Author: Lawrence Weschler
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2017-01-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
From Pulitzer Prize nominee Lawrence Weschler, a fascinating profile of Walter Murch, a film legend and amateur astrophysicist whose investigations could reshape our understanding of the universe. For film aficionados, Walter Murch is legendary--a three-time Academy Award winner, arguably the most admired sound and film editor in the world for his work on Apocalypse Now, The Godfather trilogy, The English Patient, and many others. Outside of the studio, his mind is wide-ranging; his passion, pursued for several decades, has been astrophysics, in particular the rehabilitation of Titius-Bode, a long-discredited 18th century theory regarding the patterns by which planets and moons array themselves in gravitational systems across the universe. Though as a consummate outsider he's had a hard time attracting any sort of comprehensive hearing from professional astrophysicists, Murch has made advances that even some of them find intriguing, including a connection between Titius Bode and earlier notions--going back past Kepler and Pythagorus--of musical harmony in the heavens. Unfazed by rejection, ever probing, Murch perseveres in the highest traditions of outsider science. Lawrence Weschler brings Murch's quest alive in all its seemingly quixotic, yet still plausible, splendor, probing the basis for how we know what we know, and who gets to say. "The wholesale rejection of alternative theories has repeatedly held back the progress of vital science," Weschler observes, citing early twentieth-century German amateur Alfred Wegener, whose speculations about continental drift were ridiculed at first, only to be accepted as fact decades later. Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin says "It is controversy that brings science alive"--and Murch's quest does that in spades. His fascination with the way the planets and their moons are arranged opens up the field of celestial mechanics for general readers, sparking an awareness of the vast and (to us) invisible forces constantly at play in the universe.
Author: Lawrence Weschler
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2000-11-15
Boggs: A Comedy of Values teases out these transactions and their sometimes dramatic legal consequences, following Boggs on a larkish, though at the same time disconcertingly profound, econo-philosophic chase. For in a madcap Socratic fashion, Boggs is raising all sorts of truly fundamental questions - what is it that we value in art, or, for that matter, in money? Indeed, how do we place a value on anything at all? And in particular, why do we, why should we, how can we place such trust in anything as confoundingly insubstantial as paper money?
Author: Lawrence Weschler
Release Date: 2006
From a cuneiform tablet to a Chicago prison, from the depths of the cosmos to the text on our T-shirts, art historian and journalist Lawrence Weschler finds strange connections wherever he looks. The farther one travels (through geography, through art, through science, through time), the more everything seems to converge -- at least, it does through Weschler's giddy, brilliant eyes. Weschler combines his keen insights into art (both contemporary and Renaissance), his years of experience as a chronicler of the fall of Communism, and his triumphs and failures as the father of a teenage girl into a series of essays that are sure to illuminate, educate, and astound.
Author: Lawrence Weschler
Release Date: 2013-01-02
In recent years as countries around the globe have begun to move from dictatorial to more democratic systems of governance, no more traumatic (or dramatic) ethical problem has arisen than what to do with the previous regime’s torturers. In most cases, the security and military apparatuses, responsible for the overwhelming majority of human-rights abuses, still retain tremendous power—and will not abide any settling of accounts. Now, New Yorker staff reporter Lawrence Weschler tells the extraordinary story of how, against tremendous odds, torture victims and human-rights activists in two Latin American countries—Brazil and Uruguay—tried to bring their torturers to justice and to rehabilitate their whole societies from harrowing periods of silence and repression. In this first of his two accounts, he tells how a tiny group of torture victims, clerics, and human-rights activists in Brazil launched an extremely risky, nonviolent plot to get even with the former torturers by publishing an indisputable account of their savage system of repression—indisputable because it is drawn from the regime’s own files. In the second, set in Uruguay, he tells how a more broadly-based movement attempted to bring to light the dark history of a military regime engaged in more political incarceration per capita than any other on earth at that time. In this illuminating and beautifully written book (portions of which appeared in five issues of The New Yorker), Weschler examines what a small number of individuals can do to retrieve history and truth from the hands of torturers.
Author: Tom Green
Publisher: CRC Press
Release Date: 2010-03-31
Everything has a beginning. None was more profound—and quite as unexpected—than Information Technology. Here for the first time is the untold story of how our new age came to be and the bright boys who made it happen. What began on the bare floor of an old laundry building eventually grew to rival in size the Manhattan Project. The unexpected consequence of that journey was huge---what we now know as Information Technology. For sixty years the bright boys have been totally anonymous while their achievements have become a way of life for all of us. “Bright Boys” brings them home. By 1950 they’d built the world’s first real-time computer. Three years later they one-upped themselves when they switched on the world’s first digital network. In 1953 their work was met with incredulity and completely overlooked. By 1968 their work was gospel. Today, it’s the way of the world. Special Foreword by Jay W. Forrester Includes notes by chapter, bibliography, index, and portfolio of archival photography. Tom Green talks about his book in a recent video available on YouTube.
