The Year in Review (2022)

"The World is a lot Poorer without You": a tribute to the great minds we lost in 2022
(click on the picture for names and details)

Good news of the year:
Recommended Books:
  • Caroline Elkins: Legacy of Violence - A History of the British Empire"
  • George DeMartino: "The Tragic Science - How Economists Cause Harm"
  • Katie Mack: "The End of Everything". A summary of the various cosmological theories on how our universe will end.
  • Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way: "The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism"
  • Gaia Vince: "Nomad Century - How climate migration will reshape our world"
  • David Marx: "Status and Culture". The subtitle says it all: How Our Desire for Social Rank Creates Taste, Identity, Art, Fashion, and Constant Change.
  • Scott Reynolds Nelson: “Oceans of Grain: How American Wheat Remade the World”
  • Michael Webber: “Power Trip - The Story of Energy”
  • Max Fisher: "The Chaos Machine". How social media rewire the mind and the world.
  • David Young Kim: "Ground Work - A History of the Renaissance Picture"
  • Suisheng Zhao: "The Dragon Roars Back - Transformational Leaders and Dynamics of Chinese Foreign Policy"
  • Bradford DeLong: "Slouching Towards Utopia - An Economic History of the Twentieth Century"
  • Michael Rawson: "The Nature of Tomorrow: A History of the Environmental Future". A survey of how science fiction novels portrayed the future of humankind.
  • Paul Stephenson: "New Rome - The Empire in the East". A great history of the early centuries of the Eastern Roman Empire, i.e. Byzantium.
  • David Chalmers: "Reality+". A philosopher discusses simulation, virtual reality and the metaverse.
  • Xiang Biao: "Self as Method - Thinking Through China and the World".
  • Melanie Swan: "Quantum Computing for the Brain". This is the first major scholarly book on "quantum neuroscience", a fascinating new field at the intersection of quantum information science and computational neuroscience that proposes a paradigm shift in modeling the human brain. The scope of the book is breathtaking, from wormholes and teleportation to Born machines and spacetime superfluids, culminating with quantum neural field theory and quantum machine learning, and a novel theory, "AdS/Brain correspondence", an extension to neuroscience of the Maldacena duality that was developed in recent years by physicists.
  • Dennis Duncan: "Index, a History of the". A witty romp across the centuries that focuses on the index section of books.
  • Heather Radke: "Butts". A witty history of the butt.
  • Sarah Stodola: "The Last Resort". A book on the origin of beach culture.
  • Chuck Klosterman: "The Nineties". A history of that decade.
  • Will Sommer: "Trust the Plan". A comprehensive history of QAnon.
  • Hal Brands and Michael Beckley: "Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China". Quote: “China will be a falling power far sooner than most people think... Where others see rapid Chinese growth, we see massive debt and Soviet-level inefficiency. Where others see gleaming infrastructure, we see ghost cities and bridges to nowhere. Where others see the world’s largest population, we see a looming demographic catastrophe.”
  • Andrew Doig: "This Mortal Coil". How humans extended their lifespan.
  • Ed Yong: "An Immense World". A tour of the sensory systems of other animals, how other animals perceive things.
  • Silvia Ferrara: "The Greatest Invention - A History of the World in Nine Mysterious Scripts"
  • Anne Truitt: "Yield". The posthumous journal of an artist.

Events in
Tech and Science
  • The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California has produced a nuclear fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain: it created more energy than it consumed.
  • Maria Spiropulu's team at Caltech simulated two tiny black holes in a quantum computer and transmitted a message between them through a “baby wormhole”, i.e. a tunnel in space-time (paper)
  • NASA's Dart probe smashes into a 160m-wide asteroid, Dimorphos
  • The European Space Agency plans to beam solar energy from space into homes
  • US surgeon Bartley Griffith transplants the heart from a genetically-modified pig into the chest of a human patient, David Bennett
  • The JET laboratory in Britain achieves a new record for the amount generated by nuclear fusion
  • Quantum teleportation between remote, non-neighbouring nodes in a quantum network of three connected nodes
  • A new malaria vaccine from Oxford University
  • The flying car XPeng X2 debuts

Cinema. Best Films:
Best jazz albums:
Best classical music recordings:
  1. Kent Nagano  & Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Messiaen's  Poemes pour Mi & La Transfiguration
  2. Vladimir Jurowski & London Philharmonic Orchestra: Stravinsky's The Firebird & The Rite of Spring
  3. Johann Johannsson: Drone Mass
  4. Albion Quartet: Shostakovich's Walton String Quartets 
  5. Herbert Blomstedt & Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra: Schubert's Symphonies Nos 8 & 9
  6. Bertrand Chamayou: Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jesus
  7. Soloists of the Orchestre de Paris: Saint-Saens' Trumpet Septet, Clarinet Sonata, etc
  8. Klara Wurtz: Bach's Goldberg Variations
  9. Tyondai Braxton: Telekinesis

Best Art Events:
  1. Michael Heizer: "City" (Garden Valley, Nevada). Finally completed after 52 years, one of the largest art works in the world.
  2. Buddhist Bronze Mirror (Cincinnati Art Museum). A "tou guang jing" (“magic mirror”) of the 15th–16th century just discovered that, when a light is shoned, reveals an invisible Buddha (only two other such magic mirrors are known to exist).
  3. Jason Allen: "Theatre D’Opera Spatial" (Colorado State Fair, Pueblo), one of the best AI-generated art works yet.
  4. Xinyi Cheng (Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, curated by Christina Li)
  5. Shigeko Kubota (Museum Of Modern Art, New York, curated by Erica Papernik-Shimizu)
  6. Shahzia Sikander (Rhode Island School Of Design Museum, Providence, curated by Jan Howard)
  7. Charles Ray (Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York, curated by Kelly Baum And Brinda Kumar) and Charles Ray (Centre Pompidou, Paris, curated by Jean-Pierre Criqui)
  8. Heather Benjamin's punk art (Alchemy Gallery, New York)
  9. Nick Cave (Museum Of Contemporary Art, Chicago, curated by Naomi Beckwith)
  10. Barbara Kruger (Art Institute Of Chicago, curated by James Rondeau And Robyn Farrell)
  11. Ruth Asawa (Oxford Art Museum, curated by Emma Ridgway And Vibece Salthe)

Heroes of the year:
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky
Russian dissident Marina Ovsyannikova
Russian dissident Ilya Yashin
Egyptian dissident Alaa Abd el-Fattah, who has been jailed by all of them: first by Hosni Mubarak, then by Mohamed Morsi, and now by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Saudi activist Nourah bint Saeed al-Qahtani, sentenced a woman to 45 years in prison
Saudi activist Salma al-Shehab, sentenced to 34 years in prison
Iranian women protesting against the morality police

( Current events)

Last year
Quotes | Trivia | Home | Contact
Science, Art, Music, Literature, Travel, etc