The New York Times Makes 17,000 Tasty Recipes Available Online: Japanese, Italian, Thai & Much More

My pile of nightstand books at the moment includes Tim Ferriss’ The Four-Hour Chef (available as a free audiobook here), a flashy tome meant in part to teach the simplest cooking techniques that yield high degrees of versatility, impressiveness, and deliciousness. But its real interest lies in the subject of learning itself, and so it also covers reasonable-investment-high-return techniques for mastering other things, like languages. As I read Ferriss’ account of his own experience developing strategies to quickly learn the Japanese language right next to so many photographs of food and the preparation thereof, my brain couldn’t help but combine those two chunks of information — and then proceed to make me hungry.

I had a mind to go straight to Cookpad, Japan’s biggest general recipe site that we featured back in 2013, when it had just launched an English-language version. Now we have another rich recipe resource in the form of The New York Times Cooking database, an archive of 17,000 recipes, also accessible through its very own free iPhone app. Call up Japanese food, and you get a variety of appealing dishes and sauces from the simple and easy (chicken teriyaki, yakisoba, eggplant with miso) to the more elaborate (squid salad with cucumbers, almonds, and pickled plum dressing; and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s fried sushi cakes) to the new-wave (miso butterscotch, Nakagawa’s California sushi, and Japanese burgers with wasabi ketchup). Above, we have a video that accompanies the Yakisoba With Pork and Cabbage recipe.

Have a look around, and you’ll see that the site also offers a number of useful functions for those who make a free account there, such as the ability to save the recipes you want to make later and a recommendation engine to give you suggestions as to what to make next. But still, even though sites like these guarantee that none of us will ever go hungry for lack of a recipe, we can only do as well by any of them as our actual, physical cooking skills allow. Fortunately, the Times also has our back on that: as we posted last year, you can get a handle on all of that with their 53 instructional videos on essential cooking techniques. And so we really have no excuses left not to learn how to make Japanese food — or any other kind. As for all those languages, now…

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Colin Marshall writes on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

A-ha’s “Take On Me” Performed by North Korean Kids with Accordions

This week, 1,000 North Koreans witnessed the first live performance by a Western pop act on its soil. And it was perhaps a bit anti-climatic.

The East Germans got their first taste of Western rock in 1988 when Bruce Springsteen played a massive gig in East Berlin. (See video here.) The North Koreans had to settle for the Slovenian industrial rock band, Laibach. According to The New York Times, their set included a “‘Sound of Music’ medley. A cover of the Beatles’ ‘Across the Universe.’ [And a] martial-sounding version of the arena rock anthem ‘The Final Countdown.'” You can watch short clips of the concert just below, and John Oliver offers some funny commentary on the spectacle here.

Laibach’s historic North Korean gig was apparently arranged by Morten Traavik, a Norwegian artist who previously made the Internet gyrate when he released a clip of young North Korean accordion players performing A-ha’s 1984 hit, “Take On Me.” In 2012, Traavik met the musicians from the Kum Song Music School while traveling in North Korea. He told the BBC, “I lent them a CD of Take on Me on a Monday morning. By the following Wednesday morning they had mastered the song, with no annotation and no outside help. It showed incredible skill.” And, says Traavik, it all just goes to show, “you can have fun in North Korea.”

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Meet America & Britain’s First Female Tattoo Artists: Maud Wagner (1877-1961) & Jessie Knight (1904–1994)

Maud_Wagner_The_United_States_First_Known_Female_Tattoo_Artist

For a certain period of time, it became very hip to think of classic tattoo artist Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins as the epitome of WWII era retro cool. His name has become a prominent brand, and a household name in tattooed households—or those that watch tattoo-themed reality shows. But I submit to you another name for your consideration to represent the height of vintage rebellion: Maud Wagner (1877-1961).

