samplings from Facebook

My smart friends are posting wicked cool stuff:
Flaws of Gravity, a review by Christopher Hitchens of a new biography of Isaac Newton.
Critical Art on Trial, about a group of tactical media practitioners doing digital disobedience (among other fusions of art, pedagogy, radical political action). Their activist work includes an installation that “encourage[s] citizens to make informed decisions about the biological and chemical substances which have become such a part of everyday life.” They’ve gotten into some trouble for this, leaving them (and us) to wonder “precisely what kinds of communities&emdash;real or virtual&emdash;we will be able to make” – ever.
In the review cited above, Hitchens quotes Sir Leslie Stephen, who “claimed genius was ‘the capacity for taking trouble.'” Taking, you notice, not necessarily (or only) making. Intriguing.
Relating to a lively discussion (currently in a bit of hiatus) via email with some friends, Hitchens also writes this:

the day is not far off when we will be able to contemplate physics as another department&emdash;perhaps the most dynamic department&emdash;of the humanities. I would never have believed this when I first despairingly tried to lap the water of Cambridge, but that was before Carl Sagan and Lawrence Krauss and Steven Weinberg and Stephen Hawking fused language and science (and humor) and clambered up to stand, as Newton himself once phrased it, “on the shoulders of giants.”

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