Perpetual warfare

“Much has been written about the role of social networks in powering the uprisings, and new media were undoubtedly an important factor. But, to an extent that has not been appreciated, the Arab protest movements emerged as an unintended consequence of western weakness. The demand for change had a specific cause: the steep rise in food prices that was produced by the liquidity released by Ben Bernanke”

Read Article

Source : New Statesmen

#25 Collected Reading – Protest edition

Quote of the week

“The service of a good citizen is never useless : being heard and seen, he helps by his expression, a nod of his head, a stubborn silence, even his gait. ”
– Seneca


1.Why Establishment Media & the Power Elite Loathe Occupy Wall Street 

“The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

activism,culture,economics,Financial,global

Source :Dissenter.com

2. What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?

“Some of these critiques are ludicrous.  Does anyone really not know what the basic message is of this protest: that Wall Street is oozing corruption and criminality and its unrestrained political power — in the form of crony capitalism and ownership of political institutions — is destroying financial security for everyone else?”

activism,culture,economics,Financial,global

Source : Salon


3. Unequal Responsibility for Crime

“The case Mokhiber cited is not unique. In 1982 a study of America’s five hundred largest corporations reported that “23 percent of them had been convicted of a major crime or had paid more than $50,000 in penalties for serious misbehavior during the previous decade”

corporations,crime,politics,usa

Source :Truth Out

4. Freedom Riders Documentary PBS

“In 1908, journalist Ray Stannard Baker observed that “no other point of race contact is so much and so bitterly discussed among Negroes as the Jim Crow car.” As bus travel became widespread in the South over the first half of the 20th century, it followed the same pattern”

culture, race, USA, nonviolence

Source : PBS

5. Israelis plan million-strong march as protesters call for social justice

“It is certainly one of the largest street protests we have experienced in Israel,” said Tamar Hermann, of the Israel Democracy Institute. “But what really makes it different is its heterogeneous nature. Normally protest is homogeneous. Diversity is as important as size.”

democracy,israel,policy,politics,protest

Source : The Guardian

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– Kaushik

#22 Collected Reading

Quote of the week

“It must be admitted, however, that life in More’s Utopia, as in most others, would be intolerably dull. Diversity is essential to happiness, and in Utopia there is hardly any. This is a defect of all planned social systems, actual as well as imaginary.”

— History of Western Philosophy (Routledge Classics) – by Bertrand Russell


1.Why start-ups won’t save us from recession

“Now of course Hoffa is a union boss and he would say that, wouldn’t he. But the point he raises is nevertheless sobering. Not only is patriotism a completely outmoded concept for major technology companies, but so also is the idea that these corporations have any wider social responsibility to the societies which provide them with the skilled and educated people who make them so innovative and profitable. Welcome to Tom Friedman’s flat world.”

culture,economics,policy, usa

Source :The Guardian

2. Jelly batteries break the mould

“The Leeds-based researchers are promising that their jelly batteries are as safe as polymer batteries, perform like liquid-filled batteries, but are 10 to 20% the price of either..”

environment,innovation, uk

Source : BBC


3. The Perfect Stimulus: Free, Politically Viable, and Deficit-Reducing

“Why would the Treasury want more longer-term debt? Let’s think of an analogy. Imagine that you had two loans: a 30-year mortgage fixed at 3% and a 1-year loan at 0.5% that you have to roll over annually. Although that one-year loan is cheaper now, you know that in a couple of years it will cost you more than 3% to continue to roll it over — and your spending habit won’t allow you to pay it off. As a result, it makes sense to consolidate that short-term loan into your mortgage if you are able.”

culture,economics,policy,usa

Source :The Atlantic Magazine

4. UK joins nuclear fusion project

“We were thinking: ‘what would be a way forward, how could Europe define a strategic route for laser power production to take advantage of these developments?’ And that was the kernel of Hiper.”

environment,innovation,uk

Source : BBC

5. Mental Abacus Does Away With Words

“Now studies on a group of children trained to use a “mental abacus” suggest the technique frees mathematics from its usual dependence on language.”

Asia,Mathmatics,Method,thinking

Source : New Scientist

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– Kaushik

#21 Collected Reading

Quote of the week

“Brazil was the first country to pass a law guaranteeing a minimum income: in 2004, President Lula signed the law guaranteeing “an unconditional basic income, or citizenship income” for every Brazilian citizen or foreigner resident for five years or more. The payment will be of equal value, payable in monthly amounts and sufficient to cover “minimal expenses in food, housing, education and health care,” taking into account “the country’s level of development and budgetary possibilities.”

