Stuff you must read today (Wed, 23 Sep 2015)

  • The pursuit of beauty | The New Yorker
    “Pure mathematics, as opposed to applied mathematics, is done with no practical purposes in mind. It is as close to art and philosophy as it is to engineering… The pursuit of beauty in pure mathematics is a tenet. Last year, neuroscientists in Great Britain discovered that the same part of the brain that is activated by art and music was activated in the brains of mathematicians when they looked at math they regarded as beautiful”.
  • The unconscious allure of grand national narratives | The Straits Times
    “There will always be a need for a coherent account of the past in order to function as national communities. But we need to remind ourselves that we can also recognise the limitations of reflexive habits that play such a powerful role in guiding our views”.
  • Mumbai battles between medieval and modern times | Hindustan Times
    Human society will always experience competing tensions between progress and regression, while its people will always spout strange rhetoric to delude themselves – or others – so as to reinforce flawed beliefs.
  • This free online encyclopedia has achieved what Wikipedia can only dream of | Quartz
    How an online repository achieved the “impossible trinity” of authority, expanse and currency when it comes to providing data and information for research and scholarship.
  • What the British are really laughing about | The Leveller
    “…David Cameron’s nasty little scandal speaks to a suspicion many people already have: that in British society, you don’t get to become Prime Minister because you’re talented or because you work hard. You don’t even get there just because you’re rich. You get there by traumatizing the homeless and skull-fucking a dead pig, and that ritual gives you power because you have demonstrated utter, pathetic submission to your fellow oligarchs”.

Stuff you must read today (Fri, 3 Jan 2014) – The Q&A Edition

Stuff you must read today (Sat, 18 Oct 2013) – The Productivity Edition