400 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
  2. Nov 2020
    1. If you get a positive PCR test and you want to be sure that what you’re finding is a true positive, then you have to perform a viral culture. What this means is that you take the sample, add it to respiratory cells in a petri dish, and see if you can get those cells to start producing new virus particles. If they do, then you know you have a true positive result. For this reason, viral culture is considered the “gold standard” method for diagnosis of viral infections. However, this method is rarely used in clinical practice, which means that in reality, a diagnosis is often made based entirely on the PCR test.

      [[Z: A positive PCR should be followed by a viral culture test to see if you're dealing with a live infection]]

      After a positive PCR test, you don't know if the virus is alive or not. To find this out you can add it to respiratory cells (in the case of a respiratory virus) and see if they start producing virus particles).

      [[Z: Viral culture tests are rarely used in clinical practice]]

      Positive diagnoses of COVID-19 are done base on PCR only.

    1. Anditisclearthatthislackofsocialconsciousnessisinfactadistincteconomiclossinaveryconcretesense,aswellofcourseasalossinthepossiblewell-runningofapoliticalsystem.IapproachthisfromthepointofviewofaneconomistsoIspeakofthefail-uresofthepricesystem;Iamsureonecouldcometothesameendfromotherpointsofview.Butstartingfromthispointofview,thefactthatwecannotmediateallourre-

      And continues:


      The crucial sentences ...

      we cannot mediate all our responsibilities to others through prices, through paying for them, makes it essential in the running of society that we have what might be called “conscience,” a feeling of responsibility for the effect of one’s actions on others.

      Why economics 101 misses so much.

    2. Thereisstillanothersetofinstitutions,ifthatistherightword,Iwanttocalltoyourattentionandmakemuchof.Theseareinvisibleinstitutions:theprinciplesofethicsandmorality.Certainlyonewayoflookingatethicsandmorality,awaythatiscompatiblewiththisattemptatrationalanaly-sis,isthattheseprinciplesareagreements,consciousor,inmanycases,unconscious,tosupplymutualbenefits.Theagreementtotrusteachothercannotbebought,asIhavesaid;itisnotevennecessarilyveryeasyforittobeachievedbyasignedcontractsayingthatwewillworkwitheachother.

      This is a form of cultural functionalism.

      Personally, I would term these as culture distinct from institutions. Institutions may formalize culture -- and support it. But they are outward manifestations of something deeper.

      I return now to my developing archaeological layering of of socio-ecology. Each layer interacts with the other but the lower ones are more "fundamental":

    3. Societiesintheirevolutionhavedevelopedimplicitagree-mentstocertainkindsofregardforothers,agreementswhichareessentialtothesurvivalofthesocietyoratleastcontributegreatlytotheefficiencyofitsworking.Ithasbeenobserved,forexample,thatamongthepropertiesofmanysocietieswhoseeconomicdevelopmentisbackwardisalackofmutualtrust.

      And this takes us exactly into the realm of culture.

      Now we could expand economics to include this area -- and a brilliant polymathic character like Arrow would doubtless wish to and be able to do this. But it is not common in the profession and seems to me that the conventional economic tools are of limited usefulness.

      We are more in the realm of anthropology, sociology etc.



    1. simply assuming that humans adopt norms, however, is not sufficient to predict behavior in a social dilemma, especially in very large groups with no arrangements for communication. even with strong preferences to follow norms, “observed behavior may vary by context because the perception of the ‘right thing’ would change” (de oliveira, croson, and eckel 2009: 19). various aspects of the context in which individuals interact affect how indi-viduals learn about the situation they are in and about the others with whom they are interacting. individual differences do make a difference, but the context of interactions also affects behavior over time (Walker and ostrom 2009). Biologists recognize that an organism’s appearance and behavior are affected by the environment in which it develops.for example, some plants produce large, thin leaves (which enhance photosynthetic photon harvest) in low light, and narrow, thicker leaves (which conserve water) in high light; certain insects develop wings only if they live in crowded conditions (and hence are likely to run out of adequate food in their current location). such environmentally contingent development is so commonplace that it can be regarded as a universal property of living things. (Pfennig and ledón-rettig 2009: 268)social scientists also need to recognize that individual behavior is strongly affected by the context in which interactions take place rather than being simply a result of individual differences.

      +10 and this is culture!

    1. Why Hiring for Culture Fit No Longer Fits

      [[culture fit]] falls short, and can end up with a group of people just like you, looking for a [[culture add]] and what people can bring is better.

  3. Oct 2020
    1. Human evolution produced gossip. Cultural anthropology sees gossip as an informal way of enforcing group norms. It is effective in small groups.

      Gossip evolved as a strategy to enforce group norms and it is effective in small groups.

    1. Good article about the importance of Universal Design when designing learning opportunities. The authors use plenty of strong sources to back their findings and keep the information concise.


    1. Critics, including Sarah Posner and Joe Conason, maintain that prosperity teachers cultivate authoritarian organizations. They argue that leaders attempt to control the lives of adherents by claiming divinely-bestowed authority.[63] Jenkins contends that prosperity theology is used as a tool to justify the high salaries of pastors.

      This would seem to play out in current American culture which seems to be welcoming of an authoritarian president.

    1. many Indians continue to defecate in the open. Bangladesh’s government and charities have built latrines, too, but they have worked harder to stigmatise open defecation. Often they install latrines for the poor and then prod richer folk into following their example. A new, surprising, finding is that this works better than expecting people to copy their social superiors.
    1. Some (36%) said they agreed that the threat of “‘fake news’ had made them distrust the credibility of any news.” Almost half (45%) lacked confidence with discerning “real news” from “fake news,” and only 14% said they were “very confident” that they could detect “fake news.”

