Heavenly Geometries | America on the Brink | Issues | The Hedgehog Review

In an 1849 letter to a friend, five years before she began to translate the Ethics, Eliot wrote, “For those who read the very words Spinoza wrote there is the same sort of interest in his style as in the conversation of a person of great capacity who has led a solitary life, and who [...]

NEW : Geopolitics Podcast

Geopolitics Podcast: the Age of Paradox Episode 1 When future historians look back at our age they might think of it as the Age of Paradox. On the one hand we have the pandemic which has slowed down the pace of individual life. On the other we are seeing massive accelerations in politics, economics and [...]

Edith Wharton’s Moroccan Clichés | History Today

Some reviewers disagreed with her and In Morocco prompted political debate. ‘All the properties of an Arabian Nights tale are here’, wrote Irita Van Doren in the Nation, noting ‘camels and donkeys, white-draped riders, palmetto deserts, camel’s hair tents, and veiled women’. However, she cautioned, Wharton ‘accepts without question the general theory of imperialism’. Wharton [...]

Brain Cell DNA Refolds Itself to Aid Memory Recall | Quanta Magazine

More than a century ago, the zoologist Richard Semon coined the term “engram” to designate the physical trace a memory must leave in the brain, like a footprint. Since then, neuroscientists have made progress in their hunt for exactly how our brains form memories. They have learned that specific brain cells activate as we form [...]

How Sultan Selim’s Ottoman Empire Shaped the Modern World | Literary Hub

The coronavirus pandemic is dramatically disrupting not only our daily lives but society itself. This show features conversations with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about the deeper economic, political, and technological consequences of the pandemic. It’s our new daily podcast trying to make longterm sense out of the chaos of today’s global [...]

What comes first: ideas or words? The paradox of articulation | Aeon Essays

... (a) seemingly contradictory observation is that articulating our thoughts, in the hard cases, is a purposive activity that doesn’t simply consist in producing words mechanically, in a kneejerk way. The words that immediately come out of us when we are struck by our thoughts (eg, ‘How outrageous!’, ‘What a mess!’) might hardly reflect what [...]

The Philosopher and the Detectives: Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Enduring Passion for Hardboiled Fiction | CrimeReads

The scene is London; the year, 1941. Ludwig Wittgenstein, likely the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century, has taken a hiatus from his Cambridge professorship to do “war work” in a menial position at Guy’s Hospital. By the time he arrives there, in September, the worst of the Blitz is over, but there’s no way [...]

Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah: How do daily habits lead to political violence? | TED Talk

What drives someone to commit politically motivated violence? The unsettling answer lies in daily habits. Behavioral historian Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah shares startling insights into how seemingly mundane choices can breed polarization that lead to extreme, even deadly, actions -- and explains how to identify and bypass these behaviors in order to rediscover common ground. — [...]