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Last Updated Wednesday March 15, 2017



 

Books Currently Reading


Weebcentral Library
Nature and the Greeks, and, Science and humanism, Erwin Schroedinger, Weebcentral Library. Schrodinger was one of the great physicists of the 20th century. His wave equation transformed quantum mechanics. He has proven a thoughtful historian and philosopher of science. Nature and the Greeks offers a historical account of the twentieth-century scientific world picture, tracing modern science back to the earliest stages of Western philosophic thought. Science and Humanism addresses some of the most fundamental questions of the century: what is the value of scientific research? And how do the achievements of modern science affect the relationship between material and spiritual matters? Kindle. Currently-Reading 2017-03-13.

Weebcentral Library
I Contain Multitudes, Ed Yong, Weebcentral Library. 'For most of human existence, microbes were hidden, visible only through the illnesses they caused. When they finally surfaced in biological studies, they were cast as rogues. Only recently have they immigrated from the neglected fringes of biology to its center. Even today, many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us - the microbiome - are invaluable parts of our lives. I Contain Multitudes lets us peer into that world for the first time, allowing us to see how ubiquitous and vital microbes are: they sculpt our organs, defend us from disease, break down our food, educate our immune systems, guide our behavior, bombard our genomes with their genes, and grant us incredible abilities. While much of the prevailing discussion around the microbiome has focused on its implications for human health, Yong broadens this focus to the entire animal kingdom, giving us a grander view of life.' Hardback. Currently-Reading 2017-02-27. Gift from Jon and Amanda
 
 

Recent Books


Clackamas County Library
Royal Flash, George MacDonald Fraser, Clackamas County Library. 'Flashman tangles with femme fatale Lola Montez and the dastardly Otto Von Bismarck in a battle of wits which will decide the destiny of a continent. In this volume of The Flashman Papers, Flashman, the arch-cad and toady, matches his wits, his talents for deceit and malice, and above all his speed in evasion against the most brilliant European statesman and against the most beauiful and unscrupulous adventuress of the era. From London gaming-halls and English hunting-fields to European dungeons and throne-rooms, he is involved in a desperate succession of escapes, disguises, amours and (when he cannot avoid them) hand-to-hand combats. All the while, the destiny of a continent rests on his broad and failing shoulders.' Kindle. Read 2017-03-15.

Multnomah County Library
The Fifth Witness, Michael Connelly, Multnomah County Library. 'Haller's first foreclosure client, Lisa Trammel, is fighting hard to keep her home, maybe too hard. The bank has gotten a restraining order to stop Trammel's protests, and she becomes the prime suspect when Mitchell Bondurant, a mortgage banker, is killed with a hammer in his office parking lot. A ton of evidence points to Trammel, but Haller crafts an impressive defense that includes 'the fifth witness' of the title. Connelly has a sure command of the legal and procedural details of criminal court, and even manages to make the arcane, shady world of foreclosure interesting. While the prose may lack some of the poetic nuance of his early novels, the plot is worthy of a master storyteller. ' Kindle. Read 2017-03-14.

Weebcentral Library
The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction, Peter Atkins, Weebcentral Library. Peter Atkins, a bona fide chemistry professor, takes a shot at summarizing the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics it for the million. He claims that when he is done explaining, you will understand how all change of any kind occurs, why death itself must come, even how the unfolding of the very thoughts you are employing to read his book is a consequence of the 2nd Law. And if that isn't enough to tease you into reading the book, he quotes C.P. Snow as saying that not knowing the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is the same as not having read Shakespeare; you are culturally backward if you don't take a crack at his book. Unfortunately, he could not resist the formalism of the subject, and produced a mediocre explanation which did not approach the enlightenment he promised. There are better and more succinct explanations elsewhere. Kindle. Read 2017-03-13.

