February 21, 2018 Philosophy Feuds: Sartre vs Camus In the wake of Second World War, the French existentialists Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus were close friends. They drank and argued together, often spending long nights out on the town. All around them, Paris was being rebuilt. Through their writing, Sartre and Camus hoped to guide this new France toward a more equitable future. They became celebrities, their every movement reported in the newspapers. But it was not to last. In 1952 they fell out bitterly. The disagreement between Camus and Sartre became the philosophical feud of the century. Why did it happen? And how could two such close friends become such unforgiving enemies?
February 20, 2018 Don’t blame Russia, blame Facebook and Twitter "I think the Facebook and Twitter have been configured to incentivize the expression and sharing of extreme opinions. It isn’t just fake news that we have to worry about, but we do have to worry about that, it’s also extreme views. Both are in fact incentivized by the structure of the network platforms as they existed. And I think looking back on 2016 the correct analysis of that election is not that the Russian network interfered and that’s why Trump won, I don’t think the Russian contribution was nearly big enough for that statement to be valid. What is true is that without the existence of Facebook and Twitter it would’ve been very hard for an outlier outside a candidate like Donald Trump to win." — Niall Ferguson
February 19, 2018 Paris' Sci-Fi Urban Utopia Born of a theoretical utopia and dubbed a new French “City in Space”, the Espaces Abraxas in Noisy-le-Grand were designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill in the late 70s and early 80s. The aim was to mix social classes and build a theatrical landmark. These 19-story buildings consist of 610 apartments in what looks like a surreal ocean of concrete. Ricardo Bofill recently stated in an interview with Le Monde that he believed he could change the city, but in the end, “nothing happened”. In retrospect, he acknowledged these areas have suffered a lack of community spirit, emphasized by the closed nature of the structure. There has been talks about demolition for some time, but it always meet resident’s opposition. They feel home here.
February 15, 2018 Five Cities That Got F*cked by Hosting the Olympics Every four years with the Olympics, municipalities compete to host the winter and summer games and virtually always plunge their cities and sometimes even their home countries into massive debt and insolvency.
February 13, 2018 What the Best Science Really Says About Depression For almost the past 100 years, mental health professionals have told us that that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. However, there's a much more realistic theory that depression happens due to an imbalance happening outside of your cranium. New York Times journalist Johann Hari believes that depression these days stem from societal issues. Johann offers some staggering statistics showing that antidepressants seem to be doing much more harm than good — among them, that one out of every four middle-aged women in the United States is taking a chemical antidepressant in any given year. If we want to get rid of modern-day depression, he says, we have to change society.
February 12, 2018 Why Is It 'My Lord' But 'Your Highness'? English has many ways of enshrining social relationships and relative status in its forms of address. Some of the older, most formal forms like My Lord and Your Highness use pronouns that express the concept of possession, but why is it that sometimes the person with the higher status gets a MY and sometimes a YOUR? How can opposite concepts both be used for the same kind of status relationship?
February 9, 2018 Mirages & Miracles: Holographic Illusions & Virtual Reality Through iPads, an augmented reality animation enriches the hand-made drawings or a choreography of a dancer that adds to the very real pebbles on display. Lithographs rub shoulders with computer-generated images, optical theaters house physical models of movement ... It is a close and original dialogue that links the now to the yesterday, the motionless to the living.
February 5, 2018
Faceswapping, Unethical Videos, and Future Shock Tom Scott was going to tell a science fiction story about faceswapping, and mass blackmail. Then the news broke about unethical faceswapping videos, and software designed and marketed for creating them: and he realised the future had arrived faster than he thought.
February 2, 2018 How YouTube's Algorithm Distorts Reality The 2016 presidential race was fought online in a swamp of disinformation, conspiracy theories and fake news. Now a Guardian investigation has uncovered evidence suggesting YouTube’s recommendation algorithm was disproportionately prompting users to watch pro-Trump and anti-Clinton videos