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3quarksdaily - 10 new articles

A Cultural History of Physics

Figure3.21An excerpt from a new book by Karoly Simonyi in Edge:





AN EXCEPTIONAL BOOK SUCH AS THIS could have been created only under exceptional circumstances. My father was a working physicist and a beloved university professor who taught a whole generation of Hungarian electrical engineers. His...

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Causal Machines

PatriciachurchlandRichard Marshall interviews Patricia Churchland in 3AM Magazine:





3:AM: Your approach to philosophy may strike some as being not really philosophical. This is because you place neuroscience at the heart of your approach. Can you say something about why you think this approach has caused some...

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What It Cost Eight Women Writers To Make It In New York

Eight_women_writers2Brent Cox in The Awl:





In 1967, Patti Smith wrote in Just Kids, she was considering a move to New York City. "I had enough money for a one-way ticket. I planned to hit all the bookstores in the city. This seemed ideal work to me." Twenty-seven years before her, in 1940, Shirley Jackson and her...

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Edward Witten on String theory

The man most physicists refer to as the "Einstein of our day" or the "most intelligent human alive" talks about his life's work here.





Defending Muslim Law From Those Invoking It

From The New York Times:

Book-popupThere are good ways and bad ways to die. Then there was the death afforded, around A.D. 750, to a Persian political adviser named Ibn al-Muqaffa. His limbs were dispatched from his body, and he was forced to watch as they were roasted slowly in an oven. This punishment...

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Memory Foraging: When the Brain Behaves Like a Bee

From Scientific American:

Memory-foraging_1In search of nectar, a honeybee flies into a well-manicured suburban garden and lands on one of several camellia bushes planted in a row. After rummaging through the ruffled pink petals of several flowers, the bee leaves the first bush for another. Finding hardly any...

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Wednesday Poem

A Poem I Wrote Standing Up- Indictment

We are proud to be Africans on distant shores,
learning ancient tongues, fighting for their survival,
while forgetting our own.
We adopt new inflections
and sing-song ways of speaking
to camouflage our origins,
hiding from the tainted...

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White Noir

Offshore_colorwork-1024x614
A man with a briefcase arrives in a place called City-A looking like a double agent from 1973: mustachioed and trenchcoated, forever ducking into phone booths for cryptic conversations. The man, Mr. Holz, is a geophysicist of unknown origin. He has come here to work for the New Method Oil...

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Unlearning the Art of Getting Lost

Ivan_vladislavic_by_minky_schlesinger_for_website
Vladislavić is one of the great writers of the fragment. The two works preceding Double Negative, The Exploded View (2004) and Portrait with Keys (2006), both attest to this. The Exploded View is a novel in four parts, one for each of four protagonists—a statistician gathering census...

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coetzee on goethe, regarding werther

Coetzee_1-042612_jpg_470x488_q85
The Sufferings of Young Werther (otherwise known as The Sorrows of Young Werther) appeared in 1774. Goethe sent a synopsis to a friend: I present a young person gifted with deep, pure feeling and true penetration, who loses himself in rapturous dreams, buries himself in speculation,...

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