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Arts & Science

Today
Previously in this series:“A Case Against Gun Control” “The Cultural Roots of a Gun-Massacre Society” “A Veteran on the Need to Control Civilian Arms” “‘Show Us the Carnage,' Continued” “Only in America” “Show Us the Carnage” “The Empty Rituals of an American Massacre” and before that: “Why the AR-15 Is So Lethal” “The Nature of the AR-15” “Why the AR-15 [...]
2018-Feb-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
During Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination hearing last year, then-Senator Al Franken asked the nominee whether he had read a recent New York Times series about the use of arbitration to thwart consumer complaints against corporations.Gorsuch said he had. “It made me think about a little bit of history,” he [...]
2018-Feb-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Tony wooed Maria from one in West Side Story. Rosario Dawson belted from one in Rent. They became just another piece in a gritty urban jungle gym for the kids in The Get Down. Police procedurals regularly feature guys fleeing (or entering) by means of them.Fire escapes, the clunky metal [...]
2018-Feb-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
In his new book Craeft, the archaeologist and BBC presenter Alexander Langlands offers a fascinating and surprisingly relevant dive into a subject that might seem niche to many—the origins of traditional crafts in medieval Europe. The reviews, by and large, have been enthusiastic. But some of the article headlines present [...]
2018-Feb-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
On Thursday at a conference sponsored by the American Conservative Union, Ben Domenech, the publisher of The Federalist, had an illuminating exchange with Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who once called Donald Trump “a pathological liar,” but has since lined up behind the billionaire who spread lies about his [...]
2018-Feb-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
The Closing Ceremony of South Korea's Winter Olympics marks the end not just of dazzling twizzles, celebrity curlers, and shirtless Tongans, but also of an interlude in the international crisis over North Korea's nuclear-weapons program. In recent weeks we've witnessed North and South Koreans marching and competing together, the American [...]
2018-Feb-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Back in the fall of 2015, in the midst of travels around the country in which my wife, Deb, and I saw countless examples of citizens taking responsibility for changing their own communities, I mentioned one way Deb and I intended to apply the lessons of what we'd seen. As [...]
2018-Feb-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Earlier
The Republican charge that the FBI misled a secret surveillance court in order to spy on a former Trump campaign operative seemed to unravel on Saturday, when Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee revealed the exact wording that the bureau used when applying for the order in October 2016.In a [...]
2018-Feb-24
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Previously in this series:“The Cultural Roots of a Gun-Massacre Society” “A Veteran on the Need to Control Civilian Arms” “Show Us the Carnage, Continued” “Only in America” “Show Us the Carnage” “The Empty Rituals of an American Massacre” and before that: “Why the AR-15 Is So Lethal” “The Nature of the AR-15” “Why the AR-15 Was Never Meant to [...]
2018-Feb-24
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
The Security Council was considering Saturday a resolution to approve a 30-day ceasefire in Syria. But there are few signs that a truce, even if a resolution is approved, will hold; fewer indications that Russia, which supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, will persuade him to stop the atrocities [...]
2018-Feb-24
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
MINYA, Egypt (Reuters) - Egyptian archaeologists have discovered an ancient necropolis containing 40 stone sarcophagi, about 1,000 small statues and a necklace charm bearing the hieroglyphic inscription "happy new year". [...]
2018-Feb-24
Source: Reuters: Science
OSLO (Reuters) - Norway plans to spend 100 million Norwegian crowns ($13 million) to upgrade a doomsday seed vault on an Arctic island built 10 years ago to protect the world's food supplies, the government said on Friday. [...]
2018-Feb-23
Source: Reuters: Science
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese engineering researchers say they have created a tiny electronic light the size of a firefly which rides waves of ultrasound, and could eventually figure in applications ranging from moving displays to projection mapping. [...]
2018-Feb-23
Source: Reuters: Science
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It may come as a disappointment to equine enthusiasts, but a new genetic study has found that no truly wild horses still exist and that a population inhabiting Mongolian grasslands actually is a feral descendant of the earliest-known domesticated horses. [...]
2018-Feb-22
Source: Reuters: Science
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's defense minister said on Thursday that Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX and other U.S. aerospace companies have expressed interest in launching rockets from its Alcantara military base near the equator and visited the site in December. [...]
