Nature's Penalty

Philosophy Of The Death Penalty

Peter Salmon | New Humanist | 25th April 2024

The death penalty is an issue of sovereignty, “not so much “does the state have the right to take a life?” as: “what does it mean if we grant the state that right?”. It is a fundamental change in the relationship between the state and each individual. This in turn changes all of our relationships to death. It is no surprise that US states with capital punishment have the highest rates of homicide” (2,500 words)

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Nature’s Oldest Mandolin

Maria Popova | Marginalian | 5th May 2024

Observations on cicadas, every line a joy. “Homer’s highest praise for orators was to compare them to cicadas. Lord Byron — otherwise blind to the grandeur of smallness — rhapsodised about these tiny “people of the pine” that “make their summer lives one ceaseless song”. Their kettledrums are perhaps the only musical instruments now in use that have remained unchanged through a thousand centuries” (1,200 words)

What do the cicadas find to sing about for so many hours? Perhaps they've been reading the full Browser, and enjoying five outstanding articles, a video and a podcast every day. We can't prove it; but it's a nice idea.

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