      These numbers are insane!

    1. The American Bible Society, t he American Sunday School Union, and the American Tract Society were all established in this period, and they each used the printing press to besiege the nation with Bibles, t racts, pictures, and picture cards t hat would help to create a strong, unified, J esus-centered national i dentity. A good tract “should be entertaining,” announced the American Tract Society in 1824. “ There must be something to allure the listless to read.”

      This is also the same sort of cultural movement to happen to journalism with Hard Copy in the early 1980's.



    1. an enthusiastic band of hobbyists with a taste for the retro and a fondness for old-school fan pages.

      While this may describe a few people within the group and it could be a stereotypical perception for those old enough to remember the "old" web, I'd have to push back on this perception. While many of us do come from the old web, we realize how much we've given away (including our agency) and we're attempting to create a web renaissance or even a neo-web. There is honestly very little that is very retro about this and in fact it is quite forward thinking.

      I suspect that Desmond is simply using this description here to set up his story.

    1. The prevalent practice of damaging images of the human form—and the anxiety surrounding the desecration—dates to the beginnings of Egyptian history. Intentionally damaged mummies from the prehistoric period, for example, speak to a “very basic cultural belief that damaging the image damages the person represented,” Bleiberg said. Likewise, how-to hieroglyphics provided instructions for warriors about to enter battle: Make a wax effigy of the enemy, then destroy it. Series of texts describe the anxiety of your own image becoming damaged, and pharaohs regularly issued decrees with terrible punishments for anyone who would dare threaten their likeness.
    1. Henrich, who directs Harvard’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, is a cultural evolutionary theorist, which means that he gives cultural inheritance the same weight that traditional biologists give to genetic inheritance. Parents bequeath their DNA to their offspring, but they—along with other influential role models—also transmit skills, knowledge, values, tools, habits. Our genius as a species is that we learn and accumulate culture over time. Genes alone don’t determine whether a group survives or disappears. So do practices and beliefs. Human beings are not “the genetically evolved hardware of a computational machine,” he writes. They are conduits of the spirit, habits, and psychological patterns of their civilization, “the ghosts of past institutions.”
    2. By the time Protestantism came along, people had already internalized an individualist worldview. Henrich calls Protestantism “the WEIRDest religion,” and says it gave a “booster shot” to the process set in motion by the Catholic Church. Integral to the Reformation was the idea that faith entailed personal struggle rather than adherence to dogma. Vernacular translations of the Bible allowed people to interpret scripture more idiosyncratically. The mandate to read the Bible democratized literacy and education. After that came the inquiry into God-given natural (individual) rights and constitutional democracies. The effort to uncover the laws of political organization spurred interest in the laws of nature—in other words, science. The scientific method codified epistemic norms that broke the world down into categories and valorized abstract principles. All of these psychosocial changes fueled unprecedented innovation, the Industrial Revolution, and economic growth.

      Reading this makes me think about the political break in the United States along political and religious boundaries. Some of Trumps' core base practices a more personal religion and are generally in areas that don't display the level of individualism, but focus more on larger paternalistic families. This could be an interesting space for further exploration as it seems to be moving the "progress"(?) described by WEIRD countries backward.

  4. Sep 2020
    1. Authorship is a much more complex issue in interpreting code than in traditional writing. Code frequently has multiple authors, mostly uncited, and large portions of code are adapted from previous code or code found online.

      Tiens, voilà qui me rappelle la littérature médiévale, je me demande bien pourquoi...

      Le poète s’introduit dans son langage au moyen de procédés transmis par le groupe social. C’est ce groupe qui, des signes formant le poème, détient les motivations. L’individu s’enracine dans le milieu humain et y justifie sa présence en restructurant à sa façon un Imaginaire dont les éléments lui sont fournis, déjà bien élaborés, par ce même milieu. (Paul Zumthor, Essai de poétique médiévale, Paris, Seuil, « Poétique », 1972, p. 69.)

      C'est-à-dire que, comme le poète médiéval, le codeur du 21e siècle s'approprie, recompose, reprend, mélange, etc. des éléments qui lui préexistent, qui ne viennent pas de lui, mais identifiables pour ceux qui les ont déjà vus par ailleurs. Ces éléments appartiennent à une forme de culture propre que doit connaître et maîtriser celui qui écrit... qu'il s'agisse (d'une) de la Bible ou de Stack Overflow.

    2. vocabularies, and shared tools. As a result, any artifact, object, or text offers a glimpse of the cultures in which it was produced and circulated.

      Mais la plupart des participants ne réalisent que très en surface les ramifications de cette culture.

    1. Many of us hear this attack as saying that the four embody a fundamental otherness, and their true membership as “one of us” is fragile and even cancelable.
    1. reminding your students that you value and respect their privacy and their culture.

      This constant reminder will make students feel inclusive and reduce the chances of unintended harm.

    1. Nutrient Agar is a general purpose, nutrient medium used for the cultivation of microbes supporting growth of a wide range of non-fastidious organisms.
    1. Different nutrient media were used for selective cultivation of bacteria: kanamycin esculin azide (KAA, Merck Eurolab, Darmstadt, Germany) for enterococci, and Chromocult® agar (Merck) as a selective agent for Enterobacteriaceae. For the heterotrophic plate count the bacterial dilutions were plated on R2A agar
    1. R-2A Agar is formulated as per Reasoner and Geldreich (5). Stressed or injured organismsduring water treatment are unable to grow on high nutrient media, since the faster growing organisms outgrow the former(2). Therefore the use of a low nutrient medium like R-2A Agar incubated for longer incubation periods allows these stressedorganisms to grow well.
    1. MacConkey agar is selective for Gram-negative organisms and helps to differentiate lactose fermenting gram-negative rods from non-lactose fermenting gram-negative rods. It is primarily used for the detection and isolation of members of family enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas spp.
    1. Many factors have conspired to make us bad at solitude. They’re mostly not our fault. As Jenny Odell lays out in her book How to Do Nothing, we live in a culture where sociability and constant connectivity are rewarded, and where choosing to be by yourself marks you out as a loser, crazy, possibly immoral.

