The Holy Land, Networks, Angkor Wat, Martha Nussbaum

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Hotdogs In Zion

Jacob Silverman | The Baffler | 18th July 2016

A visit to the Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando, Florida: “Jesus is crucified most afternoons around 5 p.m. On the day I visited last fall, things were humming along right on time, if remarkably quickly. Six minutes after the redeemer’s bloodied corpse was carried into the tomb, a shout — “I am alive!” — proclaimed his return. A gold-spangled, virile-looking Jesus emerged from a cloud of smoke to announce that the sick shall be healed, and then kicked off a Hallelujah dance party” (3,300 words)

Economics And Social Networks

Paul Ormerod | Evonomics | 17th July 2016

Economics has generally assumed that individuals operate autonomously, with a fixed set of tastes and preferences, uncoupled from the direct influences of others. But if the world was ever like this, it is not like this now. We are constantly reacting to the choices, decisions, behaviours and opinions of others. Individual actions merge into collective actions; norms and values emerge dynamically. Public policy needs to adjust, learning to target networked behaviour rather individual behaviour (3,600 words)

The Lost City Of Angkor

Annalee Newitz | Ars Technica | 18th July 2016

The jungle around Angkor Wat in Cambodia was once the site of the largest city in the world. Aerial surveys have “peeled back the forest canopy to reveal meticulous grids of highways and low-density neighborhoods of thousands of houses and pools of water”. Twelfth-century Chinese travellers reported that the Khmer Empire’s great city was “home to almost a million people”. Modern historians thought the accounts wildly exaggerated. “Now, such facts are impossible to deny” (1,150 words)

The Philosopher Of Feelings

Rachel Aviv | New Yorker | 18th July 2016

Profile of the philosopher Martha Nussbaum, who is credited with restoring the emotions to a central place in moral philosphy, and is now writing a book about ageing. “Nussbaum is monumentally confident, intellectually and physically … She resurrects a version of the Stoic theory that makes no division between thought and feeling. She gives emotions a central role in moral philosophy, arguing that they are cognitive in nature: they embody judgments about the world” (Metered paywall) (8,600 words)

Video of the day: Tergo

What to expect:

Tragic drama from the near future. The anguish of a street-cleaning robot. By Charles Willcocks (3’48”)

Thought for the day

Look closely at life. It is so constituted that one senses punishment everywhere
Victor Hugo

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