ArtDaily: Spain’s ‘Holy Grail’ faces sceptical inquisition; Experts say a myth.
Braudel: The Structures of Everyday Life, Civilization and Capitalism (Vol. 1).
For the SCOTUS-concerned: “On the other hand, looking up instead of down from the vast plane of the market economy, one finds that active social hierarchies were constructed on top of it: they could manipulate exchange to their advantage and disturb the established order. In their desire to do so — which was not always consciously expressed — they created anomalies, ‘zones of turbulence’ and conducted their affairs in a very individual way. At this exalted level, a few wealthy merchants in eighteenth-century Amsterdam or sixteenth-century Genoa could throw whole sectors of the European or even world economy into confusion, from a distance.” We continue to be impervious to history.
SciAm: Stem-cell Scientist Found Guilty of Misconduct.
“A six-person committee — three RIKEN scientists, two university researchers and a lawyer — looked at six problems. Four were dismissed as innocent errors, but in two cases the committee found that Obokata had manipulated data in an intentionally misleading fashion. They branded it scientific misconduct.”
SciAm: Multiverse Controversy Heats Up over Gravitational Waves.
The Dish: A Bachelor’s Degree In Gettin’ Paid.
Happy to see NM Tech on the list.
The Airship: Today in Literary History - Percy Shelley Thrown Out of Oxford.
More often than ever appreciated, a troubled child becomes a brilliant adult.
ArtDaily: Two restored colossal pharaoh statues unveiled in Egypt.
ScienceDaily: Devasting consequences of scarcity of ‘knowledgeable elders’.
“When the number of informed individuals falls below a certain level, or the strength of their determination to go in a certain direction falls below a certain threshold, the migratory pathway disappears abruptly.” I would imagine political strategists are noting this down ...
Randal S. Olson: It’s impossible to work your way through college nowadays.
OpenCulture: A Romp Through the Philosophy of Mind: A Free Online Course from Oxford.
Yahoo: States looking at $0 community college tuition.
FiveThirtyEight: What the Fox Knows.
NY Times Sunday Review: The Incessant Selling of the Self.
OpenCulture: Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers.
Guardian.UK: The scientific study has become a flawed manual for living.
“Every ‘study’ becomes a guide to modern life, a teacher who knows us better than we know ourselves, an analyst who can look into our souls. Where our ancestors relied on the Bible or at least a political philosophy, we can write our biography in studies. They become the measure against which we judge ourselves. Worse, they become the measure we hold other people to.”
Guardian.UK: How the ancient Greeks shaped modern mathematics – video animation.
ArtDaily: Dinosaur-killing impact acidified oceans says study by Japanese scientists.
“A common theory is that a ‘nuclear winter’ occurred — the dust pall prevented sunlight reaching the surface, causing vegetation to shrivel and die, and dooming the species that depended on them. Another, fiercely debated, idea adds acid rain to the mix. ”
VQR Online: A Grand Tour.
“Our passion to perfect ourselves runs roughshod over our reason, bending it toward its own ends—ends that, by their very nature, are endless. Thus, Rousseau laments, the ‘human race, debased and dispirited … brought itself to the brink of its ruin.’” In this article about Boswell and Rousseau, even Facebook gets a mention.
Telegraph.UK: Unseen interviews with WW1 veterans recount the horror of the trenches.
“As soon as you got over the top, fear has left you and it is terror. You don’t look, you see. You don’t hear, you listen. Your nose is filled with fumes and death. You taste the top of your mouth ... You’re hunted back to the jungle. The veneer of civilisation has dropped away.”
The Fully Intended: RIP Poetry.
Familiar. Teachers would want to analyze poetry to a depth that immolated any and all appreciation and/or enjoyment. Hence my mockery of TS Eliot at the time: “I grow mold, I grow mold … wheeze … I will wear my fungus rolled.”
I had a particular teacher who was intent on ‘Jesus symbolism’, and found it in seemingly every piece of written work known to mankind. I suspect she could have found it in the phone book. In the crumbs of her morning toast. Almost completely turned me off of reading. If the lead character doesn’t martyr themselves, then it can’t be a good novel?
If they’re not teaching you how to do it, or how to appreciate it, but simply to clinically dissect it … what good does that sort of instruction do? A poem is not a pickled frog or an automobile engine. It has soul.
Independent.UK: Creative writing courses are a waste of time, says Hanif Kureishi.
“A lot of my students just can’t tell a story. They can write sentences but they don’t know how to make a story go from there all the way through to the end without people dying of boredom in between. It’s a difficult thing to do and it’s a great skill to have. Can you teach that? I don’t think you can.” Look, you give kids the basics. Many years later, once they have a stable of experiences, those seeds you plant will take root. It’s a worthy thing to do, teaching creative writing. Stories make up our modern internet!
Public Books: Stop Defending the Humanities.
“This negative stereotyping takes wing, in part, from the sense that humanities academics and the students whom they send into the professions acquire their privilege too easily, exempt from the hard scrabble of working in small business, farming, factories, supermarkets, and so on.” Yet the ‘liberal arts’ universities are the crucible for future captains of industry. Bite (and amputate) the hand that feeds you. Go figure.
CBC.CA: Aboriginal people may have lived on Beringia for millenia.
MeFi: The great Medieval water myth.
Slate: What if we’ve misunderstood our place in the universe?
“If life becomes an important ingredient in the development of the cosmos, it unseats humans as the all-important observers of our universe. It suggests that many other eyes watched the skies before our sun was even lit.” Makes sense.