A genial greeting to you all, gentle readers. Our opportunity, as your most humble and obedient servant, to pick some things you may have missed which we nevertheless think the well educated man or woman about town ought to know about.
Five great reads from Nature
Here’s five, (count ’em, five!) great science books as recommended by Nature. For us the critical read is the one on book burning. When you start attacking knowledge, you are so insecure that you’ll soon move on to people.
Andrew Robinson’s pick of the top five science books to read this week includes book-burning through the ages, the Arctic laid bare, and capitalism under scrutiny.
Brexit….can Britain make it?
Talking of Capitalism, what will be the economic future of the UK in after Brexit? One view is from Sarah Butler of the Guardian, who predicts quite a revival of old style manufactures including textiles, foodstuffs and DIY hardwares. We would observe: that’s OK as far as it goes- but surely the whole point of both The British Empire and the EU was to give businesses large markets to benefit from economy of scale?
We thank Mr Gary Herbert of Buckinghamshire for this story
Why our people are morally superior to terrorists like Usman Khan
If you want to read a story about decent people and their response to the awful terrorist attack at London’s Fishmongers Hall try this piece from The Conversation by Katharina Karcher. Contrast the essential humanity and learned responses of our people with the blind fanaticism of the terrorist. How fitting that in free society, a woman is able to write his dreadful epitaph!
Does Life have Agency?
Anyone who had any sort of Biological education back in the nineteen seventies was taught “everything living beings do is all the result of chemical laws acting on genes and molecules”. ” They have no independent, goal seeking concept.” Uber-reductionism in other words. It was convenient to believe that the question was settled-but is it? Here’s a rather profound piece from Philip Ball in Aeon which looks at the matter from the point of view of information physics. If you like to see the apple cart upset, here’s the one for you.
We thank Mr Peter Seymour of Hertfordshire for this one
Luck is one of the best things you can have
Yep, some of the best medical discoveries ever were like a flutter on the horses. Here’s Adam Taylor in The Conversation
Quote of the week
It comes from our indefatigable correspondent Mr Peter Seymour of Hertfordshire, in a comment about Mr Donald Trump and his supporters.
“If there is such a thing as the Human Soul, then the Republicans seem to have about three mortgages out on theirs”
See you Monday
#capitalism #brexit #bookburning #manufacturing #europeanunion #donaldjtrump #biologicalagency #terrorism #georgia #pennsylvania #biology #livingthings