The Chinese Room Argument →
The Chinese Room argument, devised by John Searle, is an argument against the possibility of true artificial intelligence. The argument centers on a thought experiment in which someone who knows only English sits alone in a room following English instructions for manipulating strings of Chinese characters, such that to those outside the room it appears as if someone in the room understands...
Paul Valéry’s Blood Meridian, Or How the Reader... →
The legacy of Friedrich Nietzsche by Roger Kimball →
The ideal of morality has no more dangerous rival than the ideal of supreme strength, of a life of maximum vigor, which has also been called the ideal of aesthetic greatness. That life is in truth the ultimate attainment of the barbarian, and unfortunately in these days of civilization’s withering it has won a great many adherents. In pursuance of this ideal man becomes a hybrid thing, a...
What Makes Rain Smell So Good? →
A mixture of plant oils, bacterial spores and ozone is responsible for the powerful scent of fresh rain Adds to what I’ve loved knowing about rain.
Impertinent Questions with William M. Reddy →
Reddy’s newest project, funded by an NEH fellowship, looks at changing attitudes toward romantic love in Western culture. Here we asked Reddy, the chair of Duke University’s history department, to meditate on the realm of Venus.
Nietzsche Is Dead →
Not Exactly a Hermit: Henry David Thoreau →
One thing is needful
One thing is needful.— To “give style” to one’s character—a great and rare art! It is practiced by those who survey all the strengths and weaknesses of their nature and then fit them into an artistic plan until every one of them appears as art and reason and even weaknesses delight the eye. Here a large mass of second nature has been added, there a piece of original nature has been removed:—both...
Lines On A Spotted Dove
Friday Poem: Lines On A Spotted Dove The mud that makes a man molds women into birds, although we know avians come from dinosaurs and humans from a heavenly jubilation of glad apples. The spotted dove between the flowerbed and a melody line bobs on the grass and scans in peace for pearl… View Post
It is precisely by means of … modes of knowledge, in a realm beyond the world of the senses, where experience can yield neither guidance nor correction, that our reason carries on these enquiries which owing to their importance we consider to be far more excellent, and in their purpose far more lofty, than all that the understanding can learn in the field of appearances. Indeed we prefer to...
A Little Girl
Friday Poem: A Little Girl A little girl sleeps with magnolias by her side and the longest lasting pink carnations in her hair. There are clouds in the window and a sunny tune in her mind and a dream suffused with the sweet and spice of blossoming, and a yellow ladybird is crawling… View Post
Enlightened: Schiller at the Hohe Carlsschule →
At 14, Friedrich Schiller was sent to a military academy. The oppressive atmosphere became a theme in his work. “After all,” he wrote, “it’s in the deepest dungeons that the most beautiful dreams of freedom are dreamt.”
Friday Poem: Purpose In a room laden with dust and books sleeping in cartons, under a roof baking in the sun, a pair of hands hems in the halos of time with a list of chores and a letter… A beaming face, a lovely you ordering the day in minutiae, pruning it like a bonsai elm r… View Post
The Search for the Origins of Life →
Broadcast-hour commissioned through the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Distributed by PBS International 2013.
Friday Poem: Wine Roofs remain cool under leaves of watered vines green with budding grapes – fruits of sultry solstice dewed with sudden drops of cumulus rains and swept with winds let loose ineffably across my face and yours, flustering sleepy birds in the distant bamboos… View Post
We have touched the precarious petals...
Friday Poem: We have touched the precarious petals… We have touched the precarious petals of the flowers called friendship on many sides and they have never ceased to surprise. Everywhere there is a purpose, everywhere a suspicion as to the purpose, nectar guides and scent and sweet relishes, but seldom the… View Post
Friday Poem: May http://wp.me/p9vq-1Vz May this noon rest lightly like a plume from an egret’s crest on your happiness, ease inside the book you clutch close to the feeblest murmurs. We witness birds and reckon their flying for freedom; I write verses to weave your voice into mine and let it… View Post
What Is a Good Life? by Ronald Dworkin →
Oscar Wilde: “It is through Art, and through Art only, that we can realize our perfection; through Art, and through Art only, that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence.” And: “All that I desire to point out is the general principle that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” John Keats: “A man’s life of any worth is a...
