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Arts & Science

Today
Way back in Trump Time Capsule #4, when Donald Trump was about to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, I mentioned Trump's long-standing weakness for conspiracy theories. These ranged from his lunatic suggestion that the father of (then-rival, now supplicant) Ted Cruz had been involved in the JFK assassination, to his [...]
2018-Sep-21
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Earlier
A planet-hunting orbital telescope designed to detect worlds beyond our solar system discovered two distant planets this week five months after its launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, officials said on Thursday. [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: Reuters: Science
What We're FollowingRebuilding Puerto Rico: One year after Hurricane Maria hit, Puerto Rico is still in recovery. An estimated 200,000 people have left for the mainland of the U.S. in the past year, as the island continues to grapple with problems beyond rebuilding: “A battle between past and future, a [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Tuesday afternoon in Chicago, a McDonald's worker and single mother named Adriana Alvarez led a group of protestors who stood with blue duct tape covering their mouths, with “#MeToo” scrawled onto it in black marker. “I represent thousands of fast-food workers who are striking across the country against sexual harassment,” [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Written by Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2) and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal)Today in 5 Lines Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Ford is “prepared to testify next week,” provided that the conditions are “fair” and her safety is ensured. Three [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
For nearly six months now, Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have been staging weekly demonstrations at points along the border between Gaza and Israel—protests they call “the Great March of Return,” which demand that Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to their lands in present-day Israel. Every Friday, since [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
BERLIN —“Open societies can tolerate many different opinions, but not many different truths.” So said Hans-Georg Maassen, the man who, until recently, ran Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (or the Verfassungsschutz), which monitors religious and political extremism. Addressing a symposium of intelligence officials in May, Maassen [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—Puerto Rico se levanta. It's become something of an official motto among officials on the island, draped across buildings and making its way into press releases and speeches. It captures an optimistic and hopeful feeling, one a world away from mainland America's posture toward the island, which [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
This summer, the decree went out: We are living in a new geological chapter in the planet's 4.5-billion year history.For a certain corner of the world, this was big news. You have probably heard of the Jurassic Period (when dinosaurs ruled the Earth) or the Cambrian explosion (when complex animal [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Washington, D.C. and New York, NY (September 20, 2018)—CityLab, the preeminent global cities summit organized by the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to address the most urgent urban issues of our time, today announced the first roster of speakers for its sixth-annual summit, happening next month in Detroit. [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Around 558 million years ago, a strange … something dies on the floor of an ancient ocean. Its body, if you could call it that, is a two-inch-long oval with symmetric ribs running from its midline to its fringes. It is quickly buried in sediment, and gradually turns into a [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
From the safety of their research vessel, scientists are exploring one of Earth's last frontiers - the sea floor - to discover more about valuable minerals vital in the manufacture of smartphones. [...]
2018-Sep-20
Source: Reuters: Science
SpaceX, Elon Musk's space transportation company, on Monday named its first private passenger on a voyage around the moon as Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, the founder and chief executive of online fashion retailer Zozo. [...]
2018-Sep-17
Source: Reuters: Science
SpaceX, Elon Musk's space transportation company, on Monday named its first private passenger as Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa, the founder and chief executive of online fashion retailer Zozo. [...]
2018-Sep-17
Source: Reuters: Science
SpaceX, Elon Musk's space transportation company, was set on Monday to name the first private passenger who will take a trip around the moon aboard its forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket spaceship, taking the race to commercialize space travel to new heights. [...]
2018-Sep-17
Source: Reuters: Science
Brazil is ready to launch small commercial rockets from its space base near the equator as soon as it agrees to safeguard U.S. technology that is dominant in the industry, the Brazilian Air Force officer managing the space program said on Friday. [...]
2018-Sep-14
Source: Reuters: Science
Elon Musk's space transportation company SpaceX said it has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the moon aboard its BFR launch vehicle. [...]
2018-Sep-14
Source: Reuters: Science
A team of scientists has embarked on a four-year quest to discover what beyond water the world loses when glaciers melt. [...]
2018-Sep-13
Source: Reuters: Science
Uncertainty over drug regulation and a reluctance by Britain's health service to use certain pricey modern medicines pose a threat to the country's respected life sciences sector, the head Swiss drugmaker Roche said on Thursday. [...]
2018-Sep-13
Source: Reuters: Science
British companies and academics will be excluded from the future development of the European Union's Galileo space project if the country leaves the bloc without a deal in March 2019, according to a series of technical notices published on Thursday. [...]
2018-Sep-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