A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s Ten Commandments of Teaching. By Maria Popova.
Misreading China's Economy. January’s global stock market rout was initially triggered by mounting concerns over China’s shrinking industrial sector.
But such concerns are unjustified. By now, it is clear that Beijing is doing everything in its power to rebalance its economy from industrial to service-based. In 2013, services overtook the industrial sector in both total size and pace of growth, and they now account for almost 50 percent of China’s GDP. Yet the analytical tools that we use to assess China’s performance haven’t caught up with the structural changes now under way, which means that observers can easily get China wrong. The Supremely Old, Supremely Sharp, Supreme Court. Justice Antonin Scalia, more than any other Supreme Court justice, set the parameters for the constitutional debates of this era.
The sharpness of his mind and the rigor of his jurisprudence were regularly on display up until his passing. As those of us fortunate enough to have directly engaged with him in recent years can attest, up until his last breath, there was no indication that he had dulled in his ability to navigate the incredible intellectual challenges that were his job description. By working until the age of 79, Scalia had surpassed by a decade and a half the typical retirement age for an American worker, but his mental longevity was no exception: The typical Supreme Court justice does not hang up his or her robe until reaching the age of nearly 80. At 82, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remains at the peak of her powers and serves as the leading voice for the so-called liberal wing of the Court, as did Justice John Paul Stevens up until his retirement at 90. China’s Rich Kids Head West. On a crisp Sunday morning in November, Weymi Cho picked me up at my hotel, in downtown Vancouver, in her new car, a white Maserati GranTurismo with a red leather interior.
She had slept only two hours the night before. A new karaoke machine had been installed in her apartment, a four-million-dollar condo with a view of the city’s harbor, and she and some friends had spent the night singing and drinking Veuve Clicquot. Weymi is twenty years old and slim, with large eyes and waist-length hair that cascaded, on this occasion, over a silk Dior blouse. She has a reserved, almost aristocratic air. It was a little past ten, and we were going shopping. Music Can't Last Forever, Not Even on the Internet. Recorded music was once incredibly fragile.
Before the days of digital music, an independent band might press only a few thousand, or even a few hundred copies of a vinyl record. Those albums only became more rare over the years as copies were scratched, broken, or thrown out. Likewise, master recordings could be damaged or lost, making the record difficult or impossible to reissue.
But today, thanks to the wonders of digitization, recordings can be backed up and saved indefinitely. When a formerly obscure band hits it big, fans can instantly find their early work, without having to hunt it down in used record stores or waiting for a reissue, thanks to streaming music services. The trouble is that, even as music has become more durable, it has—paradoxically—also become more ephemeral. SoundCloud lost $44.19 million dollars in 2014–even as it increased revenue to $15.37 million. Gravitational Waves Discovered at Long Last. Ripples in space-time caused by the violent mergers of black holes have been detected, 100 years after these “gravitational waves” were predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity and half a century after physicists set out to look for them.
The landmark discovery was reported today by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Advanced LIGO) team, confirming months of rumors that have surrounded the group’s analysis of its first round of data. Astrophysicists say the detection of gravitational waves opens up a new window on the universe, revealing faraway events that can’t be seen by optical telescopes, but whose faint tremors can be felt, even heard, across the cosmos.
“We have detected gravitational waves. We did it!” Announced David Reitze, executive director of the 1,000-member team, at a National Science Foundation press conference today in Washington, D.C. M. Perceiving the waves took patience and a delicate touch. Audio Player C. Fever Pitch. Justice Scalia's Outsized Legacy. In 1996, Antonin Scalia assessed the legacy of the great liberal Justice William Brennan: “He is probably the most influential justice of the century.”
Depending on future events, the legacy of the great conservative Scalia—who died Saturday at 79—may eclipse that of Brennan. Scalia’s death is a monumental event; a Supreme Court without him is difficult to imagine. His legacy is so large and complex that it will take weeks simply to catalogue the questions he leaves behind. By all accounts, in private Scalia was a figure of considerable charm to liberals and conservatives alike. As a public man, he was by turns impish, saturnine, quarrelsome, and penetrating. On constitutional questions, however, his approach was almost the reverse: The Constitution must be read as it was “originally understood”—requiring historical research to determine the “original public meaning” of such terms as “the right to keep and bear arms” and “cruel and unusual punishment.” Bernie Sanders’ lack of religion makes him better for America. When politicians hit the campaign trail, even the least devout candidates have a tendency to find religion.
But recent comments from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suggest this hypocritical all-American tradition may be on its way out. In an interview published Jan. 26 in the Washington Post, Sanders says he “is not actively involved with organized religion.”