Friday, October 16, 2015

Everything Old Is New Again

Throughout his life, Goethe had a deep fascination for the physical and metaphorical effects of light on humans. Whilst being best remembered now for his literary works, he himself believed the scientific treatise The Theory of Colours, which he published in 1810, to be his most important work.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(The German poet, novelist, playwright, courtier, and scientist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) is widely accepted as being one of the key figures in Western culture. His masterwork, Faust, has had an influence in many fields, notably drama and psychology.
His last request was: More Light)

If everything is amazing, why is nobody happy? Consider the answers of two philosophical giants: Plato and Louis C.K matra cinct 

“Whenever society starts to think about, what does gender mean, what does sexuality mean, she’s just one of the names that comes up, and people start thinking about her, and talking about her, and portraying her all over again.” NPR 

While information is at the time a bit tentative, current reports are that “Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.”

Blurring facts, personal attacks reward GOP’s 2016 front-runners McClatchy

Arras Blue set of doors
The infamous ‘Marshmallow Test’ taught us about willpower and balancing short-term versus long-term pay offs. The test, which was conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel in the 1960-70s, involved giving nursery school children the choice between one edible reward which they could devour immediately, or a larger reward they would have to wait for, alone, for up to 20 minutes. The main finding from this study was that children who displayed willpower and held out for the larger reward generally fared better in life with higher SAT scores and a lower BMI 30 years later.
“I walked in, and there was a river of water,” Mr. Havrilak said. He ran over to the rear wall of the morgue, where most of the card catalog sits, and saw what he said looked like a waterfall. Assistant saves new york times archives from flood
David Deming, associate professor of economics at Harvard University and author of the paper ‘The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market’ argues the case in a compelling article on FiveThirtyEight. It’s not that technical skills and cognitive ability aren’t important; it’s just that people skills are now seen as even more desirable for those who want to get ahead. “Social skills increasingly are a complement to cognitive skills,” says Deming.

The decision by trustees of the University of Illinois to revoke a tenured position offered to Steven Salaita evokes another, long-ago controversy. In 1940, a New York court revoked the appointment of Bertrand Russell to a faculty position at the College of the City of New York, in part because of Russell’s allegedly “immoral” writings. In both instances, the decision makers justified their actions by predicting harm to students if the appointees were allowed to take up their faculty positions. Because most observers today would probably disapprove of Russell’s “dehiring,” I use that event as a lens through which to view the revocation of Salaita’s appointment.
Everything Old Is New Again

Note that this article was orginally posted on the Harvard Law School Case Studies Blog. By Elizabeth Moroney
What do you get when you cross a brainstorming meeting with Reddit? The Berkman Center for Internet & Society has taken the best of online forums and crowdsourcing to offer a simple web tool for online or blended discussion. The Berkman Question Tool is a free, open-source discussion tool in which participants can respond anonymously, with a pseudonym, or by name. It can be used for asynchronous online discussion or as a backchannel for in-person discussions. Gene Koo, Fellow at the Berkman Center, said, “It’s an effective way to keep feedback focused, direct speakers to audience interests, and potentially prevent the mic from being hijacked by that weirdo.” Discussion leaders can create their own “instance” with a short description that frames the discussion. This frame can solicit questions or answers.

Clive James vowed not to reread Conrad. But he must, because no other writer so perceptively presaged our world of radicalism, terrorism, and idealism... Polish Slavs  »

Social Media & the Politics of Collegiality: An Interview with Steven Salaita By Karrieann Soto Vega and Vani Kannan

The Journal‘s Speakeasy blog looks at the six contenders currently topping Ladbrokes’s list, five of whom have been mentioned for years and one – the current leader, as it happens – whose name will be unfamiliar to many of us Wall Street Journal 

The strange case of the castrati. They were loved by men as well as women, were paid legendary sums, and were said to have secret powers... Cast Rat I  »