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Advancing in Place

From the December 2021 Print Edition

We’re stuck. The signal innovations of modern times—mass water purification, electricity, automobiles, modern manufacturing processes—are behind us. This slowing of invention presents a problem. We are trapped by the imperative of ever more innovation even as innovation becomes harder . . . . Continue Reading »

Toward Dystopia

From the January 2015 Print Edition

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by nick bostrom oxford, 352 pages, $29.95 Since cofounding the World Transhumanist Association in 1998, the Swedish-born Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has attempted to give a serious academic mien to the movement known as transhumanism. Transhumanists . . . . Continue Reading »

Explaining Agamben

From the January 2014 Print Edition

Several years ago, Giorgio Agamben began one of his lectures by asking why he had made law and theo­logy the areas of his recent investigation. “A first answer,” he said, “which is obviously a joke, but every joke has a serious core, would be, because these are the only two fields in which . . . . Continue Reading »


From the April 2013 Print Edition

In God’s Shadow: Politics in the Hebrew Bible by Michael Walzer Yale, 256 pages, $28 In the Bible, argues Michael Walzer, God casts a shadow over human politics, making it hard to see that human beings are at work. The Pentateuch’s different law codes, for example, bear silent witness to . . . . Continue Reading »