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Montaigne

On Pilgrimage in India

Ann Tashi Slater | Posted 02.12.2015 | Travel
Ann Tashi Slater

We are drawn to places by our dreams, the dreams of our ancestors, and the collective dreaming of people through the centuries. These places are made special for us by what happened there, whether in our personal history or the larger history of the world.

Sunday Roundup

Arianna Huffington | Posted 12.25.2014 | Politics
Arianna Huffington

This week, Ebola arrived in New York City -- America's most crowded and most media-saturated metropolis. So, as word spread on Thursday, so did the hysteria. But thankfully, Ebola (or "Ebowla," as some christened it in honor of the infected doctor's sporting foray the night before his symptoms appeared) remains much harder to spread than rumor and misinformation. As threats go, Americans have a greater chance of dying from a bee sting than catching Ebola. Meanwhile, Canadians are dealing with this week's deadly shooting in Ottawa. The media response there stood in stark contrast to ours. Any changes, The Globe and Mail wrote, should not be "as a panicky reaction to a very small number of men" who "are not an existential threat." We could learn much from our northern neighbors. As we heed NY Mayor de Blasio's warning to stay calm, we should also remember Montaigne, who said, "There were many terrible things in my life, but most of them never happened."

The Power of Doubt

Christopher B. Nelson | Posted 04.06.2014 | College
Christopher B. Nelson

Why did he think that doubt is generative? Many people seem to believe the opposite, namely, that doubt is destructive -- or at least paralyzing. Others fear doubt, because it threatens their otherwise comfortable sense of certainty.

An Honest Ghost: A Novel by Rick Whitaker

Filip Noterdaeme | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Filip Noterdaeme

Taken out of their original context and ingeniously recycled into a mosaic of quotations, these sentences now tell a compelling new story that, according to the author, bears a close resemblance to his own life.

Paris Journal IV: La mécanique des dessous

Francis Levy | Posted 12.17.2013 | Travel
Francis Levy

You would think that "La mecanique des dessous", subtitled "une histoire indiscrete de la silhouette" current on view at the Musee des Arts Decoratif...

Intellectual Diplomacy: Deflating a Buzz Word

John Brown | Posted 04.14.2012 | Politics
John Brown

"Strategic intellectual competitiveness?" What does that jaw-breaker have to do with the pleasures of the mind -- or, indeed, with our new supposedly collaborative, interconnected new world of the 21st century?

What IBM's Jeopardy Machine Can Teach Us: Humility

Stephen Baker | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Stephen Baker

The supercomputer and the French philosopher are hardly soul mates. But they're both ready to avoid easy mental short-cuts.

Are Essays Viable in the Twenty-First Century?

Patrick Madden | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Patrick Madden

The term essay itself has fallen into disfavor. Just mention the word and watch people's eyes glaze over, hear them stammer out apologetic platitudes and poorly veiled excuses.

Bridging the Partisan Divide Through 'Intentional' Conversation

Hoyt Hilsman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Hoyt Hilsman

It may not be possible to wave a magic wand to dissolve all the substantive differences between the parties, but it is possible to restore some civil discourse to Congress -- and hopefully to the country.

The Power of Books in Prison

Kenneth Hartman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Kenneth Hartman

The first time I read Solzhenitsyn's The Cancer Ward I was in the hole for inciting a riot. At the time, I'd served only the first ten years of my life without the possibility of parole sentence.

Henry Miller and a Sunday in Big Sur

Alex Henry | Posted 05.25.2011 | Style
Alex Henry

I was not far into Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch by Henry Miller, but I was sufficiently delighted by what I had read that I decided I must visit this place.