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Arts & Science

Today
At 2 a.m., Ivy Deng's iPhone pings. Her boyfriend is messaging her again. Bai Qi is a contemplative policeman, Deng's favorite of the men she's dated recently. Tomorrow morning, he'll pick her up on his motorcycle.Sort of. Bai doesn't actually have a motorcycle, or even a real body. And he's [...]
2018-Dec-15
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Kay Coles James's family was adamant that she pursue an education. James attended the historically black Hampton University, where she studied history and education. Growing up with an emphasis on education and self-sufficiency led her to a career in public policy and then the Heritage Foundation.Coles James served during the [...]
2018-Dec-15
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
This Week in FamilyProtecting a child's belief in Santa in 2018 requires a lot of effort beyond leaving behind half-eaten cookies near the fireplace—parents have started to take measures such as installing browser extensions to hide web pages that might reveal the truth. The Santa myth is a stressful tradition [...]
2018-Dec-15
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
I was lying on a gurney with my eyes closed. Although I was drifting in and out of consciousness, I could sense that a lot was going on around me, because of me. At one point that night, I looked up and saw a man dressed almost like an astronaut, [...]
2018-Dec-15
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Bruce Springsteen is a phony, and he wants you to know it. “I've never held an honest job in my entire life,” he shouts early in his one-man stage show, viewable on Netflix Sunday. “I've never seen the inside of a factory, and yet it's all I've ever written about. [...]
2018-Dec-15
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
In the Donald Trump era, some liberals are confounded by their affection for a figure they would otherwise despise. He is known to them, after all, as one of America's most enthusiastic warmongers—and the man who first vaulted Sarah Palin to national fame. Yet for all his many episodes of [...]
2018-Dec-15
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Things are not going well for Saudi Arabia in Washington.On Thursday, the Senate voted unanimously to blame Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and 56 members—a clear majority—-cast votes to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen. The rebuke [...]
2018-Dec-15
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Earlier
Photos of the week
What We're FollowingNational Inquiry: The publisher of the National Enquirer admitted to paying the former Playboy model Karen McDougal to kill a story about her account of an affair with Donald Trump, signing a non-prosecution agreement with New York prosecutors. The bones of the story have already been reported on [...]
2018-Dec-14
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)Today in 5 Lines Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who was appointed to replace the late Senator John McCain in September, announced that he will resign from the Senate on December 31. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is now required to name a Republican replacement for Kyl. Republican Governor [...]
2018-Dec-14
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
“There are several things about Longyearbyen that may seem ‘strange' to visitors,” warns the Norwegian city's tourist board. One of the northernmost settlements in the world, Longyearbyen, which is on the island of Svalbard, is home to 2,100 residents from almost 50 countries—most of whom weren't born there. “This is not [...]
2018-Dec-14
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry will take space agency NASA up on its offer to tour its lunar lab after he sparked controversy by saying he did not believe humans had ever been to the Moon, comments he later called a joke. [...]
2018-Dec-13
Source: Reuters: Science
A Virgin Galactic rocket plane reached space on Thursday and returned safely to the California desert, capping years of testing to become the first U.S. commercial human flight to breach Earth's atmosphere since America's shuttle program ended in 2011. [...]
2018-Dec-13
Source: Reuters: Science
The history of corn, one of humankind's indispensable staple crops, is far more complicated that previously known, according to scientists who conducted a comprehensive genetic and archeological analysis of its domestication. [...]
2018-Dec-13
Source: Reuters: Science
A Virgin Galactic rocket plane reached space on Thursday and returned safely to the California desert, capping years of testing to become the first U.S. commercial human flight to breach Earth's atmosphere since America's shuttle program ended in 2011. [...]
2018-Dec-13
Source: Reuters: Science
A Virgin Galactic rocket plane blasted to the edge of space on Thursday and returned safely to the California desert, capping off years of difficult testing to become the first U.S. commercial human flight to reach space since America's shuttle program ended in 2011. [...]
2018-Dec-13
Source: Reuters: Science
A Virgin Galactic rocket plane blasted to the edge of space on Thursday, capping off years of difficult testing to become the first U.S. commercial human flight to reach space since America's shuttle program ended in 2011. [...]
2018-Dec-13
Source: Reuters: Science
A Virgin Galactic space tourism vehicle took off from California's Mojave desert under clear skies on Thursday bound for the fringes of space, a mission that if successful would mark the first U.S. human flight beyond the atmosphere since the end of America's shuttle program in 2011. [...]
2018-Dec-13
Source: Reuters: Science
A Virgin Galactic spacecraft is slated to launch from California on Thursday in a test mission that if successful would be the first commercial U.S. human flight beyond the atmosphere since the end of America's shuttle program in 2011. [...]
2018-Dec-13
Source: Reuters: Science
Three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry on Tuesday signaled that he is willing to take NASA up on its offer to tour its lunar lab in Houston after his pronouncement this week that he does not believe humans ever walked on the Moon. [...]
2018-Dec-11
Source: Reuters: Science
Two Russian cosmonauts have taken samples of their capsule's exterior in the sixth hour of a spacewalk seeking to resolve the mystery of a small hole found in the craft docked at the International Space Station, a live broadcast by Russian space agency Roscosmos showed early on Wednesday. [...]
2018-Dec-11
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