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A Counted People

The Times of Israel recently reported that archaeologists had uncovered a “miniscule biblical stone weight” from excavations of the foundations of the Western Wall of the Second Jewish Temple. It is round, about the size of a marble, and marked with the Hebrew word beka. . . . . Continue Reading »

Postnatural Intelligence

Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus belongs to the literature of the uncanny. But the young Mary ­Shelley who wrote it—or rather, the teenaged Mary Godwin who sketched it in a summerhouse near Geneva—was nothing if not canny. Her 1818 debut novel was and still is hugely . . . . Continue Reading »

Let’s Rebalance

On election night, Tuesday, November 6, returns came in. There were wins and losses. My blood pressure rose and fell, exulting in victories and anguished in defeats. But morning came, and the evening’s ardor had drained away during the night’s sleep. More dispassionate, I mulled over a question . . . . Continue Reading »

Phenomenology of the Hand

If you teach high school or college students, or have kids who are passing through those ­places, and if your duties include grading papers, or you watch your kids struggle with writing assignments, I have a piece of advice. Tell them to try composing by hand, with pen and paper, not on the . . . . Continue Reading »

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