No, “Maud” has none of the rakish charm of “Sailor Jerry,” but neither does the name Norman. I mean no disrespect to Jerry, by the way. He was a prototypically American character, tailor-made for the marketing hagiography written in his name. But so, indeed, was Maud Wagner, not only because she was the first known professional female tattoo artist in the U.S., but also because she became so, writes Margo DeMello in her history Inked, while “working as a contortionist and acrobatic performer in the circus, carnival, and world fair circuit” at the turn of the century.

gus and maud wagner

Aside from the cowboy perhaps, no spirit is freer in our mythology than that of the circus performer. The reality of that life was of course much less romantic than we imagine, but Maud’s life—as a side show artist and tattooist—involves a romance fit for the movies. Or so the story goes. She learned to tattoo from her husband, Gus Wagner, an artist she met at the St. Louis World’s Fair, who offered to teach her in exchange for a date. As you can see in her 1907 picture at the top, after giving her the first tattoo, he just kept going (see the two of them above). “Maud’s tattoos were typical of the period,” writes DeMello, “She wore patriotic tattoos, tattoos of monkeys, butterflies, lions, horses, snakes, trees, women, and had her own name tattooed on her left arm.”

Maud Wagner family

Unfortunately there seem to be no images of Maud’s own handiwork about, but her legacy lived on in part because Gus and Maud had a daughter, given the endearing name Lovetta (see the family above), who also became a tattoo artist. Unlike her mother, however, Lovetta did not become a canvas for her father’s work or anyone else’s. According to tattoo site Let’s Ink, “Maud had forbidden her husband to tattoo her and, after Gus died, Lovetta decided that if she could not be tattooed by her father she would not be tattooed by anyone.” Like I said, romantic story. Unlike Sailor Jerry, the Wagner women tattooed by hand, not machine. Lovetta gave her last tattoo, in 1983, to modern-day celebrity artist, marketing genius, and Sailor Jerry protégée Don Ed Hardy.

Olive Oatman, 1858. After her family was killed by Yavapais Indians on a trip West in the 1850s, she was adopted and raised by Mohave Indians, who gave her a traditional tribal tattoo. When she was ransomed back, at age nineteen, she became a celebrity. Credit: Arizona Historical Society.

The cultural history of tattooed and tattooing women is long and complicated, as Margot Mifflin documents in her 1997 Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo. For the first half of the twentieth century, heavily-inked women like Maud were circus attractions, symbols of deviance and outsiderhood. Mifflin dates the practice of displaying tattooed white women to 1858 with Olive Oatman (above), a young girl captured by Yavapis Indians and later tattooed by the Mohave people who adopted and raised her. At age nineteen, she returned and became a national celebrity.

Tattooed Native women had been put on display for hundreds of years, and by the turn of the 20th century World’s Fair, “natives… whether tattooed or not, were shown,” writes DeMello, in staged displays of primitivism, a “construction of the other for public consumption.” While these spectacles were meant to represent for fairgoers “the enormous progress achieved by the West through technological advancements and world conquest,” another burgeoning spectacle took shape—the tattooed lady as both pin-up girl and rebellious thumb in the eye of imperialist Victorianism and its cult of womanhood.

jessie-knight-backtat

And here I submit another name for your consideration: Jessie Knight (above, with a tattoo of her family crest), Britain’s first female tattoo artist and also onetime circus performer, who, according to Jezebel, worked in her father’s sharp shooting act before striking out on her own as a tattooist. The Mary Sue quotes an unnamed source who writes that her job was “to stand before [her father] so that he could hit a target that was sometimes placed on her head or on an area of her body.” Supposedly, one night he “accidentally shot Jesse in the shoulder,” sending her off to work for tattoo artist Charlie Bell. As the narrator in the short film below from British Pathe puts it, Knight (1904–1994), “was once the target in a sharp shooting act. Now she’s at the business end of the target no more.”

