Where Have All the Hospital Patients Gone?

Pauline Chen in The New York Times: Weathered, wiry and in his early 60s, the man stumbled into clinic, trailing cigarette smoke and clutching his chest. Over the previous week, he had had fleeting episodes of chest pressure but stayed away from the hospital. “I didn’t want to ge … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 14 hours ago

Jon Gibson (1940 – 2020)

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@3quarksdaily.com | 15 hours ago

Marge Champion (1919 – 2020)

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@3quarksdaily.com | 15 hours ago

‘What can we learn from cats? Don’t live in an imagined future’

Tim Adams in The Guardian: What’s it like to be a cat? John Gray has spent a lifetime half-wondering. The philosopher – to his many fans the intellectual cat’s pyjamas, to his critics the least palatable of furballs – has had feline companions at home since he was a boy in South … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 15 hours ago

Spencer Davis (1939 – 2020)

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@3quarksdaily.com | 15 hours ago

Sunday Poem

All the Questions When you step through the back door into the kitchen father is still sitting at the table with a newspaper folded open in front of him and pen raised, working the crossword puzzle. In the living room mother is sleeping her peaceful sleep at last, in a purple rob … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 15 hours ago

The Myth of Meritocracy

Timothy Larsen over at the LARB: Peter Mandler’s truly impressive study, The Crisis of the Meritocracy: Britain’s Transition to Mass Education since the Second World War, is a deeply researched account of secondary and higher education in Britain during the last seventy-five year … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

China’s dollar pragmatism

Kathleen Tyson over at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum: Speculation about the dollar’s hegemonic decline is premature. The global financial plumbing is relatively inflexible in the short term. It will not change quickly or inexpensively. It took a century o … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

Ad Tech Could Be the Next Internet Bubble

Gilad Edelman in Wired: WE LIVE IN an age of manipulation. An extensive network of commercial surveillance tracks our every move and a fair number of our thoughts. That data is fed into sophisticated artificial intelligence and used by advertisers to hit us with just the right sa … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

Data as Property?

Salomé Viljoen in Phenomenal World: Since the proliferation of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, critics of widely used internet communications services have warned of the misuse of personal data. Alongside familiar concerns regarding user privacy and state surveillance, a now-dec … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

Hocus-Pocus? Debating the Age of Magic Money

Raphaële Chappe and Mark Blyth debate Sebastian Mallaby in Foreign Affairs (registration required): The COVID-19 recession has prompted states to offer vast amounts of financial support to firms and households. When combined with steps that central banks have taken in response to … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

Hilary Mantel: Inside the Head of Thomas Cromwell

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@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

The Selected Letters of John Berryman

Troy Jollimore at The Washington Post: “I have a crazy new way of writing poems,” John Berryman wrote to illustrator Ben Shahn in January 1956. He had indeed hit on something crazy and new: an 18-line structure he ended up calling his “Dream Songs.” In these works, thought tends … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

‘Mantel Pieces’ by Hilary Mantel

Elizabeth Lowry at The Guardian: When Hilary Mantel first began to write for the London Review of Books in 1987 she warned the editor that she had “no critical training whatsoever”. “Thank goodness,” you think. What Mantel has instead are much more useful qualities: a researcher’ … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

Poet of Loneliness

Gary Saul Morson in First Things: No writer understood loneliness better than Chekhov. People long for understanding, and try to confide their feelings, but more often than not, others are too self-absorbed to care. In Chekhov’s plays, unlike those of his predecessors, characters … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

Saturday Poem

The Right Word The right word Outside the door, lurking in the shadows, is a terrorist. Is that the wrong description? Outside that door, taking shelter in the shadows, is a freedom fighter. I haven’t got this right. Outside, waiting in the shadows, is a hostile militant. Are wor … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

What Can You Do If Trump Stages a Coup?

