It’s no secret that climate change has been taking a toll on the Arctic. But it’s one thing to read about it, another thing to see it in action. Above you can watch an animation narrated by NASA’s cryospheric scientist Dr. Walt Meier. Documenting changes between 1984 and 2016, the animation lets you see the Arctic sea ice shrinking.[...]
This past January, we highlighted a syllabus for a tentative course called “Calling Bullshit,” designed by two professors at the University of Washington, Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West.
The course–also sometimes called “Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data”–ended up being offered this spring.
From Emory University comes The First 100 Days of Fascist Germany, an attempt to document online what happened on each day–from January 30, 1933 through May 9, 1933–when Hitler was named Reichskanzler of Germany.
As you can perhaps imagine, the motivation for the project isn’t entirely divorced from current events.
With the rise of Far Right candidates in Europe and in America, along with creeping dictatorship in Turkey and authoritarianism in the Philippines, the idea of democracy and freedom of speech feels under threat more than ever.[...]
I have my doubts about whether we should call regular acts of civic duty “resistance,” rather than Constitutionally-protected democratic freedoms. Yesterday we remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 49th anniversary of his assassination (and the 50th anniversary of his speech opposing the Vietnam War).[...]
In 1979, French theorist Jean-François Lyotard declared the end of all “grand narratives”—every “theory or intellectual system,” as Blackwell’s dictionary defines the term, “which attempts to provide a comprehensive explanation of human experience and knowledge.[...]
For a few years, many people—those who might these days be called a “self-satisfied liberal elite” (or something like that)—believed that the arguments in Edward Said’s 1978 book Orientalism were becoming generally accepted.[...]
Like many American children of the 70s and 80s, my understanding of how our government is supposed to function was shaped by Schoolhouse Rock.[...]
“We live in a nightmare that David Foster Wallace had in 1994,” said a tweet that put me in stitches last summer, but I have a sense that we’ve only sunk deeper into that hyperverbal, media-obsessed, and deeply fearful novelist’s bad dreams since then.[...]
Some moments in history strike us as dramatic ruptures. Certainties are superseded, thrown into chaos by a seismic event, and we find ourselves adrift and anxious. What are artists to do? Gripped by the same fears as everyone else, the same sense of urgency, writers, musicians, filmmakers, painters, etc.[...]