What We Are Reading Today: A Thousand Small Sanities

What We Are Reading Today: A Thousand Small Sanities
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Updated 20 September 2021

What We Are Reading Today: A Thousand Small Sanities

What We Are Reading Today: A Thousand Small Sanities

Author: Adam Gopnik

A stirring defense of liberalism against the dogmatisms of our time from an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author.
Not since the early twentieth century has liberalism, and liberals, been under such relentless attack, from both right and left. The crisis of democracy in our era has produced a crisis of faith in liberal institutions and, even worse, in liberal thought.
A Thousand Small Sanities is a manifesto rooted in the lives of people who invented and extended the liberal tradition, according to a review on goodreads.com. Taking us from Montaigne to Mill, and from Middlemarch to the civil rights movement, Adam Gopnik argues that liberalism is not a form of centrism, nor simply another word for free markets, nor merely a term denoting a set of rights.
It is something far more ambitious: The search for radical change by humane measures. Gopnik shows us why liberalism is one of the great moral adventures in human history — and why, in an age of autocracy, our lives may depend on its continuation.


What We Are Reading Today: Extraction Ecologies and the Literature of the Long Exhaustion

What We Are Reading Today: Extraction Ecologies and the Literature of the Long Exhaustion
Updated 15 min 7 sec ago

What We Are Reading Today: Extraction Ecologies and the Literature of the Long Exhaustion

What We Are Reading Today: Extraction Ecologies and the Literature of the Long Exhaustion

Author: Elizabeth Carolyn Miller

The 1830s to the 1930s saw the rise of large-scale industrial mining in the British imperial world. Elizabeth Carolyn Miller examines how literature of this era reckoned with a new vision of civilization where humans are dependent on finite, nonrenewable stores of earthly resources, and traces how the threatening horizon of resource exhaustion worked its way into narrative form.
Britain was the first nation to transition to industry based on fossil fuels, which put its novelists and other writers in the remarkable position of mediating the emergence of extraction-based life.
Miller looks at works like Hard Times, The Mill on the Floss, and Sons and Lovers, showing how the provincial realist novel’s longstanding reliance on marriage and inheritance plots transforms against the backdrop of exhaustion to withhold the promise of reproductive futurity. She explores how adventure stories like Treasure Island and Heart of Darkness reorient fictional space toward the resource frontier.


What We Are Reading Today: Paracelsus; Selected Writings by B Jolande Jacobi

What We Are Reading Today: Paracelsus; Selected Writings by B Jolande Jacobi
Updated 14 October 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Paracelsus; Selected Writings by B Jolande Jacobi

What We Are Reading Today: Paracelsus; Selected Writings by B Jolande Jacobi

The enigmatic 16th-century Swiss physician and natural philosopher Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, called Paracelsus, is known for the almost superhuman energy with which he produced his innumerable writings, for his remarkable achievements in the development of science, and for his reputation as a visionary (not to mention sorcerer) and alchemist.

Little is known of his biography beyond his legendary achievements, and the details of his life have been filled in over the centuries by his admirers. This richly illustrated anthology presents in modernized language a selection of the moral thought of a man who was not only a self-willed genius charged with the dynamism of an impetuous and turbulent age but also in many ways a humble seeker after truth, who deeply influenced C. G. Jung and his followers.


What We Are Reading Today: Cogs and Monsters by Diane Coyle

What We Are Reading Today: Cogs and Monsters by Diane Coyle
Updated 14 October 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Cogs and Monsters by Diane Coyle

What We Are Reading Today: Cogs and Monsters by Diane Coyle

Digital technology, big data, big tech, machine learning, and AI are revolutionizing both the tools of economics and the phenomena it seeks to measure, understand, and shape. In Cogs and Monsters, Diane Coyle explores the enormous problems—but also opportunities—facing economics today if it is to respond effectively to these dizzying changes and help policymakers solve the world’s crises, from pandemic recovery and inequality to slow growth and the climate emergency.

Mainstream economics, Coyle says, still assumes people are “cogs”—self-interested, calculating, independent agents interacting in defined contexts. But the digital economy is much more characterized by “monsters”—untethered, snowballing, and socially influenced unknowns. What is worse, by treating people as cogs, economics is creating its own monsters, leaving itself without the tools to understand the new problems it faces.


What We Are Reading Today: Alan Turing’s Systems of Logic by Andrew W. Appel

What We Are Reading Today: Alan Turing’s Systems of Logic by Andrew W. Appel
Updated 13 October 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Alan Turing’s Systems of Logic by Andrew W. Appel

What We Are Reading Today: Alan Turing’s Systems of Logic by Andrew W. Appel

Between inventing the concept of a universal computer in 1936 and breaking the German Enigma code during World War II, Alan Turing (1912–1954), the British founder of computer science and artificial intelligence, came to Princeton University to study mathematical logic.

Some of the greatest logicians in the world—including Alonzo Church, Kurt Godel, John von Neumann, and Stephen Kleene—were at Princeton in the 1930s, and they were working on ideas that would lay the groundwork for what would become known as computer science.

This book presents a facsimile of the original typescript of Turing’s fascinating and influential 1938 Princeton PhD thesis, one of the key documents in the history of mathematics and computer science. The book also features essays by Andrew Appel and Solomon Feferman that explain the still-unfolding significance of the ideas Turing developed at Princeton.

A work of philosophy as well as mathematics, Turing’s thesis envisions a practical goal—a logical system to formalize mathematical proofs so they can be checked mechanically.


Acclaimed Irish author rejects Hebrew translation of latest book

Acclaimed Irish author rejects Hebrew translation of latest book
Updated 12 October 2021

Acclaimed Irish author rejects Hebrew translation of latest book

Acclaimed Irish author rejects Hebrew translation of latest book
  • Publishing house’s bid reportedly declined due to Sally Rooney’s support for cultural boycott of Israel
  • ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ was released in September as an immediate bestseller

LONDON: Acclaimed Irish author Sally Rooney has rejected a bid from an Israeli publishing house to translate her latest novel into Hebrew.

Her new book “Beautiful World, Where Are You” was released in September as an immediate bestseller, but Rooney has turned down publishing house Modan, which had requested to publish a Hebrew translation.

Modan published Hebrew versions of Rooney’s debut novel “Normal People” and her second title “Conversations With Friends.”

Israeli newspaper Haaretz broke the news that Rooney’s latest work would not receive a Hebrew translation.

It translated an interview that the author gave to the New York Times in September, adding that Rooney’s agent Tracy Bohan confirmed that she had rejected Modan’s bid for a Hebrew translation.

Haaretz claimed that Bohan had told Modan that its bid was thwarted due to Rooney’s support for the cultural boycott of Israel.