About 3 Quarks Daily
About the Name of the Site
About the Editors of 3QD
About Our Monday Magazine Contributors
About the 3QD Quark Prizes
About the DAG-3QD Symposia
About the Cancer Questions Project
External Perspectives on 3QD
Acclaim for 3QD
For general queries, suggestions, or complaints, you can contact S. Abbas Raza, Founding Editor, at s.abbas.raza.1 [at] gmail.com, and you can find the email addresses of the other editors here, and the emails of every guest contributor under their own names here.
About 3 Quarks Daily
We mainly do two different things at 3QD.
First, six days a week (Tuesday through Sunday), the editors of 3 Quarks present eight to twelve interesting items from around the web each day, in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, politics, philosophy, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating, including a daily poem chosen by our poetry editor, Jim Culleny. We also usually post one video we find interesting each day and three on Sundays. We want to provide you with a one-stop intellectual surfing experience by culling good stuff from all over and putting it in one place. In other words, we are what has come to be known as an “aggregator” or “filter” or “curated content” website. As the Nobel laureate Herbert Simon said:
In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently.
Well, we are here to try and help with that. And we try not to be afraid of challenging material. To paraphrase Lewis Hyde, we cruise the online world like an academic blue whale, filtering the ocean of scholarship for the krill of insight.
Second, every Monday we present a magazine of original, previously unpublished writing by our editors as well as a number of guest contributors. Our writers are free to express their own opinions and we do not censor them in any way. Sometimes we agree with them and sometimes we don’t. Mondays usually also have an original poem by Jim Culleny, an art image chosen by Sughra Raza, a cartoon called Catspeak by Brooks Riley, and a photograph by S. Abbas Raza. All the Monday articles and essays are conveniently collected by author’s last name here for your browsing pleasure.
Since the site was started in 2004, we have taken one day off in 2007 and we missed six days in 2018 as we switched from the Typepad platform to WordPress as part of a major overhaul of the site. Other than that, we have never missed a single day in all these years.
About the Name of the Site
When Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig postulated the existence of three new subatomic particles in 1964, Gell-Mann decided to name them “quarks”, an unusual word which James Joyce had used in Finnegans Wake: “Three quarks for Muster Mark!” In present-day physics, there are more than three quarks, and some are said to have properties named strangeness and charm, which, we think, describe this website as well. We also meant the name to symbolize our connections to science, art, and literature; and we mistakenly thought it short and memorable.
Our comments section is a place for thoughtful conversation about the content that we post. It is not a place to hurl insults and invective at anyone (as it is on too many sites on the web), including other commenters, our writers, the authors of articles we link to, or the editors of 3QD. We will delete any comments (without explanation—we do not have the time to provide any) that we find either abusive or obscene or threatening or offensive or inappropriate in some other way or even just irrelevant to the post itself and offenders may also be blocked from future commenting. If you disagree with something you read at 3QD, you must do so in a respectful manner. Tolerance for other people’s opinions is becoming rare and we will fight this unfortunate trend. In general, we tend to agree with Sean Carroll’s sentiments at Cosmic Variance which you can see here. Also, please read a note to our readers by Abbas about comments here. And try not be angry with things all the time.
External Perspectives on 3QD
Feature-length Profile of 3QD in The Wire
Wikipedia Entry for 3QD
Short National Endowment of the Arts Interview of S. Abbas Raza about 3QD
Longer (1 hour) Interview of S. Abbas Raza about 3QD by Fredrik Weibull of ANOW
Acclaim for 3QD
“I couldn’t tear myself away from 3 Quarks Daily, to the point of neglecting my work. Congratulations on this superb site.” —Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University.
“3 Quarks Daily is smart and highclass.” —Robert Pinsky, only three-term U.S. Poet Laureate.
“I really appreciate your selection of generally sane and mostly stimulating articles. 3 Quarks Daily has been my goto website at the end of the day, and now also during the day!” —Horst Ludwig Störmer, Physics Nobel laureate and emeritus professor at Columbia University.
“From my perspective as an early modernist, what you’re undertaking is akin to the heroic labors of Renaissance compositors, who would (like you) read widely and excerpt and synthesize vast amounts of knowledge for others. A real service to the republic of letters.” —Scott Newstok, Professor of English, Director of the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment, Rhodes College, and author of How to Think like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education.
“I like to check in from time to time with 3 Quarks Daily.” —Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. “One of the most celebrated writers of his generation,” according to the Virginia Quarterly Review.
“I have placed 3 Quarks Daily at the head of my list of web bookmarks.” —Richard Dawkins, previously Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.
