Posts

July 15, 2014

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11:31 AM | The Advanced Metrics of Attraction
John Allen Paulos in The New York Times: The essayist Alain de Botton has been writing a great deal lately about crushes, those sudden infatuations aroused by the merest of stimuli — the way she subtly rolls her eyes at...
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11:17 AM | ISIS: The New Taliban
Ahmed Rashid in The New York Review of Books: In the days since the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took control of much of northern Iraq, Western leaders and analysts have expressed alarm at what they have called...
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5:59 AM | Genes – the language of God 6: Theological implications
  The Rev. Dr Stephen Ames completes the series on genes as the language of God:  Our theme is asking if genetics is the language of God. John Wilkins has discussed in what sense can we say that ‘genetics’ is a ‘language’. His main point is that it is an analogy but one that is […]
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5:42 AM | Genes – the language of God 5: God and genes
This will be a my final post. In the next, Stephen will respond, giving a theological account of the importance of language as a literal, not metaphorical, way of understanding the world for a theist. For those who do believe in God, the issue is: Does God speak a language of natural causes? That is, […]

July 14, 2014

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10:07 PM | The irony of some peer-review and citation complaints
Anti-fluoridation propagandists and other promoters of pseudoscience have a sort of “love-hate” attitude towards science and the scientific literature. On the one hand they love to cite scientific papers they claim support their message. Very often the citation is completely … Continue reading →
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4:45 AM | Caliphs as Entrepreneurs
by Ahmed Humayun Islam has a new caliph, at least if the Iraq-based militant organization that calls itself the Islamic State is to be believed.* In what was touted to be his first public appearance, self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi...
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4:40 AM | Monday Poem
In the beginning was the word —John 1:1 Entreaty send me a poem that hunkers on haunches watching for the day to begin, that waits for the right word to come with the sun during the last hours of the...
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4:35 AM | Science: the Quest for Symmetry
by Yohan J. John Attitudes toward science in the public sphere occupy an interesting spectrum. At one extreme there are the cheerleaders -- those who seem to think that science is the disembodied spirit of progress itself, and will usher...
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4:30 AM | perceptions
Sughra Raza. Aerial "painting" over Innsbruck, March 2012. Digital photograph.
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4:25 AM | A Thought Experiment, and One (or More) Earnest Questions
by Debra Morris Imagine flipping through a copy of the academic journal Sociology and Social Research. One article in particular—"Our Schizoid Culture"—catches your eye. The author is well-known: a professor of sociology, soon-to-be editor-in-chief of the American Sociological Review, and,...
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4:20 AM | CATSPEAK
by Brooks Riley
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4:15 AM | HOW TO BE A FRENCH GANGSTER
by Lisa Lieberman As a break from the seriously depressing topics I’ve been writing about lately, and in honor of Bastille Day, I offer this tribute to French gangster films. First off, you need the fedora. The gangster accessory de...
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4:10 AM | PROSE POEM
HISTORY’S MOST PERSECUTED MINORITY IS INSENSITIVE TO THE ASPIRATIONS OF WORLD’S MOST DISPOSSESSED TRIBE by Rafiq Kathwari My sister-in-law and I sat in the back seat of the Volkswagen as my older brother drove in desperate rain through red lights...
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4:05 AM | The obstaclean theory of matter
by Charlie Huenemann Denying the existence of the material world never goes down well. No matter how clever and compelling the arguments, most of us want to insist that matter exists - and as our insistence becomes more vehement, we...
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3:17 AM | Germany Wins, World Cup Justice Is Served
Tunku Varadarajan in The Daily Beast: Mario Götze has the face of a choirboy and the sort of wispy fuzz on his chin that would be derided as “bum fluff” in an unforgiving schoolyard. He also has venom in his...
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3:06 AM | How Politics and Lies Triggered an Unintended War in Gaza
J. J. Goldberg in Forward: In the flood of angry words that poured out of Israel and Gaza during a week of spiraling violence, few statements were more blunt, or more telling, than this throwaway line by the chief spokesman...
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2:01 AM | Whisper it softly: it's OK to like Germany
Stewart Wood in The Guardian: Something strange is stirring in Britain this weekend. It's the sound of Brits being nice about Germany. In tonight's World Cup final in Rio, Germany face Argentina at the end of the most memorable tournament...

July 13, 2014

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9:59 PM | The problem of Richard Feynman
Via Jennifer Ouellette, Matthew R. Francis in Galileo's Pendulum: Feynman stories that get passed around physics departments aren’t usually about science, though. They’re about his safecracking, his antics, his refusal to wear neckties, his bongos, his rejection of authority, his...
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9:53 PM | The Trouble With Brain Science
Gary Marcus in the NYT (image by Tim Lahan): Different kinds of sciences call for different kinds of theories. Physicists, for example, are searching for a “grand unified theory” that integrates gravity, electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces...
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9:50 PM | What Happens When Digital Cities Are Abandoned?
Laura Hall in The Atlantic (image: flickr/Ray Dumas): The nomenclature of the early Internet is domestic: home pages, key words, hosts. And in those days, the web was small, knowable. Search engines contained a finite, hand-indexed listing of every website...
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7:35 PM | Tommy Ramone (1952 - 2014)
No summary available for this post.
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7:35 PM | Zohra Sehgal (1912 - 2014)
No summary available for this post.
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7:34 PM | charlie haden (1937-2014)
No summary available for this post.
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12:01 PM | The vital importance of being moral
Angus Kennedy in Spiked: At first sight, it might appear that society has taken a markedly positive moral turn over the past 20-or-so years. The example of the Conservative Party’s embrace of gay marriage alone shows how far we now...
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11:54 AM | Twists of Hate: Two fictional takes on the war in Iraq
William T. Vollmann in Bookforum: “WE HAD REACHED THE CROSS ROADS before noon and had shot a French civilian by mistake. . . . Red shot him. It was the first man he had killed that day and he was...
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2:23 AM | Ken Ring pontificates on climate change
Ken Ring runs a business predicting the weather. Apparently in that sort of business, and with the clients he has, conflict with evidence-based science and scientists is good for business. So,  it isn’t not surprising to find him trolling the internet debating issues … Continue reading →

July 12, 2014

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10:12 PM | Kurdish Independence: Harder Than It Looks
Joost Hiltermann in the NYRB (photo: Kamaran Najm/Metrography/Corbis): [W]hile the Kurds believe Kirkuk’s riches give them crucial economic foundations for a sustainable independent state, the city’s ethnic heterogeneity raises serious questions about their claims to it. Not only is Kirkuk’s...
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7:36 PM | Do you know these guys?
We need CS collaborators for our project.  The project is about a computation model (Distributed GLC) which is: decentralized asynchronous, based on message passing Actor Model style using a Graph Rewriting System called chemlambda. Here is the portrait of the ideal collaborator: is a big fan of functional programming, but not a fanatic understands the […]
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7:06 PM | CÉSAIRE AT MID-CENTURY
Jacob Siefring at The Quarterly Conversation: As a writer-statesman, Aimé Césaire belongs in a small category of twentieth-century writers that includes Léopold Sedhar Senghor, Václav Havel, Winston Churchill, and probably a dozen others. This remarkable man from Martinique, who died...
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7:02 PM | Germaine Greer and her new book, "White Beech"
David L. Ulin at the LA Times: What Greer is arguing for is a kind of environmental absolutism. In her view, the country, the planet even, is not beyond saving, but only if we open up our way of thinking....
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