Lizzie Widdicombe in The New Yorker: Ah, election season. There’s a patriotic buzz in the air. Bumper stickers and lawn signs all over the neighborhood. Now comes the time when we check the location of our polling places, make a plan to vote—and pack a “go bag” in case we need to … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 1 day ago

A review of Kazim Ali’s latest book of poems

Jeevika Verma at NPR: Kazim Ali’s latest book of poems is born out of our collective existential crisis. How do we continue to survive “in a world governed by storm and noise”? Creating an ingenious form on the page, Ali uses sound to give us a sort of research project that grapp … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 2 days ago

Could Fracking Actually Help the Climate?

Zeke Hausfather and Alex Trembath in Politico: Hydraulic fracturing — the controversial oil and gas extraction method usually called “fracking” — has divided Democrats and the political left for a decade now. Many in the environmental community claim that allowing fracking is inc … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 2 days ago

Are the Police Systemically Racist?

Phillip Meylan in The Factual: From Jacob Blake, to George Floyd, to Breonna Taylor, 2020 has seen immense pressure to re-examine how the police interact with society. The oft-cited statistic that Black individuals are several times more likely to be shot during police interactio … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 2 days ago

Salman Rushdie’s statement regarding the upcoming election

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@3quarksdaily.com | 2 days ago

Body Language

Sanjana Varghese in The Baffler: IN LINCOLNSHIRE, ENGLAND, the local police force has indicated that they will be testing out a kind of “emotion recognition” technology on CCTV footage which they collect around Gainsborough, a town in the county. Lincolnshire’s police and crime c … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 2 days ago

Friday Poem

Canary —for Michael S. Harper Billie Holiday’s burned voice had as many shadows as lights, a mournful candelabra against a sleek piano, the gardenia her signature under that ruined face. (Now you’re cooking, drummer to bass, magic spoon, magic needle. Take all day if you have to … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 2 days ago

ALICE SMITH: Black Mary – A film by KAHLIL JOSEPH

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@3quarksdaily.com | 2 days ago

The Merovingians and the Mediterranean

Clifford Backman at berfrois: When one thinks about the Merovingians—and, really, who doesn’t?—one seldom thinks of the Mediterranean. There is good reason for that. Whatever else the Merovingians may have been, they were a hodgepodge of northern clans, tribes, and kingdoms who c … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 2 days ago

The Enduring Strength of Kashmir’s Literary Life

Sharanya Deepak at Literary Hub: Today, Kashmiri writers are of all forms. They write folklore, journalism, novels, blogs, poems, ghazals, nazms: literature can be found scribbled on trees, on social media, in notebooks kept in attics. They write across languages: in Kashmiri, Ur … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 2 days ago

What if, instead of hating each other’s beliefs, we learned more about where they come from?

David Byrne in Reasons to be Cheerful: Like a lot of folks, I occasionally hear people espouse values and beliefs different and often counter to my own. When I was young, I didn’t understand this. Many of these beliefs and positions seemed irrational to me. How could people belie … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 3 days ago

Evolutionary Psychology: Predictively Powerful or Riddled with Just-So Stories?

Laith Al-Shawaf in Areo: A common refrain in the social sciences is that evolutionary psychological hypotheses are “just-so stories.” Amazingly, no evidence is typically adduced for the claim—the assertion is usually just made tout court. The crux of the just-so charge is that ev … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 3 days ago

Not All Identities Are Created Equal

Razib Khan in Quillette: In 2020, much of the public discussion of social issues revolves around notions of identity. Ideas about race, reformulations of gender, and considerations of class or religious confession. But it is not often stated that these identity categories are qua … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 3 days ago

Sven Steinmo: OK Boomers, it’s time to grow up

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@3quarksdaily.com | 3 days ago

Mary Somerville, for Whom the Word “Scientist” Was Coined

Maria Popova at Brain Pickings: Despite her precocity and her early determination, it took Somerville half a lifetime to come abloom as a scientist — the spring and summer of her life passed with her genius laying restive beneath the frost of the era’s receptivity to the female m … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 3 days ago

Mary Somerville and the Empire of Science in the Nineteenth Century

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@3quarksdaily.com | 3 days ago

