Tag Archives: Aeon

The Hedgehog’s Array: April 22, 2016

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Now’s the Time,” Eric Olson
“If I were to die today, my loved ones would be grief-stricken, my son would be orphaned, and my colleagues would have to mark my students’ exams. That would be terrible for them.”

“A groundbreaking artist, Prince astonished right to the end,” Steve Smith
“There was never a time, not even a passing moment, that Prince didn’t matter.”

“Note To Self,” Elaine Blair
“To throw in our lot with the essay — to place it at the center of our literary culture — is to accept the idea of a more or less continuous self that can make its observations, emotions, interpretations, and opinions intelligible to others.”

“On the Road,” James McWilliams
“The trade-off for submitting voluntarily to the pain of a marathon—which really can be otherworldly—is the opportunity to transcend your anger, to step outside normal life and build a unique narrative out of a sanctioned act of rebellion.”

“Still Tilting at Windmills,” Stephen Phelan
“On a recent Saturday morning, I caught The Cervantes Train from Madrid’s Atocha Station. Don Quixote greeted me on the platform.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: October 23, 2015

hedgehog array logo_FLAT_72dpi[3]Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Romantic Regimes,” Polina Aronson
“In the Regime of Choice, the no-man’s land of love—that minefield of unreturned calls, ambiguous emails, erased dating profiles and awkward silences—must be minimised. No more pondering ‘what if’ and ‘why’. No more tears. No more sweaty palms. No more suicides.”

“Welles Lettres,” A. S. Hamrah
“It’s been difficult to get beyond the mocking portrayals of Welles in part because so many critics and pop film historians have adopted Hollywood’s conformist notions of success. Welles’s story of uncompromising ambition and lack of concern for studio approval has functioned as a cautionary tale: a lesson in how not to succeed in show business.”

“Rembrandt,” John Berger
“Just outside Amsterdam there lives an old, well-known, and respected Dutch painter. He has worked hard throughout his life—but he has only produced, as far as the world knows, a few drawings and one large canvas which is in the National Museum. I went to see his second major work, a triptych of the war. We spoke of war, old age, the vocation of the painter. He opened the door of his studio to let me go in first. The huge canvases were white. After years of work he had that day calmly destroyed them.”

“The Last Paperback Intellectuals,” Andy Seal
“There remains too often an unexamined assumption that style and accessibility go hand in hand.”

“Humanism, Science, and the Radical Expansion of the Possible,” Marilynne Robinson
“There are so many works of the mind, so much humanity, that to disburden ourselves of our selves is an understandable temptation.”

Hedgehogs abroad:

“Evolution in the Classroom,” Jeff Guhin
“None of the creationists I worked with disliked science. Recently, I did fieldwork in two Sunni Muslim and two Evangelical Christian high schools in the New York City area, and while the majority in all four schools distrusted evolution, not a one disliked science, or even blamed it.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: September 25, 2015

hedgehog array logo_FLAT_72dpi[3]Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Down the Rabbit Hole,” Evan Kindley
“What makes a good annotator? It’s some combination, apparently, of excess and restraint: an instinct for when to tell us more than we need to know (or more than we knew there was to know) balanced with a refusal to bore us.”

“This Free Online Encyclopedia Has Achieved What Wikipedia Can Only Dream Of,” Nikhil Sonnad
“The [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy] is a highly rare case of knowledge being separated from the trash heap. The question is, can we make more of the internet like this?”

“The Magic of Untidiness,” Laurel Berger
“Renewal is what we do each time we revisit a book. It’s not only the text that holds meaning, but the thing itself and the imprint that time and lived experience have left on it.”

“How Naked People Took Over Reality Television,” James Parker
“The discourse of true love, of finding the right person, etc., winds bizarrely and distractingly through Dating Naked, past the yoga boners and the lewd poolside fondlings.”

“The Pamphleteers,” Scott Porch and Gordon Wood
“The pamphlets are hard to read. There are too many citations to Cicero and Tacitus, and there’s a very limited audience for that. To some extent, that’s true today. People who read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and Atlantic Monthly are the same people.”

“Broken Links,” Alana Massey
“I asked Michael L Nelson, a computer scientist at Old Dominion University in Virginia, how likely it is that someone, or something, could follow my trail back to find the comments and profiles I’d flung across the internet in the 1990s and early 2000s.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: August 21, 2015

hedgehog array logo_FLAT_72dpi[3]Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Selling Out the Newspaper Comic Strip,” Luke Epplin
Calvin and Hobbes, which centered on a headstrong child and a stuffed tiger that comes to life under his gaze, shared many similarities with Peanuts: articulate children, fantasy sequences, episodic storylines, philosophical undercurrents, and an aversion to facile punch lines. But Schulz and Watterson harbored fundamental disagreements about the nature and direction of their medium, and their entrenched beliefs shaped their divergent approaches to comics as both an art and a business.”

