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  1. Scientific American, Parallel Universes.
    reading this article? A person who is not you but who lives on a planet called Earth, with misty mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with eight other planets? The life of this person has been identical to yours in every respect. But perhaps he or she now decides to put down this article without finishing it, while you read on. The idea of such an alter ego seems strange and implausible, but it looks as if (...)
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  2. Scientific American, Randomness and Mathematical Proof.
    Almost everyone has an intuitive notion of what a random number is. For example, consider these two series of binary digits: 01010101010101010101 01101100110111100010 The first is obviously constructed according to a simple rule; it consists of the number 01 repeated ten times. If one were asked to speculate on how the series might continue, one could predict with considerable confidence that the next two digits would be 0 and 1. Inspection of the second series of digits yields no such comprehensive (...)
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  3. Scientific American, Randomness in Arithmetic.
    What could be more certain than the fact that 2 plus 2 equals 4? Since the time of the ancient Greeks mathematicians have believed there is little---if anything---as unequivocal as a proved theorem. In fact, mathematical statements that can be proved true have often been regarded as a more solid foundation for a system of thought than any maxim about morals or even physical objects. The 17th-century German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz even envisioned a ``calculus'' of reasoning such (...)
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  4. Susan Blackmore & Scientific American, The Power of Memes.
    Human beings are strange animals. Although evolutionary theory has brilliantly accounted for the features we share with other creatures—from the genetic code that directs the construction of our bodies to the details of how our muscles and neurons work—we still stand out in countless ways. Our brains are exceptionally large, we alone have truly grammatical language, and we alone compose symphonies, drive cars, eat spaghetti with a fork and wonder about the origins of the universe.
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