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    How to Collapse the Distinction Between Art and Biology

    What Xenotext does is cause its audience to reevaluate their ideas of creation, both literary and biological.Illustration by GiroScience / Shutterstock Language,” the Beat writer William S. Burroughs supposedly once exclaimed, “is a virus from outer space.” Burroughs was making a metaphorical extrapolation about the ways in which words, phrases, idioms, sentences, lines, and narratives […]

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    Can PTSD Be Good for You?

    There’s no way to be sure what will traumatize someone, and not everyone exposed to “trauma” develops PTSD.Wikicommons You might think it insensitive or even offensive to ask whether PTSD could be good for someone. Who wants a disorder, let alone one caused by “post-traumatic stress”? Yet when Nautilus posed this question to Rachel Yehuda, […]

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    Does Science Diminish Wonder or Augment It?

    In its pursuit of explaining things that previously seemed beyond words, does reason stifle the imagination? Can rationalism coexist with a reverence for mystery? Two great poems with opposing views, composed over 200 years apart—“Lamia” by John Keats and “Water” by Philip Larkin—address these vexed questions through the entangled concepts of water and light. The romantic […]