History of Philosophy: a free weekly podcast
Peter Adamson, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King's College London, takes listeners through the history of philosophy, "without any gaps." Beginning with the earliest ancient thinkers, the series will look at the ideas and lives of the major philosophers (eventually covering in detail such giants as Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Aquinas, Descartes, and Kant) as well as the lesser-known figures of the tradition.So far, logically enough, they all concern ancient philosophy: Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Anaxagoras, the overall development of Presocratic philosophy from the Milesians to Parmenides... way to go!
What Happens in Vagueness Stays in Vagueness: The decline and fall of American English, and stuff
I recently watched a television program in which a woman described a baby squirrel that she had found in her yard. "And he was like, you know, 'Helloooo, what are you looking at?' and stuff, and I'm like, you know, 'Can I, like, pick you up?,' and he goes, like, 'Brrrp brrrp brrrp,' and I'm like, you know, 'Whoa, that is so wow!'"Link
Economist research: Imbalance of opportunity for women
This presentation, prepared for one of our Ideas Economy events, examines the variation in economic opportunities for women around the world, using data compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Opportunity is defined as a combination of prevailing labour policies, access to finance, education and training, and legal and social status. One surprising finding: under communism women were encouraged (or expected) to work, and this attitude has persisted in many former communist countries, which continue to provide more opportunities for women.Link (via Heather Kelley)
It Takes a Church Like Scientology to Have Apostates These Days
To make a true apostate you need a religious community that has, among other things, obvious insiders and outsiders. In the United States, with our promiscuous spiritual questing, many of us are never exclusively in one religion enough to one day find ourselves out of it. To leave some religious groups is to apostatize, while to leave other groups - notably mainline Christian groups - is simply to float away. It is hard to imagine a Unitarian-Universalist apostate.Link
Mind vs. Machine: Computers can fly airplanes, but they can't make plausible small talk
In the race to build computers that can think like humans, the proving ground is the Turing Test—an annual battle between the world's most advanced artificial-intelligence programs and ordinary people. The objective? To find out whether a computer can act "more human" than a person. In his own quest to beat the machines, the author discovers that the march of technology isn't just changing how we live, it's raising new questions about what it means to be human.Link
A Dow Jones/S&P 500 Index for the Arts (It's a Bear Market)
The National Arts Index is intended to function much like stock indexes. By its measure, the recent, recession-strapped years have seen big declines not just in nonprofit arts but pop concerts and movies as well.Link
Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory
When Claude Lévi-Strauss died a little over a year ago at age 100, he left behind a curious and contested legacy. For the French, he was the intellectual equivalent of royalty. In 2008, editions of his works were published in the gilt-lettered Pléiade collection, an act of canonization rare for a living French author; in his last appearances on television, he was less a commentator than an object of veneration; shortly before the end, President Nicolas Sarkozy paid him court to wish him happy birthday. "All French anthropologists are the children of Lévi-Strauss," proclaimed Le Monde in its obituary—which was an understatement, as there is scarcely a field in the humanities and social sciences Lévi-Strauss left unaltered. His ideas about myth dramatically collapsed the distinction between European high culture and so-called primitive society, and weaned a generation of French thinkers off Marxist orthodoxy and Sartrean existentialism. Though he did not like to claim intellectual patrimony, the careers of Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault are impossible to imagine without him.Link
When will we run out of IPv4 Addresses? I hope 2012!This report is dynamically generated each day...
