The Second Law and Energy (Panel)
In this valedictory panel to the two-day symposium, 10 speakers offer brief takes on how the Second Law of Thermodynamics might prove useful in seeking answers to our current energy challenge.
Even before the oil embargo of 1973, Thomas Widmer recalls, Joe Keenan and his MIT colleagues wrote of an “entropy c
Beginner S6 #5 - Learn This Japanese Verb Ahead of Time
Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com! It’s so easy to run behind. In Japan, time seems to fly, and your Japanese to-do list is always so long! But you’re trying to improve this bad habit: in fact, you made a resolution to work harder at being on time for your appointments in Japan as often as possible [...]
Developing the Hardware for Future Human Space Exploration
While Michael Griffin sees a wealth of reasons for space exploration in general and returning to the moon in particular, NASA must still manage on a tiny portion of “the national treasure.” This 7/10th of a percent of the national budget – the equivalent of each American paying 15 cents every day – “is not an expenditur
Three More For The Road
In a trio of mini-talks, Arnold Barnett applies statistical analysis to some of society’s most confounding challenges. He first takes up the minority achievement gap -- the apparent under-performance of black and Hispanic students on standardized tests in comparison to white and Asian students.
In his own work i
Two More Things to Worry About
In customary, loose-limbed form, Arnold Barnett reprises two of his favorite themes: improvements to the U.S. Electoral College, and aviation safety.
First up, Barnett’s suggested fix for national elections, which through the “fun-house mirror” of the Electoral College, permit winner-take-all results. His
History of Boston Transportation
Fred Salvucci ponders the role of contingency in history, and in the evolution of Boston and its transportation system. He starts from the time the glaciers pulled back from Boston, leaving a soggy near-island and a river for the first white settlers to contend with. “The reason the city is here because
An Evening with Vikram Chandra
In the tradition of his favorite childhood writers, Dickens, Thackeray and the “curiously forgotten James Hadley Chase,” Vikram Chandra explores the seamier sides of human relations. In Chandra’s latest, sprawling novel, Sacred Games, his backdrop is Bombay, a city steeped in corruption from head to toe. Reading three s
Prime Time in Transition
Fear not, fans of character-based TV fiction: reality shows will not obliterate tales featuring “transactions between human beings – the Jane Austen end of things,” as John Romano puts it. This veteran of some of TV’s finest cop dramas (including Hill Street Blues and Monk) sees wrenching changes in
Ann Stoler: Retracing the Imperial Modern
Professor Ann Stoler (Anthropology, New School, NY), 'Retracing the Imperial Modern: The Carceral Archipelago of Empire'. Lecture delivered at CRASSH conference, 'The Political Life of Documents: Archives, Memory and Contested Knowledge' (15-16 January, 2010).
The Medium Religion
Noted philosopher, critic and essayist Boris Groys, who has previously delved into the Soviet post-modernist and Russian avant-garde art scene, turns his attention now to the recent and dangerous marriage of religion and digital media. In a talk based on his paper, Religion in the Age of Digital Reproduction, Groys
Just as digital technology has expanded the means of producing media, so has it increased the geographic range new media may travel. Locally generated content can zip around the world in a heartbeat. But, says moderator Henry Jenkins, “as a society we’re in a contradictory state in terms of having greater access to glob
Introduction to macroeconomics
This is a module framework. It can be viewed online or downloaded as a zip file. As taught in Spring Semester 2010. This module provides an introduction to modern macroeconomic analysis. Macroeconomics is concerned with some of the most pressing and fundamental questions economists can ask, such as: What determines economic growth? Why do economies exhibit expansions ('booms') and contractions ('busts') in output? What drives employment and wages, saving and investment? What causes inflation and
A Few Things Learned from Craigslist
In his unassuming way, Craig Newmark believes his eponymous website might just help nudge people toward greater civic engagement. While Craigslist.org “is a simple platform where people help each other out,” focusing on everyday needs like getting a job or an apartment, it is also a profoundly collaborative venture, with p
Next Generation Solar Cells: Lowering Costs, Improving Performance and Scale
According to Tonio Buonassisi, we’re “on the cusp” of achieving a competitive technology for capturing the limitless energy of the sun. Buonassisi, in conversation with an MIT Museum audience, describes how, with the work of MIT and other researchers, photovoltaics may finally be coming into its own.
The digital architecture of tomorrow
This paper presents an ongoing research project about the development of the materials and fabrication techniques for a fundamentally new class of architectural composite. This type of composite, which is a representative example of an even broader class of smart architectural material, has the potential to change the design and function of an architectural structure or living environment. As of today, this kind of composite does not exist. Once completed, this will be the first technology on i
United Islands? multi-lingual radical poetry and folk song in Britain and Ireland, 1770-1820
This website describes an AHRC-funded research network, bringing together scholars with collectors and performers of folksong and poetry, to “discuss the fate of non-canonical poetry/folksong in the period 1770-1820”. This radical and anti-establishment poetry has long been overlooked, and the opportunity has only recently arisen to discuss it from an intra-national perspective (with the history of the British Isles seen as a complex and contradictory “zone of cultural conflict
Introducing The Mises Curriculum In 2010 we started Mises Academy, the first — and best — Austrian economics online learning platform in the world. Next we added a broader range of liberty-focused courses to the Academy. Since then we’ve delivered dozens of in-depth, high-caliber live courses to thousands of students around the world. We have always developed courses with systematic, long-term study in mind, inte
In 2010 we started Mises Academy, the first — and best — Austrian economics online learning platform in the world. Next we added a broader range of liberty-focused courses to the Academy. Since then we’ve delivered dozens of in-depth, high-caliber live courses to thousands of students around the world.
We have always developed courses with systematic, long-term study in mind, inte
Art in Renaissance Venice
This unit considers the art of Renaissance Venice and how such art was determined in many ways by the city's geographical location and ethnically diverse population. Studying Venice and its art offers a challenge to the conventional notion of Renaissance art as an entirely Italian phenomenon.
The website for Banipal, a literary magazine for contemporary Arab literature in English translation, gives access to selected content from current and back issues. The magazine's three issues a year present established and new authors and poets from around the Arab world through translations of poems, short stories or excerpts from novels. The site publishes selections of poetry and fiction from each issue as well as the table of contents, contributor profiles, book reviews and events listings.
Trench Warfare in WW I
This slide presentation is an overview of trench warfare in WWI. It refers to the effects it had on the war and the soldiers involved. At the end, it includes an assignment for students to practice writing a "primary" document.