There is an ongoing discussion whether patents encourage or hinder innovation. Patents grant a temporary monopoly as an incentive for the inventor to commercialize the inventions and come up with follow-up innovations. However, many companies file patent applications to block competition even though the companies owning the patent do not intend to commercialize the invention. It is tempting to speculate what would have happened to many technologies were they patented or not. Although we can’t […]
1. How ergodicity reimagines economics for the benefit of us all (economics) 2. The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant (innovation) 3. In Libris Libertas: Open Access Monographs in Classics, Ancient History, Art History, and Archaeology (history) 4. Hack in the box: Hacking into companies with “warshipping” (cybersecurity) 5. Human-sized penguin fossil discovered in New Zealand
Tom Holland has written another book! Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world, and its emergence the single most transformative development in Western history. Even the increasing number in the West today who have abandoned the faith of their forebears, and dismiss all religion as pointless superstition, remain recognisably its heirs. Seen close-up, the division between a sceptic and a believer may seem unbridgeable. Widen the focus, though, and Christianity’s […]
During the fourth year of the Peloponnesian War, the Plataeans were besieged by the Peloponnesians and the Boeotians. The Spartans have built a double wall made of bricks around Plataea, from one side preventing anyone escaping the city and from the other side protecting the besieging troops against Athenian forces that could come to the rescue of Plataea. In December 482 BCE, at the beginning of winter, hunger forced the Plataeans to think about escaping through […]
(…) for behold wheneverThe sun’s light and the rays, let in, pour downAcross dark halls of houses: thou wilt seeThe many mites in many a manner mixedAmid a void in the very light of the rays,And battling on, as in eternal strife,And in battalions contending without halt,In meetings, partings, harried up and down. Titus Lucretius Carus, On the Nature of Things, translated by William Ellery Leonard.
A meteor seen by Rev. John Swinton over Oxford on March 5th 1764. It looks like a great spaceship.
After more than hundred years of fighting, the Hellenic city-states were no better off than at any other time. Xenophon nicely summarizes this in Hellenica: “The effective result of these achievements was the very opposite of that which the world at large anticipated. Here, where well-nigh the whole of Hellas was met together in one field, and the combatants stood rank against rank confronted, there was no one doubted that, in the event of battle, […]