Various studies and articles have been published in recent years with estimates concerning the exhaustion of IPv4. While no one can predict the exhaustion date of IPv4 with certainty, we all know it is inevitable. It is no longer a question of "if", but rather of "when". Various mathematical calculations, along with discussions on how different variables affect the exhaustion date are used to approach this complex challenge.Link
1906: Crafty farmers get around data charges with telegraph ciphers
Walter A Wood was a large scale manufacturer of Agricultural Equipment located in Hoosick Falls, NY – a small town between Albany and the Vermont border. Although his business began local, it was eventually an international operation. The NYSHA library has a large and comprehensive collection of catalogs, broadsides, parts lists and circulars for Wood’s company. The Farmers' Museum also has several pieces of Wood equipment in the collection.Link (via Adam Flynn)
102-Key Piano Developed in Australia
Most pianos have 88 keys. And most great piano music comes from the middle of the keyboard — only rarely do the player’s fingers venture onto the tinkly keys at the top of the keyboard, or the booming bass notes at the bottom. But a craftsman in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, thinks the instrument has room to grow; and he wants to nudge the piano out of complacent middle age. He has designed a grand with an unprecedented 102 keys.
For color, Stuart says, and resonance. "There's a tremendous amount of energy in the low-octave notes, and you can hear the power."Link
Researchers Say They Can Cure Tinnitus By 'Retuning' The Brain
American scientists claim to have developed a cure for tinnitus, a condition that causes incessant ringing in the ears. Researchers have found that by stimulating the part of the brain that causes the disorder they were able to make the ringing go away - at least for, er, rats.Link
Poor Reason: Culture still doesn't explain poverty
"'Culture of Poverty' Makes a Comeback." So read the headline of Patricia Cohen’s front-page article in the October 17, 2010 edition of The New York Times. The article was prompted by a recent issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science under the title, "Reconsidering Culture and Poverty." In their introductory essay, the editors, Mario Luis Small, David J. Harding, and Michèle Lamont, strike a triumphant note:LinkCulture is back on the poverty research agenda. Over the past decade, sociologists, demographers, and even economists have begun asking questions about the role of culture in many aspects of poverty and even explicitly explaining the behavior of the low-income population in reference to cultural factors.Cohen begins with a similar refrain:For more than 40 years, social scientists investigating the causes of poverty have tended to treat cultural explanations like Lord Voldemort: That Which Must Not Be Named. The reticence was a legacy of the ugly battles that erupted after Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then an assistant labor secretary in the Johnson administration, introduced the idea of a ‘culture of poverty’ to the public in his 1965 report on 'The Negro Family.'Cohen uncritically accepts two myths woven by William Julius Wilson, the prominent Harvard sociologist, and repeated by his acolytes: first, Moynihan was clobbered for bringing to light compromising facts about black families, and second, that this torrent of criticism constrained a generation of social scientists from investigating the relation between culture and poverty, for fear that it would be pilloried for "blaming the victim." Thus, a third, patently self-serving myth: thanks to some intrepid scholars who reject political correctness, it is now permissible to consider the role that culture plays in the production and reproduction of racial inequalities.
A woman's greatest handicap is her upbringing: Interview with Beatrix Patzak (Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum, Vienna)
For the series on “Women leaders in art and science” wieninternational.at spoke this week with Beatrix Patzak, director of the Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum in Vienna. The woman who reigns over about 50,000 anatomical and pathological specimens reported from her workplace in the so-called Narrenturm (Madhouse Tower) about her first activities at the museum, her everyday experience with overwhelmed visitors and the special features of the building.Link (via Heather Kelley)
What prompted the Beatles to end their lengthy dispute with the other Apple over downloads?
Part of the hesitation on the Beatles' part may have been that the band have always been heavily protective of their music, keen never to devalue the brand by giving away their songs too cheaply: when the disruptive effects of the internet were first felt within the music industry, one common response was to start selling CDs at heavily marked-down prices, but McCartney and co never succumbed to this pressure.Link
What Does It Mean To Be Cool? Linking Stoicism and Hip Hop
In principle, to be cool means to remain calm even under stress. But this doesn't explain why there is now a global culture of cool. What is cool, and why is it so cool to be cool?Link
monochrom is an art-technology-philosophy group having its seat in Vienna and Zeta Draconis. monochrom is an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism. Our mission is conducted everywhere, but first and foremost in culture-archeological digs into the seats (and pockets) of ideology and entertainment. monochrom has existed in this (and almost every other) form since 1993.
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23 Works (Short films)