What We Are Reading Today: Brave New Home

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Updated 24 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Brave New Home

Author: Diana Lind

Diana Lind’s Brave New Home “is one of those invaluable books that offer a new, revelatory window on familiar problems.” said Liza Featherstone in a review for The New York Times.
“Faced with a host of societal challenges — economic inequality, loneliness, housing precarity, environmental degradation — Lind convincingly argues that the single-family home is at least partly to blame,” Featherstone added.
“This cultural obsession, Lind shows, was manufactured by 20th-century policymakers and real estate developers wanting to populate the suburbs, as well as media-fueled — often racist and elitist — panics over the unwholesomeness of cities for families,” said the review.
Featherstone said Lind “rightly contends that the single-family home is an impossible dream for many, fueling inequality.”
The single-family home also “gives its inhabitants far more space than they require, wastefully encouraging them to acquire unnecessary stuff and use far too much energy on heating, cooling and lighting,” said the review.
Featherstone is the author, most recently, of Divining Desire: Focus Groups and the Culture of Consultation.


What We Are Reading Today: The Best Writing on Mathematics by Mircea Pitici

Updated 25 November 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Best Writing on Mathematics by Mircea Pitici

This annual anthology brings together the year’s finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field, The Best Writing on Mathematics 2020 makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else—and you don’t need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of mathematics today. They delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday aspects of math, and take readers behind the scenes of today’s hottest mathematical debates.

Here, Steven Strogatz reveals how calculus drives advances in virology, Paul Thagard argues that the power of mathematics stems from its combination of realistic and fictional qualities, and Erica Klarreich describes how Hao Huang used the combinatorics of cube nodes to solve a longstanding problem in computer science. In other essays, John Baez tells how he discovered the irresistible attractions of algebraic geometry.