Question Time: Technology and the Brain
Socrates railed against the invention of the alphabet, worrying that the written word would erode human memory. Imagine how he would have felt about Google Maps and iPhone calendar alerts.
Technological revolutions have always spawned both opportunity and panic. Today, digital technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and research into its effects on the human brain is struggling to…
Meshel Laurie on Buddhism
Comedian, radio host and official Australian ambassador for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – Meshel Laurie is a much-loved, familiar figure in the media, but many people don’t know that she’s also a dedicated Buddhist.
Meditation is something she’s passionate about sharing – and an integral part of her own, otherwise hectic, daily routine (one she describes as her…
Life on Mars: Carmel Johnston
‘You can fake your personality for a couple of weeks, at most ... But over the long term, your true personality will come out.’
Carmel Johnston, an environmental scientist, was the crew commander of NASA’s most recent Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) project. As part of this mission, she spent an entire year living with five other scientists…
More Than Words: Translation and Interpretation
Gregory Rabassa, revered translator of Gabriel García Márquez, wrote that ‘every act of communication is an act of translation.’ Even when speaking the same tongue, we so often get our wires crossed. It’s not just words but gestures, tone, cultural context and, of course, silence that convey meaning – intentionally or otherwise. Translation between languages is at once fraught (Umberto Eco called…
There is only one living writer whose work has traversed the subjects of slavery, poker, commercial nomenclature and zombies. Colson Whitehead is audacious, inventive and utterly unpredictable. This singular voice in American literature joins host Michael Williams for a conversation about race and resistance in fiction.
No matter the subject, the acclaimed New York-based novelist always delivers strange and striking slants…
Roxane Gay’s latest book, a collection of short fiction called Difficult Women. The pages of the book are populated with resilient, perverse, bold, provocative, hilarious and heroic female characters.
It’s some of these very same qualities that have propelled Gay herself to feminist stardom. As a writer, and as a distinctly 21st-century voice in American feminism, Gay embraces complexity…
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