Colin McGinn | 13th December 2023
Pain is at root a perceptual faculty in humans, like vision or hearing. Pain alerts the mind to danger and damage. "Pain responses have been well-nigh perfected over evolutionary time. Natural selection has made them as wondrous and efficient as eyes. This has no doubt involved making pain as painful as is compatible with proper functioning, which is obviously pretty damn painful" (1,040 words)
The perfect stocking-stuffer for the creative person in your life: Book, the book unlike any other.
Carolyn Dever | Public Books | 14th December 2023
The British Library has become a changed and contradictory place since hackers destroyed its computer systems in October. The place is filled with books, but no specific book can be located or read. Desk-staff come to work with nothing much to do. What were once reading rooms are now just rooms. An eerie silence prevails. "The ghosts of all the Christmases are stuck in storage" (2,000 words)