Empire, AI, Tongue, Gym, Poet

Your periodic free edition of The Browser, perusing the internet for writing worth reading. Join now for five hand-picked articles every day.

Simón Bolívar: Theorist of Empire?

Peter Morgan | JHI Blog | 20th October 2021

At the same time that Bolívar was leading a campaign to expel the Spanish from his homeland, he was imagining how the British Empire might assist in the creation of an independent South America. As such, he counterintuitively "belongs with Thomas Hakluyt, Edmund Burke, and James Mill as a British imperial thinker". He was not against empire itself, merely "despotism" (1,684 words)

The Uselessness Of Useful Knowledge

Robbert Dijkgraaf | Quanta | 20th October 2021

Artificial intelligence is a development in the history of science comparable to alchemy, and that's not a bad thing. The latest self-learning algorithms are created with "the same wishful thinking and misunderstanding that the ancient alchemists had when mixing their magic potions". But this is a "necessary adolescent phase" of overconfidence that the past suggests will bear fruit in time (1,208 words)

Tongue Stuck

Irina Dumitrescu | Rumpus | 12th October 2021

On the sensation of linguistic impediment. "When I try to write in Romanian, my tongue does not feel injured. No. It feels as though my tongue were cleaving to the roof of my mouth, as if I had unthinkingly eaten two large spoonfuls of peanut butter and lost both the power to speak and the air from my lungs." The author wrote this piece in Romanian first and then translated it (2,685 words)

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