Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

  • “He claims, in essence, that literary modernism’s insights about the relationship between abstract thoughts and tangible objects are now being understood by neurological research. “This thesis of Ezra Pound’s that poetry should yoke ideas to particular objects—so that the thing and the thought are brought together in a single manifold,” he said, “actually anticipates a very recent neuroscientific insight, which is that, in certain aesthetic states, processing and perception happen in the same cortical centers of the brain.” Matt’s big idea, in other words, is that literature sometimes comes to important conclusions about the nature of consciousness and reality before science can catch up. “The point is—and this is a major claim of literary theorists—that literature allows us to feel our way around insights that we don’t yet have a clean, conceptual articulation of.” By his logic, then, the way to drive science forward might be to fund the study of literature.

    tags: english science weekly humanities

  • “Virtual reality, Novak suggests, has undergone a similar metamorphosis. Look around a crowded room, and you won’t see a bunch of people wearing VR headsets. Instead, you’ll see them peering into tiny screens, through which they lead digital lives replete with usernames, avatars, remote colleagues, and virtual friends.

    Now, it seems, the headsets may be coming back, too. But are they on the slope of enlightenment, or is this just the start of a second hype cycle? Fenn couldn’t say for sure.”

    tags: hype cycle virtual weekly thoughtvectors

  • “In Syntactic Structures (1957), to illustrate the difference between a meaningful sentence and a grammatical one, Noam Chomsky offered the expression Colorless green ideas sleep furiously as an example of a grammatical sentence that’s nonsense.

    Naturally, some readers took this as a challenge — within months, students at Stanford had set up a competition to show that the expression could be understood as a meaningful sentence. Here’s one of the prizewinning entries:”

    tags: weekly language english poetry words vocabulary thoughtvectors

  • “When we tell you to apply updates we are not telling you to mend your ship. We are telling you to keep bailing before the water gets to your neck.

    tags: weekly broken technology

  • “…Suddenly it became possible to see that if there’s a rule, it’s that the more obviously your work benefits others, the less you’re paid for it. CEOs and financial consultants that are actually making other people’s lives worse were paid millions, useless paper-pushers got handsomely compensated, people fulfilling obviously useful functions like taking care of the sick or teaching children or repairing broken heating systems or picking vegetables were the least rewarded.

    tags: weekly jobs society

  • “Instead of seeing boys and girls as capable, clever, knockabout scamps, many reconceived children as vulnerable, weak and naïve. Reformers introduced child labor laws, divided kids by age in school and monitored their play. Jane Addams particularly worked to fit children into the new industrial order, condemning “this stupid experiment of organizing work and failing to organize play.”

    tags: children nytimes democracy freedom resposibility weekly

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.