— Living in the End Times :by Slavoj Zizek


1.Sweden’s free school experiment 

“Osterman also doesn’t believe it’s necessarily a bad thing. “We are becoming a school for ambitious immigrants,” he said.
But as I was leaving his school, one of his students, Mohammed Mahmoud, put it differently. “This is a school for criminals,” he declared, to laughter. “Nobody’s working in this school, because no one here has any future.”

education,sweden,policy,culture

Source :The Guardian

2. What Do You Want to Say You’ve Done?

“Instead, base your career decisions (at least in part) on what hope to say when you look back on your life. You may not always succeed, but are unlikely to look back with regret on those decisions that gave you the opportunity to reach your aspirations.”

culture,life

Source : Harvard Business Review


3. Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?

“I do not enjoy Facebook — I find it cloying and impossible — but I am there every day. Last year I watched a friend struggle through breast cancer treatment in front of hundreds of friends.”

media,culture,usa

Source :New York Magazine

4. UK riots were product of consumerism and will hit economy, says City broker

“The dominant ethos of ‘I buy, therefore I am’ needs to be challenged by a shift of emphasis from material to non-material values.”

capitalism,uk,riots,culture

Source : The Guardian

5. NYTimes: Where Pay for Chiefs Outstrips U.S. Taxes

“The authors of a new study said their findings suggested that current United States business policy was rewarding tax avoidance rather than innovation.”

economics,policy,tax rate,usa

Source : The New York Times

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– Kaushik

#20 Collected Reading – 5 View points on the London Riots

Quote of the week

“If the Western world is still determined to rule mankind by force,” the 1945 conference declared, “then Africans as a last resort, may have to appeal to force in the effort to achieve freedom, even if force destroys them and the world.” The demand for freedom came alongside the demand for socialism: “We condemn the monopoly of capital and the rule of private wealth and industry for profit alone.”

-The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World –  by Vijay Prashad


1.Everywhere is a target, everywhere is symbolic 

“the riots and its crowd-logics that recalls the frenzy that characterises financial markets today. Indeed it’s a strange though not necessarily ironic coincidence that the Blackberry through its private messaging network, BBM, was it is claimed, the method of organising London’s riots allowing people to group and regroup with mystifying speed. Not so long ago, the Blackberry was the singular device that symbolised the world of modern business.”

Riots, UK, Politics, Policy, Culture, Networks

Source :Domus

2. Teens are left to their own devices as council axes all youth services

“It’s just the boredom,” she says. “Boredom causes trouble.”

Riots, UK, Politics, Policy, Culture, Economics

Source : The Guardian


3. Handmade hashtag. Impromptu bulletin board gives positive voice to riot-struck Londoners

“My immediate neighbour was drawn to the A4 sheet saying ‘we should be producers, not just consumers”

Riots, UK, Politics, Policy, Culture, Community

Source :Eye Magazine

4. The year we realised our democratically elected leaders can no longer protect us

“The irony of all this is that outside Britain, Europe and the US, the great story of 2011 has been the Arab spring, as the people of Syria, Yemen and beyond have taken to the streets. It seems that just as those nations demand the tools of democracy, we are finding them rusting and blunt in our hands.”

Riots, UK, Politics, Policy, Culture, Democracy

Source : The Guardian

5. Thinking Allowed BBC Radio 4 – Liverpool Riots

“30 years ago riots broke out in Liverpool which lead to 160 arrests and 258 police officers needing hospital treatment. The four days of street battles, arson and looting lead to violent disturbances in many other British cities and have changed community relations and disorder policing in the country forever.”

Riots, Liverpool, Politics, Culture

Source : BBC Thinking Allowed

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– Kaushik

#19 Collected Reading

Quote of the week

“To describe a problem is part of the solution. This implies: not to make creative decisions as promoted by feeling but by intellectual criteria. The more exact and complete these criteria are, the more create the work becomes. The creative process is to be reduced to an act of selection. Designing means : to pick out determing elements and combining them.”

-Karl Gerstner


1.What Jaron Lanier Thinks of Technology Now

“These arguments have proved popular. The book has received admiring reviews in the Times and (twice) in The New York Review of Books. In the months after “Gadget” was published, Lanier lectured at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, travelled to Seoul to speak at a major conference about innovation, and made Time’s list of the hundred “most influential people in the world.” At the South by Southwest Interactive conference, in Austin, in March of 2010, Lanier gave a talk, before which he asked his audience not to blog, text, or tweet while he was speaking. He later wrote that his message to the crowd had been: “If you listen first, and write later, then whatever you write will have had time to filter through your brain, and you’ll be in what you say. This is what makes you exist. If you are only a reflector of information, are you really there?”