      Constant pressure to have every side-hustle and hobby also be something productive, and not valuing doing something just for the sake of the enjoyment of it.

    1. This super-sketchy experiment had one final phase, how-ever: reconciliation. After successive scenarios were deployed where the Rattlers and the Eagles had common goals (unblock-ing a shared water supply, repairing a truck, etc.) they grew closer, even splitting drinks at the end (malts, come on people). In our work, we may not call them Rattlers and Eagles. Instead, we may call them IT and Legal and Marketing. Or “weird-code-name product-team one” versus “weird-code-name product-team two”. But if organizations incentivize based on scarcity and self-interest, we might as well just call it what it is, a scaled version of the Robbers Cave experiment. And to mitigate the siloing and combat ingroup bias, we’ll have to consider following a different approach.

      How can we do this for the democrats and the republicans?



    1. He refutes genetic theories of European superiority and makes a good case against economic determinism. His quarry are the “enlightened” Westerners—would-be democratizers, globalizers, well-intended purveyors of humanitarian aid—who impose impersonal institutions and abstract political principles on societies rooted in familial networks, and don’t seem to notice the trouble that follows.
    2. Toppling the accomplishments of Western civilization off their great-man platforms, he erases their claim to be monuments to rationality: Everything we think of as a cause of culture is really an effect of culture, including us.
    1. However, very little has been published in the academic literature about the factors that influence people to take part in citizen science projects and why participants continue their involvement, or not.

      What do we know so far? Where are clear areas where research can be done to improve our understanding of this?

    1. As Laura Turner notes in an excellent piece for BuzzFeed, no theological tradition is as rife for accusations of hypocrisy as the “prosperity gospel,” a distinctively American theological tradition. While it’s popular among many evangelical Protestants, it’s been condemned by many others. But to many of its critics, especially since the election of Donald Trump, this tradition has come to represent the worst of the conflation of American-style capitalism, religion, and Republican party politics.
  5. Aug 2020
    1. “Between 1780 and 1850, there is an increasing aestheticization of tuberculosis that becomes entwined with feminine beauty,” says Carolyn Day, an assistant professor of history at Furman University in South Carolina and author of the forthcoming book Consumptive Chic: A History of Fashion, Beauty and Disease, which explores how tuberculosis impacted early 19th century British fashion and perceptions of beauty.
    1. That restructuring of societies in Western Europe in turn also benefited the church, notes Henrich. "In some sense, the church is killing off clans, and they're often getting the lands in wealth," he says. "So this is enriching the church. Meanwhile, Europeans are broken down into monogamous, nuclear families and they can't re-create the complex kinship structures that we [still] see elsewhere in the world."

      If true, this is an astounding finding.

    2. Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic (WEIRD) countries

      I love this acronym!

  6. Jul 2020
    1. The following month, another YA author, Kosoko Jackson, likewise pulled his debut novel after a Twitter mob savaged it for featuring “privileged” protagonists and casting a Muslim character as a villain. Ironically, Jackson, who is black and gay, had worked as a “sensitivity reader” for publishing houses, screening manuscripts for just such politically incorrect content, and on Twitter, like Zhao, he had waged identitarian turf wars. “He was Robespierre,”
    2. In January 2019, debut author Amélie Wen Zhao found herself the subject of such intense criticism—largely for making slavery a feature of her fictional world—that she pulled her YA fantasy novel, Blood Heir
    1. when some listeners hear poets read with one or more of these characteristics—slow pitch speed, slow pitch acceleration, narrow pitch range, low rhythmic complexity, and/or slow speaking rate—they hear Poet Voice.”
  7. Jun 2020
    1. A word deployed in academe to curb racialist denotations is often used today inside and outside of academe with racialist con-notations. A word intended to promote pluralism often becomes a trope in con-servative agendas or in late liberal versions of the civilizing project.

      This is a fundamental aspect of the historical development of the concept of culture. As seen, for example, in racist statements from physicians in the book Reproducing Race, where they ascribe differential treatment of patients by means of different cultures. It is also the idea of "racism without races" of Etienne Balibar



    1. Mr. Speyer was critical of American home-building bombast, declaring in a 1986 interview conducted by the Art Institute of Chicago shortly before his death, “I think the typical suburban style is really not at all based in comfort, it’s based in ostentation,” he said. “Everybody,” he added, is “putting a centerpiece on the table.”
    1. On November 19, 1814, P arisians s trolled i nto t he Vaudeville Theater a cross from the Palais-Royal to view the opening of La Venus Hottentote, ou Haine aux Fran-cais (or the Hatred of French Women). I n the opera’s plot, a young Frenchman does not find his s uitor s ufficiently exotic. When she appears disguised as t he “Hottentot Venus,” he falls i n love. Secure i n his attraction, s he drops t he disguise. The Frenchman drops t he ridiculous attraction to the Hottentot Venus, comes t o his s enses, and the couple marries. The opera revealed Europeans’ i deas about Black women. After all, when Frenchmen are seduced by the Hottentot Venus, t hey are acting like animals. When Frenchmen are attracted to Frenchwomen, t hey are acting rationally. While hypersexual Black women are worthy of s ex-ual a ttraction, a sexual F renchwomen are worthy of l ove and marriage.
    2. Master/slave sex fundamentally acknowledged the humanity of Black and biracial women, but it simultaneously reduced that human-ity to their sexuality. I n the Christian world, s exuality was believed to be the animal t rait of humans.
  8. journals.sagepub.com journals.sagepub.com
    1. Sorokowska, A., Sorokowski, P., Hilpert, P., Cantarero, K., Frackowiak, T., Ahmadi, K., Alghraibeh, A. M., Aryeetey, R., Bertoni, A., Bettache, K., Blumen, S., Błażejewska, M., Bortolini, T., Butovskaya, M., Castro, F. N., Cetinkaya, H., Cunha, D., David, D., David, O. A., … Pierce, J. D. (2017). Preferred Interpersonal Distances: A Global Comparison. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 48(4), 577–592. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022117698039

