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The Count and his fucking LF

Coder's High. Metafilter's own David Auerbach, who says he's now a former programmer, describes a satori-like absorption that comes only from things like debugging.
posted by grobstein on Jun 18, 2014 - 73 comments

A Cabinet of Curiousities

Triumph of the Strange
Is curiosity, however, even a coherent concept? What, if anything, unites the walrus and the Rolodex? According to Dillon and Warner, curiosity is lustful and avaricious, yet as playful as Alice in Wonderland. It distracts itself by flirting with astonishment yet is driven to exacting inspection. It loves secrecy and enigma yet is insatiably questioning and bent on decipherment. It adores intricacy and ingenuity, only to find how evanescent, incommunicable, and random they can be. It's harmless fun and has "an innocent eye"—a central theme, suggested by the Hayward Gallery curator Roger Malbert—yet leads to dangerous revelations. Or maybe it makes dangerous revelations because of this innocence: It follows its own hunches because it doesn't see where they lead. Think of the character Jeffrey Beaumont in Blue Velvet: "I'm seeing something that was always hidden."
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 2, 2014 - 6 comments

On a path to liberation....

Over a thousand monks and laymen are revered in Tibetan Buddhism as the incarnations of past teachers who convey enlightenment to their followers from one lifetime to the next. Some of the most respected are known by the honorific "rinpoche." For eight centuries, rinpoches were traditionally identified by other monks and then locked inside monasteries ringed by mountains, far from worldly distractions. Their reincarnation lineages were easily tracked across successive lives. Then the Chinese Red Army invaded Tibet in 1950 and drove the religion's adherents into exile. Now, the younger rinpoches of the Tibetan diaspora are being exposed to all of the twenty-first century’s dazzling temptations. So, even as Tibetan Buddhism is gaining more followers around the world, an increasing number of rinpoches are abandoning their monastic vows. Reincarnation in Exile. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 5, 2013 - 16 comments

Peace and Enlightenment Vs Close Harmony Girl Groups

Why Young Avengers #1, the "Perfect Pop" comic from Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, is the future of Suphero comics. Commentary Track: Gillen & McKelvie Discuss "Young Avengers" #1 - complete with the first few pages of script. Young Adult Library Association Names 2013's Great Graphic Novels for Teens.
posted by Artw on Feb 2, 2013 - 18 comments

Including: Clandestine Best-Sellers of the Pre-Revolutionary Era

"The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe project uses database technology to map the trade of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), a celebrated Swiss publishing house that operated between 1769 and 1794. As the STN sold the works of other publishers alongside its own editions, their archives can be considered a representative source for studying the history of the book trade and dissemination of ideas in the late Enlightenment." [more inside]
posted by Marauding Ennui on Jul 17, 2012 - 5 comments

Where Do We Go From Here?

SF author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross talks about the future of "big idea" Science Fiction: If SF's core message (to the extent that it ever had one) is obsolete, what do we do next?
posted by The Whelk on May 23, 2012 - 71 comments

Certainly not Hugh Hefner

Who Was Casanova? "Today, Casanova is so surrounded by myth that many people almost believe he was a fictional character. (Perhaps it’s hard to take seriously a man who has been portrayed by Tony Curtis, Donald Sutherland, Heath Ledger and even Vincent Price, in a Bob Hope comedy, Casanova’s Big Night [and many more].)" [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson on Mar 29, 2012 - 20 comments

Rethinking the Idea of 'Christian Europe'

Rethinking the Idea of 'Christian Europe'. Kenan Malik's essay is awarded 3 Quarks Daily's Top Quark for politics & social science by judge Stephen M. Walt: "Soldiers in today’s culture wars believe 'European civilization' rests on a set of unchanging principles that are perennially under siege—from godless communism, secular humanism, and most recently, radical Islam. For many of these zealots, what makes the 'West' unique are its Judeo-Christian roots. In this calm and elegantly-written reflection on the past two millenia, Malik shows that Christianity is only one of the many sources of 'Western' culture, and that many of the ideas we now think of as 'bedrock' values were in fact borrowed from other cultures. This essay is a potent antidote to those who believe a 'clash of civilizations' is inevitable—if not already underway—and the moral in Malik’s account could not be clearer. Openness to outside influences has been the true source of European prominence; erecting ramparts against others will impoverish and endanger us all."
posted by homunculus on Dec 19, 2011 - 87 comments

Bibliographia

Today Cambridge University offered a complete free digital archive of the personal papers of Sir Isaac Newton, including the Principa Mathematica and his first published research paper. The archives join a number of efforts to open original works of scientific greatness to the world: Newton's original works are handily supplemented by The Newton Project, showing the man's insertions and deletions to his own work.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Dec 12, 2011 - 10 comments

The Translations and Rareties of Elfinspell

Elfinspell is a garishly painted trunk stuffed with rare old books. You can browse the collection by timeline or by Muse.
posted by Iridic on May 16, 2011 - 6 comments

