“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
George Orwell


depends upon how you look at it!
Pass it on! Tell a friend!


The Misinformation Age
how false beliefs spread

The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread by [Cailin O'Connor, James Owen Weatherall]

By Cailin O’Connor and James Owen Weatherall 

Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite bad, even fatal, consequences for the people who hold them?

Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the spread and persistence of false beliefs. It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it (apparently) irrelevant to many people whether they believe true things or not?



Republic of Lies
American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power

Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power by [Anna Merlan]

By Anna Merlan

A riveting tour through the landscape and meaning of modern conspiracy theories, exploring the causes and tenacity of this American malady, from Birthers to Pizzagate and beyond.

American society has always been fertile ground for conspiracy theories, but with the election of Donald Trump, previously outlandish ideas suddenly attained legitimacy. Trump himself is a conspiracy enthusiast: from his claim that global warming is a Chinese hoax to the accusations of “fake news,” he has fanned the flames of suspicion.



The New Anarchy

The New Anarchy — In The Atlantic’s Cover Story, Adrienne LaFrance reports that America is facing an extremist violence it does not know how to stop.



“People build their political identities not around shared values but around a hatred for their foes, a phenomenon known as negative partisanship.”
— Adrienne LaFrance

The New Anarchy

By Adrian LaFrance — The Atlantic

We face a new phase of domestic terror, one characterized by radicalized individuals with shape-shifting ideologies willing to kill their political enemies.



“A consequence of relative motion is that who or what is moving is always a matter of point of view.”
— Lee Smolin, Time Reborn


Our Time Perception Flips at Midlife

By Ann Douglas — Psychology Today

We start thinking about how much time we have left—and how to use that time.

  • Midlife is a time of self-reflection—a time for considering one’s past, present, and future.
  • Time perception flips. Instead of someone focusing on how long they’ve lived, they start thinking about how many years they have left.
  • This encourages them to zero in on the relationships and activities that matter most.


Quantum Entanglement
isn’t all that spooky after all

By Chris Ferrie — Scientific American

The way we teach quantum theory conveys a spookiness that isn’t actually there.

Quantum entanglement is a complex phenomenon in physics that is usually poorly described as an invisible link between distant quantum objects that allows one to instantly affect the other. In reality, entanglement is better understood as information, but that’s admittedly bland. 



Nothing Doesn’t Exist
instead there is quantum foam
it’s  nothing, really

By Don Lincoln — Big Think

When you combine the Uncertainty Principle with Einstein’s famous equation, you get a mind-blowing result: Particles can come from nothing.

The laws of quantum mechanics are confusing, predicting that particles are also waves and that cats are simultaneously alive and dead. 



Quantum Computers:
What Is Q-Day? And What’s the Solution?


Quantum computers hold the promise of amazing advances in numerous fields. So why are cybersecurity experts so worried about Q-Day? What must be done now to prepare? 

Q-Day — The day that quantum computers will have the power to “break the Internet” — and its impact on global cybersecurity.



By Heinrich Päs– LIterary Hub

Quantum Mechanics is the science behind nuclear energy, smart phones, and particle collisions. Yet, almost a century after its discovery, there is still controversy over what the theory actually means. The problem is that its key element, the quantum-mechanical wave function describing atoms and subatomic particles, isn’t observable. 

This list contains 12 books that I find particularly enlightening about why quantum reality makes sense, what the counter-arguments are, and what quantum reality is.





Inside the Proton
the most complicated thing you could possibly imagine

By Samuel Velasco — Quanta Magazine

The positively charged particle at the heart of the atom is an object of unspeakable complexity, one that changes its appearance depending on how it is probed. We’ve attempted to connect the proton’s many faces to form the most complete picture yet.



How Do Bacteria Move?
scientists solve a 50-year mystery

By University of Virginia

Bacteria move themselves forward by coiling long, threadlike appendages into corkscrew forms that function as makeshift propellers.



