The immense success of writers such as Richard David Precht, festivals of ideas and philosophy magazines is has made thinking hip again. But is this legitimate philosophy, or more a lifestyle trend?
As a European cultural center, Cologne is used to being overrun. During Carnival the city doubles in population and a bevy of landmark festivals, fairs and fiestas hosted in the western German city cater to interest groups of every stripe. While the attendees of the third phil.Cologne, which opened this week and runs until June 3, may not be sporting striking costumes, their numbers are impressive. Organizers expect 10,000 visitors to attend the festival where people come to listen to intellectual discourse.
The public image of philosophy had long been in crisis. The last philosophical schools to prove a social sensation were Existentialism and the Frankfurt School, both originating in the 1940s. After a brief public explosion during the student protests of the 1960s, the discipline of thinking withdrew once again to its ivory tower. At the end of the 1960s German news weekly "Der Spiegel" asked: "What is philosophy today?"
From the ivory tower to the masses
In recent years there has been a noticeable paradigm shift. Videos from the international "ideas lectures" such as the TED Talks are certified YouTube hits and frequently go viral on social networks, alongside the flood of cat videos. Philosophy in 2015 has little to do with the hermit-like tendencies of Martin Heidegger - today it's more about ideas for everyday use rather than esoteric evaluations and complex concepts.
Liver cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to detect, but synthetic biologist Tal Danino had a left-field thought: What if we could create a probiotic, edible bacteria that was "programmed" to find liver tumors? His insight exploits something we're just beginning to understand about bacteria: their power of quorum sensing, or doing something together once they reach critical mass. Danino, a TED Fellow, explains how quorum sensing works -- and how clever bacteria working together could som
Zoltan Istvan Courtesy Zoltan Istvan Zoltan Istvan didn’t see the half-buried bomb. He was reporting on a story about Vietnam’s forgotten landmines when he wandered off the path to look at the scar of an explosion on the jungle floor. The next thing he knew, he was on the ground--his guide had tackled him just before he could step on a small landmine. The bomb didn't go off, but Istvan was shaken. While he cleaned off his camera lens, he decided to take a break from journalism for a while. He re
"Right now, if I want to find out what's going on in Ukraine or Syria or Washington, I read the New York Times, other national newspapers, I look at the Associated Press wires, I read the British press, and so on.
Today, Microsoft demonstrated how far its augmented-reality HoloLens wonderland project has come. In fact, it cemented HoloLens’s place as one of the most exciting new technologies we have—just in ways that you may never actually see.
When HoloLens debuted in January, the use cases Microsoft proffered were largely domestic; you could build (Microsoft-owned) Minecraft worlds in your living room, or have conversations over (Microsoft-owned) Skype with far-flung friends who felt a few feet away. Even WIRED’s behind-the-scenes look back then mostly comprised games and other low-stakes living room interactions. While a broad range of industries and institutions have use for augmented reality, Microsoft spent the bulk of its HoloLens introduction emphasizing the device’s consumer potential.
The day that science fiction writers have feared for so long has finally come—the machines have risen up. There is nowhere you can run and nowhere you can hide. The software “bot” onslaught is here, and every Homo sapien is a target of the limitless legions of unceasing, unemotional, and...
A psychedelic drink used for centuries in healing ceremonies is now attracting the attention of biomedical scientists as a possible treatment for depression. Researchers from Brazil last month published results from the first clinical test of a potential therapeutic benefit for ayahuasca, a South American plant-based brew. Although the study included just six volunteers and no placebo group, the scientists say that the drink began to reduce depression in patients within hours, and the effect was still present after three weeks. They are now conducting larger studies that they hope will shore up their findings.
The work forms part of a renaissance in studying the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelic or recreational drugs—research that was largely banned or restricted worldwide half a century ago. Ketamine, which is used medically as an anaesthetic, has shown promise as a fast-acting antidepressant; psilocybin, a hallucinogen found in ‘magic mushrooms’, can help to alleviate anxiety in patients with advanced-stage cancer; MDMA (ecstasy) can alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder; and patients who experience debilitating cluster headaches have reported that LSD eases their symptoms.
Scientists have generated mature, functional skeletal muscles in mice using a new approach for tissue engineering. The scientists grew a leg muscle starting from engineered cells cultured in a dish to produce a graft. The subsequent graft was implanted close to a normal, contracting skeletal muscle where the new muscle was nurtured and grown. In time, the method could allow for patient-specific treatments for a large number of muscle disorders.
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