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Why Physics Needs Philosophy

Tim Maudlin at the PBS Nova website: How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves? How does the universe behave?

History, morality and the clash of civilizations

Kenan Malik in Pandaemonium: ‘With the rise of China’, Martin Jacques writes in his book When China Rules the World, ‘Western universalism will cease to be universal – and its values and outlook will become steadily less influential.

Editing Human Embryos: So This Happened

Carl Zimmer in his excellent blog, The Loom: Earlier this week, Chinese researchers reported that they edited the genes of human embryos using a new technique called CRISPR.

Dave Eggers: We spy on each other

Robert Collins in The Telegraph: Dave Eggers has just been reminded why he can’t allow himself near the internet.

Dinosauria, We (born like this) by Charles Bukowski

Will Holt, Judy Collins & Lynn Gold - "Shenandoah" 1963

Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free Will

Salley Vickers in The Guardian: Julian Baggini is that happy thing – a philosopher who recognises that readers go glassy-eyed if presented with high-octane philosophical discourse.

Sunday Poem

Bolchevescent . You stand far from the crowd, adjacent to power. You consider the edge as well as the frame.

Telemann / Overture-Suite in B-flat major "Les Nations"

Thanks to Farrukh Azfar for having introduced me to Telemann when we were both nineteen and also for sending me this earlier today.

Wislawa Szymborska’s ‘Map: Collected and Last Poems’

Richard Lourie in the New York Times: The mass of men may “lead lives of ­quiet desperation,” as Thoreau wrote, but the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012) did just the opposite: She lived a life of quiet amazement, reflected in poems that are both plain-spoken and luminous.

Has Narendra Modi cleaned up India?

James Crabtree in Prospect: Narendra Modi stood on the walls of New Delhi’s Red Fort on a blustery morning last August, a man at the height of his recently-acquired powers.

Telemann / Overture-Suite in B-flat major "Les Nations"

Thanks to Farrukh Azfar for having introduced me to Telemann when we were both nineteen and also for this video.

Journey to the Other

Tiffanie Wen interviews Mohammed Dajani Daoudi in Guernica: Mohammed Dajani Daoudi: One thing my critics often say is that they are not against Wasatia and the concept of moderation, but they are against normalization of relations with Israel and the Israelis.

The Revolution in Rojava

Meredith Tax in Dissent magazine image (Biji Kurdistan/Flickr): While the Syrian opposition is understandably bitter that the YPG and YPJ withdrewmost of their energy from the war with Assad, leftists worldwide should be watching the remarkable efforts being made by Syrian Kurds and their allies to build a liberated area where they can develop their ideas about socialism, democracy, women, and ecology in practice.

Karl Ove ­Knausgaard’s ‘My Struggle: Book 4’

Jeffrey Eugenides at The New York Times: “The last time I was in New York,” Karl Ove Knausgaard wrote recently in The New York Times Magazine, in his account of traveling through the ­United States, “a well-known American writer invited me for lunch.

L.A.'s hidden history in 'Terminal Island'

David L. Ulin at the Los Angeles Times: When we think of Terminal Island, after all, what do we imagine?

‘The Vital Question: Why Is Life the Way It Is?’, by Nick Lane

Clive Cookson at the Financial Times: There is a black hole at the heart of biology,” says Nick Lane, who is emerging as one of the most imaginative thinkers about the evolution of life on Earth.

Please, not Sabeen. And no, that won’t shut us up

I have lost a personal friend and hero. I have not stopped crying since hearing the news of this brutal murder.