What’s Gotten Into You
The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner

What's Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body's Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night's Dinner by [Dan Levitt]

By  Dan Levitt

 A wondrous, wildly ambitious, and vastly entertaining work of popular science that tells the awe-inspiring story of the elements that make up the human body, and how these building blocks of life traveled billions of miles and across billions of years to make us who we are.

Every one of us contains a billion times more atoms than all the grains of sand in the earth’s deserts. If you weigh 150 pounds, you’ve got enough carbon to make 25 pounds of charcoal, enough salt to fill a saltshaker, enough chlorine to disinfect several backyard swimming pools, and enough iron to forge a 3-inch nail.

But how did these elements combine to make us human? 



Book Review: What’s Gotten Into You

Review By Harvey Freedenberg — BookPage

Dan Levitt delivers a survey of life’s building blocks that’s intelligent, accessible and just sheer fun.

Even if the word science only conjures up bad memories of frog dissections and failed lab experiments, you’ll find much to enjoy in Dan Levitt’s What’s Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, From the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner. Levitt, a writer and producer of science and history documentaries, delivers a survey of life’s building blocks that’s intelligent, accessible and just sheer fun.

Levitt launches his inquiry with two fundamental questions: “What are we actually made of? And where did it come from?”



Why Time Passes Faster As You Age
Mind time cannot be measured on a watch.

By Ephrat Livni — QUARTZ

Mind time and clock time are two totally different things. They flow at varying rates.

The chronological passage of the hours, days, and years on clocks and calendars is a steady, measurable phenomenon. Yet our perception of time shifts constantly, depending on the activities we’re engaged in, our age, and even how much rest we get. 



What Is Happening “Now” Is Relative
In special relativity, the statement that two events happened at the same time is meaningless.

By Sabine Hossenfelder — BIG THINK

  • We always see things as they looked a little bit earlier, but we don’t normally notice this in everyday life. It gets even weirder, though. 
  •  In special relativity, the statement that two events happened at the same time is meaningless. 
  • Every event is “now” for someone.


“…every entity in the universe evolves dynamically, in interaction with everything else. This is the essence of the philosophy of relationalism…”
— Lee Smolin, Time Reborn


Carlo Rovelli Interview
“reality is not things but connections.”

By New Scientist

Inspired by the art of Cornelia Parker, physicist Carlo Rovelli explains the idea of relational quantum mechanics – and how it could resolve some key problems concerning the nature of reality.




Carlo Rovelli and Oliver Burkeman talk about time

By 5×15

Watch the FREE video!

You’ve Probably Seen Yourself in Your Memories
Remembering your life in the third person is a little creepy and surprisingly common.

By Jacob Stern — The Atlantic

Pick a memory. It could be as recent as breakfast or as distant as your first day of kindergarten. What matters is that you can really visualize it. Hold the image in your mind.

Now consider: Do you see the scene through your own eyes, as you did at the time? Or do you see yourself in it, as if you’re watching a character in a movie? Do you see it, in other words, from a first-person or a third-person perspective? Usually, we associate this kind of distinction with storytelling and fiction-writing. But like a story, every visual memory has its own implicit vantage point. 



The Big Misconception About Electricity
it doesn’t work the way you thought

By Veritasium

The misconception is that electrons carry potential energy around a complete conducting loop, transferring their energy to the load.

Watch the YouTube video!



Power Transmitted Over 98 Feet of Thin Air

By DAVID NIELD — Science Alert

We could one day charge our phones and tablets wirelessly through the air, thanks to newly developed technology.



Existential Physics
A Scientist’s Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions

By Sabine Hossenfelder

Not only can we not currently explain the origin of the universe, it is questionable we will ever be able to explain it. The notion that there are universes within particles, or that particles are conscious, is ascientific, as is the hypothesis that our universe is a computer simulation.  On the other hand, the idea that the universe itself is conscious is difficult to rule out entirely. 