The remark sums up the kind of agency tattooing gave women like Knight and the independence tattooed women represented. Popular stereotypes have not always endorsed this view. “Over the last 100 years,” writes Amelia Klem Osterud in Things & Ink magazine, “a stigma has developed against tattooed women—you know the misconceptions, women with tattoos are sluts, they’re ‘bad girls,’ just as false as the myth that only sailors and criminals get tattoos.”

jessie-knight2

Jesse Knight—as you can see from the Pathe film and the photo above from 1951—was portrayed as a consummate professional, and in fact won 2nd place in a “Champion Tattoo Artist of all England” in 1955. See several more photos of her at work at Jezebel, and see a gallery of tattooed—and tattooist—ladies from Mifflin’s book at The New Yorker, including such characters as Botticelli and Michelangelo-tattooed Anna Mae Burlington Gibbons, Betty Broadbent, the tattooed contestant in the first televised beauty pageant, and Australian tattoo artist Cindy Ray, “The Classy Lassy with the Tattooed Chassis.” Now there’s a name to remember.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Discover The Backwards Brain Bicycle: What Riding a Bike Says About the Neuroplasticity of the Brain

Like most of us, engineer Destin Sandlin, creator of the educational science website Smarter Every Day, learned how to ride a bike as a child. Archival footage from 1987 shows a confident, mullet-haired Sandlin piloting a two-wheeler like a boss.

Flash forward to the present day, when a welder friend threw a major wrench in Sandlin’s cycling game by tweaking a bike’s handlebar/front wheel correspondence. Turn the handlebars of the “backwards bike” to the left, and the wheel goes to the right. Steer right, and the front wheel points left.

Sandlin thought he’d conquer this beast in a matter of minutes, but in truth it took him eight months of daily practice to conquer his brain’s cognitive bias as to the expected operation. This led him to the conclusion that knowledge is not the same thing as understanding.

He knew how to ride a normal bike, but had no real grasp of the complex algorithm that kept him upright, a simultaneous ballet of balance, downward force, gyroscopic procession, and navigation.

As he assures fans of his Youtube channel, it’s not a case of the stereotypical uncoordinated science geek—not only can he juggle, when he took the backwards bike on tour, a global roster of audience volunteers’ brains gave them the exact same trouble his had.

Interestingly, his 6-year-old son, who’d been riding a bike for half his young life, got the hang of the backwards bike in just two weeks. Children’s brain’s possess much more neuroplasticity than those of adults, whose seniority means habits and biases are that much more ingrained.

It couldn’t have hurt that Sandlin bribed the kid with a trip to Australia to meet an astronaut.

Did the arduousness of mastering the backwards bike ruin Sandlin for normally configured bicycles? Watch the video above all the way to the end for an incredible spontaneous moment of mind over matter.

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday

Karaoke-Style, Stephen Colbert Sings and Struts to The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar”

Little known fact, during his high school days, Stephen Colbert was the front man of a Rolling Stones cover band. And, appearing on Howard Stern on Tuesday, just weeks before taking over The Late Show, Colbert proved it, singing and doing a jig to “Brown Sugar.” He moves like Jagger, and it’s fun to watch.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert starts Tuesday, September 8th — right after Labor Day.

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Judy!: 1993 Judith Butler Fanzine Gives Us An Irreverent Punk-Rock Take on the Post-Structuralist Gender Theorist

Judy! One

Punk rock and its accoutrements—including the handmade, Xeroxed ‘zine—pass into history, replaced by Taylor Swift and Snapchat, or whatever. But as a piece of history, the ‘zine will always stand as a marker of a particular era, of the 80s/early 90s explosion of critical consciousness fostered by young kids reading Nietzsche, Foucault, and Camus, then forming their own bands, labels, and networks. Crucial to the period is the emergence of Riot Grrrl bands like Bikini Kill and their assault on oppressive gender politics, in punk rock and everywhere else. And crucial to many such punks’ understanding of gender was the work of critical theorist Judith Butler.

“Riot Grrrl didn’t herald the beginnings of third wave feminism,” writes Sophia Satchell Baeza in Canvas, “we’ll give that to the emergence of post-structuralist Queer theory, and the work of Judith Butler—but it did help define it aesthetically as much as formally for a new generation of indignant feminists.” An essential part of that aesthetic—the ‘zine—spread the tenets of Riot Grrrl anger, determination, and irony to cities far and wide. And, in 1993, a group of intellectual scenesters created the ultimate punk homage to Butler’s undeniable influence: Judy!, an honest-to-goodness Judith Butler fanzine, complete with murky, mimeographed photo spreads and serial killer typescript. (See the cover at the top, with photo of Judy Garland.) “Let’s talk about that real glamour gal of theory, Judy Butler,” begins one free-form introductory essay.

