Sep 1, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170901


This week there is an article on a favourite subject of mine 'Distraction', check out Attention Crisis and see if you can beat the odds and read the article all in one sitting. Also this week we look at fantasy writing, how quantum mechanics just got easier to understand and more.

Don't forget to check out Discover | An Oath of Dogs and some bonus material on my YouTube channel.

So when it's time to relax this weekend, grab your favourite beverage and have a read of the following articles.




n an age where authors and artists like VC Andrews and Tupac go on producing for their corporate masters long after they have died, Terry Pratchett has pulled off the impossible.

Why is there no road to the mighty fortress-city of Minas Tirith in either the books or the movie? Gandalf’s initial approach reveals a broad plain and the menacing flames of Mordor in the distance. Faramir returns—then is dragged back—over browned grass…but not on a road. The same is true of Edoras, seat of the Horse Lords. No road.


A review of The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford. It is now more unlikely than ever before that you will read this review in one sitting (if, that is, you read it at all). The subway conductor is announcing a delay, your cell phone is buzzing, a television is flickering; focusing, for a page, for a paragraph, has never been harder.


Quantum mechanics just got easier to understand. A team of physicists have released a paper showing their discovery of a jewel-like geometric structure that takes equations, which can be thousands of terms long, and simplifies them into a single term. Traditionally, these interactions have been very difficult or even impossible to calculate. Scientists required the use of the world’s most powerful computers to calculate even the simplest interactions. This new geometric structure, called the amplituhedron, is so simple that a particle physicist could calculate these interactions, by hand, on a single sheet of paper.


Later this year, director Denis Villeneuve will attempt to pick up the baton passed by Sir Ridley Scott and deliver a Blade Runner sequel that extends a story that started roughly 30 years ago. But which version of Blade Runner is Villeneuve trying to build on?


Audiobook sales have been growing on a quarterly basis for quite sometime and this trend has continued into 2017. In the first three months of 2017 audio sales increased by 28.8% and eBooks declined by 5.3%.


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