“There is no antidote for our ability to fool ourselves except to keep the process of science moving so that errors are eventually forced into the light.”
— Lee Smolin, Time Reborn



Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution
The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum

By Lee Smolin

A daring new vision of quantum theory from one of the leading minds of contemporary physics

Quantum physics is the golden child of modern science. It is the basis of our understanding of atoms, radiation, and so much else, from elementary particles and basic forces to the behavior of materials. But for a century it has also been the problem child of science: it has been plagued by intense disagreements between its inventors, strange paradoxes, and implications that seem like the stuff of fantasy. Whether it’s Schrödinger’s cat–a creature that is simultaneously dead and alive–or a belief that the world does not exist independently of our observations of it, quantum theory challenges our fundamental assumptions about reality.




making sense of the quantum revolution

By Carlo Rovelli

One of the world’s most renowned theoretical physicists, Carlo Rovelli has entranced millions of readers with his singular perspective on the cosmos. In Helgoland, he examines the enduring enigma of quantum theory. The quantum world Rovelli describes is as beautiful as it is unnerving.

Helgoland is a treeless island in the North Sea where the twenty-three-year-old Werner Heisenberg made the crucial breakthrough for the creation of quantum mechanics, setting off a century of scientific revolution. Full of alarming ideas (ghost waves, distant objects that seem to be magically connected, cats that appear both dead and alive), quantum physics has led to countless discoveries and technological advancements. Today our understanding of the world is based on this theory, yet it is still profoundly mysterious.

As scientists and philosophers continue to fiercely debate the meaning of the theory, Rovelli argues that its most unsettling contradictions can be explained by seeing the world as fundamentally made of relationships rather than substances. We and everything around us exist only in our interactions with one another. This bold idea suggests new directions for thinking about the structure of reality and even the nature of consciousness.

Rovelli makes learning about quantum mechanics an almost psychedelic experience. Shifting our perspective once again, he takes us on a riveting journey through the universe so we can better comprehend our place in it.



“The world of learning is so broad, and the human soul is so limited in power! We reach forth and strain every nerve, but we seize only a bit of the curtain that hides the infinite from us.”
— Maria Mitchell, 1854


Anaximander by Carlo Rovelli
and the nature of science

Reviewed By Tim Adams — The Guardian

Something very startling happened in Miletus, the ancient Greek city on the modern Turkish coast, in about 600BC. That something, physicist Carlo Rovelli argues in this enjoyable and provocative little book, occurred in the interaction between two of the place’s greatest minds. The first, Thales, one of the seven sages of ancient Greece, is often credited as the pioneer in applying deductive reasoning to geometry and astronomy; he used his mathematics, for example, to predict solar eclipses. Wondrous as this was, it was the reaction of the second man, Thales’s fellow citizen, Anaximander, 11 years his junior that, Rovelli argues, changed the world.

Anaximander: “the first human to argue that rain was caused by the observable movements of air and the heat of the sun rather than the intervention of gods”.



And the Birth of Science

Anaximander: And the Birth of Science by [Carlo Rovelli]

By Carlo Rovelli 

Over two millennia ago, the prescient insights of Anaximander paved the way for cosmology, physics, geography, meteorology, and biology, setting in motion a new way of seeing the world. His legacy includes the revolutionary ideas that the Earth floats in a void, that animals evolved, that the world can be understood in natural rather than supernatural terms, and that universal laws govern all phenomena. He introduced a new mode of rational thinking with an openness to uncertainty and the progress of knowledge.




“It seems progress in science often leaps out of dark corners and unexpected places.”
— Dan Levitt, What’s Gotten Into You


Quantum Entanglement
two atoms 20 miles apart


By quantum entangling two stationary atoms across 20 miles of fiber optic cable, researchers may have paved the way for the creation of a quantum internet.

A new quantum entanglement record has just been set by physicists at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) who successfully connected two rubidium atoms across 33 kilometers (20 miles) of fiber optic cable. The achievement represents a major milestone in the quest toward a quantum internet, which would allow for the instantaneous transmission of information between nodes in a network.



Quantum Entanglement Directly Observed
at the macroscopic scale

By David Nield — SCIENCE ALERT

Quantum entanglement is the binding together of two particles or objects, even though they may be far apart – their respective properties are linked in a way that’s not possible under the rules of classical physics. It’s a weird phenomenon that Einstein described as “spooky action at a distance”, but its weirdness is what makes it so fascinating to scientists.