She’s especially good to see live, if you can. Her performances are rife with witty repartee about her mom or whatever and the three times I’ve seen her, she’s been sporting little tailored black jackets. She’s a bit Gap but she’s still a fox.

This cavalier hipster tone hides the voice of a likely grad student, who mentions M.L.A. (the Modern Language Association’s conference), and other post-structuralist theorists like Gayatri Spivak, Eve Sedgwick, and Julia Kristeva. There are footnotes and references to Butler’s classic Gender Trouble amidst much more irreverent, catty rhetoric like “Judy is the number one dominator, and the only thing you or I can do is submit gladly.” It’s great fun, if that’s what you’re into—and if you get the combo of ‘zine aesthetic and academic feminist theory. There’s even a quiz to test your knowledge of the latter’s high priestess professors and inscrutable argot: “are you a theory-fetishizing biscuithead?”

As much as it knowingly pokes fun at itself, in both form and content the artifact represents a perfect hybridization of streetwise mid-nineties punk rock and challenging mid-nineties high feminist theory. Central to the latter, Judith Butler challenges cultural norms in ways that very much inform our popular understanding of gender and sexuality today. And ‘zine culture, though it may appear mostly in museums and retrospectives these days, lives on in spirit in the work of hip, cultural mavens like Rookie’s Tavi Gevinson. Above, see Butler discuss her theory of gender performativity. And Read the entire issue of Judy!, the fanzine, here.

Judy! Two

via Progressive Geographies

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness.

James Baldwin Debates Malcolm X (1963) and William F. Buckley (1965): Vintage Video & Audio

One often hears lamented the lack of well-spoken public intellectuals in America today. Very often, the lamenters look back to James Baldwin, who in the 1950s and 1960s wrote such powerful race-, class-, and sex-examining books as Go Tell It on the MountainGiovanni’s Room, and The Fire Next Time, as one of the greatest figures in the field. Though Baldwin expatriated himself to France for much of his life, he seems never to have let the state of his homeland drift far from his mind, and his opinions on it continued to put a charge into the grand American debate.

Upon one return from Paris in 1957, Baldwin found himself wrapped up in the controversy around the Civil Rights Act and the related movements across the south. He wrote several high-profile essays on the subject, even ending up himself the subject of a 1963 Time magazine cover story on his views. That same year, he went on a lecture tour on race in America which put him in close contact with a variety of student movements and other protests, whose efficacy he and Malcolm X debated in the broadcast above.

“While Malcolm X criticized the sit-in movement as passive,” writes Rhonda Y. Williams in Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century, “Baldwin argued that ‘maintaining calm in the face of vitriol demands a tremendous amount of power.'” He goes on to say that “when the sit-in movement started or when a great many things started in the western world, I think it had a great deal less to do with equality than with power.” This got him wondering about what he saw as the all-important distinction between “power and equality” and “power and freedom.”

Two years later, Baldwin appeared in another high-profile debate with about as different an interlocutor from Malcolm X as one can imagine: Firing Line host William F. Buckley, across from whom every well-spoken public intellectual in America of that era must have sat at one time or another. They discussed whether the American Dream comes “at the expense of the American negro.” Buckley, as Josh Jones wrote here in 2012, “had come out four years earlier against desegregation and Civil Rights legislation” and could ably defend his positions, but “Baldwin proved the more persuasive voice.”

Dissecting the skills of Baldwin the debater, John Warner of Inside Higher Education writes that “Baldwin’s remarks display all the skill and moves of an expert persuader” such as “the attendance to audience, the acknowledgement of their needs, the combination of both emotional and logical argument.” His arguments also have their roots not in “attitudes or beliefs, which are varied and changeable, but values, which are widely shared and immutable.”

