Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “technology”

The Möbius Strip of Remembering and Forgetting: Teju Cole on How the Paradox of Photography Clarifies the Central Anxiety of Existence
The Möbius Strip of Remembering and Forgetting: Teju Cole on How the Paradox of Photography Clarifies the Central Anxiety of Existence

“Photography is at the nerve center of our paradoxical memorial impulses: we need it there for how it helps us frame our losses, but we can also sense it crowding in on ongoing experience, imposing closure on what should still be open.”

read article

It from Bit: Pioneering Physicist John Archibald Wheeler on Information, the Nature of Reality, and Why We Live in a Participatory Universe
It from Bit: Pioneering Physicist John Archibald Wheeler on Information, the Nature of Reality, and Why We Live in a Participatory Universe

“All things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe… Observer-participancy gives rise to information.”

read article

Swifter Than a Bird Flies: An Astonishing Account of Riding the First Passenger Train and How the Invention of Railroads Changed Human Consciousness
Swifter Than a Bird Flies: An Astonishing Account of Riding the First Passenger Train and How the Invention of Railroads Changed Human Consciousness

“When I closed my eyes this sensation of flying was quite delightful, and strange beyond description.”

read article

The Evolution of the Book, Animated
The Evolution of the Book, Animated

From stretched animal skins to metal alloys to pixels, an inquiry into what makes a book.

read article

The Annihilation of Space and Time: Rebecca Solnit on How Muybridge Froze the Flow of Existence, Shaped Visual Culture, and Changed Our Consciousness
The Annihilation of Space and Time: Rebecca Solnit on How Muybridge Froze the Flow of Existence, Shaped Visual Culture, and Changed Our Consciousness

“Before, every face, every place, every event, had been unique, seen only once and then lost forever among the changes of age, light, time. The past existed only in memory and interpretation, and the world beyond one’s own experience was mostly stories.”

read article

How the Bit Was Born: Claude Shannon and the Invention of Information
How the Bit Was Born: Claude Shannon and the Invention of Information

“Information is what our world runs on: the blood and the fuel, the vital principle … transforming every branch of knowledge.”

read article

How Horses Civilized Humanity, Shrank the Distance of Love, and Shaped the Way We Conduct Our Romantic Relationships
How Horses Civilized Humanity, Shrank the Distance of Love, and Shaped the Way We Conduct Our Romantic Relationships

“People no longer conducted romances as they did before… The horse revamped the limits of our personal freedom.”

read article

Aristotle’s Aperture: An Animated History of Photography, from the Camera Obscura to the Camera Phone
Aristotle’s Aperture: An Animated History of Photography, from the Camera Obscura to the Camera Phone

…and how a greedy attitude to intellectual property made the camera’s primary competitor perish.

read article

George Eliot on Leisure and Our Greatest Source of Restlessness
George Eliot on Leisure and Our Greatest Source of Restlessness

“Even idleness is eager now… Old Leisure was quite a different personage… Life was not a task to him, but a sinecure.”

read article

The Best Science Books of 2015
The Best Science Books of 2015

From Earth’s largest-hearted creature to the interconnectedness of the universe, by way of Einstein and artificial intelligence.

read article

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I receive a small percentage of its price, which goes straight back into my own colossal biblioexpenses. Privacy policy.