The Last Unknowns: Deep, Elegant, Profound Unanswered Questions About the Universe, the Mind, the Future of Civilization, and the Meaning of Life
Discover the universe's last unknowns--here are the unanswered questions that obsess "the world's finest minds" (The Guardian)
Featuring a foreword by DANIEL KAHNEMAN, Nobel Prize-winning author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
This is a little book of profound questions (only questions!)--unknowns that address the secrets of our world, our civilization, the meaning of life. Here are the deepest riddles that have fascinated, obsessed, and haunted the greatest thinkers of our time, including Nobel laureates, cosmologists, philosophers, economists, prize-winning novelists, religious scholars, and more than 250 leading scientists, artists, and theorists. In The Last Unknowns, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, asks "a mind-blowing gathering of innovative thinkers" (Booklist): "What is 'The Last Question, ' your last question, the question for which you will be remembered?"
Featuring the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel JARED DIAMOND - Nobel Prize-winning University of Chicago economist RICHARD THALER - Harvard psychologistSTEVEN PINKER - religion scholar ELAINE PAGELS - author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics CARLO ROVELLI - Booker Prize-winning novelist IAN McEWAN - neuroscientistSAM HARRIS - philosopher DANIEL C. DENNETT - MIT theorist SHERRY TURKLE - decoder of the human genome J. CRAIG VENTER - The Coddling of the American Mind author JONATHAN HAIDT - Nobel Prize-winning physicist FRANK WILCZEK - UC Berkeley psychologist ALISON GOPNICK - philosopher REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN - New York Times columnist CARL ZIMMER - MIT cosmologist MAX TEGMARK - Whole Earth founder STEWART BRAND - "Marginal Revolution" economist TYLER COWEN - Anatomy of Love author HELEN FISHER - Noble Prize-winning NASA physicist JOHN C. MATHER - psychologist JUDITH RICH HARRIS- Princeton physicist FREEMAN DYSON- musician BRIAN ENO - environmental scientist JENNIFER JACQUET - Duke economist DAN ARIELY- Oxford philosopher A. C. GRAYLING - Harvard cosmologist LISA RANDALL- anthropologist MARY CATHERINE BATESON - Emotional Intelligence author DANIEL GOLEMAN- Harvard genticist GEORGE CHURCH- Blueprint author NICHOLAS A. CHRISTAKIS- Stanford political scientist MARGARET LEVI - economist ALAN S. BLINDER- publisher TIM O'REILLY- theoretical cosmologist JANNA LEVIN - Serpentine Gallery owner HANS ULRICH OBRIST- Wired founding editor KEVIN KELLY - Cambridge astrophysicist MARTIN REES, and more than 200 others.
This classic surrealist photobook pioneered the imagery of the domestic uncanny
First edited and published by Marcel Marien in 1968 in a limited edition of 230 copies, half a year after Paul Nougé's death, The Subversion of Images is a miniature classic in both the photobook and surrealist canons. It collects Nougé's notes and photographs from 1929-30 to form a guidebook to the surrealist image. Nougé here outlines his conception of the object and the surrealist approach to it, while also offering an accompaniment to the visual work of his colleague, René Magritte, whose paintings he sometimes titled. How might a tangle of string elicit terror? How might the suppression of an object move one to sentimentality? What is the effect of a pair of gloves on a loaf of sliced bread?Nougé's accompanying photographs explore these notions, and feature a number of his Belgian surrealist colleagues. This translation is presented as a facsimile of the original edition, with an afterword by Xavier Canonne, director of the Musée de la Photographie. A biochemist by trade, Paul Nougé (1895-1967) was a leading light of Belgian surrealism and its primary theorist, as well as a decisive influence on such Lettrists and Situationists as Guy Debord and Gil J. Wolman, who would take inspiration from his conception of plagiarism for what would come to be termed "détournement." Nougé steered the Brussels surrealist group toward a more rational approach to visual and verbal language that discarded the Parisian surrealists' proclivity for irrationality and occultism.
An analysis of contemporary violence as the new commodity of today's hyper-consumerist stage of capitalism.