Baldwin, Warner continues, “reminds us that America is the land of the free, the home of the brave, that all men are created equal, that we are here to pursue life, liberty, happiness,” but “while these values are powerful and timeless, our understanding of how they may be best achieved, the conditions under which they can be fostered change all the time.” Whether on the air or in text, against Malcolm X, William F. Buckley, or anyone else, his performance in debate shows that “the best and most lasting persuasion is simply the act of reminding people of what they already believe to be true.”

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Colin Marshall writes on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Hear Dramatizations of H.P. Lovecraft’s Stories On His Birthday: “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Dunwich Horror,” & More

Horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft was a man who lived his life in fear—of people of other races and nationalities, of women, of reality itself. In a recent New York Review of Books write-up, Charles Baxter somewhat derisively characterizes Lovecraft as a disenchanted adolescent (and favorite of disenchanted adolescents), who “never really grew up. ‘Adulthood is hell,’ he once wrote in a letter.” Yet his fiction depicts more than a tormented adult world, but an entire universe brimming with nameless ancient horrors—and occasionally named ones like the creature Cthulhu, whose likeness he once sketched out in a letter to a friend.

The cephalopod-faced monster crystalizes Lovecraft’s disgust with reality in all its strangeness and, for him, all its variety. It’s a perfect image of alienation (just this past week we saw tongue-in-cheek speculation over whether octopuses are aliens; a plausible conceit) and presents us with an elemental uncanniness that characterizes his entire body of work. “Fiction like Lovecraft’s can be brutally hypnotic,” writes Baxter, “the young reader, intellectually undefended and easily shaken enters the writer’s fear-drenched universe and can’t easily get out of it.”

The Call of Cthulhu – Part 1

The Call of Cthulhu – Part 2

Whether you discovered Lovecraft as a young reader or an older one, you may have found yourself similarly entrapped by the horrors of his imagination. And you could count yourself in the company of not only hermetic, misanthropic, death-obsessed young men in punk bands but also of media friendly, death-obsessed writers like Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates. And, of course, thousands upon thousands of horror fans across the world, including a great many actors, writers, and directors who over the years have adapted Lovecraft’s fiction as old-fashioned radio drama of the kind the author himself might have consumed while isolated from the wicked world in his New England home.

You can hear some choice examples here: at the top of the post we have Richard Coyle’s reading of the novella At the Mountains of Madness. (You can also hear his reading of “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” here.)  Next, we have a 1945 dramatization of “The Dunwich Horror,” performed by Academy Award-winning actor Ronald Colman. And then hear the infamous “Call of Cthulhu,” parts one and two, produced by the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, who have recorded no small number of Lovecraft radio plays. Just above, listen to a reading of “Behind the Wall of Sleep” from old-time radio sci-fi readings archive Mind Webs (which we’ve covered in a previous post). Finally, below, listen on Spotify to the HP Lovecraft Radio Hour Vol 1, a collection of dramatized Lovecraft stories. 

Should you happen to tear through these recordings and find yourself in desperate need of more to feed your Lovecraft obsession, fear not; you would have a very hard time exhausting all the options. The World’s Largest H.P. Lovecraft Audio Links Gateway, for example, delivers exactly what it promises. Should that expansive database somehow leave out a reading or dramatization, you’ll perhaps find it over at the H.P. Lovecraft Archive’s sizeable collection. And you must, if you’re a Lovecraft fan, visit the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, who host plenty of Lovecraft merch, and links to much more Lovecraft audio, including albums inspired by his work and a podcast.

And on the off chance you knew little or not at all of Lovecraft before reading this post, beware. You may, after listening to some of his weird tales of horror, come away a devoted Lovecraft cultist.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

David Byrne’s Personal Lending Library Is Now Open: 250 Books Ready to Be Checked Out

david byrne lending library

Just yesterday we were musing on perusing rock stars’ bookshelves, and today we learn it has become a reality, if you live in London. Polymath and all-around swell person David Byrne opened the 22nd annual Meltdown Festival this last Monday, and in the spirit of London’s Poetry Library (which is hosting this part of the event), the former Talking Heads frontman has shipped over 250 books to stock his own lending library for the duration of the festival, until August 30.

