Ezequiel Zaidenwerg | Baffler | 6th January 2021
Remembering Diego Maradona as myth and metaphor. He may have been the best football player ever, not because of his individual genius, nor because of his team spirit, but because he inspired entire stadiums, spectators included. "Messi is a genius who makes his teammates better, but Maradona’s gift was more precious: he made everyone believe they were great and could be greater" (1,655 words)
Jonathan Gaisman | Standpoint | 23rd December 2020
Schubert was modern history's greatest instance of genius cut off before its prime. He caught syphilis at 25, the age at which Keats died having peaked as a poet; and he died at 31, by which age Haydn had written none of the music for which we now revere him. "Schubert's genius was to draw us in to the melancholy of his interior world, and to set before us a vision of unattainable beauty" (1,970 words)
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David Beaver et al | SEP | 7th January 2021
When we say or write something, how much context do we assume listeners or readers to know? The answer is a subject of fascination for philosophers. If, in comparing these sentences — "It’s the knave that stole the tarts, but there is no knave", and, "It’s the knave that stole the tarts, but he didn’t do anything illegal" — you find no discussable distinction, pass by on the other side (20,100 words)
Ethan Siegel | Starts With A Bang | 8th January 2021
The answer is neither, exclusively, as far as we can say, which probably means our categories are deficient. This history of the double-slit experiment, a foundation of quantum mechanics, finds that the experiment is infinitely tweakable but never quite conclusive. "The goal was to catch the photon in a paradox: acting like a wave when it should’ve been acting like a particle, or vice versa" (2,300 words)
Charles Foster | Practical Philosophy | 8th January 2020
Sherlock Holmes is "rigorous, empirical, and relies on induction", making him a model for many scientists and philosophers. But in practical terms he is not all that much use. His cases tend to be outliers. Most of the time he is not a patch on his fictional rival, G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown, who is faster, more efficient, and, for the criminal, deadlier — because Brown understands emotion (650 words)
Audio: The Father of Art History | Stephanie Bastek. Ingrid Rowland talks about Giorgio Vasari, whose notebooks are our main source for the lives of the great Renaissance artists, and of a few naughty monkeys besides (19m 59s)
"Prophesying catastrophe is banal. The original move is to assume that it has already happened"
— Jean Baudrillard
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