2018-Feb-22
Source: Reuters: Science
LONDON (Reuters) - The world's oldest known cave paintings were made by Neanderthals, not modern humans, suggesting our extinct cousins were far from being uncultured brutes. [...]
2018-Feb-22
Source: Reuters: Science
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's defense minister said on Thursday that SpaceX, Boeing and other companies have expressed interest in launching rockets from the South American nation's Alcantara military base near the equator, and that a delegation of interested parties visited the site late last year. [...]
2018-Feb-22
Source: Reuters: Science
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Archaeologists exploring the word's biggest flooded cave in Mexico have discovered ancient human remains at least 9,000 years old and the bones of animals who roamed the earth during the last Ice Age. [...]
2018-Feb-20
Source: Reuters: Science
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If you want to know how vampire bats can survive on a diet that -- as everyone knows -- consists exclusively of blood, the answer is simple. It's in their genes. [...]
2018-Feb-19
Source: Reuters: Science
RAMON CRATER, Israel (Reuters) - A team of six Israeli researchers on Sunday ended a four-day Mars habitat experiment in Israel's Negev desert where they simulated living conditions on the Red Planet, Israel's Science and Technology Ministry said. [...]
2018-Feb-18
Source: Reuters: Science
Over on the Commentary website, Nick Eberstadt has a brilliant and disturbing piece called “Our Miserable 21st Century.” Among its many haunting points is the following concerning the unemployed and opioid-addicted men of “fly-over” America:We already knew from other sources ... that the overwhelming majority of the prime-age men in [...]
2017-Feb-20
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement
(Warning: spoilers ahead.)HBO's series Westworld ended its first season earlier this month with the beginnings of what seems to be a revolt by the robotic “hosts” against the human beings who made them and boss them around. The show might appear, then, to conform to a great cliché in human-created-monster [...]
2016-Dec-30
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement
I am not ungrateful to Issues in Science and Technology for presenting, in its spring 2016 issue, a review (available here) of my book Eclipse of Man: Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress. I wish it were not such a negative review. But as negative reviews go, this one [...]
2016-Jun-02
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement
The Joint Economic Committee — a congressional committee with members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives — invited me to testify in a hearing yesterday on “the transformative impact of robots and automation.” The other witnesses were Andrew McAfee, an M.I.T. professor and coauthor of The Second [...]
2016-May-26
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement
As part of a Washington Post series this week about transhumanism, our own Charles T. Rubin offers some thoughts on why transhumanists are so optimistic when the pop-culture depictions of transhumanism nearly always seem to be dark and gloomy:What accounts for this gap between how transhumanists see themselves — as [...]
2016-May-17
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement
Over at Tech Crunch, Jamie Metzl writes that we need to have a “species-wide conversation” about the use of gene-editing technologies like CRISPR, because these technologies could be used to alter the course of human evolution:Nearly everybody wants to have cancers cured and terrible diseases eliminated. Most of us want [...]
2016-May-05
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement
Marija Piliponyte(Shutterstock)When, in 1937, George Orwell wanted to convey the dark side of “mechanical progress” to his readers, he wrote, “the logical end of mechanical progress is to reduce the human being to something resembling a brain in a bottle.” Of course, he said, it is not as if that [...]
2016-Mar-30
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement
Years ago, James Hughes sought to typify the emerging political debate over transhumanism with a three-axis political scale, adding a biopolitical dimension to the familiar axes of social and fiscal libertarianism. But transhumanism is a very academic issue, both in the sense that many transhumanists, including Hughes, are academics, and [...]
2016-Feb-01
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement
In the latest issue of the Claremont Review of Books, political philosopher Mark Blitz — a professor at Claremont McKenna College — has an insightful review of Eclipse of Man, the new book from our own Charles T. Rubin. Blitz writes:What concerns Charles Rubin in Eclipse of Man is well [...]
2015-Nov-24
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement
A piece by our very own Ari N. Schulman, on WashingtonPost.com today:... Even as the significance of the Turing Test has been challenged, its attitude continues to characterize the project of strong artificial intelligence. AI guru Marvin Minsky refers to humans as “meat machines.” To roboticist Rodney Brooks, we're no [...]
2015-Nov-03
Source: New Atlantis: Human Enhancement