In his Guardian essay explaining his decision to let you rifle through his collection of music books—some of which were used as research for his own How Music Works—Byrne waxes about the library he loved in his teenage years in suburban Baltimore:

We were desperate to know what was going on in the cool places, and, given some suggestions and direction, the library was one place where that wider exciting world became available. In my little town, the library also had vinyl that one could check out and I discovered avant-garde composers such as Xenakis and Messiaen, folk music from various parts of the world and even some pop records that weren’t getting much radio play in Baltimore. It was truly a formative place.

A full list of the books has yet to surface, but a few people are tweeting photos of titles, like Evan Eisenberg’s The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa or Steve Goodman’s Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear. Squinting our eyes at the promotional photo of Byrne sitting in front of the shelves, we can spot Lester Bangs’ Psychotic Reactions and Carburator Dung, Eric Weisbard’s Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop Music, Paula Court’s photobook New York Noise: Art and Music from the New York Underground 1978-88; and Thurston Moore’s Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture. (Recognize some other titles? Please add them in the comments.)

Byrne has set up a free-to-borrow system with a credit card on file just in case you abscond with the book, although he does admit it may happen and “so be it.” There’s also an added thrill:

Some of my books may have highlighted bits or notes scrawled in the margins. I hope nothing embarrassing.

Byrne’s programming for the Meltdown Festival can be seen here. Highlights include an a cappella workshop by Petra Haden, a showing of There Will Be Blood with live score by Jonny Greenwood and the London Contemporary Orchestra, the reappearance of Young Marble Giants, Young Jean Lee’s band Future Wife performing We’re Gonna Die with David Byrne as special guest; and many other selections of “Things David Thinks You Should Hear.”

In the meantime, here’s a photo from the fest’s opening of Mr. Byrne riding a portable espresso shop on wheels.

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

How Can I Know Anything at All? BBC Animations Feature the Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Hume, Popper & More

How did everything begin? What makes us human? What is the self? How do I live a good life? What is love? We’ve all asked these questions, if only within our heads, and recently a series of BBC animations written by philosopher Nigel Warburton and narrated by a variety of celebrities have done their level best to answer them–or at least to point us in the direction of answering them for ourselves by not just telling but wittily showing us what great minds have thought and said on the issues before we came along. Most recently, they’ve taken on that eternal conundrum, “How can I know anything at all?”

The already philosophically inclined will have recognized this as the foundational question of epistemology, that formidable branch of philosophy concerned with what we know, how we know, and whether we can know in the first place. Many familiar names in the history of philosophy have stepped onto this field, including Ludwig Wittgenstein, with whose thoughts this series of extremely brief explanatory videos begins. It lays out his analogy of the beetle in a box, wherein each person holds a box containing what they call a “beetle,” but nobody can look inside another’s box to confirm whether their idea of a beetle aligns with anyone else’s.

In Wittgenstein’s view, says actor Aidan Turner, “there can’t be more to the public meaning of a language than we’re capable of teaching each other, and the private ‘something’—the ‘beetle’—can’t have a role in that teaching, because we can’t get at it.” The next video, in asking whether we should believe in miracles, brings in Scottish Enlightenment thinker David Hume, who thought that “if we follow the rule of proportioning our beliefs to the available evidence, there will always be more evidence that the eyewitness accounts were mistaken than not.” Hume’s predecessor George Berkeley makes an appearance to weigh in on whether anything exists—or, more precisely, whether anything exists besides our minds, which convince us that we experience real things out there in the world.

Finally, the series lands on a method we can use to know, one science has relied on, with seeming success, for quite some time now: Karl Popper’s idea of falsification. “Rather than looking for supporting evidence, Popper argued that scientists go out of their way to refute their own hypotheses, testing them to destruction,” leaving those that remain, at least provisionally, as knowledge. Though none of these videos exceed two minutes in length, each one, dense with both philosophical and pop-cultural references, will leave you with more knowledge about epistemology than you went in with—assuming they don’t leave you disbelieving in knowledge itself.

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Colin Marshall writes on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.


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