Joss Delage

Which magazines do you read?

33 posts in this topic

I read:

- The Economist

- Popular Mechanics

- Saveur

- Cook's Illustrated

What do you people enjoy reading?

JD

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I don't subscribe to it anymore, but one off-the-beaten-path magazine that is inexpensive yet fairly decent would be Smithsonian. That is, if you like a varied mix of science, geography, history, etc. Good for the subway.

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I pick up a NewScientist every now and then, when I'm in the mood for a treat. :D

~Aurelia

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I will read articles from Reason, The Economist and articles in various magazines my husband thinks I might find interesting. He reads more magazines than I do.

When I go in to Barnes and Noble I will usually head straight over to find the latest issue of Dynamic Graphics and Veranda. :D

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I read Military History.

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A magazine that I enjoy reading that I think other Objectivists might also enjoy is American Heritage of Invention & Technology.

The articles are mostly stories about inventions and technological developments in the United States, from pre-revolutionary days up to today. (To use Burgess Laughlin's term from another topic, these are mostly short "success stories.")

Examples of topics covered include: microwave ovens, transistor radios, artificial turf, air conditioning, proximity fuses, the cotton gin, tunneling machines, blood transfusion, railroads, bridges, and many more. Lots of good stuff! The magazine is published only four times a year, so there's plenty of time to read it.

It's a popular magazine, not a technical one, so it doesn't assume any scientific or engineering knowledge. My main complaint is that some articles do not provide enough detail and are too superficial - there are a few frequent contributors who are definitely intellectual lightweights. Another problem I've noticed over the last few years is that some articles are published that have an environmentalist bias, but this is thankfully absent from most articles. (I also generally avoid their occasional interviews with academics, since I haven't found them very informative.)

Overall, it's a publication I've gotten lots of enjoyment from; there are always a few articles I read in each issue. The people and their achievements are fascinating to read about.

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A magazine that I enjoy reading that I think other Objectivists might also enjoy is American Heritage of Invention & Technology.

I am pleasantly surprised someone here also enjoys this magazine. It is one of the two I recieve, the other being Smithsonian Air & Space.

I have been getting Invention & Technology ever since I was about seven years old, starting in 1989. Currently I agree with you about a lot of the articles. The interviews are sometimes very boring and rambling. The interview in the current issue regarding atomic bombs is halfway decent though. The ones which are usually the worst are the ones in which some author is interviewed about which inventors he thinks are the best.

All in all though the magazine is very enjoyable.

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I used to have a subscription to both Nat Geographic and Discover magazine; with time I failed to renew the subscription because I was so burned out on being repeatedly beaten down with environmentalism in Nat Geo and god-awful theoretical physics and philosophy in Discover. This is a shame, because I greatly enjoyed both these magazines, especially National Geographic.

Only magazines I read now are Playboy and Grappling magazine: I know it sounds sooo cliche but Playboy's main allure is the articles and interviews (Playboy interviewed Ayn Rand in 1964 http://ellensplace.net/ar_pboy.html ). A recent article in Playboy discussed that Marilyn Monroe was unfortunately remembered only within the context of tragedy, downward decline and hopelessness, when in fact, they argued, what she truly should be remembered for is a woman with a great sense of life and an unconquerable spirit.

I like to read Grappling magazine because it is a news source for Mixed Martial Arts fighting and because the magazine carries a good deal of general info/news about submission fighting, sport jiu-jitsu and other things of that nature.

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I have a subscription "Sound and Vision", which is a great mag for those who pray to the God of High-End AV Equipment like me. Maybe some day I'll make enough to upgrade my Infinity IL-10's to some nice floor-standing units :)

I also buy a Playboy every now and again, though *not* primarily for the articles. The writers are mainly very leftist, it gets old after a while. The interviews are almost always great, though. The interviewers ask very interesting questions, you can tell they do their homework. Also, the "Playboy Advisor" often has good love-making tips.

--Dan Edge

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Just because Playboy's articles could often be described as "left" shouldn't make them bad though because often they are just critical of the rising religiousity of the government, which plainly a publication like Playboy should be greatly afraid of.

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I have a subscription to Popular Science, but it looks like they have a new editor, Mark Jannot, who is determined to push the magazine leftward. The latest issue's feature article is absolutely bizarre, listing different technologies we can use to stem the tide of "global warming." At least one of the technologies was laughable: giant mirrors floating in space that scatter the sun's infrared radiation from reaching the earth. Out of their 1.45 million subscribers and seven million readers, I'm one dissatisfied customer.

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You could always read wonderful articles in Discover such as 10 ways to save the universe from ending, one of which was to create a new bubble universe taking advantage of the "vacuum energy" and something to do with gravity and entrapped negative energy...

It is quite sad that of all the people on earth, the one with the least grasp on reality is a "modern" physicist...

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It is quite sad that of all the people on earth, the one with the least grasp on reality is a "modern" physicist...

Check out the May issue of National Geographic. Einstein and Beyond, as in beyond the big bang, Einstein's Evolving Universe.

