Monthly Archives: July 2015

Andy Weir, THE MARTIAN

I don’t have a lot to say about Andy Weir’s THE MARTIAN, which I finally picked up because 1) it’s popular, having been on bestseller lists for months, and 2) Ridley Scott’s film version arrives on October 2nd (which Gary … Continue reading

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Cixin Liu, THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM

The Three-Body Problem, by Chinese author Cixin Liu and translated by American author Ken Liu (himself winner of numerous awards), is one of the more acclaimed novels of 2014, especially because it’s the first prominent Chinese novel to have been … Continue reading

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Follow-up thought about KSR’s AURORA

One more thought about Kim Stanley Robinson’s AURORA: I don’t *necessarily* agree with or endorse KSR’s conclusions in this book. Which is to say, human history shows a long pattern of inventing things or implementing things that the previous generation … Continue reading

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Kim Stanley Robinson, AURORA

I began reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s AURORA on the Sunday before last, in the afternoon, and later that evening realized that I had the answer to an ‘elevator conversation’ question — actually a dinner conversation question with some in-laws — … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Arc of Social History; Academic Freedom

Just a couple recent items for today. NYT: A March Toward Acceptance When Civil Rights Is the Topic. (This was the in-print title; the title at the link is different.) The arc of history. If these charts went further back, … Continue reading

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The Irish Need Not Apply

» New York Times, Timothy Egan: Not Like Us Donald Trump is attracting quite a following with his comments about Mexican immigrants: When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Steven Weinberg; Trek vs Wars; How the world is getting better; Undermining the Bible

Here’s a archival essay by Steven Weinberg, whose new book I just reviewed in previous post: A Designer Universe?. This is the essay in which Weinberg wrote this oft-quoted passage (though usually only its final line, here bolded): Where religion … Continue reading

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Steven Weinberg, TO EXPLAIN THE WORLD

Steven Weinberg is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who is best known (I gather) as a leading proponent of the idea that progress in physics will ultimately lead to a small set of fundamental principles that explain everything — i.e. the … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Criminal Justice; Evangelicals and Divorce; Vaccine Narratives; Anthony Doerr’s favorite science books; Jeffrey Tayler’s latest; social trends and arcs of history

Monday 6 July: Today’s episode of NPR’s “Fresh Air” has an interview with Adam Benforado, author of new book Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Justice, which applies the developments of the past decade or two in human psychology to … Continue reading

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A Just Ended (perhaps) Arc of History

History happens, and historians establish dates, sometimes retroactively, about when history happened even though people at the time might not have noticed. Here’s a nice perspective about how one 150-year-old arc of history may have just closed, in The New … Continue reading

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