Posts

December 19, 2014

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11:46 AM | Doctor to the body politic: The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke
David Marquand in New Statesman: For Burke, Bromwich tells us, the relationship between the people and the political elite was that of patient to doctor. Popular disorder was a symptom of a malady disturbing the body politic. The statesman’s task...
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11:39 AM | Mutations need help from aging tissue to cause leukemia
From Medical Xpress: Why are older people at higher risk for developing cancer? Prevailing opinion holds that, over time, your body's cells accumulate DNA damage and that eventually this damage catches up with the body in a way that causes...
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11:01 AM | Why Volatility Signals Stability, and 
Vice Versa
Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton in Foreign Affairs: Even as protests spread across the Middle East in early 2011, the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria appeared immune from the upheaval. Assad had ruled comfortably for over a...

December 18, 2014

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6:33 PM | CFR: SoTFoM, SYMPOSIUM II `COMPETING FOUNDATIONS?'; INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY, LONDON, 12-13 January 2015.
The organisers are delighted to announce a provisional programme and call for registration for the upcoming Symposium in the Foundations of Mathematics, to be held at the Institute of Philosophy in London on 12-13th January 2015. There will be an additional (free) affiliated talk by Benedict Eastaugh at the Institute on the 14th January.Sponsors: The Institute of Philosophy, Mind Association, British Logic Colloquium, Aristotelian Society, British Society for the Philosophy of Science, and […]
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5:26 PM | Mansplanation Nation
Heather Havrilesky in Bookforum: THERE'S SOMETHING endearing about people who loudly proclaim their love of books. Forget the suspicions kicked up by trumpeting something as universal as “books” as one’s true love (also loves: baby animals, pizza, oxygen); forget the...
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4:52 PM | Host in the Shell
Sara Black McCulloch in The New Inquiry: We “contract” disease, as if it were something we could sign for, sign up for. We “fight” disease, as if we were drafted in service of our country. We “fall sick,” as if...
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2:25 PM | Why not Cynicism?
Steve Snyder in Scientia Salon: If there’s one thing that a lot of people are sure they know about Cynicism, it’s that it’s nothing other than a usually unwarranted, almost totally negative attitude about life in general, and most of...
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2:20 PM | Pakistan Must Discard its 'Good Taliban, Bad Taliban' Narrative
Beena Sarwar in the Huffington Post: Although Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has termed the Peshawar attack a national tragedy, announced three days of national mourning and promised to eradicate the terrorists, real change won't occur unless Pakistan discards the "good...
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1:56 PM | On Genetic Privacy
Nathaniel Comfort in The Point: The notion that your genes are your essential self—genetic essentialism—is fairly recent. Although the idea that heredity contributes to our health and identity is ancient, the idea that for practical purposes it is all that...
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1:51 PM | Reconsidering the legacy of Elia Kazan
Wendy Smith at The American Scholar: The uncomfortable fact about Kazan’s HUAC testimony is that it liberated him to be himself—at least in film. His relationship to the theater echoed his marriage with Thacher: genuine devotion curdled by the furious...
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1:49 PM | Nietzsche Transformed: from Philologist to Philosopher
Chad Wellmon at The Hedgehog Review: In his Basel lectures, we can begin to see how Nietzsche the philologist became Nietzsche the philosopher, the moral psychologist who would go on to diagnose the ills of modernity. He would have his...
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1:40 PM | Letter from Österlen
Karl Ove Knausgaard at Paris Review: NOVEMBER 26, 8:55 P.M. I woke to the wail of a siren last night, got to my feet, and hurried downstairs to find out what it was. My first thought was the fire alarm,...
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12:43 PM | The Destabilization of Pakistan: Tariq Ali on Taliban School Massacre & U.S. Afghan War Blowback
No summary available for this post.
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11:24 AM | Thursday Poem
Liberation . Captives Arise rise and chisel the mountains mountains of dead traditions mountains of blind beliefs mountains of cruel hatreds. In the prisons of our bodies countless restless bodies and grieving souls sob they wander ’round from stairway to...
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12:50 AM | The inverted ethics of doxxing?
Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying … Continue reading →

