Are There Life Lessons In Fiction?

by Anitra Pavlico The Anna Karenina Fix, by Viv Groskop, is subtitled “Life Lessons from Russian Literature.” It is an entertaining book, part memoir, part cultural criticism. Each chapter takes on a different work from Russian literature–mostly novels, although it also features Anna Akhmatova’s poetry. Interwoven with plot synopses are biographical details about the authors,…

Less Meat, Less Heat

by Anitra Pavlico The gap between the gravity of climate change and the average person’s ability to mitigate the crisis is utterly dispiriting. If individual action is required, we feel powerless because it defies logic that using a gallon of hot water plus soap to prepare a mayonnaise jar for the recycling bin will save…

The Evolution Of Music

by Anitra Pavlico In a recent study, data scientists based in Japan found that classical music over the past several centuries has followed laws of evolution. How can non-living cultural expression adhere to these rules? Evolution is an “algorithmic process applied to populations of individuals.” [1] Individuals vary, and certain individuals’ traits are passed on…