From "Fate" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wonderful intricacy in the web, wonderful constancy in the design this vagabond life admits. We wonder how the fly finds its mate, and yet year after year we find two men, two women, without legal or carnal tie, spend a great part of their best time within a few feet of each other. And the moral is, that what we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us; as Goethe said, “what we wish for...
hawkmoths & madhumalti
Friday Poem: hawkmoths & madhumalti pink inflorescence sweetens on the scented air, lime crystal leaves hum in sunward silence stirring with a distant breath, the afternoon makes nectaries engorge to slake evening amours – the kiss of a moth will soon plunge deep in one blossoming heart to… View Post
Algorithms of Ecstasy →
Rekhta - Urdu poetry →
Friday Poem: Dragons http://wp.me/p9vq-1Vv The essence of actions may not be confirmed and tend to sail through pompous pillars bobbing on crests of breathless surfs back to ourselves, may sink like pebbles in a blind well, reemerge as dragons misconceived forever, forever named and seldom deemed… View Post
Mariam Zamani Mosque
Friday Poem: Mariam Zamani Mosque Along the muddy torrents in the winter downpour’s view of old alleyways, there hides a mosque with a lorn façade and silly marble tiles burying the yard. There I want to feel the cool rain on our soles together, to enter through the arches into the… View Post
Awaiting a New Darwin →
H. Allen Orr on Thomas Nagel’s “Mind and Cosmos”
Ghani Khan speaks of his father Ghaffar Khan, highly and honestly.
Vladimir Nabokov on Literature and Life →
Cornell University: World’s largest natural sound... →
cornelluniversity: “In terms of speed and the breadth of material now accessible to anyone in the world, this is really revolutionary,” says audio curator Greg Budney, describing a major milestone just achieved by the Macaulay Library archive at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. All archived analog recordings in the…
Friday Poem: Being http://wp.me/p9vq-1Vn Across the curled and twisted shisham twigs, the clouds are breathing facets of the sun as it slinks and slings shadows of the smallest things onto a great expanse of the greenest grass. If we sit quietly on that green bench and listen, we’ll see that no… View Post shared via WordPress.com
The Music of Friedrich Nietzsche
The Music of Friedrich Nietzsche via @anitaleirfall [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH3rcIHn6FA&w=640&h=390] The Music Of Friedrich Nietzsche (1991) | Full Album | Published on Jul 31, 2012 Tracklist 01. Allegro – 0:00 02. Hoch Tut Euch Auf – 2:30 03. Einleitung – 4:46 04. Phantasie – 6:10 05.… View Post shared via WordPress.com
empty ink and perfume bottles
Friday Poem: empty ink and perfume bottles… empty ink and perfume bottles hair and paper clips sewing threads and greeting cards watercolored tenderness birthday logs and snaps scattered shirts and answer sheets pangs of sown affinities flickering strands and kisses invested with farewell… — Taimur… View Post shared via WordPress.com
When Lovers Die →
Friday Poem: Abandon, élan… Abandon, élan – the watersheds of anguish – breathe solace of leaves, drink roots of summer, work waves in a wooden bowl with a fallow wish and a fisheye clue of sieving time in measures fledging in the trees. — Taimur Khan View Post shared via WordPress.com
The new year is not...
The new year is not / unlike an old friend on a / winter morning walk. The new year is not unlike an old friend on a winter morning walk. 2:44 pm, 31 December 2012 View Post shared via WordPress.com
Tonight it so rained
Friday Poem: Tonight it so rained… Tonight it so rained as if to convince me that life comes to nothing. — Taimur Khan View Post shared via WordPress.com
So faint is the sigh
Friday Poem: So faint is the sigh… So faint is the sigh of lost happiness lain deep in a grave of words. View Post shared via WordPress.com
The scent of your face...
Friday Poem: The scent of your face… The scent of your face is an ode to the moon lingering on my lips, and the air on your lips is a butterfly resting on my hand, and the clasp of our hands is an easy little home where all specters sweetly sleep. — Taimur Khan View Post shared via WordPress.com
Pastel leaves flutter
Friday Poem: Pastel leaves flutter Pastel leaves flutter to the mind of the wind – they never found out they no longer breathe and go on as before to borrow all our meanings. — Taimur Khan View Post shared via WordPress.com
Philosophy as an Art of Living by Costica Bradatan →
Pashto Curses, Abuses, Insults (Khairey) →
“Khairey” is the Pashto equivalent of the English term “curses” or “evil wishes.” But what distinguishes khairey from the English curses is that khairey are common in the Pashtun culture and are usually called upon by close family members and people we love most, such as our mothers. Those who issue khairey are almost always women—and interestingly,...
Alexander Nehamas on “Nietzsche” ...