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Arts & Science

Earlier
The Aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique and Zimbabwe
What We're FollowingThe summary of the Mueller investigation released by the attorney general had one big conclusion: No collusion. Though the actual report hasn't yet been made public, Trump and his allies were quick to spin the SparkNotes version as a political win. Though the investigation once looked like [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee strongly criticized President Donald Trump's plans for a new "Space Force" on Monday, setting the stage for a battle over one of Trump's favorite initiatives. [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: Reuters: Science
Trump tweets: "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"
What We're Following TodayIt's Monday, March 25.‣ Senator Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico, announced that he will not run for reelection in 2020. “The worst thing anyone in public office can do is believe the office belongs to them, rather than to the people they represent,” Udall said [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Apple's formal announcement of its new original TV service, rolled out Monday, was high on prestige and low on details. A keynote presentation given at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, began with hefty explanations of other projects the company has in the works, including a credit card, a news-subscription [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
The justice system cannot please everyone, but it at least aims to provide some sort of closure. That's why one of the least satisfying outcomes of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the election, as summarized by Attorney General William Barr, is its approach to the question [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
The history of invention is littered with men who took credit for women's ideas. Take Monopoly, for example: As the story goes, an unemployed man named Charles Darrow invented the beloved American board game in the 1930s, sold it, and became a millionaire. All of that happened, except the part [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
When plants are bitten by insects, they release a chemical scream—a cocktail of compounds that travel through the air. Some deter pests directly by confusing or repelling them; others indirectly protect plants by summoning predatory ants or parasitic wasps. Still others raise the alarm in parts of the plant that [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Ten days ago, Cyclone Idai, one of the most devastating storms to hit Africa in decades, made landfall in Mozambique with sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph), damaging or destroying thousands of structures. The tropical storm then moved inland, bringing heavy rain and flooding to more parts of Mozambique, [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Dragged Across Concrete, S. Craig Zahler's new film about two hard-nosed cops who descend into a criminal underworld, begins with a drug bust that goes too far. The detectives, Brett Ridgeman (played by Mel Gibson) and Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn), dispense excessive force with casual aloofness. In an early scene, [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Operation Varsity Blues was full of salacious accusations detailing how wealthy parents allegedly cheated to get their kids into elite schools through hefty bribes and outright lies. But one particular deceit orchestrated by William Singer, the college-consultant fixer at the center of the scam, drew the ire of the disabilities-rights [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
ISTANBUL—Every morning, men and women queue up outside a cavernous white tent on Taksim Square, here in central Istanbul, well before the first government trucks arrive carrying tomatoes, peppers, and other supplies. When they are let in, they calmly stock up on the few kilograms of fruit and vegetables they [...]
2019-Mar-25
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Sun bears, the smallest of the world's eight bear species, are generally solitary animals, content to spend most of their time alone outside mating season, foraging for fruit, rodents, birds and insects in Southeast Asian tropical forests. [...]
2019-Mar-21
Source: Reuters: Science
Boeing Co has delayed by at least three months its first uncrewed flight to the International Space Station under NASA's human spaceflight program, and pushed its crewed flight until November, industry sources said on Wednesday. [...]
2019-Mar-20
Source: Reuters: Science
Boeing Co has delayed by at least three months its first uncrewed flight to the International Space Station under NASA's human spaceflight program, and pushed its crewed flight until November, industry sources said on Wednesday. [...]
2019-Mar-20
Source: Reuters: Science
Scientists in southwest China's Yunnan province have cloned what they called the "Sherlock Holmes of police dogs" in a program they hope will help cut training times and costs for police dogs, state media reported on Wednesday. [...]
2019-Mar-19
Source: Reuters: Science
It would be irresponsible for any scientist to conduct human gene-editing studies in people, and a central registry of research plans should be set up to ensure transparency, World Health Organization experts said on Tuesday. [...]
2019-Mar-19
Source: Reuters: Science
Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser has been awarded the 2019 Templeton Prize, worth $1.4 million, for his work blending science and spirituality. [...]
2019-Mar-19
Source: Reuters: Science
A Russian-made Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, carrying three astronauts into space, two of whom survived a mid-air rocket failure in October. [...]
2019-Mar-14
Source: Reuters: Science
Top scientists and ethicists from seven countries on Wednesday called for a global moratorium on gene editing of human eggs, sperm or embryos that would result in genetically-altered babies after a rogue Chinese researcher last year announced the birth of the world's first gene-edited twins. [...]
2019-Mar-13
Source: Reuters: Science
Two astronauts who survived a dramatic launch mishap in October said on Wednesday they were confident this time about reaching the International Space Station, though they said a small fault had been discovered on their rocket during final checks. [...]
2019-Mar-13
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