New York Thought: Smart Things to Do in NYC This Week

Asia’s rise and America’s fall, patterns and intelligence, and the unsolved mysteries of the universe highlight our picks for the best smart things to do in NYC this week.

Monday, May 22

Speaking of Science returns to Ethical Culture for a look at the essential role pattern recognition plays in intelligence. The principles of patterns will be covered, with forays into “biology, evolution, technology, emergence, representation of information, and the modern paradigm of science.” New York Society for Ethical Culture.

Confront your sense of humor at Confrontational Comedy, a comedy performance and conversation exploring how humor can illuminate uncomfortable topics. The Park Avenue Armory.

Tuesday, May 23

Dig the rhythm at this Jazz 101 session introducing audiences to the vibrant Swing Era. Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Join an astrophysicist and a museum educator to examine dark matter, the geysers of Enceladus, and how Earth ended up as the only habitable planet in our solar system, among other riddles of the cosmos.

Wednesday, May 24

Atlas Obscura meets the Drs. Barri and Bobbi Coller Rare Book Reading Room at The New York Academy of Medicine for a night of ancient secrets. Learn about the foundations of modern science, and get some tips on turning lead into gold, in a celebration of early modern publications.

Enter the world of author Peter Szabo’s meaningful relationship with his grandmother at this reading and discussion of Szabo’s book Finding Maria. Book Culture.

The Beatles continue to break records, only now it’s on Spotify. Great writers tackle the legacy of the Fab Four, and their continuing relevance, at a book launch at the Rubin. (And since it’s the Rubin, the Beatles’ introduction of Eastern spirituality to the West will be covered.) Francine Prose, Rick Moody, and David Duchovny are among the speakers. Rubin Museum of Art.

Thursday, May 25

Hear from the chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times, Gideon Rachman, whose new book looks at the rising wealth of Asian nations and its impact on lives around the world. 92nd Street Y.

By Jeff Kubina (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Order yourself to attend this talk on the Supreme Court and how the new administration’s decisions will influence its continuing future. New-York Historical Society.

Find our picks for the weekend here.

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