Monday, January 23, 2017

Two Kultchas: Urbanisation

“You know what’s so fascinating about plays, Chris? It’s making harmony out of chaos. You start with a bunch of mismatched actors and an empty stage and an auditorium with five hundred empty seats and a mess of threadbare props and costumes and this impossible deadine and you go to work—and suddenly it’s opening night, and if you’ve done your job, everything comes together, including the audience. I mean if the play works, it draws the audience into it. Onstage you can feel the five hundred people breathing with you. You feel this great sense of order and understanding.”
~Jon Hassler, The Love Hunter (courtesy of Mrs. T)

 Are Men Less than they were? 

60% of primate species now threatened with extinction TreeHugger 

 Why do so many villains In Public Service and Elsewhere have British accents?

One of the hard core ironies of life is that history is more cyclical than we had thought during the 1948-2009 period, and that this is a major source of systematic risk in the world today.  Another major claim is that individual attempts to make one’s lot in life safer and more secure actually may exacerbate broader risks at the macro level...

4 Ways to Improve Your Strategic Thinking Skills:
If you’ve ever received feedback that you “need to be more strategic,” you know how frustrating it can feel. To add insult to injury, the feedback rarely comes with any concrete guidance on what to do about it. One of my coaching clients, Lisa, a vice president of HR, was in this situation and explains, “I was just told to think bigger picture and to be more strategic. It felt like I had been given the definition of a word by using the same word. It just wasn’t helpful ...”
Four - 4 ways to improve your strategic thinking skills

Via A Czech Mate: The culture that is Austria (China) bouncers to keep tourists out of the town church.  And take a course with Virginia Postrel (and possibly others) in Greece this summer 

Amazing that chess player Hans Berliner received such a long obit in the NYT 

People Are Extremely Loyal To Groups That Haze Newcomers – Why?

“Why do unpleasant hazing practices manage to remain so appealing that individuals are willing to risk legal punishment, injury and even death to keep the practices alive?” Anthropol. ogist Christopher Kavanagh looks to the phenomena of cognitive dissonance, social glue and “costly signals” for explanations.

How Do You Remain Civil In An Uncivil World?

“For better or worse, we must accept that civility ‘does not exist outside of politics as an independent force,’ … but rather is just as much the ‘subject of political struggle’ as everything else.”

“The Atlas of Urban Expansion, an open-source online resource with maps, satellite images, and data on spatial changes in cities around the world, has been revised and updated. The new database is a partnership of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, UN-Habitat, and New York University, The Atlas of Urban Expansion now features a global sample of 200 cities, representing the universe of all 4,231 cities and metropolitan areas that had 100,000 people or more in 2010. The aim is to provide a scientific understanding of how the world’s cities are growing, and to measure performance and identify trends in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda following the Habitat IIIglobal cities summit in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. Massive urbanization, accompanied by the rapid expansion of cities and metropolitan regions and the sprawling growth of megacities the world over, is one of the most important transformations of our planet. Much of this explosive growth has been unplanned. Cities in developing countries have been unprepared for absorbing the many millions of the rural poor that are still crowding into informal settlements. These cities are set to double their urban population in the next thirty years, and triple the land area they occupy. From 1990 and 2015, the area occupied by cities in less developed countries increased by a factor of 3.5; if that rate continues, the total amount of land taken over by urban land use would be equivalent to the entire country of India. The Atlas of Urban Expansion provides the geographic and quantitative dimensions of urban expansion and its key attributes in cities the world over. The data and images are available for free downloading, for scholars, public officials, planners, those engaged in international development, and concerned citizens. The empirical data and quantitative dimensions of past, present, and future urban expansion in cities around the world are critical for making minimal preparations for the massive urban growth expected in the coming decades.”

"I mean, it's pretty darn easy these days to just say whatever the heck you want on national TV and have it pass off as truth,. And, you know, it's...just pretty incredible to me how easy it was to get the coverage we got." — Fake news creator "Dom Tullipso" in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson 

Rising Tide

Patterns of rising and falling inflection are vital to a lot of music. Purely instrumental music often encodes emphasis-patterns that resemble speech, or song. (Linguists prefer the term “intonation” to signify these rises and ... read more 

Is This The Breakthrough Philosophy Podcast, 'Rich and Tax Free'?

Barry Lam, associate professor of philosophy at Vassar College and a fellow at Duke University has been working on a new philosophy audio program called Hi-Phi Nation (previously). Here’s his pitch:
What if there were a platform where philosophers can collaborate with investigative or beat reporters, nonfiction writers and documentary producers, and use the power...
Philosopher Wins 2 Million Euros to Study “Seeing Things You Don’t See”
  • Bence Nanay, professor of philosophy at the Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp and Senior Research Associate at Peterhouse College at Cambridge University, has won a 2 million euro grant for his project, “Seeing Things You Don’t See.”
  • Ashley Mackenzie

    The Uncoupling

    Her marriage broken, her house dismantled, Rachel Cusk has broken apart her fiction, too, remaking it in new ways.
Two cultures of women’s writing rarely mix: the lofty abstractions of Virginia Woolf and the vulgar, popular approach ofCosmopolitan. Enter Elena Ferrante 

Time-Travel Therapy

Can a faux 1950s downtown sharpen the minds of dementia patients?

Montaigne Was The Inventor Of Liberalism. But What Do We Really Know About Him?

“What do I know?” was Montaigne’s beloved motto, meaning: What do I really know? And what do we really know about him now? We may vaguely know that he was the first essayist, that he retreated from the world into a tower on the family estate to think and reflect, and that he wrote about cannibals (for them) and about cruelty (against it). He was considered by Claude Lévi-Strauss, no less, to be the first social scientist, and a pioneer of relativism—he thought that those cannibals were just as virtuous as the Europeans they offended, that customs vary equably from place to place.

Google Never Does Evil 

 No More Secrets By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter@Gaius_PubliusTumblr and Facebook. GP article archive  here. Originally published at DownWithTyranny

We could make some grand statement about the nature of surveillance in 21st Century America — there’s certainly a grand and frightening statement to be made — but that would obscure the detail. (Do note, though, when you watch the videos, how much the American need for extreme Public Safety — “Daddy, keep us safe” — is invoked in justifying these intrusions.)

That said, from a recent Rolling Stone report on surveillance in Baltimore, here is just the detail, how Americans are being watched by cops of all stripes.

The Ninja Cure for Anxiety

The self-medicating effects of extreme-fitness TV

(1) Fake news used to mean this, before it got hijacked. (2) The Trump-O-Meter is up and running. (3) Facebook opened up to third-party fact-checkers in Germany, too. (4) In Guatemala, Plaza Publica fact-checked Jimmy Morales' presidential address. (5) The Washington Post Fact Checker is looking for a video editor/reporter. Application deadline is Jan. 20. (6) First Draft News released a Chrome extension to help with verification processes. (7) Another painful lesson in thinking before retweeting. (8) The BBC's temporary "Reality Check" team becomes permanent.  (9) This week in "Who Isn't Dead."  (10) takes a look back at President Obama's whoppers.