“Melancholy,” Carina del Valle Schorske
“Melancholy is a word that has fallen out of favor for describing the condition we now call depression. The fact that our language has changed, without the earlier word disappearing completely, indicates that we are still able to make use of both.”

“The Ashley Madison Hack Should Scare You, Too,” Heather Havrilesky
“At the exact moment when citizens worldwide should be noticing that we’re all living in glass houses, many of us are picking up stones instead.”

“Why Can’t People Just Be Sensible?,” Jenny Diski
“Oh, Doris would say to anyone in any kind of emotional trouble, why can’t people just be sensible? Once or twice I shouted back: because we’re people. The answer carried no weight at all.”

“The Riders of the Waves,” Alice Gregory
“Reputations are made and maintained in the ocean, but they’re premised on more than just talent. Seniority, humility, pain tolerance, and a hundred other factors contribute to a surfer’s local eminence.”

Hedgehogs abroad:

“Gallery Chronicle,” Leann Davis Alspaugh
“El Greco (1541–1614) knew the value of his work and was not afraid to go to court to prove his point.”

“The Genealogy of Orals,” Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
“When someone from abroad wants to learn about our university system, his first pressing question is: How do your students participate in university life? We answer: By means of the ear — they take part as listeners. The foreigner is amazed and asks: Purely by listening? Purely by listening, we repeat.”
(excerpted from Anti-Education, a volume of Nietzsche’s lectures edited by Chad Wellmon)

“Digital Star Chamber,” Frank Pasquale
“For wines or films, the stakes are not terribly high. But when algorithms start affecting critical opportunities for employment, career advancement, health, credit and education, they deserve more scrutiny.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: February 27, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Universities, Mismanagement, and Permanent Crisis,” Gerry Canavan
“As every college administration invokes generalized, free-flowing “emergency” as its justification for arbitrary policy after arbitrary policy — all of which need to be implemented now, en toto and without debate, even the ones that contradict the other ones — they are arguing that their management up to now has been so wildly and irredeemably poor that the university has been thrown into total system crisis. And yet the solution to the emergency is, inevitably, always more (and more draconian) administrative control, always centralized under the very same people who took us over the cliff in the first place!”

“Remarkably Modern and Profoundly Religious,” Cole Carnesecca
“In Japan, religion significantly influenced Japanese modernity. Japanese modernity didn’t look like Western modernity (which was hardly a cohesive reality beyond its more theoretical construction) because it wasn’t Western modernity.”

“Dark Leviathan,” Henry Farrell
“The libertarian dream of free online drug markets that can magically and peacefully regulate themselves is just that: a dream. Playing at pirates is only fun as long as the other players are kids too. The trouble is, once adults with real swords appear, it may be too late to wake up.”

“Heaven is a Place on Earth,” John Gray
“Popular culture contains few, if any, convincing representations of a happy afterlife.”

“The Allure of Hyperlocal History,” Casey N. Cep
“Arcadia certainly occupies a small niche in the publishing world, but it’s a comfortable one, one that resonates with the full meaning of that word, offering rare nests in a time of endless migration.”

“The Failure of Macho Christianity,” Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig
“For both PUAs and the hyper-masculine ministry of Mars Hill and its like-minded flankers, the story goes something like this: feminism and its attendant ideological shifts have undermined traditionally male sources of power and dignity; nevertheless, certain anthropological realities (divinely ordained gender differences for the Christians, evolutionary psychology for the PUAs) resist this newly imposed order.”

Hedgehogs abroad:

“Revival—Elmer Gantry Returns!,” Leann Davis Alspaugh
“Oral Roberts is said to have burst through his front door one day, shouting ‘Fix me a steak, I’ve just seen Jesus!’ The charismatic televangelist, who died in 2009, had an appetite for fiery sermons and faith healings, but it was his reliance on the collection plate that really aggravated his critics.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: December 12, 2014

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Noteworthy reads from last week:

“Has modern art exhausted its power to shock?,” Roger Scruton
“If the public has become so immune to shock that only a dead shark in formaldehyde will awaken a brief spasm of outrage, then the artist must produce a dead shark in formaldehyde—this, at least, is an authentic gesture.”

“Can We Criticize Foucault?,” Daniel Zamora
“Foucault was highly attracted to economic liberalism: he saw in it the possibility of a form of governmentality that was much less normative and authoritarian than the socialist and communist left, which he saw as totally obsolete.”

“The Disappearance of Rosemary Tonks,” Ruth Graham
“Decades later, a London poet named Rosemary Tonks would name Rimbaud as one of her main influences. If she was not quite the scandalous sensation of her forebear, she was nonetheless respected, and she ran with a bohemian crowd.… And then, quite suddenly, she disappeared.”

