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ideas, criticism, debate
Updated: 26 min 40 sec ago

<strong>Robert Louis Stevenson </strong>spent his last five years in Samoa, where the locals couldn't comprehend how he earned his living as a writer

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 18:02
Robert Louis Stevenson spent his last five years in Samoa, where the locals couldn't comprehend how he earned his living as a writer

Why do people who advocate the selfless communal life create such emotional havoc around themselves? The question consumed <strong>Sonya Tolstoy</strong>

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 18:02
Why do people who advocate the selfless communal life create such emotional havoc around themselves? The question consumed Sonya Tolstoy

&ldquo;<strong>There are no facts</strong>, only art,&rdquo; wrote David Shields in 2010. It's a prescient description of our myopic and self-absorbed journalistic era

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 18:02
There are no facts, only art,” wrote David Shields in 2010. It's a prescient description of our myopic and self-absorbed journalistic era

<strong>E.H. Carr </strong>is best known for being consistently and egregiously wrong. But his treatment of historical change endures as a bulwark against despair

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 19:23
E.H. Carr is best known for being consistently and egregiously wrong. But his treatment of historical change endures as a bulwark against despair

<strong>Toscanini's resolute anti-fascism </strong>endeared him to fair-minded people. But it's a mistake to connect his political integrity to his music-making

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 19:23
Toscanini's resolute anti-fascism endeared him to fair-minded people. But it's a mistake to connect his political integrity to his music-making

Wherever there is anger and agony, there is <em>Guernica</em>. What is it about <strong>Picasso's mural </strong>that answers our need for an epitome of death &ndash; and for life in the face of it?

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 19:23
Wherever there is anger and agony, there is Guernica. What is it about Picasso's mural that answers our need for an epitome of death – and for life in the face of it?

When a tuberculosis epidemic resulted in a glut of x-rays, it became an opportunity to subvert <strong>Soviet censorship</strong> of music

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 19:19
When a tuberculosis epidemic resulted in a glut of x-rays, it became an opportunity to subvert Soviet censorship of music

Octopuses play, solve puzzles and navigate mazes. But no matter how much you appreciate their <strong>squishy sentience</strong>, they will never love you back

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 19:19
Octopuses play, solve puzzles and navigate mazes. But no matter how much you appreciate their squishy sentience, they will never love you back

Meet the <strong>New Optimists</strong>. This stubbornly cheerful lot rejects doom-mongering. But is the world really getting better?

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 19:19
Meet the New Optimists. This stubbornly cheerful lot rejects doom-mongering. But is the world really getting better?

Good news: You have a contract to <strong>publish your book</strong>. Bad news: The deadline was 30 years ago

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 19:00
Good news: You have a contract to publish your book. Bad news: The deadline was 30 years ago

<strong>Andy Warhol</strong> wanted to be reincarnated as Elizabeth Taylor's ring, but he was serious about his Catholicism. When he met the pope, he even wore a tie

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 19:00
Andy Warhol wanted to be reincarnated as Elizabeth Taylor's ring, but he was serious about his Catholicism. When he met the pope, he even wore a tie

When did disagreeing with someone become akin to oppression? When we conflated <strong>our opinions and our identities</strong>

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 19:00
When did disagreeing with someone become akin to oppression? When we conflated our opinions and our identities

<strong>David Gelernter </strong>predicted that the internet would become an excellent environment for thinking. He was wrong

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:52
David Gelernter predicted that the internet would become an excellent environment for thinking. He was wrong

Voltaire, Rousseau, Samuel Johnson &mdash; they're just like us! They were the beneficiaries and the first victims of a novel force: <strong>modern celebrity </strong>

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:52
Voltaire, Rousseau, Samuel Johnson — they're just like us! They were the beneficiaries and the first victims of a novel force: modern celebrity

Diogenes wanted his body, upon his <strong>death</strong>, to be thrown over a wall for the dogs &mdash; a rational and ecological approach. Why has no society followed suit?

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:52
Diogenes wanted his body, upon his death, to be thrown over a wall for the dogs — a rational and ecological approach. Why has no society followed suit?

<strong>Claude Shannon </strong>was a poet, juggler, unicyclist, machinist, futurist, and gambler who wrote &ldquo;the Magna Carta of the Information Age&rdquo;

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 19:03
Claude Shannon was a poet, juggler, unicyclist, machinist, futurist, and gambler who wrote “the Magna Carta of the Information Age”

Beware a <strong>biography of Faulkner </strong>that gets mired in source hunting. Don't just explain how his work works. Show why the man wrote as he did

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 19:03
Beware a biography of Faulkner that gets mired in source hunting. Don't just explain how his work works. Show why the man wrote as he did

First the yuppie, then the hipster, now the &ldquo;<strong>aspirational class</strong>.&rdquo; These people consume conscientiously &mdash; and have no intention of relinquishing their status

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 19:03
First the yuppie, then the hipster, now the “aspirational class.” These people consume conscientiously — and have no intention of relinquishing their status

Music as mental exercise. The pianist <strong>Mal Waldron</strong> did more than gig with Billie Holiday, Allen Ginsberg, and Lenny Bruce. He cultivated an analytical style

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 19:20
Music as mental exercise. The pianist Mal Waldron did more than gig with Billie Holiday, Allen Ginsberg, and Lenny Bruce. He cultivated an analytical style

<strong>Critics of criticism</strong>. When did the only sophisticated stance on a cultural object become distance, deflation, and diagnosis?

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 19:20
Critics of criticism. When did the only sophisticated stance on a cultural object become distance, deflation, and diagnosis?