Posts

October 17, 2014

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4:41 PM | David Byrne: "We don't live in a democracy anymore"
No summary available for this post.
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4:34 PM | Does Santa Exist?
There’s a claim out there — one that is about 95% true, as it turns out — that if you pick a Wikipedia article at random, then click on the first (non-trivial) link, and keep clicking on the first link … Continue reading →
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1:49 PM | Rediscovering Elizabeth Harrower
James Wood at The New Yorker: The Australian novelist Elizabeth Harrower, who is eighty-six and lives in Sydney, has been decidedly opaque about why she withdrew her fifth novel, “In Certain Circles” (Text), some months prior to publication, in 1971....
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12:56 PM | The Smile Revolution in Eighteenth Century Paris
John Brewer at Literary Review: The 18th-century cult of sensibility, spread through performances on the Parisian stage and nurtured by novels of deep emotional intensity by the likes of Samuel Richardson and Rousseau, loosened the grip of the costive, courtly...
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12:54 PM | The legacy of post-Kantian German thought
Michael Rosen at the Times Literary Supplement: Liberal political philosophy post-Rawls is directed towards justification. It takes many different approaches, all designed to identify the circumstances under which the exercise of coercive authority by the state is legitimate – that...
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12:12 PM | The Exercise Cost of Soda and Juice
James Hamblin in The Atlantic: What if nutrition labels told people exactly what calories meant, in practical terms? A bottle of Coke could dole out specific exercise requirements. The calories herein, it might say, are the equivalent of a 50-minute...
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10:36 AM | Friday Poem
At 4 in the morning (apologies to Federico Garcia Lorca) . At four in the morning Too soon for birds. Too late for bats. Alone. At four in the morning Too soon for light, Its lying eyes not right. At...
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10:32 AM | Cells' powerhouses were once energy parasites
From ScienceDaily: The study appears this week in the online journal PLoS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science. It provides an alternative theory to two current theories of how simple bacterial cells were swallowed up by host cells...

October 16, 2014

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9:49 PM | sartre's (and camus') nobel rejection
Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set: If the members of the Nobel Academy felt slighted when Jean-Paul Sartre rejected their prize 50 years ago, they didn’t show it. The Academy set out the dinner plates and made their speeches...
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4:41 PM | The Beethoven Mystery Case
Leo Carey in the New York Review of Books: Nine hundred and thirty pages into Jan Swafford’s new biography of Beethoven, there is an interesting juxtaposition. After the composer died, in March 1827, his funeral was “one of the grandest...
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4:36 PM | Neuroscience: Brains of Norway
Nobel prizewinners May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser have spent a career together near the Arctic Circle exploring how our brains know where we are. Alison Abbott in Nature: The fact that Edvard and May-Britt Moser have collaborated for 30 years...
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4:35 PM | View From Nowhere
Nathan Jurgenson in The New Inquiry (image in Franz Kline, Suspended, 1953): Modernity has long been obsessed with, perhaps even defined by, its epistemic insecurity, its grasping toward big truths that ultimately disappoint as our world grows only less knowable....
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4:31 PM | The Western Model is Broken
Pankaj Mishra makes the case in The Guardian (An empty billboard site in São Paolo, Brazil. Billboard advertising has been banned there since 2007. Photograph: Tony de Marco): As late as 2008, Fareed Zakaria declared in his much-cited book, The...
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4:27 PM | Abortion Without Apology: A Prescription for Getting the Pro-Choice Groove Back
Lindsay Beyerstein reviews Katha Pollitt's Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights in The American Prospect: A full-throated defense of abortion as a social good, Pro is a thorough debunking of anti-abortion pieties. But it’s not just anti-abortion activists on whom Pollitt, columnist...
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4:22 PM | r > g
John Quiggin in Crooked Timber: I want to offer a very simple explanation of Piketty’s point. I’m aware that this may seem glaringly obvious to some readers, and remain opaque to others, but I hope there is a group in...
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3:26 PM | Across the Durand Line
Owen Bennett-Jones reviews two books on the AfPak situation in the London Review of Books: The conflict in the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands has similarities with other contemporary struggles. From Timbuktu to Kandahar, jihadis, national governments, ethnic groups and, in some cases,...
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3:17 PM | Shep Smith's rejoinder to "irresponsible" Ebola coverage
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11:14 AM | Unbelievable Reactions People Have Had to the Ebola Outbreak
Rachel Nuwer in Smithsonian: Not long after the second nurse to contract Ebola was identified, it came out that she had flown on a commercial flight after being exposed to the disease. The presence of Ebola in the United States...

