I read Jim Holt’s “existential detective story” Why Does the World Exist? several months ago, but I can’t resist the urge to share it with fellow restless spirits this week. Spurred by last week’s pilot of the follow up to Carl Sagan’s classic television series Cosmos, and by this recent article on the theory of inflation in the instant after the Big Bang, I found myself thinking back to Holt’s exploration of the most difficult question human beings have confronted: why is there something rather than nothing? With insatiable curiosity for the subject, Holt surveys various answers mankind has come up with so far, and meets with a diverse cast of scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, theologists, and more, in his quest. While these explanations are presented elegantly and simply enough for someone with very limited scientific inclinations to understand, I would without a doubt describe the experience of reading this book as an intellectual work-out that is bound to leave you feeling even more “restless” and inquisitive than before.
After recently attending a screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky's new film, The Dance of Reality, at MoMA, we've been replaying its vibrant, mystical scenes in our heads—and the trailer on our screens—until we can watch it again in cinemas this May. Also worth watching is the film's "manifesto," in which Mr. Jodorowsky discusses the rationale behind starting this new project after a 23 year hiatus, and shares a colorful anecdote or two.
A great deal of recent research has shown how social media has changed our minds and emotions, but can it change repressive regimes? Emily Parker says yes. Authoritarian governments fear massive collective action more than anything else, and there’s no better tool than the Internet to facilitate it.