" Pushing the limits of theory and imagination, cosmologists are daring to speculate that ours is not the only universe."...

Oh that I should have such courage! :)

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It is quite sad that of all the people on earth, the one with the least grasp on reality is a "modern" physicist...

Reading popular magazines is not the best way to judge the modern physicist's grasp of reality. Better to actually look at what the modern physicist does.

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Reading popular magazines is not the best way to judge the modern physicist's grasp of reality. Better to actually look at what the modern physicist does.

Oops, I forgot to mention, I didn't renew my subscription to National Geographic. :)

Sorry Stephen, I wasn't addressing the physicist reference, but only my amazement to all these Universes. :)

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Sorry Stephen, I wasn't addressing the physicist reference, but only my amazement to all these Universes. :)

That's understandable, but even then you have to be careful in that what you mean by "universe" may not be the same meaning as that used by the cosmologists. (Though, unfortunately, cosmology from the theorists' perspective is in a dreadful state nowadays.)

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That's understandable, but even then you have to be careful in that what you mean by "universe" may not be the same meaning as that used by the cosmologists...

I understand universe to mean all that exists . I don't think that is what the theorists mean though. Even they would have a problem with "many everythings."

Wouldn't they?

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I understand universe to mean all that exists . I don't think that is what the theorists mean though. Even they would have a problem with "many everythings."

Wouldn't they?

Cosmologists often talk about the "observable" universe, and that notion has a technical meaning in the context of their theory, not the philosophical meaning we ordinarily ascribe.

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"It is quite sad that of all the people on earth, the one with the least grasp on reality is a "modern" physicist... "

I guess I should have said particularly Theoretical Physicists.

"Reading popular magazines is not the best way to judge the modern physicist's grasp of reality. Better to actually look at what the modern physicist does."

By that do you mean what the Experimental Physicists are doing?

I did not mean that just because a magazine says it, that is the statement for modern physicists in general, I'm just stating that based on everything I've ever heard my professors or the "leading" physicists of our age say. My Cosmophysics professor, Dr.Wigmans, though is a diamond in the rough: he is highly critical of theoretical physics at the moment and especially with attempts to explain the accelerating expansion of the Universe. He published a paper recently that argues that relic neutrinos are driving the recent accelerating expansion of the universe, based on Fermion Degeneracy Pressure. He claims that it is possible for a relic neutrino to reach a state (I guess as they cool) where they can only fit one per kilometer cubed, and anymore could not fit because quantum mechanically that space is "full". Does this sound promising or just bumpkiss?

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"Reading popular magazines is not the best way to judge the modern physicist's grasp of reality. Better to actually look at what the modern physicist does."

By that do you mean what the Experimental Physicists are doing?

I would greatly broaden "Experimental Physicists" to include any physicist whose work demands a connection to reality (which means, almost all). Aside from the experimentalists, there are many mid-level theorists working on more localized theories that are by their nature fact-centered. The actual number of wild theorists is minuscule, as compared to most all physicists.

I did not mean that just because a magazine says it, that is the statement for modern physicists in general, I'm just stating that based on everything I've ever heard my professors or the "leading" physicists of our age say.

Are you referring to your professors' commentary, or to the actual technical subject matter being taught. If the former, then the professor is acting in much the same way as the popular magazines. If the latter, that would be extremely rare: find a better school.

My Cosmophysics professor, Dr.Wigmans, though is a diamond in the rough:  he is highly critical of theoretical physics at the moment and especially with attempts to explain the accelerating expansion of the Universe.  He published a paper recently that argues that relic neutrinos are driving the recent accelerating expansion of the universe, based on Fermion Degeneracy Pressure.  He claims that it is possible for a relic neutrino to reach a state (I guess as they cool) where they can only fit one per kilometer cubed, and anymore could not fit because quantum mechanically that space is "full".  Does this sound promising or just bumpkiss?

Wigmans has not yet published on that particular view. He floated a paper to the community several years ago, and submitted it to a proper journal. He later withdrew that paper. Late last year he offered a revised version of the paper, and it was again submitted to the same journal. It has yet to appear. Like many "rebels," Wigmans is better in rejecting what is wrong than in replacing it with what is right. This whole fermion degeneracy pressure has been theoretically associated with more esoteric cosmological objects -- extremely high temperatures and densities -- not with the conditions that apply in intergalactic space. The immediate test of applicability is connected to the actual neutrino mass, for which there is limited factual evidence. I note, however, that Wigmans has already cut in half the lower mass limit between the time of the first and second submitted papers. I suspect that the eventual more precise mass measurements will relegate the gravitational effect on these neutrinos to one of insignificance. Time will tell.

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Whoops, I was wrong there. Yes, he hasn't published his paper on the accelerating expansion, that is, as you say, more just floating around.

But he did publish a paper predicting the new rest mass of the neutrino (he explained it to us in detail one day a while ago) which I was under the impression that it was stirring up significant interest because I recalled him having to cancel class a number of days for when he was flying to Europe to speak on it or things of that nature.

My professors are the former, what we are taught is delightfully concrete.

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