealous, uncompromising, St Joan was a figure in whom she invested much of herself. “One wonders...
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2:34 PM | Book review: ‘Our Secret Life in the Movies’
Michael Lindgren in the Washington Post: This beautiful, devastating little book is quite unlike anything else I’ve ever encountered, and if you grew up in a small town in the 1980s feeling even remotely marginal, it’s specifically engineered to break...
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2:33 PM | An inside look at the hacking group Anonymous
Astra Taylor at Bookforum: The story of Anonymous’s emergence and transformation into one of the most intriguing and, arguably, potent leaderless political collaborations of our time has been told before in books such as Parmy Olson’s We Are Anonymous; in...
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2:28 PM | "O'Holy Night" Patti Smith
No summary available for this post.
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1:48 PM | Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State
Matthieu Aikins in Rolling Stone: Across the province, hundreds of thousands of people were taking part in the largest opium harvest in Afghanistan's history. With a record 224,000 hectares under cultivation this year, the country produced an estimated 6,400 tons...
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12:30 PM | Why Humans Drink Alcohol: It's Evolution, Plus Bad Fruit
From NBC News: Human ancestors may have begun evolving the knack for consuming alcohol about 10 million years ago, long before modern humans began brewing booze, researchers say. The ability to break down alcohol probably helped human ancestors make the...

December 04, 2014

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7:13 PM | Rant about Jeff Hawkins “the sensory-motor model of the world is a learned representation of the thing itself”
I enjoyed very much the presentation given by Jeff Hawkins “Computing like the brain: the path to machine intelligence”   Around 8:40 This is something which could be read in parallel with the passage I commented in the post   The front end visual system performs like a distributed GLC computation. I reproduce some parts “ … Continue reading Rant about Jeff Hawkins “the sensory-motor model of the world is a learned representation of the thing […]
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6:02 PM | Shahzia Sikander: The World Is Yours, the World Is Mine
"The World Is Yours, the World Is Mine," by Shahzia Sikander Shahzia Sikander in the New York Times: History is often held hostage by the highest bidder — whoever gets to tell the story ends up defining what happened. What...
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5:33 PM | Real Talk, Or How There is No Language Instinct
Vyvyan Evans makes the case in Aeon (Illustration by Matt Murphy): How much sense does it make to call whatever inborn basis for language we might have an ‘instinct’? On reflection, not much. An instinct is an inborn disposition towards...
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3:58 PM | The obsessions of Werner Herzog
Iain Sinclair at the Times Literary Supplement: The voice. That voice. The forest as an oozing, fecund sump of original darkness and interspecies fornication. Birds screaming in pain. Monkeys howling like the legions of the damned. And deluded humans, those...
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3:12 PM | Who Really Burns: Quitting a Dean's Job in the Age of Mike Brown
Eve Dunbar in Jezebel: As with most predominantly white institutions, black teenagers are, sadly, a rarity on our campuses. And many students within these sorts of elite spaces have been sheltered from racial violence due to their whiteness and/or socio-economic...
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3:08 PM | Wheat People vs. Rice People: Why Are Some Cultures More Individualistic Than Others?
T. M. Luhrmann in the NYT (illustration by Bratislav Milenkovic): There’s some truth to the modernization hypothesis — that as social worlds become wealthier, they also become more individualistic — but it does not explain the persistent interdependent style of...
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2:44 PM | Moby-Dick; Or, The Marathon
Brendan O'Connor in The Oyster Review: It can be hard to talk about reading a book like Moby-Dick without sounding like, well, kind of a dick. The book has taken on a cultural significance that outweighs its admittedly hefty pages;...
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1:42 PM | James Watson Throws a Fit
Laura Helmuth in Slate: Jim Watson is one of the most important scientists of the 20th century. He is also a peevish bigot. History will remember him for his co-discovery of the structure of DNA, in 1953. This week, Watson...
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12:06 PM | A simple trick to improve your memory
Tom Stafford in BBC: If I asked you to sit down and remember a list of phone numbers or a series of facts, how would you go about it? There’s a fair chance that you’d be doing it wrong. One...
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11:46 AM | Thursday Poem
Fathom …the furthest distances I’ve travelled have been those between people .............................– Leontia Flynn 1. Father (at the Forty-foot Gentlemen’s Bathing Place) Seven thirty a.m. and I love that men are different when wet. We’re sea-changed, leagues of seals, rasping,...
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11:39 AM | My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK
Kiese Laymon in Gawker: The fourth time a Poughkeepsie police officer told me that my Vassar College Faculty ID could make everything OK was three years ago. I was driving down Hooker Avenue. When the white police officer, whose head...
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11:36 AM | The McGurk Effect: A truly astonishing illusion
[Thanks to Gerald Dworkin.]
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11:34 AM | Many of the artists in the groundbreaking 1913 Armory Show went on to revolutionize art. William Glackens, on the other hand… he just kept painting
Morgan Meis in The Smart Set: In the early days of the 20th century, Picasso met some rich and careless Americans. “These folks,” Dave Hickey wrote in his book The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty, “are no longer building gazebos...
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11:04 AM | Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students 2015
After a very successful event last year, the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy is hosting the second Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students.The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP) is organizing the second Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students, which will be held from July 26 to August 1, 2015 in Munich, Germany. The summer school is open to excellent female students who want to specialize in mathematical philosophy.Since […]
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9:01 AM | Summer School in Logic 2015 - Helsinki
The Scandinavian Logic Society is very pleased to announce the next summer school in logic, taking place July 27-31 in Helsinki this summer of 2015. Notice that the school takes place exactly the week before both the ASL European Summer Meeting and the LMPS, both of which are being held in Helsinki the week starting August 3rd.http://www.helsinki.fi/sls2015/index.htmlCourse are offered by a very distinguished group of lecturers:Samson Abramsky (Oxford)Jeremy Avigad (Carnegie Mellon)Laura […]
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3:07 AM | Today’s fantasy, tomorrow’s possibility
If you haven’t watch it yet this video, Wanderers,  is a must. And it is well worth watching full screen. It’s a science-inspired short film imagining human exploration of our solar system. The voice-over is very recognisable – Carl Sagan reading … Continue reading →