December 17, 2014

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10:00 PM | Today, for us young citizens, Pakistan feels like a country empty of dreams
Fatima Bhutto in Scroll (Photo Credit: Rizwan Tabassum/AFP): There is no word for a parent who buries a child. No equivalent of widow or orphan in any language that I know, we do not have the language to describe a...
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9:49 PM | The Endlessly Examined Life: A most chronic depression
George Scialabba in The Baffler (illustration by Brad Holland): My mental health file whirs to life in 1969 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I’d recently left Opus Dei, the Catholic religious order to which I’d committed my young soul, and a major...
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9:23 PM | The Rise of ‘Welfare Chauvinism’
Thomas B. Edsall in the NYT: The United States and Europe reveal the contrasting ways in which political systems in advanced democracies cope with factors as diverse as globalization, depressed wages, cultural tension, welfare policy, immigration and nontraditional family structures,...
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4:33 PM | biopolitics, the Anthropocene and neoliberalism
Mat Coleman and Kathryn Yusoff interview Elizabeth Povinelli in Society and Space: Mat Coleman: In your recent work, and specifically in Economies of Abandonment, you pose a challenge to many theorists of neoliberalism in the sense that you identify the...
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3:20 PM | Why there would have been no CIA torture without the psychologists
Steven Reisner in Slate: Thanks to revelations in the newly released report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is now widely known that the CIA’s torture program was created, supervised, and implemented by two licensed clinical psychologists—James Mitchell...
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3:12 PM | How horizontal gene transfer changes evolutionary theory
Ferris Jabr in Aeon: Between 300 and 130 million years ago, as trees and flowering plants grew to dominate the globe, the sun-loving ferns of yore found themselves trapped beneath forest canopies. Most fern species perished under this umbrage, but...
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2:41 PM | Very Famous Ethical Puzzle: The Frege-Geach Problem
No summary available for this post.
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2:37 PM | In search of the 'New Turkey'
Kaya Genç at Eurozine: If a time traveller had come to visit me in the early 1990s and foretold a future where Turkey's conservatives would install an 81km-long underground railway network, with 65 stations, in Istanbul – a city of...
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1:45 PM | The eloquent silences of Albert York and Judith Scott
Barry Schwabsky at The Nation: Generations of readers have puzzled over the opening lines of William Carlos Williams’s best-known poem: “so much depends / upon // a red wheel / barrow.” What exactly does depend on it? The poet, content...
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1:14 PM | Ants Are Cleaning Up the Streets of NYC
Joe Turner in Scientific American: In the words of the great ecologist E. O. Wilson, ants are among the “little things that run the world.” It turns out they even help clean the streets of New York City. Over a...
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1:01 PM | The Invention of Clumsiness
Alexi Worth at Cabinet: One afternoon in May of 1853, the painter Eugène Delacroix went for a walk in the forest with two old friends. As they walked, the three men returned to topics they had discussed before: questions of...

December 16, 2014

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11:02 PM | Guest Post: Chip Sebens on the Many-Interacting-Worlds Approach to Quantum Mechanics
I got to know Charles “Chip” Sebens back in 2012, when he emailed to ask if he could spend the summer at Caltech. Chip is a graduate student in the philosophy department at the University of Michigan, and like many … Continue reading →
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9:43 PM | Did Salaita Cross the Line of ‘Civility’?
Joseph Levine in the New York Times: The case of Steven Salaita has been hotly debated both in and out of academic circles in the past few months. Salaita is the Palestinian-American professor and scholar whose offer of a tenured...
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9:28 PM | Poem
Forgetfulness The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of, as if, one by...
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6:51 PM | What right do they have?
What right to members of the public have regarding decisions to undertake large science projects? a) The right to be informed? b) The right to be consulted? c) The right to vote? I’m not sure c) has ever happened so let’s look at some examples of a) and b) a) The public was informed that […]
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