"Death has become the most profitable business in existence."
--from Gore Capitalism
Written by the Tijuana activist intellectual Sayak Valencia, Gore Capitalism is a crucial essay that posits a decolonial, feminist philosophical approach to the outbreak of violence in Mexico and, more broadly, across the global regions of the Third World. Valencia argues that violence itself has become a product within hyper-consumerist neoliberal capitalism, and that tortured and mutilated bodies have become commodities to be traded and utilized for profit in an age of impunity and governmental austerity.
In a lucid and transgressive voice, Valencia unravels the workings of the politics of death in the context of contemporary networks of hyper-consumption, the ups and downs of capital markets, drug trafficking, narcopower, and the impunity of the neoliberal state. She looks at the global rise of authoritarian governments, the erosion of civil society, the increasing violence against women, the deterioration of human rights, and the transformation of certain cities and regions into depopulated, ghostly settings for war. She offers a trenchant critique of masculinity and gender constructions in Mexico, linking their misogynist force to the booming trade in violence.
This book is essential reading for anyone seeking to analyze the new landscapes of war. It provides novel categories that allow us to deconstruct what is happening, while proposing vital epistemological tools developed in the convulsive Third World border space of Tijuana.
Essential writings from the downtown New York legend and polymath, pioneer of both structural film and drone music
Tony Conrad (1940-2016) was a legendary multidisciplinary artist known for his groundbreaking contributions in experimental film, music, and video. Upon moving to New York City in 1962, he began making music with John Cale, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in the Theatre of Eternal Music, a group that helped shape what would come to be known as minimalist music. He later went on to perform with Lou Reed in a pre-Velvet Underground band called The Primitives and cut a classic 1972 record with the German Krautrock band Faust that set a new standard for drone music.In the 1960s and 1970s, Conrad was perhaps best known for his contribution to film, where he helped to redefine structural filmmaking with The Flicker and Yellow Movies. Conrad went on to create an extensive body of work in a variety of media such as installation, photography, and performance until his death in 2016. Throughout his life, Conrad also wrote prolifically on topics including his own work (and that of his peers), music, art, media theory and activism. Writings is the first book devoted solely to Conrad's writing, collecting 57 hard-to-find or previously unpublished texts from 1961 to 2012. These writings provide a critical lens into the artist's multitudinous identities and wide-ranging creative pursuits and, as with his diverse artistic output, consistently challenge and dismantle authoritarian notions of culture.
In this provocative text combining polemic and memoir, Alex Niven argues that the map of the British Isles should be torn apart completely as we look towards a time of radical political reform. Rejecting outdated nationalisms, Niven argues for a renovated model of culture and governance for the islands -- a fluid, dynamic version of regionalism preparing the way for a new "dream archipelago".
"Brilliant, magical and engrossing-I will never see birds the same way again."
-- Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees
THE INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON
Twenty-two short lessons from the secret lives of birds on living harmoniously and reconnecting with nature.
This charming volume on bird behavior invites us to take a step back from our busy lives and to listen to the tiny philosophers of the sky. From the delicate sparrow to the majestic eagle, birds are among the most fascinating species on earth, and there is much to be learned from these paragons of beauty and grace that can be applied to our lives, including:
Filled with elegant illustrations of bird species, this gem of a book celebrates of our friends in the sky, and what they can teach us about the rhythms of life.
At the outset of our journey we meet the Regulars, a small band of nature lovers who devote themselves to the park and its wildlife. As they watch Pale Male, a remarkable young red-tailed hawk, woo and win his first mate, they are soon transformed into addicted hawk-watchers. From a bench at the park's model-boat pond they observe the hawks building a nest in an astonishing spot--a high ledge of a Fifth Avenue building three floors above Mary Tyler Moore's apartment and across the street from Woody Allen's.
The drama of the Fifth Avenue hawks--hunting, courting, mating, and striving against great odds to raise a family in their unprecedented nest site--is alternately hilarious and heartbreaking. "Red-Tails in Love" will delight and inspire readers for years to come.
