Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Miracle of Mindfulness

“Of course, chaos can lead to failure and extinction. But so can order. Far more nations, people, and ideas die of atrophy than die from revolution. Both order and chaos are necessary ingredients for long run success - for sustainability.”
John Ikerd

Lina Caneva

Iconic bookstores around the world (NYT)

How The New York Times Book Review Really Works

Pamela Paul, editor of the Sunday Times‘s literary supplement, did a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” this week, and Emily Temple has dug out from it ten things that most people probably don’t know about the Book Review – not least, its differences with the daily paper’s book reviews by staff critics.

Croatia Declares Itself A “Free Reading Zone” 

It has made available more than 100,000 of the “top” books worldwide to readers. “It should not be important whether you are a member of an institution and whether you live in a city with bookstores and libraries in order to have access to books. We still approach the book depending on where we are and which institution we belong to. We still read what others dictate to us rather than what we find ourselves. There is still a very small number of writers who get a chance to publish. When the books are opened in a digital format, it creates new opportunities that will maximize every evolving society.

A Dead End-End Career Track For English Majors?

“Traditionally, writing and teaching at the university level have been the career paths of choice for English majors. Nice work if you can get it. I never could, which is why I’ve spent most of my life as a librarian. My up and down career as a writer, on the other hand, has afforded me much satisfaction and very little money…  My real career as a librarian is all very well, but since it’s fundamentally a paycheck, I can’t muster excessive enthusiasm for an institution that provides a lifelong education free of charge for the broadest conceivable public and generally represents American values at their best. I didn’t major in English to serve American values. I majored in English so that I could spend the rest of my life arguing about books and culture, even if I had to do so in my off hours, even if the argument was chiefly with myself. I still think it was the best decision I ever made."

Iconic Bookstores Around The World That Are As Atmospheric As They Are Literary

“When you walk into the shop, the books appear to reach impossible heights and stretch clear into the distance, an effect created by the perfect symmetry of the dark wooden shelves and the clever use of mirrors on the ceilings and walls. In an amphitheater-like room for readings and lectures, the impression is amplified by the reflection of the curved wall in the mirrored ceiling; it feels as if you are completely surrounded by a rainbow of book spines. In yet another room, the books are arranged on thin columns placed randomly around the room like trees in a forest, with benches interspersed for reading. Again, a mirrored ceiling makes the shelves appear as if they are not just trees, but towering redwoods.”

Nightly Day in Praha

No one likes taxes. But what if tax policy + innovation + direct democracy (ballot initiatives) = a path to mitigate climate change? You might develop a new affection for taxes. If you feel that your elected officials are slow to address climate change - the most pressing issue of our generation, there is another path forward; citizens taking it upon themselves to create laws through direct democracy to successfully mitigate climate change.

Jeff Saviano serves as the global EY organization’s Americas Tax Innovation Leader, directing a team which discovers and brings to market new tax services. Jeff also leads EY’s Americas Indirect & State / Local Tax Services practice, which helps companies manage their state and local taxes in the United States and non-income-based taxes globally. Jeff’s team identifies and secures business and tax governmental incentives for companies making innovation, capital and labor investments across the globe. He advises clients on indirect / state tax policy matters affecting corporate taxpayers. Jeff is a frequent writer and speaker on professional services firm innovation and tax policy Good Taxes Ahead ...

Study: Creative Accomplishment Helps Us Deal With Death

Snow geese
“Our findings suggest that those who pursue creativity, and produce significant creative contributions, may benefit from existential security in the face of death,” the researchers conclude. Artists follow their muses for a myriad of reasons, of course. But this research suggests that, whatever their catalyst, doing creative work — and especially getting recognized for it — conveys an invaluable emotional benefit

The Culture Wars Over Christmas Really Are As Old As Christianity Itself

“‘This festival teaches even the little children, artless and simple, to be greedy,’ as one critic put it. ‘The tender minds of the young begin to be impressed with that which is commercial and sordid.’ The year was 400, and the anxious writer was the Cappadocian Bishop Asterius of Amasea.”

NPR Critics Pick Their Favorite Music Of 2016

bowyance Okay – so we don’t quite know how Solange beats out Beyonce’sLemonade for best album of the year. But the bigger question is how this eclectic hodgepodge of styles and genres gets sorted out into a big list that features Barbara Hannigan, Miranda Lambert, Rihanna, Chopin mazurkas, Kaytranada and Christopher Rouse. Just what is the aesthetic through-line here?