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Friday, April 1, 2016

The Great Mystery Of Mathematics Is Its Lack Of Mystery, by Scott Aaronson, Aeon

In one sense, there’s less mystery in mathematics than there is in any other human endeavour. In math, we can really understand things, in a deeper way than we ever understand anything else. (When I was younger, I used to reassure myself during suspense movies by silently reciting the proof of some theorem: here, at least, was a certainty that the movie couldn’t touch.) So how is it that many people, notably including mathematicians, feel that there’s something ‘mysterious’ about this least mysterious of subjects? What do they mean?

Generation Anthropocene: How Humans Have Altered The Planet For Ever, by Robert Mcfarlane, The Guardian

We are living in the Anthropocene age, in which human influence on the planet is so profound – and terrifying – it will leave its legacy for millennia. Politicians and scientists have had their say, but how are writers and artists responding to this crisis?

The Nest: A Tale Of Family, Fortune, And Dysfunction, by Amy Weiss-Meyer, The Atlantic

Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's much-hyped debut pokes fun at a privileged New York clan’s money troubles.

Let All The Restless Creatures Go, by Sara Lippmann