#16 Collected Reading – Thinking about the present

Thinking about the present

A collection of thoughts around thinking, work and how to be in the present. 

“Today is a gift.
That is why they call it the present.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

1. Distraction

“Finally, it is generally agreed that no activity can be successfully pursued by an individual who is preoccupied – no rhetoric or liberal studies – since the mind when distracted absorbs nothing deeply, but rejects everything which is, so to speak , crammed into it.” – Seneca

Distraction, Culture, Self

Source :On the Shortness of Life

2. Collective Rationality

“The commission gave me the a wonderful opportunity to test my favorite hypothesis about collective rationality, which is that if you put people of strongly opposing views in a room together, and infuse their discussion with data, background studies, and unhurried time for debate, it is possible to bridge seemingly irreconcilable positions among the members of the group.” – Jeffery Sachs

Thinking, Collaboration, Global, Facts

Source : The End of Poverty


3. Ithaca

“Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind
To arrive there is what you are destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for many years,
So you’re old by the time you reach the isle,
Wealthy with all you have gained on the way
And not expecting Ithaca to make you rich”

-C.P Cavafy

Journey, Life, Culture

Source : The Age of Absurdity

4. Ego

“The man who can center his thoughts and hopes upon something transcending self can find a certain peace in the ordinary troubles of life which is impossible to the pure egoist.” – Bertrand Russell

environment,global,policy

Source : The Conquest of Happiness

5. The Individual

“An individual who has to make things for the use of others, and with reference to their wants and their wishes, does not work with interest, and consequently cannot put into his work what is best in him.” – Oscar Wilde

– Collected reading editorial note : This quote when taken on face value can seem silly. My interpretation of it is that individuals are not disconnected from society’s needs and as such understand them as part of their own reality. Therefore, by solving your own problems you also contribute to solving the issues of many fellow citizens through your own particular lens on culture.

Individuality, Creativity, Work

Source : The Soul of Man Under Socialism

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

#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

#7 Collected Reading June 5th, 2011

Quote of the week

“Indeed, we may go this far: The television commercial is not at all about the character of products to be consumed. It is about the character of the consumers of products. – Neil Postman”

1.Playing For Change | Gimme Shelter

“Oh, a storm is threat’ning .
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away”

Music, Collaboration, Global

Source :Playing for Change

2. UK green spaces worth at least £30bn a year in health and welfare, report finds

“If the UK’s ecosystems are properly cared for, they could add an extra £30bn a year to the UK’s economy; if they are neglected, the economic cost would be more than £20bn a year, the report found. Inland wetlands, for instance, are worth £1.5bn a year in improving water quality alone, and pollinators such as bees are worth at least £430m a year to agriculture.”

Environment, Economy, UK

Source : The Guardian


3. Shakespeare’s Works from the London Globe Will Hit Movie Theatres

“Each performance will begin at 7 PM local time and will include a special 20-minute historical perspective on the Globe, the reconstruction process, the work of the Globe today, and a behind-the-scenes look at each production with interviews from the actors and creative team involved.”

Shakespeare, Movies, Culture

Source : Playbill

4. Tenth Anniversary of the Bush-era Tax Cuts

“In 2010, the top 1% of earners (i.e., tax filers making over $645,000) received 38% of the breaks in the 2001-08 tax changes; 55% of the tax breaks went to the top 10% of earners (those making over $170,000)”

Taxes, Politics, Policy

Source : Economic Policy Institute

5. Tony Ray-Jones: The English : Photography

“When photographer Tony Ray-Jones returned from New York to Britain in 1965, he toured seaside towns, villages, cities and festivals, documenting the English way of life ‘before it became too Americanised’. An exhibition of his work will be on show at the 2011 Guernsey Photography Festival from 1 June..”

Photography, British, Sea-Side

Source : The Guardian

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

– Kaushik

#3 Collected Reading : May 8th 2011

1.Sherlock Holmes & the science Fiction of Deductions

“Like a science fiction writer, Doyle seemed to start with the premise of “what if?” Instead of a detective who arrived at the answers through intuition or moxy, Doyle asserted a different premise with the Holmes stories — what if the detective discovers the answers scientifically? What kind of adventures might he have? Looked at from this semantic angle, the original canon of Sherlock Holmes almost passes for science fiction.”

Deduction, Scifi,Mystery

Source :  Clarks World Magazine

2. Honeybees ‘entomb’ hives to protect against pesticides, say scientists

“Honeybees ‘entomb’ hives to protect against pesticides, say scientists Honeybees are taking emergency measures to protect their hives from pesticides,  in an extraordinary example of the natural world adapting swiftly to our depredations,  according to a prominent bee expert.”

Environment, Society, Bees

Source :  The Guardian


3. The secret life of libraries

 The libraries’ most powerful asset is the conversation they provide – between books and readers, between children and parents, between individuals and the collective world. Take them away and those voices turn inwards or vanish. Turns out that libraries have nothing at all to do with silence.” 

Social, Learning, Society

Source :  The Guardian

4. The economic—and other—benefits of regulations

 “The economic—and other—benefits of regulations

A series of studies over the past several decades 
find that the value of the benefits of regulations has 
consistently and significantly exceeded their costs. 
Also, the cost estimates typically made by the government and 
industry representatives have tended to be significantly overstated. 
When regulations are implemented they tend to be much less 
costly and more efficient than expected.”

Teaching, Design, Leadership, Digital

Source : Economic Policy Institute

5. Boyd Tonkin: A bookish boom in Buenos Aires

“Argentina’s capital boasts at least 350 bookshops, apparently more than in the whole of Brazil.”

Books, Culture, Global

Source :  The Independant

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

– Kaushik

 

#2 Collected Reading : May 1st 2011

1.Prodigal Sun

“Solar energy was a rising star in the ’70s — until it was banished by the powers that be. Are we ready for its return.”

Sustainable, Technology,USA

Source :  Motherjones

2. Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

“Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being.”

Economy, Life, USA

Source :  Vanity Fair


3. American Murder Mystery

 “People were moved too quickly, without any planning, and without any thought about where they would live, and how it would affect the families or the places,” complains James Rosenbaum, the author of the original Gautreaux study. 

Housing, Urban, Race

Source :  The Atlantic

4. John Maeda Mulls RISD’s Backlash Against His Cyber-Style Leadership

 I realize that what I thought could work in the digital era doesn’t have the same impact locally as it does globally. People don’t want more messages; they want more interactions.

Teaching, Design, Leadership, Digital

Source :  Fast Company Digital

5. Streetlife – Performing politics in the square

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

Urban, Culture, Global

Source :  BBC : Thinking Allowed

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

– Kaushik