Weebcentral Library
Religion and the sciences of origins, Kelly James Clark, Weebcentral Library. 'This concise introduction to science and religion focuses on Christianity and modern Western science (the epicenter of issues in science and religion in the West) with a concluding chapter on Muslim and Jewish Science and Religion. This book also invites the reader into the relevant literature with ample quotations from original texts.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-03-10. Gift from Jon and Amanda

Clackamas County Library
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou, Clackamas County Library. 'The 1969 autobiography about the early years of African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The first in a seven-volume series, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 16. In the course of Caged Bird, Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice. Angelou was challenged by her friend, author James Baldwin, and her editor, Robert Loomis, to write an autobiography that was also a piece of literature.' Kindle. Read 2017-03-09.

LA Public Library
Six Days Of The Condor, James Grady, LA Public Library. This is the book that was the basis for the excellent Cold War spy movie, Three Days of the Condor. More often, the book is more substantial than a subsequent movie based on the book. In this case, the book is more of a slightly expanded screenplay, with thinly sketched characters, a quickly-moving plot, and clumsy sex scenes. The bones of the film are here, although the changes made for the sake of the movie dramatically improved the story, making the film much superior to this book. Kindle. Read 2017-03-06.

Multnomah County Library
The Gods Of Guilt, Michael Connelly, Multnomah County Library. 'Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.' eBook. Read 2017-03-05.

LA Public Library
The Reversal, Michael Connelly, LA Public Library. 'Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he and LA Detective Harry Bosch set off on a case fraught with political and personal danger. Opposing them is Jessup, now out on bail, a defense attorney who excels at manipulating the media, and a runaway eyewitness reluctant to testify after so many years.' Kindle. Read 2017-03-02.

Weebcentral Library
When You Are Engulfed In Flames, David Sedaris, Weebcentral Library. David Sedaris has mellowed just a bit in this collection of essays, but hasn't lost his acute ability to observe and report his and others foibles. Paperback. Read 2017-01-05. Christmas 2016

Weebcentral Library
Internal Medicine: A Doctor's Stories, Terrence Holt, Weebcentral Library. Internal Medicine captures the 'stark moments of success and failure, pride and shame, courage and cowardice, self-reflection and obtuse blindness that mark the years of clinical training' (Jerome Groopman, New York Review of Books), portraying not only a doctor’s struggle with sickness and suffering but also the fears and frailties each of us - doctor and patient - bring to the bedside. One of our sons is a physician who completed his residency in internal medicine a few years ago, and I was curious about the kind of experiences he might have shared with other residents. Kindle. Read 2017-01-03.

Multnomah County Library
The Glass Universe: How The Ladies Of The Harvard Observatory Took The Measure Of The Stars, Dava Sobel, Multnomah County Library. Dava Sobel's account of women's contributions to astronomy, particularly the contributions made by the computers and burgeoning astronomers of the Harvard Observatory from 1850. Kindle. Read 2016-12-27.

Multnomah County Library
The Wrong Side of Goodbye, Michael Connelly, Multnomah County Library. 'Harry Bosch is California's newest private investigator. He doesn't advertise, he doesn't have an office, and he's picky about who he works for, but it doesn't matter. His chops from thirty years with the LAPD speak for themselves. Soon one of Southern California's biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Did she have the baby? And if so, what happened to it?' Hardcover. Read 2016-12-07. Recommended by my brother-in-law, Greg, who lived in West L.A. for many years.

Multnomah County Library
The Epigenetics Revolution, Nessa Carey, Multnomah County Library. 'Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-12-01.

Clackamas County Library
The Flame Bearer, Bernard Cornwell, Clackamas County Library. 'Northumbria's Viking ruler, Sigtryggr, and Mercia's Saxon queen, Aethelflaed, have agreed on a truce. And so England’s greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, at last has the chance to take back the home his traitorous uncle stole from him so many years ago - and which his scheming cousin still occupies. New enemies enter into the fight for England's kingdoms: the redoubtable Constantin of Scotland seizes an opportunity for conquest and leads his armies south. Britain's precarious peace threatens to turn into a war of annihilation. But Uhtred is determined that nothing, neither the new enemies nor the old foes who combine against him, will keep him from his birthright. He is the Lord of Bebbanburg, but he will need all the skills he has learned over a lifetime of war to make his dream come true.' Hardcover. Read 2016-12-01.

