Posts

January 10, 2015

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4:41 PM | Art Is Free: Responses to Charlie Hebdo
Darhil Crooks, creative director at The Atlantic: On January 7, 12 people were brutally murdered in Paris, including journalists, editors, and illustrators. Along with the brave staff of Charlie Hebdo, freedom of expression itself was attacked that day, and, in...
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4:30 PM | Americans now more likely to die from getting shot than in car accidents
David Ferguson in Raw Story: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says that Americans are now statistically more likely to be killed by a gun than in a car accident. The Economist reported Friday that death by cars in this...
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4:17 PM | Ian McEwan on the Paris attacks
No summary available for this post.
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4:04 PM | America’s Bitter Pill
Zephyr Teachout in The New York Times: Steven Brill is not easily intimidated. The founder of Court TV and Brill’s Content, among many other ventures, Brill likes to dive deeply and quickly into complicated national policy issues — public education,...
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12:55 PM | Saturday Poem
We Sinful Women . It is we sinful women who are not awed by the grandeur of those who wear gowns who don’t sell our lives who don’t bow our heads who don’t fold our hands together. It is we...

January 09, 2015

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7:43 PM | on being a foreigner
Pico Iyer at Lapham's Quarterly: From the moment westerners began living in Bali, soon after World War I, they sent back two messages, more or less contradictory: first, they were no longer foreign—they had gone native, and felt wonderfully at...
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7:31 PM | The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft
Charles Baxter at The New York Review of Books: For adolescents, something about horror never goes out of style. They often feel an excited disgust upon learning how things really are, and their disgust is merely a notch away from...
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7:23 PM | Cyril Connolly's masterpiece, the unquiet grave
Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set: Between autumns of 1942 and 1943, the English critic Cyril Connolly took a break from writing articles and set out to write a masterpiece. This, he wrote on the first page of his...
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7:02 PM | A Simple Form of Poker “Essentially” Solved
You know it’s a good day when there are refereed articles in Science about poker. (Enthusiasm slightly dampened by the article being behind a paywall, but some details here.) Poker, of course, is a game of incomplete information. You don’t … Continue reading →
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5:24 PM | Je Suis Charlie? It’s a Bit Late
Kenan Malik in Pandaemonium: What is really racist is the idea only nice white liberals want to challenge religion or demolish its pretensions or can handle satire and ridicule. Those who claim that it is ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ to mock...
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3:34 PM | ‘How on earth will the medical humanities make you a better doctor?’
Emily T. Troscianko on the Centre for Medical Humanities blog: Image credit: Gerrit Dou, The Dropsical Woman (detail), c. 1663 It was a surprise, and a fairly depressing one, especially given how much interest philosophical questions of ethics in the...
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1:15 PM | In cartoons: the global response to the attack on Charlie Hebdo
Anoosh Chakelian in New Statesman: How cartoonists around the world reacted to the murder of journalists and cartoonists at the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. I think, therefore i am not anymore. More here.
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1:05 PM | Terrorist violence has a long history in France
Chris Millington in HistoryToday: On 7 January 2015, armed gunmen killed twelve people in an attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the centre of Paris. French President Francois Hollande immediately condemned the violence as ‘cowardly murder’...
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11:25 AM | Mochizuki's proof of the ABC conjecture: still "in limbo"
By Catarina Dutilh Novaes(Cross-posted at NewAPPS)Here's a short piece by the New Scientist on the status of Mochizuki's purported proof of the ABC conjecture. More than 2 years after the 500-page proof has been made public, the mathematical community still hasn't been able to decide whether it's correct or not. (Recall my post on this from May 2013; little change seems to have taken place since then.)Going back to my dialogical conception of mathematical proofs as involving a proponent who […]
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10:15 AM | What meaning can and cannot be: Lessons from real life, Part 1
Nearly a decade and a half ago, before logic bewitched me and I fell under her spell, I started off graduate school intending to write a dissertation on something related to philosophy of fiction or fictional discourse (given that that's how specific my dissertation plans were for my first 1-2 years of grad school, I probably should've realized sooner that this was not the topic for me). This year I'm lucky enough to be teaching a 3rd-year undergrad course "Language & Mind" which has […]
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10:08 AM | Sometimes the most rational choice is a random stab in the dark
Michael Schulson in Aeon: As moderns, we take it for granted that the best decisions stem from a process of empirical analysis and informed choice, with a clear goal in mind. That kind of decision-making, at least in theory, undergirds...
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10:02 AM | Girl Bride: A Short Film by Shabbir Kazmi
No summary available for this post.
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8:25 AM | Dismantling nine mistaken assumptions about the Paris atrocities
Tehmina Kazi in Left Foot Forward: False Assumption One ‘Charlie Hebdo magazine was needlessly provocative’ Manufacturers of outrage and assorted agitators do not need any kind of ‘provocation’ for their actions. When Jyllands-Posten published the Danish cartoons in September 2005,...