  9. May 2020
    1. Human progress isn’t measured by industry. It’s measured by the value you place on a life. An unimportant life. A life without privilege. The boy who died on the river, that boy’s value is your value. That’s what defines an age, that’s… what defines a species. 
    1. Jennifer 8. Lee @XOXO: when I was in college all my classmates were all dreaming of a New York Times wedding announcement, and I was dreaming of a New York Times obituary you can join the Unicode Consortium as a non-voting member for $75 Emoji is OK at nouns, emotions and active verbs, but it has no notion of I or You in 2015 there were only 4 roles women could play on the emoji keyboard - Princess, Bride, Dancer or Playboy Bunny I have a female friend who is also a CEO who says "I can't see the point of being a mom - it doesn't scale" children now talk with emoji before they use words - it is a pidgin now, but they will make it a creole people pushing back on emoji that represent others is a failure of theory of mind
    1. In medieval learned cultures (all the material in this volume was producedin learned, even academic circles for purposes of reading and new compo-sition), such a thorough mixing of media, especially the visual and the ver-bal, was commonplace

      This sounds much more like the "learned" world in the modern era using multi-media on the internet.

  10. Apr 2020
    1. I chose to go to Compton and Watts for a specific reason, which offers a way forward. Harvard economist Raj Chetty recently led a study that showed that though these two neighborhoods are demographically similar and only 2.3 miles apart, 44 percent of the black men who grew up in Watts were incarcerated on April 1, 2010, compared with only 6.2 percent of the black men who grew up in families with similar incomes in Central Compton. Similarly, social mobility was much lower in Watts than in Compton.Why are some neighborhoods, including some in Compton, able to give their kids better chances in life despite so many disadvantages? Chetty points to several factors: better schools, more fathers present in the neighborhoods and more cohesive community organizations.I found all those things in my reporting in Compton — and something else. Watts is part of Los Angeles. Compton is its own city with its own mayor. I met a lot of great people in Watts, but Compton has more civic infrastructure — community groups and locally controlled government agencies. Compton has a lot of homegrown civic reformers, like Rafer Owens, who is a deputy Los Angeles County sheriff and pastor at a Baptist church. There’s also a mentality: We have faith in our ability to take care of ourselves; only people in the neighborhood really know what’s going on.

      Fascinating but be careful of descending into structural-solutionism vs the culture. cf Putnam and Italy. Structures arise from (and also, of course, create and sustain) culture.

    1. All startups say they’re ambitious. You better be if you take venture funding!

      Stripe’s insight was that tackling ambitious problems doesn’t just make the potential prize bigger. Ambitious efforts are often more feasible than smaller ones, because the strongest people want to work on the most ambitious efforts. In our experience this positive talent effect was stronger than the negative effect of problem difficulty. So, paradoxically, tackling a bigger problem could be both more rewarding for the company and in a sense more tractable.

      This probably needs to be qualified. Stripe is set up so that we’re successful when our customers are successful (in real, economic terms). Ambitious problems for Stripe look like enabling more internet businesses and supporting entrepreneurs in more countries, not getting more ad clicks. The talent effect of ambition certainly applies to Stripe-style problems, but I’m not sure if it’d work for something like ads.

      Again all startups say “our team is our most important asset”; leaders say “the hardest part of my job is hiring good people”. But what most companies actually do day-to-day on recruiting is disastrous: generic job ads, clueless outside recruiters, screening on brand name, candidate-hostile interview processes, slow response times, etc. The poor recruiting results of most companies reflect the work they put in.

      Stripe was different in two respects: effort and thoughtfulness.

      In terms of effort, Stripe’s recruiting was absolutely relentless. On the front of the pipeline this meant investing in potential candidates that wouldn’t apply for years, through genuine 1:1 relationships as well as many small events that introduce Stripe and its team. Once candidates were active, Stripe tried to move very quickly. Ideally we'd turn around recruiting steps on the same day: respond to the candidates inbound email the same day, and even decide on and give them an offer on the same day as their interviews. We could close candidates before Google replied to their initial emails.

      Stripe was also thoughtful in recruiting processes. This signaled to candidates that the company was clueful and understood the candidate’s perspective. One example is Stripe’s capture the flag program, which not only put Stripe on the radar of a lot of candidates, but also gave them a sense of the strength of the engineering team. Another example was Stripe’s guidance on what to expect for interviews. We’d send candidates a PDF describing exactly how their interviews would be conducted, how they’d be evaluated, and how to prepare. These certainly helped candidates present their best work in the interviews. But they also showed that Stripe actually cares about this, which candidates knew from experience many other companies did not.

    1. Whenever I think of entrepreneurship, I'm drawn to a few of the slides (23, 24, 34) from Eric Schmidt's "How Google Works"

      First you have to attract your smart creatives. They aren't easily fooled.

