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The nature of reality

82 minutes

Crisanto Street

12 minutes

Earthrise

30 minutes

The power of expectations

3 minutes

Primitive technology: round hut

11 minutes

Can a Tibetan Buddhist and a theoretical physicist find common ground on reality?

Are the mysteries of reality within the grasp of science? Or does a strictly empirical, Western materialist approach fail to properly consider the role of humans as observers? In this video from the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth (ICE), the US theoretical physicist Sean Carrol argues that, through scientific enquiry, a comprehensive understanding of reality is within our reach. Indeed, one layer of our reality – the world of elementary particles and forces – has already been entirely accounted for. Countering him, the US scholar of Tibetan Buddhism B Alan Wallace argues that such a materialist account of our Universe fails to fully account for both the complexities of the human mind and the world outside it.

In Silicon Valley’s shadow, a boy bids farewell to the trailer community that’s been home

In the wake of the Silicon Valley tech boom, a massive housing affordability crisis has left thousands of lower-income residents unable to pay skyrocketing rents. These conditions have led to a steep rise in homelessness and the emergence of makeshift housing in the shadows of some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the world. In her deftly crafted short documentary Crisanto Street, the US filmmaker Paloma Martinez explores one such streetside mobile-home community through the eyes of Geovany Cesario, a cheerful eight-year-old whom she casts as guide, interviewer, narrator and occasionally camera operator. On the eve of his family’s move from their trailer to a low-income apartment complex, Geovany takes us on a touching and bittersweet farewell tour of his world until now.

Director: Paloma Martinez

How an unplanned picture from Apollo 8 altered humanity’s perspective of Earth

‘What they should have sent was poets…’

Launched in December 1968, Apollo 8 was the first manned flight to reach the Moon, orbit it and return to Earth. The primary goal of the mission was to prepare for an eventual lunar landing, however, the flight is now best remembered for the unparalleled glimpses of Earth it provided and, in particular, the iconic photograph taken from lunar orbit that became known as ‘Earthrise’. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8, this documentary from the US director Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee features interviews with the crew members Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders, who took the famed picture. While reflecting on the life-changing experience of being the first people to view the Earth from outside of its orbit in the ‘inky black void’ of space, they detail how the unplanned photograph became their mission’s most lasting legacy, and gave them a newfound appreciation of their home planet.

Director: Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee

Producer: Adam Loften

Websites: Earthrise, Go Project Films

Want to make a lab rat smarter? Treat it like a smarter lab rat

It’s perhaps not startling to learn that the expectations of others have a significant impact on us. Over the past century, however, scientists have been surprised to observe just how forcefully expectations can nudge the abilities of people – and rats – in one direction or another. Featuring audio excerpts from NPR’s Invisibilia podcast, this animation draws on the work of the US psychologists Robert Rosenthal and Carol Dweck to briefly delve into how expectations can raise or lower student performance, speed up or slow down soldiers, and make maze-solving lab rats smarter or dumber.

Director and Animator: Francesca Cattaneo

Website: Invisibilia

Learn to build your own rainproof hut – or, at least, marvel at the man who knows how

The popular Primitive Technology YouTube channel features an anonymous man in Far North Queensland in Australia fashioning tools and structures using only naturally occurring, found materials. In this installment, following the deterioration of his A-frame hut, he builds what he hopes will be a more durable round hut from the ground up. Starting with wood posts tied together with cane, the man makes the structure water-resistant by adding a palm roof, a drainage trench, and walls built from a combination of mud and cane. In the process, he also almost manages to make his remarkable ingenuity look easy. To learn more about the step-by-step process while watching, turn on closed captions in the video player. 

Can a Tibetan Buddhist and a theoretical physicist find common ground on reality?

Are the mysteries of reality within the grasp of science? Or does a strictly empirical, Western materialist approach fail to properly consider the role of humans as observers? In this video from the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth (ICE), the US theoretical physicist Sean Carrol argues that, through scientific enquiry, a comprehensive understanding of reality is within our reach. Indeed, one layer of our reality – the world of elementary particles and forces – has already been entirely accounted for. Countering him, the US scholar of Tibetan Buddhism B Alan Wallace argues that such a materialist account of our Universe fails to fully account for both the complexities of the human mind and the world outside it.

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Essay/
Beauty & Aesthetics
Whys of seeing

Experimental psychology is providing concrete answers to some of the great philosophical debates about art and its meaning

Ellen Winner

Essay/
History of Ideas
Wittgenstein and religion

In the case atheists vs religious belief, Ludwig Wittgenstein is called to the stand. Whose side does his testimony serve?

Stephen Law