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3quarksdaily - 11 new articles

The Great Debate - What is Life?

From a year ago, over at The Science Network (other videos of individual talks at the site):

Richard Dawkins, J. Craig Venter, Nobel laureates Sidney Altman and Leland Hartwell, Chris McKay, Paul Davies, Lawrence Krauss, and The Science Network’s Roger Bingham discuss the origins of life,...

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London's Overthrow

London1_clip_image002_0001China Mieville:

This is an era of CGI end-times porn, but London’s destructions, dreamed-up and real, started a long time ago. It’s been drowned, ruined by war, overgrown, burned up, split in two, filled with hungry dead. Endlessly emptied.

In the Regency lines of Pimlico is Victorian...

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Metaphysical Kit

KitfineRichard Marshall interviews Kit Fine in 3:AM Magazine:

3:AM: You grapple with metaphysical questions ordinary folk like to think about too. So you have written about ontology, about what is real. We ask whether numbers exist, or chairs, or atoms and you suggest that there is an inherent...

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Camila Vallejo, the World’s Most Glamorous Revolutionary

Francisco Goldman
in the NYT Magazine:

The hotel had a musty, Pinochet-era atmosphere — dark bar, heavy furniture, bartenders in white shirts and black ties — and drew mostly businessmen. But when the bartenders found out that my friends and I were going to the student...

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Borges and Mexican Politics

John Washington in The Smart Set:

JO_WASHI_ALEPH_FT_001A few days after the birthday of our seventh billion neighbor, in the season in which the Mexican “war” on drugs claimed (at least) its 50,000th victim, after a month of 1,045 deaths and the day previous which claimed 29 bodies across Mexico, the Day of...

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Norman Finkelstein Changes Role on Criticizing Israel

3883701899Natasha Mozgovaya in Ha'aretz:

Loyal to his tradition of combativeness, Finkelstein takes on not only Michael Oren, Jeffrey Goldberg, Benny Morris and others, but also Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer's book on the Israel lobby.

"I accept that the lobby is very influential and shapes [U.S.]...

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Scholars of Sodom

Argentina_jpg_470x429_q85Roberto Bolaño in the NYRB's blog:

Many years ago, before V.S. Naipaul—a writer whom I hold in high regard, by the way—won the Nobel Prize, I tried to write a story about him, with the title “Scholars of Sodom.” The story began in Buenos Aires, where Naipaul had gone to write the long...

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Thursday Poem


I like the generosity of numbers.
The way, for example,
they are willing to count
anything or anyone:
two pickles, one door to the room,
eight dancers dressed as swans.

I like the domesticity of addition--
add two cups of milk and stir--
the sense of plenty: six...

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against the background imperative of seriousness

Rather, it is precisely her reverent—or, more precisely, her acquisitive—attitude toward seriousness that makes her essays so solemnly, ostentatiously intelligent. “I make an ‘idol’ of virtue, goodness, sanctity. I corrupt what goodness I have by lusting after it,” she writes in...

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That purple piece of silk in the urn of Patroclus—could it mean something?

Winfried Georg Maximilian Sebald was already in his fiftieth year, and his third decade of residence in East Anglia, when he began to write of the walk he had taken two years before in the Suffolk country to dispel, he tells us, the strange emptiness which had come to fill him suddenly....

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Why do you look for the living among the dead?

Tom Wright, retired Bishop of Durham, now a professor of New Testament studies at St Andrews University, has written over fifty books, nearly all of them concerned with Jesus and most with the question of reconstructing the first-century Palestinian Judaism from which Christianity perhaps...

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