October 15, 2014

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9:30 PM | Fluoride debate: Second response to Rita Barnett-Rose – Daniel Ryan
Here is Daniel Ryan’s second response to Rita Barnett-Rose’s defence of here unpublished paper “Compulsory water fluoridation: Justifiable public health benefit or human experimental research without informed consent“. That defence was posted yesterday at Fluoride debate: Response to Daniel Ryan’s critique – … Continue reading →
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1:56 PM | Visiting Fellowships at the MCMP (Academic Year 2015/2016)
The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy invites applications for visiting fellowships for one to three months in the academic year 2015/16 (15 October 2015 to 15 February 2016 or 15 April to 15 July 2016) intended for advanced Ph.D. students (“Junior Fellowships") and postdocs or faculty (“Senior Fellowships"). Candidates should work in general philosophy of science, the philosophy of one of the special sciences, formal epistemology, or social […]
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1:54 PM | 3-year Doctoral Fellowship on “The Evolution of Unpopular Norms and Bullying"
The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy seeks applications for a Doctoral Fellowship. The successful candidate will work on the project "The Evolution of Unpopular Norms and Bullying” (project summary below), which is funded by the German Research Council (DFG) and part of the DFG Priority Programme “New Frameworks of Rationality”. The fellowship is open for candidates with a masters degree in philosophy or a related social science. The funding is for three years, and […]
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12:51 PM | Scientists Rein In Fears of Ebola, a Virus Whose Mysteries Tend to Invite Speculation
Carl Zimmer in the New York Times: News that a nurse in full protective gear had become infected with the Ebola virus raised some disturbing questions on Monday. Has the virus evolved into some kind of super-pathogen? Might it mutate...
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12:46 PM | Bill Gates on Thomas Piketty
Bill Gates in his blog: A 700-page treatise on economics translated from French is not exactly a light summer read—even for someone with an admittedly high geek quotient. But this past July, I felt compelled to read Thomas Piketty’s Capital...
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12:38 PM | THE FIRST AIR FORCE ONE
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10:39 AM | Wednesday Poem
At the Horse Pavilion We lost you once, at the Horse Pavilion, on a day of snappy wind beating five flags above that brilliant nightmare green in the sun and beyond prayer but ready to live on a diet of...
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7:54 AM | Imagining traditions
Sandali in HimalSouthAsian: Tara Books, a feminist publishing house located in Chennai, has been collaborating with ‘folk’ and ‘tribal’ artists for the last few years to produce illustrated books for both children and adults. Many of the art forms they...
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7:43 AM | Through the nanoscope: A Nobel Prize gallery
Richard Van Noorden in Nature: This year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to three researchers who developed ways to capture images of living cells at nanoscale resolution — well below the 200 nanometres thought to be the best possible...

October 14, 2014

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9:15 PM | Fluoride debate: Response to Daniel Ryan’s critique – Rita Bartlett-Rose
Rita Barnett-Rose, author of “Compulsory water fluoridation: Justifiable public health benefit or human experimental research without informed consent” has replied to Daniel Ryan’s critique of her paper. Daniel’s critique was posted yesterday at Fluoride debate: A response to Rita Barnett-Rose – Daniel Ryan. … Continue reading →
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4:13 PM | The Real Christopher Columbus
Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010) was an American historian, author, playwright, and social activist. The following is adapted from his acclaimed A People's History of the United States. Howard Zinn in Jacobin: Columbus would never have made it to Asia,...
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2:23 PM | For the Motherboard: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
Hodgkinson and Bridle in The White Review: There’s a marvellous lecture by Tim Berners-Lee (‘How the world wide web just happened’) in which he talks about how he came to create what turned out to be the world wide web....
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