Weebcentral Library
The Other Solzhenitsyn, Daniel J. Mahoney, Weebcentral Library. A Solzhenitsyn scholar's making a case for the misunderstood author, who has been treated with relative contempt by Western intellectuals after first embracing him as an anti-Communist when his first works, such as One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich were published in the early 1960's. Hardcover. Partially-Read 2016-11-28. A gift from my wife Cindy

Multnomah County Library
Social Security For Dummies, Jonathan Peterson, Multnomah County Library. Getting to that age ... Kindle. Read 2016-11-27.

Weebcentral Library
The Russian Question At The End Of The Twentieth Century, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Weebcentral Library. Solzhenitsyn's political point of view has been skewed in the West, many making him out to be an Slavophile and hard-core Russian Nationalist. Solzhenitsyn's Russian Question essay shows that his political understanding centered on his experience in the Soviet Union and his desire to see post-Soviet Russia to develop a political system that was better for its people. He was not a Slavophile. He was a Russian nationalist, but this work makes clear that his view of nationalism was a limited and healthy one. Hardcover. Partially-Read 2016-11-26.

Multnomah County Library
Death's End, Cixin Liu, Multnomah County Library. Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy - part III. Excellent science fiction by a Chinese writer. There are extensive references to physics and astronomy, mixed in with a plot of an alien civilization which has contacted Earth, and seeks to invade and take it over. Its own planet orbits a triple-star system, and the orbit is erratic due to the instability of a triple-star system; hence the reference to the well-known 3-body problem in gravitational physics. An erratic orbit produces wide swings in planetary surface temperature and unpredictable seasons. The backdrop on Earth includes the Great Cultural Revolution, anarchical environmental groups, international 'cooperation for planetary defense, and semi-plausible technology advances, based at least nominally on current or leading-edge physics. Hardcover. Read 2016-11-22.

Multnomah County Library
The Big Picture, Sean Carroll, Multnomah County Library. How do we gain knowledge from the world? The physicist Sean Carroll examines the big ideas in science, and to a lesser degree, some outside of science, and probes the structure of the knowledge we have built up in pursuing those ideas. Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-11-17.

Weebcentral Library
The Joy of Reading, Charles Van Doren, Weebcentral Library. I have been slowly reading this book by Van Doren, one of the acolytes of Chicago's Mortimer Adler, who along with Robert Hutchins built the Great Books program at the University of Chicago, which some think over-emphasize 'great' literature of the past while replacing needed practical education. The Joy of Reading introduces some of the books on or associated with the Great Books list, and is fascinating reading. Van Doren summarizes each book, describing how to read it to get the most from it. He is clearly enraptured by these books, and his joy is infectious. I have been sampling portions of the books that he has seeded some interest. Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-10-11.

LA Public Library
The Laws of Medicine, Siddhartha Mukherjee, LA Public Library. Modern medicine began embracing scientific methods during the last couple of centuries, and in the past one hundred years this has produced an explosion of medical technologies that have aided physicians in significantly controlling some diseases and in particular, extending lives. Today in developed countries, many tests are available for diagnosis and many drugs are available for possible treatment. So why can't physicians today just run a comprehensive battery of tests for every sick patient and spit out a clear diagnosis, and with that, a clear prognosis and plan for a cure? Siddhartha Mukherjee proffers an answer via his Laws of Medicine. Kindle. Read 2016-10-10.

