Why There Is No Such Thing As A Soul Mate


The writer explores the popular romantic concept of soul mate philosophically.

Imagine the following scene. Lovers are locked in an embrace and the Greek god Hephaestus stands over them with his mending tools, asking ‘What is it that you human beings really want from each other?’ The lovers are puzzled and he asks them a further question: ‘Is this your heart’s desire, for the two of you to become parts of the same whole and never to separate day or night? If that is your desire, I’d like to weld you together and join you into something whole, so that the two of you are made into one. Look at your love and see if this is what you desire: wouldn’t this be all that you want?’ We are invited to suppose that the copulating lovers would welcome Hephaestus’ offer and think they had found what they wanted: to fuse with their beloved so that two become one. According to this story, this is because we used to be complete wholes but were torn apart by the gods; love is the name for this pursuit of an original state of wholeness and unity.

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Dr. Frisbee Sheffield — The Critique

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The Next Darwin

Both science and religion say that life stemmed from matter. But what if someone comes around saying that if you give him a random clump of atoms, and if he shines light on it for long enough, he will give you back a plant.

Crazy, right?

If you haven’t heard of Dr. Jeremy England and his theories, I can assure you (from my own experience of transitioning from ignorance to fascination) that after reading today’s Needull, you are henceforth going to forever track his studies.

Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning and a colossal stroke of luck. But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it. Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.”

To keep it unbiased and open-ended, today’s Needull, a 2015 interview published in OZY, is not an article on any of his theories but more about the person himself, someone who is being touted by leading biophysicists as the next Charles Darwin. Once you are done with this short Needull about him, just gear yourself to get lost in the intricate maze of Google searches, looking for truth in his groundbreaking theories.

Full Interview Here

OZY – Meghan Walsh

Youtube Video: lecture by Dr. England on ‘What is Life?’

Bonus Read: Read more about Dr. England in Scientific American

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Finalists from Smithsonian’s Annual Photo Contes

The world is beautiful. That is all I have to say looking at these pics.


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Does It Matter Who Pulls the Trigger in the Drone Wars?


Drone warfare has changed engagement with adversaries at many levels. Rules of war are being rewritten. This needull looks at one of Trump’s decision related to drone warfare.

The issue being raised by some of Trump’s opponents is that the new policy will kill more civilians, as it will be carried out by an unfettered military instead of a “restrained” executive. Those additional deaths will lead to more radicalization of Muslims, which will impede America’s strategic progress toward an unclear goal—maybe a world without radicalized Muslims.

Such logic ignores the fact that President Obama approved 540 drone strikes killing 3,797 people in non-traditional war zones. No one knows how many of those bodies were civilians, although for the record the U.S. says it was precisely 324. The Council on Foreign Relations, however, estimates that drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan killed 3,674 civilians at last count.

Bottom line: There are already a lot of bodies out there under a policy of “restraint.”

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Peter Van Buren — The American Conservative

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A very detailed investigative report. A must read! Recommended by Suman.

IN 2015, THE State Department put a $3 million bounty on Bogachev’s head, the highest reward the US has ever posted for a cyber­criminal. But he remains at large. According to US intelligence sources, the government does not, in fact, suspect that Bogachev took part in the Russian campaign to influence the US election. Rather, the Obama administration included him in the sanctions to put pressure on the Russian government. The hope is that the Russians might be willing to hand over Bogachev as a sign of good faith, since the botnet that made him so useful to them is defunct. Or maybe, with the added attention, someone will decide they want the $3 million reward and tip off the FBI.

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Garrett M. Graff — Wired

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Jane Austen: Galloping girl


Jane Austen wrote fast and died young. Her life on paper may have spanned three decades, but all six of her celebrated novels made their public appearance between 1811 and 1817. The phrase “tell-tale compression,” self-consciously applied by the narrator towards the end of Northanger Abbey (1817), captures something of Austen’s authorial career, too. Indeed, in her case it is appropriate that the word “career” can mean a short gallop at full speed, as well as the potentially slower progress of an individual’s working life. Novelists are more usually seen as long-distance runners than as sprinters, and Austen’s mature fiction has been cherished for the gradual emergence into consciousness of its heroines’ thoughts and feelings. Yet speedy progress—described in Emma (1815) as the “felicities of rapid motion”—remained central to this writer’s craft from start to finish.

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Freya Johnston — Prospect

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A ‘Rogue One’ Writer Reveals How the Film Originally Ended


I saw Rogue One last week and was blown away by the ending. Looks like even the writers of the movie had doubts about Disney accepting the ending where everyone dies.

We always felt that it was the right thing to do, that these characters make the ultimate sacrifice. It wasn’t that way in my original script, but again, we never felt that we would get away with it. K-2 always died, but Jyn survived in the very first version of the movie that we developed, and then it was Gareth who kept pushing for it, saying, “I feel like they need to die. They need to die.” Eventually he convinced [Disney and Lucasfilm].

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Matt Miller – Popular Mechanics

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