      This starts with culture. Smart creatives need to care about the place they work.

      Never forget that hiring is the most important thing you do.

      I also think back to how Jack Welch was famous (ignoring what he was infamous / the final performance of GE) for was spending more than 50% of his time:

      getting the right people in the right places and then helping them to thrive. He would involve himself in hiring decisions that most global CEOs would delegate.

    1. la destruction de savoirs techniques permettait aussi de faire disparaître certains pratiques sociales, religieuses et culturelles

      technique et culture (au sens de l’identité d’un peuple) sont donc inextricablement liées

    1. En Italie, on est habitué à penser que défier les lois est un bien, mais pas en France, par exemple.

      le hacking, question de culture<br> (acceptée en Italie, moins en France)

    2. Dans l’espace numérique, on est toujours appelé à être des hackers : comprendre le code et le détourner — pas nécessairement de façon très technique : la création d’un profil littéraire fictif sur Facebook est une forme d’hacking. Mais cela implique un vrai digital divide, qui n’est pas celui entre les pays pauvres et les pays riches, mais celui entre ceux qui possèdent une digital literacy et ceux qui n’en possèdent pas.

      le hacker, c’est celui qui cherche à comprendre le monde dans ses moindres détails; celui qui cherche à craquer les codes du monde, grâces à ses connaissances et compétences techniques (digital literacy).

  11. Mar 2020
    1. Basecamp has dedicated channels where no work-related discussion is allowed, including message boards for workers to chat about personal interests like food, sports and pets: “just for social stuff, funny things, whatever people want to talk about,” Fried says.
    2. In recent days, if a meeting ends early, employees at GitLab will invite their children to take over for a bit.“People will throw out, ‘Anyone have kids home from school who want to chat with my kids?’” says Darren Murph, who leads employee culture and onboarding at GitLab.
    3. Around 5 or 6 p.m., a trivia emcee will pose one question to the group, and employees submit guesses in a Slack thread until someone responds with the correct answer. The emcee continues this way for four more questions, and the competition can get fierce.
    1. A healthy company culture is one where empathy and inclusivity are values of the organization. The real value of employee empowerment and engagement in such an organization results in empathy and a healthy company culture. Due to the increased impact of their work through optimization and innovation, employees can feel empowered enough to re-connect with their team, their coworkers and the organization. These empowered workers are excited to help others and to be empathetic to others. 
    2. The truth is that building an innovative organization from top-down is a dynamic process.  It often involves people at all levels of the company. But, the fundamental narrative across the board with innovative organizations is the culture. The company culture has to include employees who feel connected to the organization and want to contribute value.
    3. In our age of innovation, most organizations realize the need to innovate. According to entrepreneur coach Theodore Henderson, innovation is often crucial in being able to stay competitive long term in the marketplace. Innovation doesn’t just mean technology innovation. It can be company culture innovation, process innovation, management innovation, data innovation and much more.
  12. Feb 2020
    1. These foods are convenient, affordable, highly profitable, strongly flavoured, aggressively marketed – and on sale in supermarkets everywhere. The foods themselves may be familiar, yet the term “ultra-processed” is less so.

      This idea is immediately familiar to me despite hearing it rarely.

      I commented to an acquaintance just the other day that it seems like a cultural touchstone of American grocery stores that all the processed foods can be found in the center while all the actual foods are found on the outside.

      I make it a point to try to shop only on the outside.

  13. Jan 2020
  14. Dec 2019
    1. Its extremism goes straight back to Flake’s hero, Senator Barry Goldwater, who saw mainstream liberals as subversive socialists and opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on states’-rights grounds. In that year’s Presidential election, Goldwater received potent support from the best-selling writers Phyllis Schlafly, whose book “A Choice Not an Echo” imagined cabals of liberal Republicans plotting against the Party’s base, and John Stormer, who, in “None Dare Call It Treason,” warned that pro-Communist élites were infesting American institutions. Reagan’s famous half-hour commercial for Goldwater described the welfare state as the path to totalitarianism. Apocalyptic thinking, conspiracy theories, and bigotry haunted the movement from the start.

      And this goes deep into US history and culture. cf Hackett Fischer. The violent distrust and dislike of the state was baked into Appalachian (which is a large part of the extreme republican southern culture) from its transplant from the borderlands of England.

      The federalism and states rights was what kept the deeply intorelant and different initial 13 states together. The US never reached a reckoning on national culture and the accelerating centralization and homogenization of the 20th century was all but guaranteed to stir up a hornets nest.

      Remember New England (itself much less violent, equitable, intelligent etc than Appalachian) flogged quaker preachers who came to Boston in the 17th centuries. They even hung them. This was an intolerant land united only in their shared obsession with liberty born of oppression back home (in England).

    1. The written records of popular culture included awide range, from almanacs to the scriptures of religious sects. Localoperas or other dramas were organized and enacted at market towns orat the village level or often by lineages. But throughout the popular cul-ture dissident voices were not permitted to be heard and were destroyedif possible.

      Dissidence not permitted.