LA Public Library
Pietr the Latvian, Georges Simenon, LA Public Library. Inspector Maigret stories I reach for on occasion as a respite from more ponderous reading. The character of Maigret is French, which is immediately interesting, as he lives in a culture not my own. Maigret mysteries are less detective stories, although certainly they fulfill the requirements of the genre, than they are explorations of Maigret's response to the next collection of people and locales that his criminal investigations lead to. Maigret immerses himself, say, in a small coastal village in Brittany, and becomes familiar enough with the behavior of the townspeople and their immediate surroundings to finally piece out a solution to the crime. I think of him as an existential detective. The local descriptions are completely accurate for the time and place: You can follow the characters on Google Maps as they walk down streets, cross bridges, pray in the local church. Kindle. Read 2016-09-15.

LA Public Library
The Vital Question, Nick Lane, LA Public Library. The Vital Question is a stimulating set of ideas around an elusive subject: abiogenesis and early evolution. The author offers a well-thought out set of hypotheses regarding the origins of the eukaryotic cell, and he does so through the lens of his discipline: bioenergetics. Kindle. Read 2016-09-07. Gift from Jon and Amanda

Along the Way, Britt Towery, . Britt Towery is a very American thinker, who's opinion columns from a West Texas newspaper are collected here. I warmed quickly to his direct and sometimes folksy Texas style. He holds strong opinions on many subjects, but has a particular emphasis regarding the importance of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which safeguards our freedom of speech and religion. Paperback. Re-Read 2016-08-10.

LA Public Library
The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien, Georges Simenon, LA Public Library. Inspector Maigret stories I reach for on occasion as a respite from more ponderous reading. The character of Maigret is French, which is immediately interesting, as he lives in a culture not my own. Maigret mysteries are less detective stories, although certainly they fulfill the requirements of the genre, than they are explorations of Maigret's response to the next collection of people and locales that his criminal investigations lead to. Maigret immerses himself, say, in a small coastal village in Brittany, and becomes familiar enough with the behavior of the townspeople and their immediate surroundings to finally piece out a solution to the crime. I think of him as an existential detective. The local descriptions are completely accurate for the time and place: You can follow the characters on Google Maps as they walk down streets, cross bridges, pray in the local church. Kindle. Read 2016-07-13.

Weebcentral Library
Asimov's Guide To The Bible, Isaac Asimov, Weebcentral Library. This is an excellent reference for historical, geographical, and biographical aspects of the events described in the Old and New Testaments. Asimov does provide some basic discussion of the Bible's many obscure, mysterious passages, also. Hardcover. Partially-Read 2016-07-11.

Weebcentral Library
Burnham's Celestial Handbook: An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System, Vol. 1, Robert Burnham Jr., Weebcentral Library. This handbook is well-known among star-gazers for its wealth of information on stellar objects observable by the naked eye or a low-magnification telescopes. I re-read the introductory chapters because they provide a succinct but relatively thorough description of the basis for astronomical inferences. Paperback. Partially-Read 2016-07-11. A gift from Scottie, who is an inveterate observer of the night skies.

Multnomah County Library
America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, Jim Wallis, Multnomah County Library. Jim Wallis is a progressive Christian writer, and has held my interest for many years. He is a welcome diversion from the hard-hearted right wing Christian fundamentalists that seem to dominate Republican politics. Here Wallis, a veteran of the Civil Rights movement, examines the problem of racism in America, past and present. In particular, he asks what the appropriate Christian attitudes should be towards racial justice. Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-07-04.

Weebcentral Library
Bicycle, DK, Weebcentral Library. A beautiful history of the development of the bicycle, including a history of cycling and of the technological innovations that have produced the modern bicycle. Hardcover. Read 2016-07-03. A gift from my Jon and Amanda.

Weebcentral Library
Relativity Simply Explained, Martin Gardner, Weebcentral Library. Martin Gardner is among my favorite writers, in part because he has a facility for explaining mathematics and science. He has done a creditable job here describing Einstein's works, both special and general relativity. Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-07-02.

