Reading List for April 21, 2017

Bandit Resurrections: Who Was the Real Sundance Kid? Daniel Buck writes about the longstanding tradition to trot out a dead relative as the authentic persona of some notorious outlaw, mainly for fame and glory.

Beyond the Origins of Totalitarianism The New Republic discusses not only political theorist Hannah Arendt’s description of how free societies may devolve into dictatorships, but how they avoid and get out of them as well.

What Happened to Turkey’s Ancient Utopia As several decades of excavation of the neolithic city Çatalhöyük is completed, Jennifer Hattam writes about recent scholarship into what caused the decline of what appears to have been a city of equals, without centralized structures of social control like religion and government.

What is the Historical Evidence that Jesus Lived and Died? In the Guardian, biblical historian Dr Simon Gathercole answers the question on the label.

Facial Discrimination Neil Steinberg, in an article published on Mosaic, squirms verily as he encounters one of his deepest fears, people who have facial differences (formerly, facial disfiguration). Steinberg’s personal journey aside, the article does a good job looking into a number of types of facial differences, how science is trying to correct some of them, and how many people are simply living with them in societies that highly value attractiveness.

How to Read a Poem Edward Hirsch writes an essay about how one can’t take a non-defeatist approach to understanding poems. A good primer if you, like me, consider yourself too dense or impatient to truly appreciate poetry.

Is Matter Conscious? Hedda Hassel Mørch bends the mind with this brief overview of how some physicists and philosophers seek to solve two Hard Problems (those of consciousness and matter) by reversing the current understanding of consciousness as the software we experience reality through into consciousness as hardware instead. Probably best to read the How to Read a Poem essay first, as its points on appreciating extremely difficult to understand writing applies to this article as well.

 

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