Quantum Entanglement
wins the 2022 nobel prize in physics

By Ethan Siegel — BIG Think

There’s a simple but profound question that physicists, despite all we’ve learned about the Universe, cannot fundamentally answer: “What is real?” We know that particles exist, and we know that particles have certain properties when you measure them. But we also know that the very act of measuring a quantum state — or even allowing two quanta to interact with one another — can fundamentally alter or determine what you measure. An objective reality, devoid of the actions of an observer, does not appear to exist in any sort of fundamental way.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t rules that nature must obey.



The Universe Is Not Locally Real
the physics nobel prize winners prove it

By Daniel Garisto — Scientific American

Elegant experiments with entangled light have laid bare a profound mystery at the heart of reality.

One of the more unsettling discoveries in the past half century is that the universe is not locally real. “Real,” meaning that objects have definite properties independent of observation—an apple can be red even when no one is looking; “local” means objects can only be influenced by their surroundings, and that any influence cannot travel faster than light. Investigations at the frontiers of quantum physics have found that these things cannot both be true. 



How Our Reality May Be
the sum of all possible realities

A coffee mug displaying an equation.

By Kristina Armitage — Quanta Magazine

Richard Feynman’s path integral is both a powerful prediction machine and a philosophy about how the world is. But physicists are still struggling to figure out how to use it, and what it means.



History of Quantum Entanglement
that led to the nobel prize

By Hamish Johnston — Physics World

This episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast focuses on the 2022 Nobel Prize for Physics, which is shared by Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger for their experimental work on the quantum entanglement of photons.



Robotic Motion in Curved Space
defies standard laws of physics

By Georgia Institute of Technology

Researchers have proven that when bodies exist in curved spaces, they can in fact move without pushing against something.

When humans, animals, and machines move throughout the world, they always push against something, such as the ground, air, or water. Until recently, physicists thought this to be a constant, following the law of conservation momentum. However, scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) have now proven the opposite – when bodies exist in curved spaces, it turns out that they can in fact move without pushing against something.




The Wonderful World of Necrobotics
warning: this is creepy!

By James Vincent — The Verge

Scientists reanimate dead spiders as robot gripping claws

Why bother to design your own robots when you can just reuse what nature created?

This was the thought process behind a research project from engineers at Rice University who successfully transformed dead spiders into robotic gripping claws. The scientists have dubbed their new area of research “necrobotics” and say it could create cheap, effective, and biodegradable alternatives to current robotic systems.



How Do We Know That Time Exists?

By CORDIS — Phys.Org

The alarm goes off in the morning. You catch your morning train to the office. You take a lunch break. You catch your evening train back. You go for an hour’s run. Eat dinner. Go to bed. Repeat. Birthdays are celebrated, deaths commemorated. New countries are born, empires rise and fall. The whole of human existence is bound to the passing of time.

But we can’t see it and we can’t touch it. So, how do we know that it’s really there?



Portal Opens to Extra Time Dimension
just what we need, eh?

By Zeeya Merali  — Scientific American

Opening a portal to an extra time dimension—even just a theoretical one—sounds thrilling, but it was not the physicists’ original plan. 



Time Isn’t Simply Just Another Dimension

By Ethan Siegal — BIG Think

We live in a four-dimensional Universe, where matter and energy curve the fabric of spacetime. But time sure is different from space!

  • According to Einstein’s General Relativity, matter and energy curve the fabric of spacetime, and that curved spacetime determines the motion of matter and energy. 
  • But while spacetime itself is four dimensional, it can be decomposed into three spatial dimensions and one time dimension. 
  • Even though we understand the mathematics governing them magnificently, time has some fundamental differences from every other dimension; here’s what everyone should know.


We’re Floating Through Space at Dizzying Speeds
where are you really?

By Derya Ozdemir — Interesting Engineering

If you’ve ever wondered about your place in the vast enormity of the universe, this video is for you. In its latest video, Kurzgesagt, which is known for its top-notch animations paired with existential questions and satisfying answers about our universe, takes you on a journey showing how we are hurtling through space at breakneck speeds. 