December 03, 2014

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8:43 PM | the life of Mayakovsky
James Womack at Literary Review: There are Mayakovsky Streets in forty-five Russian cities and fourteen Ukrainian cities. There are three Mayakovsky Streets in St Petersburg, more than there are in the whole of Kazakhstan, which boasts only a couple, one...
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8:38 PM | I Was With Fidel Castro When JFK Was Assassinated
Jean Daniel at The New Republic: It was around 1:30 in the afternoon, Cuban time. We were having lunch in the living room of the modest summer residence which Fidel Castro owns on magnificent Varadero Beach, 120 kilometers from Havana....
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8:35 PM | the return of wu-tang
Sasha Frere-Jones at The New Yorker: The most surprising thing about “A Better Tomorrow,” the latest album from New York’s Wu-Tang Clan, is not that it is generally strong but that the fractious nine-person group ended up making any kind...
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8:19 PM | Cyrus Vance Jr.’s ‘Moneyball’ Approach to Crime
Chip Brown in the NYT's Magazine (photo CreditLee Friedlander for The New York Times): In 2010, at the start of his first term, Vance drew up a list of 20 things to do; four years later he had checked them...
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8:15 PM | Berlin Notebook
Ryan Ruby in n+1 (image by Ramón Goeden via flickr): I had been away from Berlin for the better part of a month, and in my absence exhibits, memorials, and events devoted to the fall of the Wall had sprung...
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8:08 PM | Economists Aren’t ‘Superior’ Just Because
Henry Farrell discusses a new paper by Marion Fourcade, Etienne Ollion, and Yann Algan "The Superiority of Economists" over at Crooked Timber: Marion Fourcade, Etienne Ollion and Yann Algan’s forthcoming piece on the ‘superiority of economists’ is a lovely, albeit...
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5:33 PM | How 4 Mexican Immigrant Kids and Their Cheap Robot Beat MIT
Ten years ago, WIRED contributing editor Joshua Davis wrote a story about four high school students in Phoenix, Arizona—three of them undocumented immigrants from Mexico—beating MIT in an underwater robot competition. That story, La Vida Robot, has a new chapter:...
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12:28 PM | Menifesto: Laura Kipnis's study of the un-fair sex
Kerry Howley in Book Forum: The twenty-first-century critic asked to opine on masculinity finds available to her a limited number of explanatory templates, socially acceptable ways of speaking that dominate our collective thinking about the male psyche. Most clearly, there...
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