Berfrois

Are we puppets of the gods?

Are we puppets of the gods?

The almost subconscious fear that we could be soulless machines manipulated by other powers poses a profound philosophical conundrum pondered since ancient times...

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Boxed Out

Boxed Out

New boxers move among the outlines of those who fought before them, escaping nothing...

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René Girard has many Silicon Valley disciples…

René Girard has many Silicon Valley disciples…

A student of René Girard’s while at Stanford in the late 1980s, Peter Thiel would go on to report that Girard is his greatest intellectual inspiration...

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How cultlike are cults?

How cultlike are cults?

How collaborative are ruler personality cults?

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Bee Yourself

Bee Yourself

Our culture is saturated with authenticity: we’re forever ‘finding ourselves’, ‘self-actualising’, ‘doing you’, ‘being real’, ‘going off the beaten path’, ‘breaking free of the crowd’...

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What determines the lengths of novels?

What determines the lengths of novels?

The novel is an extremely flexible form. It can come out in countless shapes, include infinite content, and end up almost any length...

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“Constructor theory puts counterfactuals at the very foundation of physics”

“Constructor theory puts counterfactuals at the very foundation of physics”

The standard laws of physics — such as quantum theory, general relativity, even Newton’s laws — are formulated in terms of trajectories of objects and what happens to them given some initial conditions. But there are some phenomena in nature that you can’t quite capture in terms of trajectories...

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Douglas Penick on Robert Walser

Douglas Penick on Robert Walser

Robert Walser found a context, a context of beauty for the many voices that surfaced in his awareness...

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A Resigned Igor Matovic

A Resigned Igor Matovic

Matovic’s resignation may signal to similar politicians in the region that a party with a well-meaning anti-corruption agenda and grassroots support can easily stumble in the face of a crisis..

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Mine, Mine, Mine

Mine, Mine, Mine

To the vast majority of bitcoin investors, success means its price continues to rise. But if that is all there is to it, someday a little boy will yell, "the Emperor has no clothes", and the price will come crashing down...

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Music and Wine

Music and Wine

The tonal balance of a wine changes substantially as the wine evolves on the palate just as the tonal balance of a musical work shifts as instruments enter, pause, or shift their dynamics as the music unfolds...

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Buwan

Buwan

In more than two dozen languages, the words for month and moon are the same...

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In the Caffè Michelangiolo

In the Caffè Michelangiolo

Disappointed as soldiers, the Macchiaioli went back to their paintbrushes and began creating paintings of the Italy they had known before the Austrian occupation...

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Newton and the Mint

Newton and the Mint

The currency was literally shrinking, and Newton’s first task was to sort the situation out. Making his life still more complicated, international values were based on silver, but the value of gold was soaring...

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Postwar Migration and Black British Theatre

Postwar Migration and Black British Theatre

Over the next decade, a growing community of black theatre practitioners emerged in Britain...

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Donald MacKenzie: Trading, Faster

Donald MacKenzie: Trading, Faster

Winning or losing the trading race can be a matter of nanoseconds...

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From the Sky

From the Sky

To be frozen, and come back to life. It is fantastical. And yet, it seems to be true...

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Tabish Khair: Inevitable Friction

Tabish Khair: Inevitable Friction

The trajectory of literature is intertwined with and also strains against the career of God...

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Kenkō’s Idle Hours

Kenkō’s Idle Hours

To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations—such is a pleasure beyond compare...

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