Check out the amazing video!




Visualizing the Proton
a Physicists’ Innovative Animation Depicts the Subatomic World in a New Way

By Sarah Costello, MIT School of Science — SciTechDaily

Try to picture a proton — the tiny, positively charged particle within an atomic nucleus — and you may envision a familiar, textbook diagram: a bundle of billiard balls representing quarks and gluons. From the solid sphere model first proposed by John Dalton in 1803 to the quantum model put forward by Erwin Schrödinger in 1926, there is a storied timeline of physicists attempting to visualize the invisible.

Check out the amazing pictures!


Erwin Schrödinger
Why Did He Fail at Oxford?

Matin Durrani reviews:  Schrödinger in Oxford by David Clary

Troubled Times: After an unhappy three years in Oxford starting in 1933, Erwin Schrödinger returned to Austria.




The Neuroscience of Optical Illusions
“Reality” is constructed by your brain. Here’s what that means, and why it matters.

By Brian Resnick — Vox

“It’s really important to understand we’re not seeing reality,” says neuroscientist Patrick Cavanagh, a research professor at Dartmouth College and a senior fellow at Glendon College in Canada. “We’re seeing a story that’s being created for us.”



Collective Illusions
Conformity, Complicity, and the Science of Why We Make Bad Decisions

By Tod Rose

Much of our thinking is informed by false assumptions—making us dangerously mistrustful as a society and needlessly unhappy as individuals. 

The desire to fit in is one of the most powerful, least understood forces in society. 

As human beings, we continually act against our own best interests because our brains misunderstand what others believe. A complicated set of illusions driven by conformity bias distorts how we see the world around us.



Why Are We Pretending Covid Didn’t Happen?
Covid was devastating

By Emma Beddington — The Guardian

A recent book about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic details a ‘collective forgetting’ of the period. Our lack of Covid reckoning suggests history is repeating itself



Fossil Fuels Kill More People Than Covid
Why are we so blind to the harms of oil and gas?

By Rebecca Solnit — The Guardian

Were we able to perceive afresh the sheer scale of fossil fuel impact we might be horrified, but because this is an old problem too many don’t see it as a problem.

If fossil fuel use and impact had suddenly appeared overnight, their catastrophic poisonousness and destructiveness would be obvious. But they have so incrementally become part of everyday life nearly everywhere on Earth that those impacts are largely accepted or ignored.

Why is that?



The Climate Book
the facts and the solutions

The Climate Book: The Facts and the Solutions by [Greta Thunberg]

By Greta Thunberg

We still have time to change the world. From Greta Thunberg, the world’s leading climate activist, comes the essential handbook for making it happen.

You might think it’s an impossible task: secure a safe future for life on Earth, at a scale and speed never seen, against all the odds. There is hope – but only if we listen to the science before it’s too late.




Why Do We Believe Liars?

By F. Diane Barth — NBC News

Denying reality, or not crediting something we know is true, is a way to unconsciously protect ourselves from the pain of an untruth.

It is not unusual for people to believe someone, even when they have substantial proof that the are being lied to. Why do we continue to believe someone, even when we have rational and substantial evidence that they are lying to us?

With denial we can reassure ourselves that everything is okay, even when it is not. The reassurance can give a frightened psyche time and space to work on possible solutions, which is harder to do when you are in a state of panic, anxiety or dread.



The Knowledge Illusion
Why We Never Think Alone

By Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach

We all think we know more than we actually do.

Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don’t even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individual-oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. The Knowledge Illusion contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the community around us.



Consciousness Is Irrelevant to Quantum Mechanics
an interview with Carlo Rovelli

Interviewed By Alexis Papazoglou — Editor for IAI News

In this interview, Carlo Rovelli explains Heisenberg’s anti-realist motivations, clarifies the role of the “observer” in quantum mechanics, and articulates his relational interpretation of the theory, according to which reality is a network of interactions.



Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by [Carlo Rovelli]

By Carlo Rovelli

This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein’s general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. 



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