LA Public Library
The Carter of 'la Providence', Georges Simenon, LA Public Library. Inspector Maigret stories I reach for on occasion as a respite from more ponderous reading. The character of Maigret is French, which is immediately interesting, as he lives in a culture not my own. Maigret mysteries are less detective stories, although certainly they fulfill the requirements of the genre, than they are explorations of Maigret's response to the next collection of people and locales that his criminal investigations lead to. Maigret immerses himself, say, in a small coastal village in Brittany, and becomes familiar enough with the behavior of the townspeople and their immediate surroundings to finally piece out a solution to the crime. I think of him as an existential detective. The local descriptions are completely accurate for the time and place: You can follow the characters on Google Maps as they walk down streets, cross bridges, pray in the local church. Kindle. Read 2016-05-11.

Clackamas County Library
Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible, David Plotz, Clackamas County Library. The author, a journalist, reads the entire Bible and records his interpretations and responses to it. He attended Hebrew school, and a Christian high school, so his responses include references to what he was taught about the Bible and compared to what he learned in his adult effort to read through the whole book. His take is irreverent in the sense that he allows no theology to dictate his own responses to what he reads. Kindle. Read 2016-04-29.

Weebcentral Library
Performing in Extreme Environments, Lawrence E. Armstrong, Weebcentral Library. The chapter on Heat and Humidity was the source of interest here, to get a better understanding of strategies for water and electrolyte replacement while exercising, particularly while cycling. Paperback. Partially-Read 2016-04-08. Recommended by my son Jon. This was one of his textbooks for Sports Medicine.

Weebcentral Library
Shut Up, Legs!, Jens Voigt, James D. Startt, Weebcentral Library. Jens Voigt was a wonderful cyclist to watch in the Tour de France. He was an aggressive rider, willing to attack in breakaways with few odds of success, friendly and available before and after a race. His motto, 'Shut Up, Legs!,' can be appreciated by anyone who rides bicycles long distance, or any endurance athlete for that matter: Muscular pain from exertion must be ignored in the pursuit of endurance feats. Hardcover. Read 2016-04-04. A gift from my Jon and Amanda.

Multnomah County Library
The Dark Forest, Cixin Liu, Multnomah County Library. Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy - part II. Excellent science fiction by a Chinese writer. There are extensive references to physics and astronomy, mixed in with a plot of an alien civilization which has contacted Earth, and seeks to invade and take it over. Its own planet orbits a triple-star system, and the orbit is erratic due to the instability of a triple-star system; hence the reference to the well-known 3-body problem in gravitational physics. An erratic orbit produces wide swings in planetary surface temperature and unpredictable seasons. The backdrop on Earth includes the Great Cultural Revolution, anarchical environmental groups, international 'cooperation for planetary defense, and semi-plausible technology advances, based at least nominally on current or leading-edge physics. Kindle. Read 2016-04-03.

LA Public Library
Feynman, Jim Ottaviani, LA Public Library. Hardcover. Read 2016-03-24.
 

Selected Recent Articles


New Yorker
Soul Survivor, David Remnick, New Yorker, 2016-04-04. Aretha Franklin recently sang at the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Carole King, reprising the song Carole wrote for her, A Natural Woman. The performance was glorious, and drew tears from the President, as well as from myself as I watched and listened to it later on video. Obama said afterwords: 'Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll - the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope. American history wells up when Aretha sings.'. Read 2016-11-03.

Scientific American
A New Enlightenment, George Musser, Scientific American, 2012-11-04. Can quantum theory be the savior of pure reason? Presented herein is a conceit that the metaphors of superposition and entanglement, quantum mechanical mechanisms, are useful in modeling voting and governing choices of individuals in a democracy more accurately than in looking at populations with some stated propensity to support one policy or another.. Read 2016-10-31.

