Heredity, Bookstores, Russia, Capitalism, Race

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Heredity Beyond The Gene

Russell Bonduriansky & Troy Day | Nautilus | 8th March 2018

The idea that genes encode all the heritable features of living things has been a basic tenet of genetics and evolutionary biology for many years, but it was never assumed by Darwin, and it seems to be wrong. “Discoveries in molecular biology are upending notions about what can and cannot be transmitted across generations”. Studies show that the environment and experiences of plants, insects, rodents and other organisms can influence the features of their descendants (3,500 words)

A Harvard Professor Studies Independent Bookstores

Maxwell Neely-Cohen | Literary Hub | 9th March 2018

American bookstores have been thriving in the shadow of Amazon. How? “For watches it was, if we’re going to talk about making precise watches, we’re never going to win against a quartz watch. It’s 30 times more accurate. But if we’re willing to talk about precision and then couple it with this notion of craft, now it becomes a piece of art and that’s something people are willing to pay for, and we’re willing to invest in, because of a different set of dimensions. The indies did the same thing” (2,060 words)

Russia’s Eternal President

Christian Esch | Der Spiegel | 11th March 2018

How Vladimir Putin and his 50 best friends run Russia. A Soviet model with capitalist characteristics. “The state disenfranchises citizens, but in exchange they are given a feeling of stability and reclaimed national pride. Don’t get in the way, says the Kremlin, give us a free hand and we will protect you from economic need and ensure that you are respected in a hostile world. Stability and national greatness: Those are the promises made by Putin’s Russia. Deception and violence are its tools” (4,700 words)

Moving Beyond Capitalism

John Kay | 13th March 2018

“Capitalism” is a 19C term which implies confrontation, and probably a zero-sum game, between capital and labour. “Business” is a better term for the current century. Business “entails partnership between employees and managers, customers and suppliers”. Stock-market investors used to be part of the mix, but nowadays much less so. “The position of investors is peripheral and precarious. Businesses do not need to raise capital from equity markets and are unlikely ever to do so in future” (1,490 words)

For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist

Susan Goldberg | National Geographic | 13th March 2018

Admirable. National Geographic confronts its past. “Until the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of colour who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers. Meanwhile it pictured ‘natives’ elsewhere as exotics, frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages — every type of cliché. The world was divided into the colonisers and the colonised. That was a colour line, and National Geographic was reflecting that view of the world” (1,600 words)

Video of the day Bug Gaits For Animators

What to expect:

Though you may not be an animator, this is still a clear quick guide to how insects move (1’18”)

Thought for the day

There is nothing new in art except talent
Anton Chekhov

Podcast of the day A Child Prodigy | The Indicator

Cardiff Garcia talks to Tyler Cowen about why we should all read The Autobiography of John Stuart Mill
(7m 19s)

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