“Just wanted you to know I’m one of many who reads and enjoys 3 Quarks….almost daily.” —David Byrne, musician, former lead-singer of the Talking Heads, artist, intellectual.
“3 Quarks Daily is a warm and often amusing home for intellectuals and other wags.” —Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer.
“3 Quarks Daily is one of the most interesting and thoughtful websites out there.” —Sean Carroll, Research Professor of Physics at Caltech and award-winning author of books including From Eternity to Here; The Particle at the End of the Universe; and The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.
“I’ve recommended your site to a number of friends and colleagues who’ve bemoaned the dearth of sites with any literary/scientific muscularity. Keep up the wonderful work.” —John Allen Paulos, Professor of Mathematics at Temple University, and bestselling author of Innumeracy.
“Mighty interesting website! I’ve added it to my favorites.” —Daniel Dennett, University Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.
“3 Quarks Daily is an essential stop for any serious reader on the Web.” —Ken Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch since 1993.
“3 Quarks Daily is one of the most interesting aggregator blogs out there. It puts together stuff from art, science, philosophy, politics, literature. It’s a completely international, cosmopolitan place to get information. It’s become my entry point to reading on the Web.” —Mohsin Hamid, author of Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, in the New York Times.
“3 Quarks Daily is first rate.” —Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Chair in Philosophy and Director of the South Asian Institute at Columbia University.
“You guys rock!” —Andrew Sullivan, former editor of The New Republic, author of five books, überblogger.
“Thanks for 3 Quarks Daily which has been very high on my reading list for several years now!” —Huw Price, Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy and Fellow of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He is also co-founder, with Martin Rees and Jaan Tallinn, of a project to establish a Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.
“It is a great honor to be mentioned in one of my two ONLY portals to the internet—and the world, since I do not read newspapers. My discipline, to avoid drowning in information, is not to cruise the web outside of these two points. I tried many sites; yours has CHARM.” —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan. [The other site NNT is referring to is the excellent Arts & Letters Daily.]
“I look at your site every day. It’s where the two cultures meet.” —Suketu Mehta, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist Maximum City,winner of the O. Henry Prize, and frequent contributor to various newspapers and magazines.
“For sheer elegance, wit and worldly wisdom when it comes to reading, editing, presenting the real news of the world… for liveliness, cosmopolitanism, range of scientific, philosophical, and literary curiosity in harvesting big and provocative ideas… for consistency of character and manners, ever above the ordinary… 3 Quarks stands alone. If 3 Quarks Daily were a person, wouldn’t it be Proust?” —Christopher Lydon, host of the excellent show “Open Source” on National Public Radio, author, media personality.
“I look for relevant research, interesting themes and funny stories on sites like 3 Quarks Daily, Crooked Timber, Boing Boing and Slashdot.” —Clay Shirky, prominent thinker on the Internet and its social and economic consequences, and author of Here Comes Everybody, in The Atlantic.
“3QD is always interesting–you (and your other contributors) have a fine eye for good writing in both the arts and the sciences, which is a very rare thing indeed.” —Rochelle Gurstein, author of The Repeal of Reticence, and frequent contributor to The New Republic, Salmagundi, and American Scholar.
“3 Quarks is a daily must-read for intellectuals of all stripes. It is perhaps even smarter and better and more comprehensive than Arts & Letters Daily, the de facto gold standard of the smart set on the internet.” —Laura Claridge, former Professor of English at the U.S. Naval Academy, and author of Romantic Potency: The Paradox of Desire, Tamara de Lempicka: A Life of Deco and Decadence, and Norman Rockwell: A Life.
“I’m a big admirer of 3 Quarks Daily!” —William Dalrymple, award winning historian and travel writer, as well as distinguished broadcaster, critic, art historian, foreign correspondent and founder and co-director of Asia’s largest literary festival.
“If you like Arts & Letters Daily, you’ll LOVE 3 Quarks.” —Andreas Ramos, co-founder of Arts & Letters Daily.
“3 Quarks Daily is terrific – many congratulations, and many thanks!” —Alain de Botton, best-selling Swiss-British writer and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
“3 Quarks Daily is a great website which should be supported!” —Ned Block, Silver Professor of Philosophy, Psychology and Neural Science at NYU; former chair of the philosophy program at MIT.
“The cross-disciplinary curatorial website 3 Quarks Daily represents a pocket of humanity in an increasingly amoral, algorithmic internet.” —Thomas Manuel, playwright, in The Wire.
“The algorithms that curate your social-media timeline do so with indifference and programmed greed. The humans who curate 3QD do so with love and well-aged wisdom. Read 3QD instead! It’s so much better!” —Justin E. H. Smith, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Paris.