Alcohol, Boxing, Censorship, Eclipses, Bitcoin, Surfing

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If The Media Covered Alcohol Like Other Drugs

German Lopez | Vox | 28th June 2017

“A drug epidemic has swept the US killing hundreds and sickening thousands more on a daily basis. Federal officials say this drug has is linked to 88,000 deaths each year including traffic accidents caused by drug-induced impairment, liver damage caused by excessive consumption, and violent behavior. Experts warn that it can also lead to nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, cognitive deficits among children and teens, and even fetal defects in pregnant women” (940 words)

Real, Not Pretty

Walter Mosley | Undefeated | 14th August 2017

Lyrical fugue in praise of boxing, and in defence of boxers, who are what they are. “Floyd Mayweather came from the working class to become maybe the greatest boxer of his generation. He knows his craft inside and out, how to adjust to any opponent, how to win no matter what. I love his fights. I detest his history of violence against women. These opposite feelings pose no conflict for me. Boxing is a foolish place to look for saints or moral purity. What we look for in the ring is ourselves” (1,300 words)

An Open Letter To Cambridge University Press

James Millward | Medium | 19th August 2017

Scholar reproaches Cambridge University Press for “craven, shameful and destructive” compliance with Chinese demands to delete hundreds of articles, mainly relating to Tian’anmen, Tibet, Taiwan and Xinjiang, from China Quarterly. “The result is a misleading, neutered simulacrum of China Quarterly for the China market. The censored history of China will bear the seal of Cambridge University. CUP apparently deems a watered-down product to be good enough for Chinese readers” (2,040 words)

A Multimillenium Tale Of Computation

Stephen Wolfram | 15th August 2017

All about eclipses. Why they happen, when they happen, how we predict them. The Antikythera device, built by the Ancient Greeks 2000 years ago, used 37 metal gears to approximate the motion of the Sun and Moon. “Of course the results are a lot more accurate today, though the way we compute the position of the Sun and Moon is conceptually very much like the gears of the Antikythera device. It’s just that now we have the digital equivalent of hundreds of thousands of gears” (11,050 words)

The Lives Of Bitcoin Miners

Joon Ian Wong & Zheping Huang | Quartz | 17th August 2017

A visit to the city of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, home to 4% of the world’s bitcoin computing power. “In the bitcoin economy, time really is money. Every 10 minutes, mining machines compete to solve a math problem to win 12.5 bitcoins, a reward set by the bitcoin software. The work is akin to trying out billions of combinations of numbers on a safe. The miner who gets the right combination the fastest unlocks the safe. The more machines you have, the greater your chances of earning coins” (2,300 words)

Hanging Ten With Kant And Sartre

Aaron James | Literary Hub | 7th August 2017

A philosophy of surfing. “If I could chat with Jean-Paul Sartre about our 21st-century predicament, I’d make my case that the surfer’s knowledge undermines central tenets of his philosophy. Sartre brought deep questions about the human condition before us. He also left us in a bleak existential predicament. In searching for an exit, the surfer shows a way into the sunlight, a hopeful view of history, and intellectual permission for a more exuberant conception of being” (2,300 words)

Video of the day: The Evolution Of An Artist

What to expect:

Tribute to Warner Brother animator Chuck Jones, maestro of Looney Tunes and creator of Wile E. Coyote (8’50”)

Thought for the day

That which is possible is inevitable
William Carlos Williams

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