January 08, 2015

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4:39 PM | Justin Smith on charlie hebdo
Justin Smith at his blog: But then after class I went and looked at an online archive of Charlie Hebdo cartoons, and I apologize to the academics among you who think language and other symbolic acts can be violent in...
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4:29 PM | The Sound of Scham
Morgan Meis in The Smart Set: You might have heard the story about the three Swiss. They were sitting around at an Inn together. They were: Arnold Böcklin (the painter), his son Carlo, and the writer Gottfried Keller. Nobody said...
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4:27 PM | living with Doris Lessing
Jenny Diski at The London Review of Books: I recall two versions of me as I look back over the first few months of living with Doris. One conforms to a description in Doris’s 1974 novel, Memoirs of a Survivor,...
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4:24 PM | Universal healthcare: the affordable dream
Amartya Sen in The Guardian: Twenty-five hundred years ago, the young Gautama Buddha left his princely home, in the foothills of the Himalayas, in a state of agitation and agony. What was he so distressed about? We learn from his...
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4:08 PM | A family survives the Armenian genocide and its long aftermath
Raffi Khatchadourian in The New Yorker: When I try to imagine my grandfather, the face that appears to me is a variation of a pencil drawing that hangs in my parents’ house. The drawing captures the earliest image of him...
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3:19 PM | Poincaré Conjecture
No summary available for this post.
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2:42 PM | Debating dead moral questions
Freddie deBoer on his blog: The Aftermath (via reddit). By Carlos Latuff We are having a series of loud, impassioned, righteous conversations about questions like “Should people murder?” and “Should we have the right to publish cartoons?” We’re debating, in...
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12:08 PM | What is Charlie Hebdo? The magazine that dared to poke fun at religion
Agnes Poirier in New Statesman: Editor’s note: on 7 January 2015, the office of Charlie Hebdo was attacked by gunmen. 12 people are so far reported dead, and more injured. As context, we republish this 2007 article about the magazine....
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12:00 PM | Thursday Poem
Letting Go I love the abandon of abandoned things the harmonium surrendering in a churchyard in Aherlow, the hearse resigned to nettles behind a pub in Carna, the tin dancehall possessed by convolvulus in Kerry, the living room that hosts...
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11:52 AM | Resveratrol found to activate ancient stress response and at 1,000 times lower doses
From KurzweilAI: Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that a fundamental new mechanism for the known beneficial effects of resveratrol — the grapes and red-wine ingredient once touted as an elixir of youth: it powerfully activates an...
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10:32 AM | In memoriam: Ivor Grattan-Guinness
The great historian of logic and mathematics Ivor Grattan-Guinness passed away about a month ago, aged 73. I only heard it yesterday, when Stephen Read posted a link to the Guardian obituary on Facebook. From the obituary:He rescued the moribund journal Annals of Science, founded the journal History and Philosophy of Logic, and was on the board of Historia Mathematica from its inception. A member of the council of the Society for Psychical Research, he wrote Psychical Research: A Guide to […]
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10:05 AM | The Blame for the Charlie Hebdo Murders
George Packer in The New Yorker: The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies. They’re not about French military action against the Islamic State in...
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