How much I desire!
Inside my little satchel,
the moon, and flowers.
Artemis: One of my favorites. :)
"Evidence shows that longer work hours make us less productive. The example of the Netherlands shows how shorter work time can be achieved without a reduction in productivity and in living standards. Longer work hours are also associated with poor health and higher mortality rates – we may be risking our lives by working longer."
Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century is the most important economics book of the year, if not the decade. If you don’t have time to read all 700 pages, we’ve got you covered right here.
Can you give me Piketty’s argument in four bullet points?
- The ratio of wealth to income is rising in all developed countries.
- Absent extraordinary interventions, we should expect that trend to continue.
- If it continues, the future will look like the 19th century, where economic elites have predominantly inherited their wealth rather than working for it.
- The best solution would be a globally coordinated effort to tax wealth.
Google Doesn’t Want You To Google This
Published on Jan 28, 2014
"Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)—a group of the world’s top economies—decided it was time to crack down on international tax shenanigans through meaningful reform. These legal loopholes allow major tech corporations to move money around on paper through a series of shell corporations in Ireland, Bermuda, and the Netherlands. The companies save big, and "best" of all, it’s currently legal! This widespread strategy of moving money around involves two specific tactics better known as the "Dutch Sandwich" and the "Double Irish." Starting February 3, the Task Force on the Digital Economy is set to convene at the OECD’s office in Paris to discuss the global corporate response to these potential plans to rein in questionable tax practices. Last week, the OECD published various corporate responses to its initial proposal—needless to say, companies don’t want to stop what they’re doing…".* How are tech giants like Google responding to this? The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
"When she was young she had learned to caress the phrases of Chopin with their sinuous and excessively long necks, so free, so flexible, so tactile, which begin by seeking out and exploring a place for themselves far outside and away from the direction in which they started, far beyond the point which one might have expected them to reach, and which frolic in their fantasy distance only to come back more deliberately — with a more premeditated return, with more precision, as though upon a crystal glass that resonates until you cry out — to strike you in the heart."
Marcel Proust. Swann’s Way. Trans. Lydia Davis. New York: Penguin, 2002. p. 344.
Chopin’s phases are not unlike the extenuated phrase that Proust himself often utilizes.
"[…] Why was the class of “concords” thus limited to just these three basic intervals- the fourth, fifth, and octave? The answer to this question involves what the Pythagoreans called the “tetraktys (or quaternary) of the decad”, the geometric or “figurate” representation of the number 10 as the sum of the first four integers (i.e. 1 2 3 4=10) […] The purely musical significance of this “tetraktys of the decad” resides in the fact that the string-length ratios for the fourth, fifth, octave, twelfth (but not the eleventh) and double octave involve only these first four integers (i.e. 4/3, 3/2, 2/1, 3/1, 4/1, but not 8/3). But the decad had significance for the Pythagoreans that went far beyond this musical application. According to a later Pythagorean, Theon of Smyrna, “The importance of the quaternary… is great in music because of the consonances are found in it. But it is not only for this reason that all Pythagoreans hold it in highest esteem: it is also because it seems to outline the entire nature of the universe. It is for this reason that the formula of their oath was: “I swear by the one who has bestowed the tetraktys to the coming generations, source of eternal nature, into our souls."
A History of “Consonance” and “Dissonance” (1988), James Tenney. pp. 12-13 (via imaginarydances)
In the first known study of its kind, researchers have shown that the language we learn as children affects brain structure, as does hearing status. The findings are reported in The Journal of Neuroscience.
While research has shown that people who are deaf and hearing differ in brain anatomy, these studies have been limited to studies of individuals who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) from birth. But 95 percent of the deaf population in America is born to hearing parents and use English or another spoken language as their first language, usually through lip-reading. Since both language and audition are housed in nearby locations in the brain, understanding which differences are attributed to hearing and which to language is critical in understanding the mechanisms by which experience shapes the brain.
“What we’ve learned to date about differences in brain anatomy in hearing and deaf populations hasn’t taken into account the diverse language experiences among people who are deaf,” says senior author Guinevere Eden, DPhil, director for the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC).
Eden and her colleagues report on a new structural brain imaging study that shows, in addition to deafness, early language experience – English versus ASL – impacts brain structure. Half of the adult hearing and half of the deaf participants in the study had learned ASL as children from their deaf parents, while the other half had grown up using English with their hearing parents.
“We found that our deaf and hearing participants, irrespective of language experience, differed in the volume of brain white matter in their auditory cortex. But, we also found differences in left hemisphere language areas, and these differences were specific to those whose native language was ASL,” Eden explains.
The research team, which includes Daniel S. Koo, PhD, and Carol J. LaSasso, PhD, of Gallaudet University in Washington, say their findings should impact studies of brain differences in deaf and hearing people going forward.
“Prior research studies comparing brain structure in individuals who are deaf and hearing attempted to control for language experience by only focusing on those who grew up using sign language,” explains Olumide Olulade, PhD, the study’s lead author and post-doctoral fellow at GUMC. “However, restricting the investigation to a small minority of the deaf population means the results can’t be applied to all deaf people.”
Composer: Olivier Messiaen (1908 - 1992)
Work: Les ressuscités et la lumière de Vie [The resurrected and the light of life] from Livre du Saint-Sacrament (1984)
Peformer: Olivier Latry