Posts

February 14, 2015

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7:15 AM | Pansexual Free-for-All: My Time As A Writer of Kindle Erotica
Matthew Morgan in The Millions: I began this life-changing journey with an attempt to define the word erotica, because I’d never read or written anything with that explicit label before. How in depth are we talking? How specific does this...

February 13, 2015

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9:22 PM | Rhythms and Rituals
Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation with Marina Abramović in Work In Progress: MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ: All right, so twenty-one years ago Hans was twenty-one. We met in Hamburg; he was the protégé of Kasper König, and he was curating a large...
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9:20 PM | Lee Smolin and the Status of Modern Physics
Joe Boswell in Scientia Salon: Adam’s Opticks: Hi Lee, central to your thesis as outlined in Time Reborn, and in its recent follow-up The Singular Universe (co-authored with Roberto Mangabeira Unger) [5], is a rejection of the “block universe” interpretation...
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9:17 PM | The Disfigured Self: What Hannah Arendt Got Right
Paula Marantz Cohen in Tikkun: In her epilogue, written for the book’s publication after its serialization in The New Yorker, Arendt took note of the way the work had been pilloried in many quarters. She protested, with a certain disingenuousness:...
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3:35 PM | A new impulse – But for which Europe?
Étienne Balibar at Eurozine: The current European crisis, easily described as existential because it confronts its citizens with radical choices and the question, ultimately, "to be or not to be", has no doubt been prepared by the fact that its...
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3:28 PM | For a Non-Ideal Metaphysics
Justin E.H. Smith at his blog: A very telling example of the dismissive approach to the sort of ineliminable dimensions of human existence I am stressing is Dan Dennett's account of why we continue to fear ghosts and ghouls when...
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3:23 PM | Brash, Bold, Insolent Ungerer
J. Hoberman at the New York Review of Books: It may be that everyone has their own Tomi Ungerer. The eighty-three-year-old graphic artist and illustrator’s work has been part of many people’s childhoods, others’ countercultures, still others’ outrage, and, at...
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2:02 PM | The Ugly truth
Scientists are far too preoccupied with aesthetics! I’m mentally absorbed writing a manuscript at the moment so this will be a brief post along the lines of ‘you know what really grinds my gears…’ There is an unwritten rule, at least among researchers I’ve interacted with in the UK and Germany that the best science […]
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11:47 AM | Friday Poem
The Common Grace of Alone . A twenty-something boy coughs in his hand and puts the breath in his pocket. Dirty air— The air is dirty. I can see him clearly with the blue light in the car. I go...
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11:20 AM | Harlem Renaissance
From History.com: Spanning the 1920s to the mid-1930s, the Harlem Renaissance was a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that kindled a new black cultural identity. Its essence was summed up by critic and teacher Alain Locke in 1926 when he...
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10:59 AM | Rise in Weight Linked to Cognitive Decline in Older Adults
Traci Watts in The National Geographic: An expanding waistline may lead to a shriveled brain, new research suggests. In a long-term study of people in their early 60s, a brain region called the hippocampus shrank close to 2 percent a...
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10:21 AM | Collective Intelligence seems a bigger threat than Artificial Intelligence
Recently both Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have voiced their concern over Artificial Intelligence (AI), warning that AI could possibly become a threat to humanity in the future. This prompts me to (finally) write down some thoughts on Collective Intelligence … Continue reading →
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7:14 AM | Morgan Meis in The New Yorker: Tadeusz Konwicki, 1926–2015
Ladies and Gentleman, I am proud to tell you that our own Morgan Meis has been asked to be a contributor to The New Yorker, which, as I am sure you know, has been for almost a century the acme...

