The Varieties of Artistic Experience

As most any musician will tell you, the music industry just isn’t what it used to be. While there are a variety of reasons for this decline, the classical pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard believes one trend is proving particularly detrimental: the tendency among artists to worry solely about the fate of their own genre. What he suggests, despite his fear of watching musicians perform live, is an industry-wide movement—from rock and pop stars to classically trained cellists—to secure the place of music in society.


The pianist also reflects on the intense love of music that drove him, as a child, to spend a year straight with a Wagner concert, and that continues to fuel his ardent discipline toward his work. Yet, as he explains, when it comes to crafting his concerts, he is inspired by far more than just music. From Kandinsky and Rimbaud to the continual interplay between conscious and unconscious experience, designing the perfect piece draws upon all of life’s hidden features.

Plants have awareness and intelligence, argue scientists

Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.

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Surprising Science
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Human extinction! Don't panic; think about it like a philosopher.

Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.

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Politics & Current Affairs
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Space is dead: A challenge to the standard model of quantum mechanics

Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.

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  • Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
  • In nature, properties of Particle B may depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
  • In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.
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