    2. With this wide support of morality went the menace of the criminallaw and punishment of malefactors against morality, especially againstthe dynasty. This application of the law against evildoers or the merethreat of evildoing included the uninhibited investigation of people intheir households and personal lives and the use of judicial torture to en-courage confessions. The ankle squeezer used in court was stepped up soas to maximize pressure, and it could turn bones into jelly when skillfullyapplied. When in doubt as to what law had been violated, the magis-trate-judges could fall back on the statute against “doing what ought notto be done,” whatever it might have been.By these rewards and punishments it was hoped the common peoplecould be kept in the proper path. The punishment of relatives was a reg-ular part of the punishment of the criminal. The ancient device of groupresponsibility meant in effect guilt by association.In the theocratic Chinese state that extolled the emperor as Son ofHeaven, heterodoxy was perpetually guarded against. The strategic elitestratum was the local leadership that began with the roughly one millionlower gentry or holders of the first-level (shengyuanorjiansheng)de-grees, which did not qualify one for official appointment but conferred aprivileged status and opportunity to seek higher degrees. To these wereadded possibly five million male commoners, more or less, who hadachieved some amount of classical education. With their help, the indoc-trination of the common people was pursued by the elite as a Neo-Con-fucian duty.As an example let us cite the use of theSacred Edict (shengyu)of theKangxi Emperor issued in 1670 as 16 maxims for the guidance of dailyconduct. Each maxim seven characters long, they conveyed, as VictorMair (in Johnson et al., 1985) says, “the bare bones of Confucian ortho-doxy as it pertained to the average citizen.” After 1670 appeared com-mentaries, paraphrases, adaptations, and so on, in a considerable liter-ature. The idea of explicating classical texts in written colloquialversions seems to have begun in the Yuan dynasty.

      Punishment and indoctrination. Key aspects of approach

      • Detailed investigation
      • Arbitrary power for magistrates as representatives of the imperial authority
      • Group responsibility
      • Standard maxims circulated for enculturation (cf Mao's Little Red Book)
    3. In today’s media environment where citizens observe events directlywith less need but more supply of symbols, it is not easy to appreciate theimportance of ritual and ceremony in an earlier time. One basis of thegovernment of imperial China was the proper performance of ceremo-nies at all levels of society. The son kowtowed to his father as his fathermight do toward the emperor and his officials, for the essence of the civilorder was to differentiate the hierarchy of relationships. Proper conduct,it was hoped, externalized one’s inner values; but even in the absence ofinner feelings, one’s performance of ritual could provide a common for-mal bond with others. In this way the appearance of harmony could as-sure it. As Naquin and Rawski (1987) put it, “luanwas the disorder thatcould arise within the state, the community, the household or the indi-vidual when ethical norms and correct ritual were not followed. The de-sire to promote order and preventluanpermeated Chinese society fromtop to bottom.”

      Promoting order and avoiding luan

    4. In the domain of literati thinking, the ideas of the statesman-philosopherWang Yangming (Wang Shouren, 1472–1529) gained many adherentsand inspired scholars to follow a new bent in Neo-Confucianism. Wangwas a very competent scholar-official and general who suppressed rebel-lions over a number of years and also devoted himself to building up thelocal community through the use of the Community Compact(xiang-yue).This institution was one of Confucianism’s closest approaches torevivalism. As a philosopher, Wang pursued the idea of Zhu Xi’s contem-porary, Lu Xiangshan, in developing a less practice-centered and morecontemplative approach to moral training and self-cultivation. Wangtaught that the world of principle is a unity and lies within as well as out-side one. Therefore, one should learn to be guided by intuitive knowl-edge achieved through careful thought and meditation. This had Bud-dhist overtones. Wang’s famous insistence on the unity of theory andpractice really demanded, as Willard J. Peterson (1979) notes, “the unityofmoralknowledge andsocialaction.” Wang Yangming’s teaching hadwide influence in Japan as well as in China.

      Scholar-officials to the fore once again.



  15. Nov 2019
    1. To reach the populace, Zhu Xi used the vernacular and also advo-cated using the periodic local residents’ meeting known as the Commu-nity Compact(xiangyue).Although it came into general use only in theMing dynasty after 1368, this institution originated in a prototype estab-lished in 1077 by the Lü family. It consisted of a monthly assemblywhere food was eaten and a record of proceedings kept. One or twoheads were elected, and quite detailed regulations regarding behaviorwere adopted. Zhu Xi produced an amended version of the Lü family’sregulations that was even more detailed. It stressed hierarchy, for exam-ple by establishing five age-grades with rules for the conduct of all mem-bers of different categories. The aim was obviously to tell educated elitefamilies how to behave. Zhu assumed that the ordinary dress and majorrituals would be those of the elite. Seating by seniority would not applyto the non-elite, if they ventured to be present. Zhu Xi’s amendmentsalso contained detailed instructions on the way to greet a fellow compactmember, when to make calls on fellow compact members, how to invitethem to banquets, and how to conduct banquets—what to wear, whatname cards to use, and so on. What an organization man

      What an epitome of cultural-institutional structure. cf the kind of discussion we have in Albion's Seed of food, manners, dress, social organization.

      The community compact is also interesting in itself.

    2. The examination system became an enormous and intricate institu-tion central to upper-class life. During a thousand years from the Tang to1905 it played many roles connected with thought, society, administra-tion, and politics.

      And it is education in a particular form: highly ritualized (examinations are a ritual!), narrow, learned.

      It is a particular kind of education and learning. Deep and rich as well as narrow and limited.

    3. nized in gradations of inferiority and superiority. This hierarchic princi-ple in turn was the basis for a stress on duties rather than rights, on theevident assumption that if everyone did his duty everyone would getwhat he deserved. Thus, the filial son obedient to his parent would baskin the parent’s approval. With all duties performed, society would be inorder to everyone’s benefit.