Scientific American
Language in a New Key, Paul Ibbotsen, Scientific American, 2016-11-01. Noam Chomsky has dominated linguistics, although he may be better known as a skeptic who holds the powerful accountable. His theory of universal grammar posited that humans evolved an inborn knowledge of a universal grammar structure that was triggered in children as they developed the ability to speak in their culture. The theory has been modified into a less structured structure, so to speak, but more recent studies do not seem to support the main tenets. A newer theory is emerging that is described as a usage-based approach. Children start with a set of tools like categorization, analogy construction and reading social intentions, and use them to build rules for the language they are surrounded by. With the advent of online repositories of linguistic data, the new models are being tested like they never could when Chomsky constructed his theories.. Read 2016-10-28.

Mother Jones
Chief Justice Roberts 'Had It In for the Voting Rights Act', Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones, 2016-10-27. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 5-4 conservative majority opinion for Shelby County v. Holder, which removed critical protections from the 1965 Voting Rights Act, particularly that jurisdictions with a clear history of vote suppression and discrimination could not change their voting procedures without DOJ oversight. The result was a rush of voter suppression efforts in former DOJ-monitored counties (mostly the Deep South and Southwest), and in other states where Republicans control the legislature. Since Scalia died this year, a number of lower courts are overturning the worst of these voter suppression efforts, and with the current balance of the court 4-4, the Supreme Court is not able to stop the lower courts from treating all citizens of the United States as if they are equal, at least as regards voting rights.. Read 2016-10-27.

Democracy Journal
John Roberts and the Shifting Politics of Race, Nathan Pippenger, Democracy Journal, 2016-10-27. 'The Chief Justice is the most powerful defender of an increasingly untenable viewpoint.' John Roberts has spent much of his legal career opposing federal voting rights laws, and spearheaded the gutting of critical voter suppression protections from the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2013, Shelby v. Holder. Mounting opposition to this renewed attack on minority voting rights is being seen in lower courts across the nation, with some success, as Scalia's demise is, at least in the short term, making it more difficult for conservative Supreme Court justices to carry their partisan voter suppression attack forward.. Read 2016-10-27.

New York Times
Between the Lines of the Voting Rights Act Opinion, John Schwartz, New York Times, 2013-06-25. Excellent breakdown of the 2013 Supreme Court decision Shelby v. Holder, which removed important voter suppression protection from the 1965 Voting Rights Act, with a 5-4 decision on partisan lines. The Republican Party has since gone on a tear in various states, producing various legislation that is designed to limit their political opponents' ability to vote.. Read 2016-10-27.

New Yorker
A New Cuba, Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker, 2016-10-03. President Obama's Cuban plan normalized relations. Can it also transform the nation? President Obama's Cuban policy is consistent with many other of his administration's foreign policy efforts: To fix the present by symbolic attempts to mend the past. They are marked by a recognition that: incremental and indirect change can be just as important as more obviously interventionist moves can be; change in other parts of the world is usually shaped more by internal efforts and perceptions than external; dialog with other countries is a vital part of exerting influence on change outside our borders. . Read 2016-10-02.

3 Quarks Daily
Notes Of A Grand Juror, Misha Lepetic, 3 Quarks Daily, 2014-12-08. How the ancient grand jury system in the U. S., the only country in the world to still use such a system for the process of criminal indictments, is in fact a critical point of failure in bringing to justice police who kill unarmed civilians. . Read 2016-10-01.

Atlantic Monthly
CRISPR Could Usher in a New Era of Delicious GMO Foods, Sarah Zhang, Atlantic Monthly, 2016-09-19. Read 2016-09-22.

The Washington Post
New study finds that medical marijuana may be helping to curb the opioid epidemic, Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post, 2016-09-15. Read 2016-09-20.

Atlantic Monthly
What O. J. Simpson Means to Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Atlantic Monthly, 2016-10-01. Ta-Nehisi Coates looks back twenty two years and finds that as a young black college student he missed what a lot of outraged white people missed: Many blacks celebrated O. J.'s escape from a brutal justice system that they lived with every day.. Read 2016-09-18.