Selections from the Philosophes

"Maxims and axioms are, just like summaries, the work that spirited people do, it seems, for the use of mediocre or lazy spirits." Presenting maxims, axioms and more from the Philosophes: Vauvenargues! Chamfort! Fontenelle! La Bruyère! Galiani! La Rochefoucauld! Saint-Évremond! [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Mar 26, 2011 - 9 comments

Mapping the Republic of Letters

Mapping the Republic of Letters is a cartographic tool designed by students and professors at Stanford that seeks to represent the Enlightenment era Republic of Letters, the network of correspondence between the finest thinkers of the day, such as Voltaire, Leibniz, Rousseau, Newton, Diderot, Linnaeus, Franklin and countless others. Patricia Cohen wrote an article about Mapping the Republic of Letters as well as other datamining digital humanities projects in The New York Times. The mapping tool is fun to play with but I recommend you read the blogpost where Cohen explains how to use Mapping the Republic of Letters.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 16, 2010 - 15 comments

RSA Animate

21st century enlightenment - "Matthew Taylor explores the meaning of 21st century enlightenment, how the idea might help us meet the challenges we face today, and the role that can be played by organisations such as the RSA." (via br; previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 29, 2010 - 8 comments

"The Categorical Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Industries"

The University of Michigan's collaborative translation of Diderot and d'Alembert's Encylopédie has completed some 650 selections from the Enlightenment keystone, including articles on California, vanilla, werewolves, the English language, beauty, and the complete structure of human knowledge. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Sep 1, 2009 - 7 comments

how do you write "loaded" in Sanskrit?

Drunk Yoga. An age-old practice of healing and mindful positions for the absolutely smashed. (bus stop optional)
posted by oneirodynia on Jul 22, 2009 - 15 comments

Waste Pictures

Sites matching images to pregiven text have been done before, but the texts are seldom as good as those used at zweiterblick's sudelbild: the pictures are matched to (randomly selected?) aphorisms of scientist and all-around Enlightened fellow GC Lichtenberg (about whom more). The relation is sometimes fairly literal, sometimes fairly opaque, but it's worth it for the idiosyncratic selection of aphorisms in any case.
posted by kenko on May 12, 2009 - 7 comments

We are the footnotes of footnotes

How women have fought, and succeeded, and celebrated their victories. [previously here, and here]
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 7, 2008 - 8 comments

Cabinet of Wonders

"What we have here is a Cabinet of Wonders, a place where things of interest are set out, in possibly bizarre, possibly fetishistic presentation, for perusal by the discerning, who understand that presentation, and scientific interest, are all a form of magic." [via Neil Gaiman]
posted by Kattullus on Jul 14, 2007 - 15 comments

Give Me a Lass with a Lump of Land

Eighteenth Century E-Texts, a sub-branch of Eighteenth Century Resources, maintained by Jack Lynch, of Rutgers.
posted by mwhybark on Feb 17, 2006 - 17 comments

Philosophy

The eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment.
posted by semmi on Oct 7, 2004 - 5 comments

Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life according to various rather famous people (Dennett, Fukuyama, etc). I'm watching the Dennett video at the moment and it starts rather weakly, but, by midway through, is rolling along nicely. With topics like "being good without god" and "the anthropic principle" it struck me as relevant to a couple of recent askmefi threads.
Dennett: [pause] i guess i'll say it again, more slowly...

(oh, and the player interface is rather delicate - give it time to load and click play a few times...)
posted by andrew cooke on Oct 1, 2004 - 17 comments

Paul Kurtz on the Enlightenment

Paul Kurtz on the Enlightenment. Unfortunately, there has been a massive retreat from Enlightenment ideals in recent years, a return to pre-modern mythologies. There has been a resurgence of fundamentalist religions worldwide—Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Judaism. Added to this are occult-paranormal claims, which allegedly transcend the existing scientific paradigm. In the United States—the preeminent scientific-technological-military superpower in the world—significant numbers of Americans have embraced primitive forms of biblical religion. These focus on salvation, the Rapture, and the Second Coming of Jesus. Evangelical Protestant Christians have made alliances with conservative Roman Catholics and neo-conservative Jews, and they have captured political power—power they have used to oppose secular humanism and naturalism. via the council for secular humanism
posted by skallas on Apr 5, 2004 - 75 comments

Enlighten me.

Enlighten me, please.
posted by lysdexic on Jun 23, 2003 - 10 comments

Vatican Discloses 'Third Secret' of Fatima.

Vatican Discloses 'Third Secret' of Fatima. Prophecies to shepherd children, conspiracy theories - this shit is old-school. It must be fun to be Catholic, living in a world that still has shadows and mist. I'm sick of this harsh, bright Enlightenment thinking.
posted by lbergstr on May 14, 2000 - 9 comments

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