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The Problems of Physics, Reconsidered is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Physics Nobel Laureate Tony Leggett. The basis of this conversation is Tony Leggett’s book The Problems of Physics and further explores the insightful plain-speaking itemization that he developed of the physics landscape according to four bas…
 
What is the purpose of education? Folks outside the field are likely to think of a relatively clear or concrete answer—learning, citizenship, preparation for life, which for the vast majority encompasses work and skills. Upon probing, however, most are likely to realize that these explanations are deceptively simple. Learning what, how, and accordi…
 
In this episode I am in conversation with artist and author Vanilla Beer about her 2019 book Stafford Beer: The Father of Management Cybernetics. While he got is start in the academic world, it was in industry where Stafford Beer made is most recognized contributions. Beer is best known for being the first systems thinker to apply cybernetics to ma…
 
In a world that demands faith in progress and growth, Limbo (Fitzcarraldo, 2019) is a companion for the stuck, the isolated, delayed, stranded and those in the dark. Fusing memoir with a meditation on creative block and a cultural history of limbo, Dan Fox considers the role that fallow periods and states of inbetween play in art and life. Limbo is…
 
As algorithms become ever more significant to and embedded in our everyday lives, ever more accessible introductions to them are needed. While several excellent technical and critical treatments have emerged in recent years, i had not come across a book for the general public that would provide a deep sense for the intuitions and motivations behind…
 
The Tashkent-born Russian-American literary critic, editor, essayist, and journalist Vladislav Davidzon has been covering post-Soviet Ukraine for the past ten years, a tumultuous time for that country and the surrounding world. The 2014 “Revolution of Dignity” heralded a tremendous transformation of Ukrainian politics and society that has continued…
 
In this episode Kimon and Richard discuss the role of ego among entrepreneurs: how while self confidence is necessary and positive, entrepreneurs who put themselves and their own personality at the centre of everything often hold the company back. They discuss the impact of ego in sales, where entrepreneurs must be able to face and embrace rejectio…
 
How can farmers adapt to climate changes? How can regenerative farmers have livelihoods that nourish themselves and their communities? How can we break free of the commodity mindset and rethink the US food system? Bob Quinn’s remarkable memoir of his decades living and working on a Montana farm offers unique insights into all of these pressing ques…
 
What is your conscience? Is it, as Peter Cajka asks in this provocative book, “A small, still voice? A cricket perched on your shoulder? An angel and devil who compete for your attention?” Going back at least to the thirteenth century, Catholics viewed their personal conscience as a powerful and meaningful guide to align their conduct with worldly …
 
Despite Britain's entering the 20th century as the dominant world power, its public discourses were imbued with cultural pessimism and rising social anxiety. Samuel Foster is a Visiting Academic at the University of East Anglia. His first monograph, Yugoslavia in the British Imagination: Peace, War and Peasants before Tito (Bloomsbury, 2021), explo…
 
With the passing of those who witnessed National Socialism and the Holocaust, the archive matters as never before. However, the material that remains for the work of remembering and commemorating this period of history is determined by both the bureaucratic excesses of the Nazi regime and the attempt to eradicate its victims without trace. Dora Osb…
 
On today’s Vodcast: Correction - William Shatner is actually 90 Years old.YouTube Episode: https://youtu.be/ZIB6WuNTAswPodcast StuffFacebook: The Dark Horde - https://www.facebook.com/thedarkhordellcThe Tempest Universe - https://www.facebook.com/thetempestuniverseManny’s Page - https://www.facebook.com/MannyPodcastTwitter: The Tempest Universe - h…
 
Erin Y. Huang’s Urban Horror: Neoliberal Post-Socialism and the Limits of Visibility (Duke UP, 2020) is an expansive and ambitious book that explores the affective territory of “neoliberal post-socialist China” as it manifests in contemporary Chinese (language) cinema. Pushing beyond the geographic boundaries of the PRC and the confines of art cine…
 
FASCISM...FRANCE. Two words/ideas that scholars have spent much time and energy debating in relationship to one another. Chris Millington's A History of Fascism in France: From the First World War to the National Front (Bloomsbury, 2019) is a work of synthesis that also draws on the author's own research for key examples and evidence to support its…
 
Over the past seventy years, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, has evolved from a virtually unknown and little-used pamphlet to an imposing and comprehensive compendium of mental disorder. Its nearly 300 conditions have become the touchstones for the diagnoses that patients receive, students are taught, researchers …
 
Mark Baker is an American journalist and travel writer. In the 1980s, he lived in Vienna and reported on the former Eastern bloc for Business International and The Economist Group. In 1991, he moved to Prague, where he worked as an editor for The Prague Post and co-founded The Globe Bookstore & Coffeehouse. He’s written 30 travel guidebooks for pub…
 
In Domestic Contradictions: Race and Gendered Citizenship from Reconstruction to Welfare Reform (Duke UP, 2021), Priya Kandaswamy analyzes how race, class, gender, and sexuality shaped welfare practices in the United States alongside the conflicting demands that this system imposed upon Black women. She turns to an often-neglected moment in welfare…
 
Celeste Mohammed speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her story “Home,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. In this conversation, Celeste talks about her novel-in-stories, Pleasantview, and why it was important to her to write a book that shows all the complexities and difficulties of island life, with characters who break out of t…
 
In 1937, Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse, travelling to Mecca to make his first hajj, encountered Egyptian scholars who couldn’t fathom that Niasse’s erudition was a product of his fully Senegalese education. For those learned Egyptians of the 1930s and, Kane argues, modern-day Europhone academics, Islamic erudition among Black Africans remains a major blind…
 
In his painstakingly researched and splendid new book Sculpting the Self: Islam, Selfhood, and Human Flourishing (U Michigan Press, 2021), Muhammad Faruque charts and examines the multiplicity of ways in which the self and its moral flourishing have been discussed, debated, and examined in the Muslim intellectual tradition. The remarkable aspect of…
 
A Matter of Energy: Biology From First Principles is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Nick Lane, Professor of Evolutionary Biochemistry at University College London and bestselling author. After an inspiring exploration of Nick Lane’s career path, this wide-ranging conversation covers his bioenergetic view of early…
 
The local community around the Nat Turner rebellion The 1831 Southampton Rebellion led by Nat Turner involved an entire community. Vanessa M. Holden rediscovers the women and children, free and enslaved, who lived in Southampton County before, during, and after the revolt. Mapping the region's multilayered human geography, Holden draws a fuller pic…
 
Indonesia’s corruption eradication commission, known as the KPK has widely been considered one of the most powerful and successful anti-corruption agencies in the region, if not in the entire world. Yet over the past years, it has been systematically undermined from above. One of the most devastating developments was a revision of the law on the KP…
 
The new collection, Perspectives on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Nuanced Postnetwork Television (Syracuse University Press, 2021) by Amanda Konkle and Charles Burnetts explores the hit series with an off-putting title and a decidedly retrograde premise. The CW dramedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a surprising choice for critical analysis. But, loyal viewers quic…
 
Computational models of urbanism—smart cities that use data-driven planning and algorithmic administration—promise to deliver new urban efficiencies and conveniences. Yet these models limit our understanding of what we can know about a city. A City Is Not a Computer: Other Urban Intelligences (Princeton UP, 2021) reveals how cities encompass myriad…
 
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