On Obscenity and Literature

Ed Simon at The Millions: A direct line runs between the vibrant, colorful, and earthy diction of canting to cockney rhyming slang, or the endangered dialect of Polari used for decades by gay men in Great Britain, who lived under the constant threat of state punishment. All of th … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 3 days ago

Joe Biden and the Possibility of a Remarkable Presidency

Bill McKibben in The New Yorker: There’s really nothing in Joe Biden’s character or his record to suggest that he would be anything more than a sound, capable, regular President, which would obviously be both a great advance and a relief. If we could return to the days when we co … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 3 days ago

Thursday Poem

The Moment The moment when, after many years of hard work and a long voyage you stand in the center of your room, house, half-acre, square mile, island, country, knowing at last how you got there, and say, I own this, is the same moment when the trees unloose their soft arms from … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 3 days ago

Rousseauvian Reflections on a Preferred Pronoun

Justin E. H. Smith in his Substack Newsletter: You will recall that while I carried on and on about myself in the first missive, I also promised that in subsequent instalments the autobiographical dimension would fall away, and the person behind the writing would for the most app … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

An Unexpected Twist Lights Up the Secrets of Turbulence

David H. Freedman in Quanta: The blob is a cloud of turbulence in a large water tank in the lab of the University of Chicago physicist William Irvine. Unlike every other instance of turbulence that has ever been observed on Earth, Irvine’s blob isn’t a messy patch in a flowing st … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

Sabine Hossenfelder: David Bohm’s Pilot Wave Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

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@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

Radical Conditionality: Rewriting the Rules of Macroeconomic Policy

Eric Lonergan & Mark Blyth in OECD Forum: The global pandemic has re-written the rules of global macroeconomic policy for us. We have witnessed significant monetary and fiscal policy innovation; growing unwillingness to accept that the design of stimulus should be independent of … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

Wednesday Poem

This Is the City That I love This is the city That I Love. Habichuelas bubbling on the stovetop. The kitchen door opens to our backyard. My father cuts out a piece of the campo and plants it here in Brooklyn. There are neighbors who knock on the door with a broom to let us… | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

Neuroscience and Psychology Suggest No Surprise Victory for Trump This Time

R Douglas Fields in Scientific American: Will we be surprised again this November the way Americans were on Nov. 9, 2016 when they awoke to learn that reality TV star Donald Trump had been elected president? That outcome defied prognosticators and polls, and even Trump’s own expe … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

Azadi by Arundhati Roy – at her passionate best

Ashish Ghadiali in The Guardian: Arundhati Roy’s literary career has been one of a kind. Thrust into the limelight of the global publishing industry back in 1997 when her debut novel, The God of Small Things, won an advance of half a million pounds and then the Booker prize, she … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

The Philosophy of Aspiration

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@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

Projecting Fantasies Onto The South Bronx

Sasha Frere-Jones at Bookforum: Urban Legends is a parabolic dish microphone pointed at history, collecting the waves that outsiders have bounced off the South Bronx. L’Official gathers representations of the South Bronx found in fiction, like Don DeLillo’s description of urban t … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

Wandering Ways

Andrew Shenker at the LARB: IN HER 2007 BOOK, Awkward: A Detour, Mary Cappello posits the title state as a natural response to a world indifferent to our comfort or desires. “Awkwardness could be an effect of the rough handling of reality over which one has no control,” she propo … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 4 days ago

Abnormal / Normal: the art of Cao Fei

Morgan Meis in The Easel: There are two dead babies sitting in a medical pan inside a nondescript room. These babies face one another. Are they conjoined twins? There are tubes connected to the twin cadavers. A Chinese couple, a man and a woman, sit in chairs on either side of th … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 5 days ago

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape Podcast: Musa al-Gharbi on the Value of Intellectual Diversity

Sean Carroll in Preposterous Universe: In the service of seeking truth, there would seem to be value in intellectual diversity, both in keeping ourselves honest and in the possibility of new ideas coming from unexpected quarters. That’s true in the natural sciences, but even more … | Continue reading


@3quarksdaily.com | 5 days ago

Steven Pinker on “Moral Psychology and Effective Altruism”

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@3quarksdaily.com | 5 days ago