Links 4/19/2014

The following are a few webpages we found noteworthy this week.

As always, some might be a little out of date (it is true that we have been known to find value in older things…)

Also, some might have conclusions with which we wholeheartedly disagree (it is true we have been known to find value in alternative viewpoints, even when eventually dismissed as not compelling…)

Antiquity

The Cult of Isis at Ancient Messene (hoaw)

Predators and Prey in Ancient Mosaics (Past Horizons)

Ancient Roman Theater Discovered in Florence (ansa)

General Reading

Seven Surprising Works (interesting lit)

Most Banned Books of 2013 (HuffPo)

20 Best British Novels (telegraph)

Reasons for Liking Tolkien (lrb)

10 Great Quotations from Doris Lessing (interesting lit)

Consciousness/Openness/Bias

The Confidence Gap (The Atlantic)

The Germ Theory of Your Beliefs (Pacific Standard)

The Science of Lucid Dreaming (The Atlantic)

Did you see anything worthwhile this week?

Gibbon on Diocletian, Maximian and the Growing Irrelevance of the Roman Senate

Diocletian’s Palace at Split

Diocletian’s Palace at Split

Diocletian 1

The central question of Edward Gibbon’s tome, quite obviously, is the reason for the decline and fall of the Empire. 

Unfortunately many people–generally those unfamiliar with the history of the Roman Empire–confuse this topic with the fall of the central city of Rome.  That is a severe misconception, for the Empire that began in Rome sustained itself for 1000 years after the collapse of its once central city.  These two separate “falls” are not just quite distinct in time and but also dissimilar in form.

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Unamuno’s Niebla and Being Lost in the Mist of Existence

niebla

Mist 1

Starting in the 20th century, many works began to investigate the concept of a character’s life–not the character’s life on the written page per se but rather the character’s life above and beyond what the original author intended.  Two (spectacular) examples come from theater: Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author and Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

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Links 4/12/2014

The following are a few webpages we found noteworthy this week.

As always, some might be a little out of date (it is true that we have been known to find value in older things…)

Also, some might have conclusions with which we wholeheartedly disagree (it is true we have been known to find value in alternative viewpoints, even when eventually dismissed as not compelling…)

Antiquity

Ancient Techniques in Sex Ed (bbc)

Comparative Medical Practice in Ancient Rome (hoaw)

Caves and Crocodiles: Chauvet (the inkling)

General Reading

Six Books in One (visual news)

20 Books from the 90s (HuffPo)

Original Alice in Wonderland Manuscript (openculture)

Consciousness/Openness/Bias

Healthy Narcissism (HuffPo)

Night Vision with Graphene Contact Lenses (new statesman)

Did you see anything worthwhile this week?

Gibbon on the German Wall of Probus (and Other Futile Defenses)

Wall of Probus

Probus 1

Borders often evolve naturally from the landscape.  Either a mountain range, or a difficult desert, or a relatively impassable river will isolate one side from the other.  In areas without such features, but still beset with disparate populations, borders may often be reflected by walls that have been constructed by one or the other side.

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A Trip into Military and Political Anarchy in Homage to Catalonia

Catalonia

Catalonia 1

George Orwell’s popularity has declined little with age, and while this would probably irk a few people (Vladimir Nabokov included), Orwell still matters.  Sure, it has been thirty years since the real 1984 passed without much of what was set forth in the novel 1984 occurring, but the principles in that book are still quoted liberally and with great approbation.

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