Author: William E. Burrows
Publisher: Forge Books
Release Date: 2007-04-01
Using Space to Save Earth Veteran science journalist William E Burrows offers a bold new mission for the U.S. space program: to protect the Earth from the ever-growing number of perils that threaten our way of life – and even our very survival. We are living through one of the most dangerous times in human history. Nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons technology are proliferating, and missile technology is falling into more and more hands. Extreme natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes, are becoming increasingly costly – not only in dollars, but in lives – as population expands. Environmental crises threaten to provoke massive famines and widespread social collapse. Asteroids the size of battleships streak within striking distance of the earth every year. One strategy offers the best hope of protecting us from all of these dangers – a revitalized national space program that coordinates efforts in global defense, in environmental protection, in communications, and in military security. The Survival Imperative offers an impassioned argument for this bold initiative. To demonstrate the urgency of his cause, Burrows presents a vivid scenario: an impact by a moderately large asteroid that triggers a series of nuclear exchanges, environmental devastation, and the slow disintegration of civilization. And he examines the existing space program from the heady days of the Moon landing through the political compromises that have characterized the history of NASA in the 35 years following our retreat from the Moon. Most of all, Burrows warns that the primary obstacle to achieving a true planetary defense program is not financial or scientific, but social–an unwillingness to acknowledge the urgency of the crisis, and to take the political risks needed to address it. The question, says Burrows, is not whether we can do it, but whether we will act before it's too late. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Author: Steven Poole
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Release Date: 2007-12-01
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
What do the phrases “pro-life,” “intelligent design,” and “the war on terror” have in common? Each of them is a name for something that smuggles in a highly charged political opinion. Words and phrases that function in this special way go by many names. Some writers call them “evaluative-descriptive terms.” Others talk of “terministic screens” or discuss the way debates are “framed.” Author Steven Poole calls them Unspeak. Unspeak represents an attempt by politicians, interest groups, and business corporations to say something without saying it, without getting into an argument and so having to justify itself. At the same time, it tries to unspeak — in the sense of erasing or silencing — any possible opposing point of view by laying a claim right at the start to only one way of looking at a problem. Recalling the vocabulary of George Orwell’s 1984, as an Unspeak phrase becomes a widely used term of public debate, it saturates the mind with one viewpoint while simultaneously makes an opposing view ever more difficult to enunciate. In this fascinating book, Poole traces modern Unspeak and reveals how the evolution of language changes the way we think.
The author of the acclaimed Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo now moves on to Rwanda for a gripping look at a country caught still in political and social unrest, years after the genocide that shocked the world. Bad News is the story of Anjan Sundaram's time running a journalist's training program out of Kigali, the capital city of one of Africa's most densely populated countries, Rwanda. President Kagame’s regime, which seized power after the genocide that ravaged its population in 1994, is often held up as a beacon for progress and modernity in Central Africa and is the recipient of billions of dollars each year in aid from Western governments and international organizations. Lurking underneath this shining vision of a modern, orderly state, however, is the powerful climate of fear springing from the government's brutal treatment of any voice of dissent. "You can't look and write," a policeman ominously tells Sundaram, as he takes notes at a political rally. In Rwanda, the testimony of the individual—the evidence of one's own experience—is crushed by the pensée unique: the single way of thinking and speaking, proscribed by those in power. A vivid portrait of a country at an extraordinary and dangerous place in its history, Bad News is a brilliant and urgent parable on freedom of expression, and what happens when that power is seized.
Author: Lawrence Weschler
Release Date: 2013-03-20
Genre: Social Science
Finalist for Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction Finalist for National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction Pronged ants, horned humans, a landscape carved on a fruit pit--some of the displays in David Wilson's Museum of Jurassic Technology are hoaxes. But which ones? As he guides readers through an intellectual hall of mirrors, Lawrence Weschler revisits the 16th-century "wonder cabinets" that were the first museums and compels readers to examine the imaginative origins of both art and science.
Author: Trudy Lieberman
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Through case studies of four key policy debates--tax reform, health care, social security, and school vouchers--this powerful expos demonstrates how conservative organizations have discredited their opponents, influenced the media, and engineered sweeping changes in public opinion and public policy.
An award-winning science writer takes us into the lab to answer some of life's biggest questions: How was the universe created? And could we create our own? What if you could become God, with the ability to build a whole new universe? As startling as it sounds, modern physics suggests that within the next two decades, scientists may be able to perform this seemingly divine feat-to concoct an entirely new baby universe, complete with its own physical laws, star systems, galaxies, and even intelligent life. A Big Bang in a Little Room takes the reader on a journey through the history of cosmology and unravels-particle by particle, theory by theory, and experiment by experiment-the ideas behind this provocative claim made by some of the most respected physicists alive today. Beyond simply explaining the science, A Big Bang in a Little Room also tells the story of the people who have been laboring for more than thirty years to make this seemingly impossible dream a reality. What has driven them to continue on what would seem, at first glance, to be a quixotic quest? This mind-boggling book reveals that we can nurse other worlds in the tiny confines of a lab, raising a daunting prospect: Was our universe, too, brought into existence by a daring creator?
More than twenty short works by the Pulitzer Prize-finalist author of Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder include a profile of film director Roman Polanski, a furniture designer's struggles with Parkinson's disease, and David Hockney's unusual experiments with photography. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
A humorous compilation of errors, inaccuracies, and misunderstandings from the pages of The New York Times encompasses everything from careless oversights and historical goofs to flopped photographs, misidentifications, and whimsical typos. Original.