William Pitt the Younger riding on the back of George III while surveying the French squadron, 1803. © Musee de la Ville de Paris, Musee Carnavalet, Paris / Bridgeman Images.


Volume IX, Number 1 | winter 2016


Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, claimed while discussing the NSA’s collection of telephone-call metadata, “We kill people based on metadata,” quickly qualifying, “But that’s not what we do with this metadata.” When declining an interview about alleged U.S. cyberattacks on Iran, he sent a one-line email that read, “Don’t know what I would have to say beyond what I read in the papers.”

For sooner will men hold fire in their mouths than keep a secret.

—Petronius, c. 60


Man and Woman Being Chased by Bees (detail), by Honoré Daumier. The New York Public Library, Art and Picture Collection.


The Perfect Swarm


The NYPD beekeeper vacuums up a swarm of bees on a hot dog stand in Times Square.


Bees take over a Los Angeles street as spectators watch.


The World in Time

Jim Holt

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Jim Holt, author of When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought. More