      The hierarchic principle again

    4. Early China’s cosmology (her theory of the universe as an orderedwhole) shows striking points of difference with Western thought. Forexample, the early Chinese had no creation myth and no creator-lawgiver out of this world, no first cause, not even a Big Bang. As JosephNeedham says, they assumed “a philosophy of organism, an orderedharmony of wills without an ordainer.” This view contrasts with the in-veterate tendency elsewhere in the world to assume a supernatural deity.Westerners looking at China have continually imposed their own pre-conceptions on the Chinese scene, not least because the Chinese, thoughthey generally regarded Heaven as the supreme cosmic power, saw it asimmanent in nature, not as transcendent. Without wading further intothis deep water, let us note simply that Han thought as recorded in classi-cal writings built upon the concept of mankind as part of nature andupon the special relationship between the ruler and his ancestors, con-cepts that were already important in Shang thought over a millenniumearlier.

      Fascinating. Such a profound difference in thinking (and the Chinese is much more accurate in base intuiton, i think).

      Western thought got trapped in causation, in division, the law of the excluded middle, in agency.

      That quote: "a philosophy of organism, an ordered harmony of wills without an ordainer."

      No wonder Buddhism found such fertile soil in China.

    5. Here lies one source of China’s “culturalism”—that is, the devotionof the Chinese people to their way of life, an across-the-board sentimentas strong as the political nationalism of recent centuries in Europe.Where European nationalism arose through the example of and contactwith other nation-states, Chinese culturalism arose from the differencein culture between China and the Inner Asian “barbarians.” Because theInner Asian invaders became more powerful as warriors, the Chinesefound their refuge in social institutions and feelings of cultural and aes-thetic superiority—something that alien conquest could not take away.

      Another aspect of Chinese culture is its culturalism: its totemization of "culture" (in the specific self-conscious sense).

    6. The contrast between Inner Asia and China proper is a striking onein nearly every respect. On the steppe, population is thinly scattered; to-day there are only a few million Mongols and hardly more than thatnumber of Tibetans in the arid plateau regions that more than equal thearea occupied by over a billion Chinese who trace their ancestry to theHan dynasty (see Table 1). The thinness of population in Inner Asia initself makes the life of the steppe nomads vastly different from thecrowded life of the Han Chinese.

      Nice example of environment => culture

    7. While the family headship passes intact from father to eldest son, thefamily property does not. Early in their history the Chinese abandonedprimogeniture, by which the eldest son inherits all the father’s propertywhile the younger sons seek their fortunes elsewhere. The enormous sig-nificance of this institutional change can be seen by comparing Chinawith a country like England or Japan, where younger sons who have notshared their father’s estate have provided the personnel for government,business, and overseas empire and where a local nobility might grow upto challenge the central power. In China, the equal division of landamong the sons of the family allowed the eldest son to retain only certainceremonial duties, to acknowledge his position, and sometimes an extrashare of property. The consequent parcelization of the land tended toweaken the continuity of family land-holding, forestall the growth oflanded power among officials, and keep peasant families on the marginof subsistence. The prime duty of each married couple was to produce ason to maintain the family line, yet the birth of more than one son mightmean impoverishment.

      Abandoned primogeniture which has major implications. land is subdivided reducing concentration of power beneath the emperor, peasant families on margin of subsistence etc. Nice example of institutions => social structure, inequality, political dynamics etc.

      NTS: are there cross-society/cultural studies of e.g. primogeniture rules vs social outcomes etc.

    8. The traditional family system was highly successful at preparing theChinese to accept similar patterns of status in other institutions, includ-ing the official hierarchy of the government. The German sociologistMax Weber characterized China as a “familistic state.” One advantageof a system of status is that a man knows automatically where he standsin his family or society. He can have security in the knowledge that if hedoes his prescribed part, he may expect reciprocal action from others inthe system.Within the extended family, every child from birth was involved in ahighly ordered system of kinship relations with elder brothers, sisters,maternal elder brothers’ wives, and other kinds of aunts, uncles, cousins,grandparents, and in-laws too numerous for a Westerner to keep trackof. These relationships were not only more clearly named and differenti-ated than in the West but also carried with them more compelling rightsand duties dependent upon status. Family members expected to be calledby the correct term indicating their relationship to the person addressingthem.In South China the pioneer anthropologist Maurice Freedman(1971) found family lineages to be the major social institutions—eachone a community of families claiming descent from a founding ancestor,holding ancestral estates, and joining in periodic rituals at graves and inancestral halls. Buttressed by genealogies, lineage members might sharecommon interests both economic and political in the local society. InNorth China, however, anthropologists have found lineages organizedon different bases. Chinese kinship organization varies by region. Familypractices of property-holding, marriage dowries, burial or cremation,and the like also have had a complex history that is just beginning to bemapped out.

      cf Schwartz values systems. This is the epitome of a hierarchic culture (with some degree of embededness e.g. "One advantage of a system of status is that a man knows automatically where he stands in his family or society."

    9. In addition to this common bond of loyalty to family, the old Chinawas knit together by the common experience of a highly educated localelite, who were committed from childhood to studying and following theclassical texts and teachings. Motherly nurture and fatherly disciplinecombined to concentrate the young scholar’s effort on self-control andon the suppression of sexual and frivolous impulses. Instead, as JonSaari’s (1990) study of upper-class childhood in the late nineteenth cen-tury reiterates, the training of youth was in obedience above all. Once aboy entered his adolescent years, open affection from parents gave wayto intensive training aimed at proper character formation.

      Note the "obedience above all". Chinese emphasis on scholarship and education was not about independence of thought or individualism.

    10. The trembling bride left herown family behind and became at once a daughter-in-law under the con-trol of her husband’s mother. She might see secondary wives or concu-bines brought into the household, particularly if she did not bear a maleheir. She could be repudiated by her husband for various reasons. If hedied, she could not easily remarry. All this reflected the fact that awoman had no economic independence. Her labor was absorbed inhousehold tasks and brought her no income. Farm women were almostuniversally illiterate. They had few or no property rights.