Just in time for the elections, Arundhati Roy offers us this lucid briefing on what the Bush administration "really" means when it talks about "compassionate conservativism" and "the war on terror." Roy has characteristic fun in these essays, skewering the hypocrisy of the more-democratic-than-thou clan. But above all, she aims to remind us that we hold the essence of power and the foundation of genuine democracy--the power of the people to counter their self-appointed leaders' tyranny.
First delivered as fiery speeches to sold-out crowds, together these essays are a call to arms against "the apocalyptic apparatus of the American empire." Focusing on the disastrous US occupation of Iraq, Roy urges us to recognize--and apply--the scope of our power, exhorting US dockworkers to refuse to load materials war-bound, reservists to reject their call-ups, activists to organize boycotts of Halliburton, and citizens of other nations to collectively resist being deputized as janitor-soldiers to clear away the detritus of the US invasion.
Roy's "Guide to Empire" also offers us sharp theoretical tools for understanding the New American Empire--a dangerous paradigm, Roy argues here, that is entirely distinct from the imperialism of the British or even the New World Order of George Bush, the elder. She examines how resistance movements build power, using examples of nonviolent organizing in South Africa, India, and the United States. Deftly drawing the thread through ostensibly disconnected issues and arenas, Roy pays particular attention to the parallels between globalization in India, the devastation in Iraq, and the deplorable conditions many African Americans, in particular, must still confront.
With Roy as our "guide," we may not be able to relax from the Sisyphean task of stopping the U.S. juggernaut, but at least we are assured that the struggle for global justice is fortified by Roy's hard-edged brilliance.
"Wild Moments" is a collection of Williams's beautifully crafted seasonal observation columns that is sure to be prized by Ted Williams's fans and to attract a broad new readership. The text is complemented by the illustrations of John Burgoyne, himself the winner of more than 150 awards in the United States and Europe.
Williams explains the weather conditions that bring out the brightest reds in autumn leaves, when to watch for the massive migration of northern flickers, how hungry wolf spiders catch their prey, and why American goldfinches wait until July or August to build a nest and start breeding.
Although Williams's home is in Massachusetts, his columns describe the action of the natural world all across North America, with a few forays to other parts of the globe. So readers will learn why there are so many aspens in Yellowstone National Park and the extent of the burrowing owl's habitat (from southwestern Canada to Argentina).
Written in an inviting, accessible, and entertaining style, these brief columns are packed with in-depth information on a broad range of topics. Anyone who loves the natural world will find this book irresistible.
These timeless, beautifully written essays share encounters and observations on a variety of Alaskan wildlife and include natural history information.
In these essays about Alaska's best-known and most charismatic animals--grizzlies and wolves, moose and Dall sheep, bald eagles and beluga whales--Sherwonit also introduces readers to many of Alaska's largely overlooked species, from wood frogs to redpolls and shrews to lynx and wolverines. The stories are geographically diverse, stretching across the state, from the Panhandle to the Arctic, and also from Alaska's urban center, Anchorage, to its most remote backcountry.
Sherwonit examines the complicated relationships humans have with other animals and consider different ways of knowing, and relating to, these critters. Animal Stories increases readers' awareness and questions their own relationships with wild neighbors, wild relatives, and the inherent value that these animals have, irrespective of what they give to us.
As a teenager, Molly Case underwent an operation that saved her life. Nearly a decade later, she finds herself in the operating room again--this time as a trainee nurse. She learns to care for her patients, sharing not only their pain, but also life-affirming moments of hope. In doing so, she offers a compelling account of the processes that keep them alive, from respiratory examinations to surgical prep, and of the extraordinary moments of human connection that sustain both nurse and patient.
In rich, lyrical prose, Case illustrates the intricacies of the human condition through the hand of a stranger offered in solace, a gentle word in response to fear and anger, or the witnessing of a person's last breaths. It is these moments of empathy, in the extremis of human experience, that define us as people. But when Molly's father is admitted to the cardiac unit where she works, the professional and the personal suddenly collide.
Weaving together medical history, art, memoir, and science, How to Treat People beautifully explores the oscillating rhythms of life and death in a tender reminder that we can all find meaning in being, even for a moment, part of the lives of others.