, formerly of JPL and Google and "the most referenced computer science researcher in all of NASA", has an interesting take on quantum mechanics he dubs "zero-worlds", which he presents in an hour-long Google Tech Talk
(meat starts around 42 minutes) as well as slightly older paper
. He also got into a bit of further debate here
. [more inside]
posted by crayz
on Mar 23, 2013 -
With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.
December 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Invisible Cities
-- the sublime metaphysical travelogue by author-journalist Italo Calvino
. In a series of pensive dialogues with jaded emperor Kublai Khan
, the explorer Marco Polo
describes a meandering litany of visionary and impossible places, dozens of surreal, fantastical cities
, each poetically reifying ideas vital to language, philosophy, and the human spirit. This gracefully written love letter to urban life has inspired countless tributes
, but it's just the most accessible of Calvino's fascinating literary catalogue. Look inside for a closer look at his most remarkable works, links to English translations of his magical prose, and collections of artistic interpretations from around the web -- including this treasure trove of essays, excerpts, articles, and recommended reading
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 30, 2012 -
The Mystery of the Millionaire Metaphysician
"In June 2000, the philosopher Dean Zimmerman moved from the University of Notre Dame to Syracuse University with his wife and three kids, only to see their new house catch fire the day they moved in." Months later, he received the second hopeful fortune cookie since the fire, which told him "A way out of a financial mess is discovered as if by magic!"; the next day, magic arrived in a letter offering Zimmerman a generous sum of money, which he later learned was $12,000, to review a sixty-page work of metaphysics titled "Coming to Understanding." [more inside]
posted by MCMikeNamara
on Feb 12, 2012 -
“In the condition I was in, it assumed at the time the quality of a beacon, a light on the far shores of the murk; what's more, it was proof that there was something left to express artistically besides nihilism and destruction.”
Lester Bangs on the topic of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks
which began recording exactly 40 years ago today in Century Sound Studios NYC. [more inside]
posted by philip-random
on Sep 25, 2008 -
Did the discovery of evolution lead to Darwin's agnosticism, as claimed
? Carl Zimmer wonders
. More importantly, can evolution be reconciled
posted by daksya
on Aug 11, 2005 -
What am I?
Clearly the most pressing question facing the human race today. Every individual human brain contains around 10^12 (1 trillion) neurons and 10^15 (1 quadrillion) synapses, capable of changing in milliseconds, and there are 6x10^9 (6 billion) people on this planet, all potentially capable of interacting and influencing one another. Last year alone 1.6x10^11 (160 billion) minutes of international telephone calls were made between people talking at a rate of 120 to 150 words per minute.
A collection of articles at newscientist.com.
posted by mokey
on Jun 14, 2003 -
Into the Garden of Good and Evil
- Muhammad Iqbal's "THE DEVELOPMENT OF METAPHYSICS IN PERSIA" (first published in 1908 and free online courtesy the Bahai's): "The most remarkable feature of the character of the Persian people is their love of Metaphysical speculation."
Strong, bipolar Good vs. Evil distinctions, and the notion of a cosmic struggle between the two, seem to have originated in ancient Persia as Persian Dualism. See Manicheanism here
(warning-spurious windows), and here
. Special bonus - Freepers fulminate
over a German theologian's exegesis of Manichean american political rhetoric!
posted by troutfishing
on Feb 21, 2003 -