“Good Feminist,” Vivian Gornick
“Fast-forward another twenty-five years, and we’re into what’s called Third Wave feminism—a non-movement movement whose participants seem to bear an uncanny resemblance to the young women who called themselves free women in the 1920s.”

“The Gothic Life and Times of Horace Walpole,” Carrie Frye
“As a child, Horace Walpole frequently heard it said of himself that surely he would die soon.”

“Future Perfect,” Iwan Rhys Morus
“For the Victorians, the future, as terra incognita, was ripe for exploration (and colonisation). For someone like me—who grew up reading the science fiction of Robert Heinlein and watching Star Trek—this makes looking at how the Victorians imagined us today just as interesting as looking at the way our imagined futures work now.”

“Who Killed Cat Fancy?,” Abraham Riesman
“Extensive interviews with writers and executives there have suggested an answer: Cat lovers killed Cat Fancy. In their defense, they had no idea they were doing it.”

“How Torture Became Just Another Government Bureaucracy,” Scott Shackford
“A bureaucracy always protects its own existence above any and all things. The nature of the CIA’s acknowledgements of deficiencies are about fixing the bureaucracy and actually expanding it.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: December 5, 2014

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Noteworthy reads from last week:

“The long, halting, unfinished fight to end racial profiling in America,” Emily Badger
“George W. Bush promised to end racial profiling a decade ago. Now Eric Holder is still trying”

“Who Should Own the Internet?,” Julian Assange
“Unlike intelligence agencies, which eavesdrop on international telecommunications lines, the commercial surveillance complex lures billions of human beings with the promise of “free services.” Their business model is the industrial destruction of privacy. And yet even the more strident critics of NSA surveillance do not appear to be calling for an end to Google and Facebook.”

“The evidence is in: there is no language instinct,” Vyvan Evans
“For decades, the idea of a language instinct has dominated linguistics. It is simple, powerful and completely wrong.”

“Could religion survive contact with extraterrestrials?,” Damon Linker
“Such a discovery would seem to vindicate the evolutionary hypothesis that life can and does emerge from (seeming) nothingness all on its own, without divine intervention of any kind.”

“How Sociologists Made Themselves Irrelevant,” Orlando Patterson
“We need to reinvigorate public sociology…I’m talking about using our expertise to help develop public policies and alleviate social problems in contexts wherein the experience and data can, reciprocally, inform our work.”

“The Quiet German,” George Packer
“The astonishing rise of Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world.”

“Want to Limit the Use of Police Force? Limit the State,” Charles C.W. Cooke
“What, I wonder, would the anti-tax rebels who threw off the British Empire make of the news that a man had lost his life for peacefully selling a “loosie”? Once again: Is this why governments are instituted among men?”

“The Art of Revolution: Creativity and Euromaidan,” Natalia Moussienko
“Rationalism and pragmatism have their limits; emotive principles do not. Rationalism and pragmatism don’t lend themselves to the artistic mind; emotive principles do.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: November 21, 2014

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Noteworthy reads from last week:

“A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” Sabrina Rubin Erdely
“… at UVA, rapes are kept quiet, both by students – who brush off sexual assaults as regrettable but inevitable casualties of their cherished party culture – and by an administration that critics say is less concerned with protecting students than it is with protecting its own reputation from scandal.”

“Either One: the Video Game that Tries to Simulate Dementia” Michael Thomsen
“The game casts the player as an employee of a futuristic memory-retrieval company called the Ether Institute of Telepathic Medicine. Your job is to dive into the mind of Jean Thompson, a sixty-nine-year-old woman diagnosed with dementia, and retrieve a series of lost memories.”

“Why It’s So Hard for Millennials to Find a Place to Live and Work” Derek Thompson
“The paradox of the American Dream: The best cities to get ahead are often the most expensive places to live, and the most affordable places to live can be the worst cities to get ahead.”

“Gross Violations” Carol Hay
“Disgust is often used as a tool of persuasion. But are gut feelings ever a reliable guide in questions of right and wrong?”

“What Happened the Last Time Republicans Has a Majority This Huge?” Josh Zeitz
“Since last week, many Republicans have been feeling singularly nostalgic for November 1928, and with good reason. It’s the last time that the party won such commanding majorities in the House of Representatives while also dominating the Senate.”

“The New ‘Normal Barbie’ Comes With an Average Woman’s Proportions—And Cellulite Sticker Accessories” Laura Stampler
“A lot of toys makes kids go into fantasy, but why don’t they show real life is cool?”

“Distribution Isn’t Outdated” James Mumford
“G.K. Chesterton offers a non-statist vision for economic and social change that’s still relevant in the age of the iPhone.”

“Why Independent Bookstores Are More Than Just Places to Buys Books” David Rosenberg
“They’re a meeting place away from the often segregated, homogenous world of social media.”

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