Technology, USA, Culture, Design

Source :The New Yorker

2. Blog Archive Better (and more) Social Bonuses

“While they were purchasing a gift for a teammate, they also became more interested in their teammate and were happier to help them further in multiple other ways.”

Business, USA, Culture, collaboration

Source : Dan Ariely


3. Handmade hashtag. Impromptu bulletin board gives positive voice to riot-struck Londoners

“My immediate neighbour was drawn to the A4 sheet saying ‘we should be producers, not just consumers’.”

Culture, Community, London, Public, Memorial

Source :Eye Magazine

4. Examining the Limitations of a Neoliberal Safety Net: Romney’s Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts

“rightfully in my humble opinion, ignore this because the government isn’t doing what the government is best at – absorbing risks.  All the government is doing is setting the stage for the individual to confront the entirety of their economic risks by themselves.”

Economics, USA, Culture, Policy

Source : Rortybomb

5. The Motorcycle Gangs

“they know it—and that is their meaning; for unlike most losers in today’s society, the Hell’s Angels not only know but spitefully proclaim exactly where they stand.”

Gangs, Culture, Media, USA, politics

Source : The Nation

Hope you like this collection. Please comment, share and most of all enjoy.

– Kaushik

#15 Collected Reading

Quote of the week

“To curb as if in fetters unbridled hopes and a mind obsessed with the future, and to aim to acquire riches from ourselves rather than from Fortune.” – Seneca

1. Gillard puts future on the line with radical plan for Australian carbon tax

“Australia generates more carbon pollution per head than any other developed country, thanks to its heavy reliance on coal-fired power stations. With a population of 22 million, Australia is responsible for 1.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. By comparison, Britain, with nearly three times the population, produces just 1.7%.”

australia, environment, policy, politics

Source :The Guardian

2.Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales

“James Fothergill, the CBI’s head of education and skills, said: “Our recent research shows that 42% of employers are not satisfied with the basic reading and writing skills of school and college leavers and almost half have had to invest in remedial training to get their staff’s skills up to scratch.”

education,policy,technology,uk

Source : BBC


3. A grotesque symbol of starving Africa

“Increasing numbers of children are dropping dead on the long trek to refugee camps. Those who do get there are more severely malnourished than ever before. And, says the UN, the number of people under threat has now reached 11 million – equivalent to every man, woman and child in Belgium facing starvation. Thus, the chronic food crisis of the Horn of Africa edges with every hungry day towards full-blown famine.” 

africa,economics,policy,politics

Source : The independant

4. Forests soak up third of fossil fuel emissions

“Once deforestation and regrowth are taken into account, however, tropical forests have been essentially carbon neutral.”

environment,global,policy

Source : The independant

5. Pay as You Go with Smartphones 

“Should this technology take off, the cellphone could become the central repository of not just bank account information but coupons, loyalty points, and membership cards, allowing companies such as Google to route deals to cellphones at just the right time and place.”

Technology, Culture, Economic, Global, Mobile

Source : Business Week

Hope you like this collection. Please comment, share and most of all enjoy.

– Kaushik

#14 Collected Reading

Thinking Allowed one of my favorite shows on radio

Thinking allowed covers two topics in every episode, it is hosted by Laurie Taylor a professor of social science. What makes this show great is that the host is actually trying to get the guests to enter into a dialogue with both the listeners and the subject matter.
Take a listen and let me know what you think. The listener feedback he reads out between the two parts of the show are some of the most insightful I have ever heard on radio.

1. Streetlife – Performing politics in the square

“How does urban geography effect the way societies develop? What have streets given to politics?”

Place, Politics, Policy

Source :Thinking Allowed

2. Utopia

“In an age that some describe as filled with anxiety and uncertainty, are we breeding a kind of fatalism towards the future that excludes any notion of utopia?”

Philosophy, Social Science

Source : Thinking Allowed


3. Secrets of Capitalism – Religion and Science

“The United States does not have the highest living standard in the world – The washing machine has changed the world more than the internet – People in poor countries are more entrepreneurial than people in rich countries: Three contentions from the economist Ha-Joon Chang” 

Economics, Policy

Source : Thinking Allowed

4. Ethical capital – The Burden of Happiness

“The British government is seeking to develop a way to accurately measure the happiness of the population. In France such a gauge already exists, but is happiness really the proper goal of life?”

