#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

#10 Collected Reading June 26th, 2011

Quote of the week

“Ignorance is the mother of arrogance – Hans Hoffman”

1.René Magritte: enigmatic master of the impossible dream

“Like every good artist, he makes us see the everyday differently but he does it without the pretension of so many other artists.”

Art, Commentary, Everyday

Source :The Guardian

2.Get them while they’re young

“Everything I’ve ever learned about marketing, I learned in church,” says Andrea, one of the people featured in this film.”

Marketing, Ritual, Culture

Source : The Guardian


3. What’s pushing up food prices?

““After intense lobbying, banks won deregulation of commodities markets in the US in 2000, allowing them to develop these new products. Goldman Sachs pioneered commodity index funds” 

Food, Poverty, Policy

Source : The Guardian

4. The Social Network’s Aaron Sorkin quits Facebook

“I acknowledge that video games could be an amazing art form – but not until the people making them go back a bit, to the Aaron Sorkin way of thinking about character and motivation.”

Writing, Culture, Stories

Source : The Guardian

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

– Kaushik

#9 Collected Reading June 19th, 2011

Quote of the week

“We weren’t just at the art exhibition – we were the art exhibition, the art incarnate and the sixties were really about people, not what they did. – Andy warhol”


1.Forty years of Friends of the Earth – in pictures

“The group was founded in 1971 in Roslagen, Sweden, by environmental activists from France, Sweden, the UK and the US who saw the need for an organisation that would address wider environmental and social issues.”

Environment, Photography

Source :The Guardian

2.The Dark Side of the Free and Open 

“The Dark Side of the Free and Open (For Artsworld Magazine)Geeks, programmers and computer scientists are very much in demand in society. Without them all infrastructure collapses. This is (unfortunately) not the case with artists. So far geeks have never had any problems securing an income, even if we take global outsourcing of their work into account. As a result they have little idea what happens if you transport the free and open mantras into other contexts where people are working under harsh neoliberal circumstances struggling to make a living.”

Internet, Work, OpenSource

Source : Network Cultures


3. USDA Replaces Food Pyramid with MyPlate 

““The USDA’s new plate icon couldn’t be more at odds with federal food subsidies,” says PCRM staff nutritionist Kathryn Strong, M.S., R.D. “The plate icon advises Americans to limit high-fat products like meat and cheese, but the federal government is subsidizing these very products with billions of tax dollars and giving almost no support to fruits and vegetables. Congress has to reform the Farm Bill to support healthy diets.” 

Food, Poverty, Policy

Source : PCRM.org

4. California Senate Votes to Ban Styrofoam Containers!

“It’s ironic however that a product used to keep something as short-lived as a milkshake will last many thousands of years in the environment. Studies show that the material accounts for up to 15% of storm drain litter, and it’s the second most prevalent type of beach debris.Read more: California Senate Votes to Ban Styrofoam Containers! | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World”

Environment , Policy, Design

Source : Inhabit

5. Website to catalogue impact of arts funding cuts

“Every £1 invested in the arts produces £2 for the economy, and yet the arts and culture sector is currently suffering from disastrous local authority cuts, as well as the cuts that the Arts Council has had to make after its 30% cut from the government,” he said.”

Arts, Funding, Policy

Source : Lost Arts.org

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

#6 Collected Reading : May 29th 2011

Quote of the week

“After visiting the slums of the metropolis, one realises for the first time that these Londoners have been forced to sacrifice the best qualities of their human nature, to bring to pass all the marvels of civilisation which crowd their city.” – Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844.

1.Single payer healthcare: Vermont’s gentle revolution

“Vermont hired Harvard economist William Hsiao to come up with three alternatives to the current system. The single payer system, Hsiao wrote, “will produce savings of 24.3% of total health expenditure between 2015 and 2024”

Health, Policy, Politics

Source :  The Guardian

2. Unspoken Truths

“Simon Hoggart of The Guardian (son of the author of The Uses of Literacy), who about 35 years ago informed me that an article of mine was well argued but dull, and advised me briskly to write “more like the way that you talk. – Christopher Hitchens”

Creativity, Voice, Life

Source :  Vanity Fair


3. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood poised to prosper in post-Mubarak new era

 “But Muntasser al-Zayyat, a prominent Islamist lawyer, believes the Ikhwan could end up controlling as much as 60% of parliament – because their secular and liberal rivals are divided and far less experienced than ex-members of Mubarak’s now disbanded National Democratic party, who are likely to stand as independents in their old constituencies.” 

Social, Networks, Culture

Source :  The Guardian

4. Tale of two halves reunited after a 360-year separation

“The art historian is passionate about this painting, one of about 650,000 treasures moved from China to Taiwan in the last stages of the Chinese civil war that are now on display in the Taipei museum or stored in its vault..”

Art, History, Curation

Source : The Independent

5. Social Media Distractions Are Costing Businesses Major Money [STUDY]

“While these distractions are money-wasters for companies, they also negatively effect individuals’ ability to creatively solve problems, think deeply about work-related issues, efficiently process information and meet deadlines.”

Media, Work

Source :  Mashable

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

– Kaushik

#5 Collected Reading : May 22nd 2011

Quote of the week

“The Third World today faces Europe like a colossal mass whose project should be to try to resolve the problems to which Europe has not been able to find the answers. – Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earch.”

1.BITTER PILLS : The real cost of healthcare

“In American medicine, supply often creates its own demand, and paying doctors on a fee-for-service basis encourages more high-cost procedures. The I.P.A.B., in conjunction with other cost-cutting provisions in the bill, would look to fix the skewed incentives that lead to overtreatment, bargain for better prices, and insure that we’re spending our money more effectively.”

Health, Policy, Politics

Source :  The New Yorker

2. Interview: Wim Crouwel at the Design Museum 

“I hope they will always remember me as straight forward designer, still trying to find some tension in the work, work that is recognizable “

Design, Typography, Clear

Source :  www.dezeen.com


3. The Illusion Of Social Networks

 “Surely, the benefits of participation are well-documented, but there are costs, too. While information is being channeled through these social networks, the fact remains the same illusions created by television have mutated into a stronger strain within social media. While more interesting information gets to us faster, the downside is that the new channels—and, we are all the channels—sometimes unknowingly create “little white illusions” that, over time, compound into something that may or may not reflect real life.” 

Social, Networks, Culture

Source :  Techcrunch

4. Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education

“What we have in academia, in other words, is a microcosm of the American economy as a whole: a self-enriching aristocracy, a swelling and increasingly immiserated proletariat, and a shrinking middle class. The same devil’s bargain stabilizes the system: the middle, or at least the upper middle, the tenured professoriate, is allowed to retain its prerogatives—its comfortable compensation packages, its workplace autonomy and its job security—in return for acquiescing to the exploitation of the bottom by the top, and indirectly, the betrayal of the future of the entire enterprise..”

Education, Politics, Dialogue

Source : The Nation

5. There’s Only One Way Gas Prices Will Really Fall

“The scenarios differ, but there’s one common thread: When demand for oil falls, prices fall. The one proven way to push down the price of oil and gas is simply to use less of it.”

Oil, Consumption, Society

Source :  Business Insider

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

– Kaushik