Atlantic Monthly
Teaching Purity Culture in Public Schools, Olga Khazan, Atlantic Monthly, 2016-09-07. Read 2016-09-10.

Big Think
God Is Dead: What Nietzsche Really Meant, Scotty Hendricks, Big Think, 2016-08-03. Read 2016-08-15.

Guardian
Letter proves Speer knew of Holocaust plan, Kate Connolly, Guardian, 2007-03-07. A newly discovered letter by Adolf Hitler's architect and armaments minister Albert Speer offers proof that he knew about the plans to exterminate the Jews, despite his repeated claims to the contrary. Writing in 1971 to Hélène Jeanty, the widow of a Belgian resistance leader, Speer admitted that he had been at a conference where Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and Gestapo, had unveiled plans to exterminate the Jews in what is known as the Posen speech. Speer's insistence that he had left before the end of the meeting, and had therefore known nothing about the Holocaust, probably spared him from execution after the Nuremberg trials at the end of the second world war.. Read 2016-06-08.

Smithsonian
The Candor and Lies of Nazi Officer Albert Speer, Gilbert King, Smithsonian, 2013-01-08. 'The minister of armaments was happy to tell his captors about the war machine he had built. But it was a different story when he was asked about the Holocaust.'. Read 2016-06-04.

Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences, Eugene Wigner, Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics, 1960-02-01. Eugene Wigner's famous essay on the mysteries of the effectiveness of mathematics as applied to natural science. Wigner was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who's Courant Lecture in 1959 was a delightful exploration of the idea that much in mathematics was invented to describe concepts unrelated to Nature, but some of that very mathematical technique was later used to accurately describe natural science, to the great surprise of both mathematicians and physicists. Originally published in the Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics, vol. 13, No. 1, 1960.. Read 2016-05-05.

New York Review of Books
Clinton: Into the Headwinds, Elizabeth Drew, New York Review of Books, 2016-03-16. Read 2016-04-11.

Boston Review
Did Christianity Create Liberalism?, Samuel Moyn, Boston Review, 2015-02-09. Samuel Moyn offers an in-depth review of Siedentop's book Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism. He finds Siedentop's efforts to provide an explanation for modern freedoms rooted in the influence of medieval Catholicism fall far short of compelling argumentation. Moyn admires the author's appoach to 'treat modern individualism as a historical product rather than a natural fact.' Certainly the modern concept of the social contract alludes to rights rather than a historical progression of increasing expectation of individual liberty. He also admires Siedentop's willingness to take on the biases of modern historiography, which tend to minimize the Middle Ages while harkening back to antiquity for the underpinnings of individual liberty. But he faults Siedentop for doing his own minimization of influences from the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. His biggest criticisms center on two things: neglecting the 'vast chasm that separated the moral equality of Christians from the political equality of modern doctrine,' and ignoring the coercion, violence and intolerance of Christendom during the Middle Ages which underscore that problem. The moral equality of Jesus' acceptance of any and all individuals willing to worship him was not translated implicitly or explicitly into a political liberalism during the Middle Ages, but required the impetus of Luther's insistence on the removal of priestly intercession, itself a religious and moral consideration, inadvertently triggering the movement towards political liberalism.. Read 2015-12-13.

New Yorker
Letter from Shenzhen: The Gene Factory, Michael Specter, New Yorker, 2014-01-06. 'A Chinese firm's bid to crack hunger, illness, evolution - and the genetics of human intelligence.' A profile of the audacious Chinese company BGI, the world's biggest Genomics institute. Their president Jian Wang said, 'For the last 500 yers, you [the West] have been leading the way with innovation. We are no longer interested in following.' . Read 2015-08-05.

Aeon
Is cosmology having a creative crisis?, Ross Andersen, Aeon, 2015-05-12. Read 2015-06-06.

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