      Hierachical and gender aspect. Men dominate women, husbands their wives.

    11. To Americans and Europeans with their higher material standard ofliving, the amazing thing about the Chinese farming people has beentheir ability to maintain a highly civilized life under these poor condi-tions. The answer lies in their social institutions, which have carried theindividuals of each family through the phases and vicissitudes of humanexistence according to deeply ingrained patterns of behavior. These insti-tutions and behavior patterns are among the oldest and most persistentsocial phenomena in the world. China has been a stronghold of the fam-ily system and has derived both strength and inertia from it.Until very recently the Chinese family has been a microcosm, thestate in miniature. The family, not the individual, was the social unit andthe responsible element in the political life of its locality. The filial pietyand obedience inculcated in family life were the training ground for loy-alty to the ruler and obedience to the constituted authority in the state.This function of the family to raise filial sons who would becomeloyal subjects can be seen by a glance at the pattern of authority withinthe traditional family group. The father was a supreme autocrat, withcontrol over the use of all family property and income and a decisivevoice in arranging the marriages of the children. The mixed love, fear,and awe of children for their father was strengthened by the great respectpaid to age. An old man’s loss of vigor was more than offset by hisgrowth in wisdom. As long as he lived in possession of his faculties, thepatriarch had every sanction to enable him to dominate the family scene.According to the law, he could sell his children into slavery or even exe-cute them for improper conduct. In fact, Chinese parents were by customas well as by nature particularly loving toward small children, and theywere also bound by a reciprocal code of responsibility for their childrenas family members. But law and custom provided little check on paternaltyranny if a father chose to exercise it.The domination of age over youth within the old-style family wasmatched by the domination of male over female. Even today, Chinesebaby girls seem more likely than baby boys to suffer infanticide.

      Highly hierarchical nature of Chinese culture / society.

    12. This different relation of human beings to nature in the West andEast has been one of the salient contrasts between the two civilizations.Man has been at the center of the Western stage. The rest of nature hasserved as either neutral background or as an adversary. Thus Western re-ligion is anthropomorphic, and early Western painting anthropocentric.To see how great this gulf is, we have only to compare Christianity withthe relative impersonality of Buddhism, or compare a Song landscape, itstiny human figures dwarfed by crags and rivers, with an Italian primi-tive, in which nature is an afterthought.Living so closely involved with family members and neighbors hasaccustomed the Chinese people to a collective life in which the groupnormally dominates the individual. In this respect the Chinese experi-ence until recently hardly differed from that of other farming peopleslong settled on the land. It is the modern individualist, be he seafarer, pi-oneer, or city entrepreneur, who is the exception. A room of one’s own,more readily available in the New World than in the crowded East, hassymbolized a higher standard of living. Thus, one generalization in thelore about China is the absorption of the individual not only in the worldof nature but also in the social collectivity.
  16. Oct 2019
    1. While having a sandwich, Gould customarily empties a bottle or two of ketchup on his plate and eats it with a spoon.

      Americans in general like ketchup, though obviously not always to this extent of dumping out an entire bottle. Got a steak that doesn't taste too good? put some ketchup on it. Got some fries that aren't salty? put some ketchup on it. Your only main source of food is a chair cushion? Put some ketchup on it. It'll taste good! However, in this case, most Americans don't put so much ketchup out. It's disgusting, and even Gould admits it. In the end, he really just wants the free shit, and the restaurants aren't exactly happy in regards to that.

    2. blackballed

      Blackballing is a rejection in a traditional form of secret ballot, where a white ball or ballot constitutes a vote in support and a black ball signifies opposition.

    3. He has given names to some of them. “Come here, Boss Tweed,” he says.

      From this little exchange, I can tell from history, that this pigeon named "boss tweed" is most likely an incredibly greedy pigeon. It's a reference to the corrupt politician during the Gilded age, and he's VERY infamous in New York. So I wonder, which pigeon is Thomas Nast? https://www.britannica.com/biography/Boss-Tweed

    4. nudist

      Nudism is the belief in or the practice of being nude in a nonsexual social setting and as a conscious choice of lifestyle. Germany is the country which many nudist (naturist) practice nudism. It has been considered as a persuit of freedom.

      The first nudist congress in New York was organized by a German immigrant according to a article on the New York Times. Source from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/31/world/europe/germany-nudism.html.

    5. Bowery

      In general, it refers to the beggar's society, where the poor people are.

    6. Negro evangelist

      It is not just the racist language but also it highlights what era this was written in.

      A "Negro" is most often a derogatory term for an African American.

      An evangelist is basically a Christian preacher.

    7. the Raven Poetry Circle

      The Raven Poetry Circle was formed near Washington Sqaure Park in 1933. As introduced in the following of the article, the founder was Mr. McCrudden, a retired New York Telephone Company employee.

      Members of this group included bohemians, published poets, students, city employees etc and they were known as "Ravens". The annual exhibitions would be held and the attendees could buy the poetry that hang on display in the open area.

      The founder, according to the members, was

      a quiet, hardworking scholarly man who valued a writer’s sincere expression of sentiments. Mcrudden could not tolerate “mere rhymers, wise- cracking doggereleers and other nuts” and such individuals were not welcome into the Ravens".

      Source from


    8. Newsstand

      It can usually be found in urban city

    9. Salvation Army song

    10. aristocrats

      The word Aristocracy derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "the rule of the best". It is a class that is considered as the highest in the society. The Brahman caste in India is an example of aristocracy.

    11. Yankee

      It can be used as a term for an "American." However, in this context, it is more than likely that it's referring to someone who's from New England. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/yankee

    12. Chippewas