February 12, 2015

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11:11 PM | Scientism and Skepticism: A Reply to Steven Pinker
Sebastian Normandin responds to Steven Pinker's New Republic article in Berfrois ( Illustration by Frank R. Paul. Via): [W]hat Pinker is advocating is not even just scientism, it is actually a kind of ossified rationalism that sees an underlying unity...
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10:56 PM | Moore’s Law Is About to Get Weird
Gabriel Popkin in Nautilus (Left photo by Gregory MD; right photo by De Agostini Picture Library): I’ve never seen the computer you’re reading this story on, but I can tell you a lot about it. It runs on electricity. It...
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7:02 PM | What Would Darwin Think About Modern Darwinism?
David Sloan Wilson in This View of Life: Imagine if Darwin could be transported to the present and learn what has become of his theory. What would excite him the most? Would anything disturb or disappoint him? TVOL has polled...
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6:49 PM | Answers for Creationists
Phil Plait in Slate: After writing yesterday about the now-famous/infamous debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, I don’t want to make this blog all creationism all the time, but indulge me this one more time, if you will. On...
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4:20 PM | The Double Life of Hasidic Atheists
Batya Ungar-Sargon in Aeon: Solomon is one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of men and women whose encounters with evolution, science, new atheism and biblical criticism have led them to the conclusion that there is no God, and yet whose social,...
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4:09 PM | Muhammad Ali 1974 Interview with Sir Michael Parkinson
No summary available for this post.
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3:29 PM | Why Max Weber matters
Duncan Kelly at the Times Literary Supplement: As Ghosh notes, Weber had always been a superb political analyst. His “probability” theory about when peace would come and the possibilities of German victory was as ruthlessly realistic as anything else he...
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3:26 PM | Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
Dan Duray at Bookforum. A few reviews have likened Guantánamo Diary to Memoirs from the House of the Dead, written after Dostoyevsky’s four years in Siberian exile. Diary does share that book’s vignette structure. But while Dead’s narrator draws on...
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3:21 PM | How an irritable Danish author left an enduring mark on the national character
Michael Booth at The Paris Review: “Jante Law is just as normal as the law of gravity,” newspaper editor and anthropologist Anne Knudsen assured me. “You find it everywhere, especially in peasant societies, and back [in Sandemose’s day] there were...
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2:54 PM | Two walkers enter into a Holliday junction…
In this post I want to explain the signal transduction process which replaces signal transmission in chemlambda. It will be hopefully something clear  with the help of some visual demos. [Don’t believe what I write and proceed by the scientific method by checking my experiments yourself. You can easily do this by using the links … Continue reading Two walkers enter into a Holliday junction… →
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12:32 PM | 14 Books to Read This Black History Month
Andrea Collier in NBC News: February is not only Black History Month, but it is also the month when many titles by Black authors are released. 2015 kicked off with a wide selections of books and stories to settle into....
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11:57 AM | New software analyzes human genomes for disease-causing variations in 90 minutes
From KurzweilAI: Investigators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital say they have developed an optimized analysis “pipeline” that slashes the time it takes to search a person’s genome for disease-causing variations from weeks to hours. An open-access preview article describing the ultra-fast,...
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4:53 AM | A triumphalist history of psychiatry seeks to vindicate the profession
Gary Greenberg in Bookforum: In 1917, psychiatrist Thomas Salmon lamented that the classification of diseases was still “chaotic”—a “condition of affairs [that] discredits the science of psychiatry and reflects unfavorably upon our association,” and that left the profession unable to...
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3:37 AM | Elise Crull on Philosophy of Physics
Over at the Rationally Speaking podcast: Elise CrullFeynman famously said that a philosopher of science is as much use to scientists as an ornithologist is to birds. This episode of Rationally Speaking features philosopher of physics Elise Crull, who explains...
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3:34 AM | Academia, Skepticism and Bias
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3:31 AM | Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?
Gil Garcetti in The LA Review of Books: ON MY FIRST READING of An Eye for an Eye, Mitchel P. Roth’s new book, I recall closing it and asking myself a series of questions: “What have I learned?,” “How do...
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3:27 AM | The Stuff of Proof
Richard Marshall in 3:AM Magazine: 3:AM: You’re interested in metaphilosophical issues of logic and maths. So let’s start with the status of mathematical proof. It was once thought that maths rested on logic – ‘the stuff of proof’ as you...
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