Links for April 2, 2023

What to Read

πŸ”Ό When the Push Button Was New, People Were Freaked β€” JSTOR Daily

Today's mundane technology is often the source of yesterday's panic:

The doorbell. The intercom. The elevator. Once upon a time, beginning in the late nineteenth century, pushing the button that activated such devices was a strange new experience. The electric push button, the now mundane-seeming interface between human and machine, was originally a spark for wonder, anxiety, and social transformation.
When the Push Button Was New, People Were Freaked - JSTOR Daily
The mundane interface between human and machine caused social anxiety in the late nineteenth century.

πŸ‘οΈ Scientists Revive Human Retinas after Death β€” Scientific American

Researchers were able to restore communication between retinal cells postmortem. Their results have profound implications for the future of vision care and even how we think about death itself.

Few biological facts seem as irrevocable as brain death. It has long been assumed that when we die, our neurons die with us. But a new study on the neuron-packed tissue of the eye is beginning to challenge that dogma.
Scientists Revive Human Retinas after Death
Restoring eye tissue postmortem could pave the way for reviving other types of brain tissue

πŸ§‘β€πŸŽ¨ Saving the Liberal Arts β€” David Perell and Jeremy Giffon

Perell and Giffon share a powerful reminder that school should do much more than prepare you for a job:

If we continue to value only useful skills, we’ll end up with work-obsessed technocrats who are blind to the transcendent and unfulfilled by the rat race of achievement.

Or maybe, that’s what’s already happening.

We can do better. An expansive vision was best described by Elena Shalneva, who wrote: β€œThe real purpose of education is not to acquire skills. It is to develop the mind. Fill it with knowledge, yes β€” but also charge it with fire, like a torch, so that, long after we have left the student bench, the mind still gleams and glares and throws a challenge to the maddening mysteries of the world.”
Saving the Liberal Arts - David Perell
David’s essay explores why the liberal arts are valuable how to save them from obscurity. Read here.

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