Happiness, Culture

Source : Thinking Allowed

5. Cosmopolitanism – Dietetics

“We should regard ourselves as citizens of the world rather than members of nations..

Culture, Nations

Source : Thinking Allowed

Hope you like this collection. Please comment, share and most of all enjoy.

– Kaushik

#13 Collected Reading

Quote of the week

“When there is no longer any violence, there is no need for help Therefore you should not demand help, but abolish violence. Help and violence form a whole And the whole has to be changed” – Brecht

1. Holy cow, taxman! Featherweight activist fights battle against the dodgers

“It’s no coincidence that when this government came into power almost the first thing it did was raise VAT rates so that ordinary people would pay more tax and then cut corporate tax rates.”

Economics, Policy, Tax Rate,UK

Source :The Guardian

2.Connective Spaces in Medellín

“Juan Carlos’ comments about countering gang activity through positive use of public space strike an important tone in the role of public space in Medellin.”

Community, Culture, Place, Urban

Source : Connective Spaces


3.When Sweden Rules the World

“Acceptance of failure. Finally, if all of this so far makes Swedes sound like superhumans, take heart. They do in fact fail – pretty often, as it turns out. But here again a good cultural pressure-release valve comes to their assistance: a willingness to accept and learn from failure. While other cultures might blindly contend that failure is not an option, Swedes generally accept that some failure is bound to happen.” 

Culture, Policy, Sweden

Source : Creative Social Blog

4. Adam Curtis Blog: RUPERT MURDOCH – A PORTRAIT OF SATAN

“When Murdoch heard the news that John Major had been re-elected he was on the lot at Twentieth Century Fox. He said two words: ” We Won” “

Media, UK, Culture

Source : BBC

5. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Market 

“Thus seen, the ‘freedom’ of a market is, like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder. If you believe that the right of children not to have to work is more important than the right of factory owners to be able to hire whoever they find most profitable, you will not see a ban on child labour as an infringement on the freedom of the labour market. If you believe the opposite, you will see an ‘unfree’ market, shackled by a misguided government regulation.”

Economics, Culture, Markets, Global, Policy

Source : Truthout

Hope you like this collection. Please comment, share and most of all enjoy.

– Kaushik

#11 Collected Reading July 3rd, 2011

Quote of the week

“It is the difference between the “organic” solution (solving the problem by returning to the purity of the original non-corrupted system) and the truly radical solution (identifying the problem as the “symptom” of the entire system, the symptom which can only be resolved by abolishing the entire system)”. – Living in the End Times –  Slavoj Zizek

1.Bottom’s Up! A Look at America’s Drinking Habits

“Soda is still the most-consumed beverage in the U.S., with the average consumer chugging nearly 45 gallons of the fizzy stuff last year. So it’s no coincidence that three of the biggest measured-media budgets in the beverage category belong to soda brands.”

Culture, Health, Food

Source :Adage

2.Donors Are Settling for a ‘Bronze Standard’ for Measuring Charities – The Giveaway

“Many donors do care about how their money is spent. Brian Walsh, director of global social engagement at Liquidnet for Good, pointed to a recent study that showed 85 percent of donors say they care about performance. Nonetheless, only one third say they conduct research before they make a donation and only 3 percent say they make gifts based on a charity’s performance”

Nonprofit, Grants, Culture

Source : Philanthropy.com


3. Museum 2.0: A Simple Outcome of Visitor Participation: Delight

““But maybe it should be. For me, a professional who is pushing every day to make a struggling museum relevant and sustainable, I find incredible joy in these simple visitor comments.” 

Place, Culture, Museum

Source : Museumtwo

4. No Pension, No Security

“Combined with Social Security benefit cuts, the rise of 401(k)s has led to growing retirement insecurity and an increase in the labor force participation of older workers. Still, workers with only 401(k)s are better off than the nearly half of full-time workers with no retirement plan at all.

Economics, Culture, Work

Source : EPI.org

5. Risk, probability, and how our brains are easily misled

“If we really want people to understand a given probability, then we have to play to the human brain’s strengths, and adjust how we present the information.”

Technology, Humans, Culture

Source : Arstechnica

Hope you like this collection. Please comment, share and most of all enjoy.

– Kaushik