Pixar, Japan, Daesh, Consciousness, Crimean Tatars, Library Of Congress


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The Pixar Theory Of Labour

James Douglas | Awl | 15th July 2015

"Pixar has created a stable of films for children that is founded on narratives of self-actualization — of characters branching out, embracing freedom, hitting personal goals, and living their best lives. But this self-actualization is almost exclusively expressed in terms of labor, resulting in a filmography that consistently conflates individual flourishing with the embrace of unremitting work" (2,250 words)

Japan’s Empty Houses

Robin Harding | Financial Times | 17th July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Japan's population is shrinking. Those who remain are moving to Tokyo. The result: Eight million houses stand empty. And yet, because Japanese prefer to buy new houses, more houses are being built. "When I was growing up, what I always heard is that Japan has a huge population, the houses are small, and you won’t be able to buy one. Now you can buy a fairly big house for a low cost, refurbish it and live well” (1,230 words)

Decoding Daesh

Alice Guthrie | Free Word | 19th February 2015

Islamic State hates to be called Daesh, not because Daesh has acquired hostile connotations, but because Daesh is an acronym: "They want to be addressed as exactly what they claim to be, by people so in awe of them that they use the pompous, long and delusional name created by the group, not some funny-sounding made-up word". Daesh is the exact Arabic equivalent of ISIS — an acronym for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (2,890 words)

The United States Is Probably Conscious

Eric Schwitzgebel | University Of California | 30th January 2014

Thought experiment about the nature of consciousness. "If we set aside our morphological prejudices against spatially distributed group entities, we can see that the United States has all the types of properties that materialists tend to regard as characteristic of conscious beings. My claim is conditional and gappy. If materialism is true, the most natural thing to conclude is that the United States is conscious" (13,600 words)

I Am A Crimean Tartar

Pavel Nikulin | Asymptote | 16th July 2015

"I was four years old when we were deported. We were given fifteen minutes to pack our things. What my mother managed to tie up into a bundle was what we took. We had neither mattresses nor pillows. They took us to the station in a ZIL flatbed truck. Our cow ran over to us as the truck was setting off, a beautiful cow, black and white. I am seventy-four years old, and to this day I still remember the cow lowing as she trotted after" (3,900 words)

The Next Librarian Of Congress

Jessamyn West | The Message | 17th July 2015

Discussion of the qualities needed in James Billington's successor: "We don’t need you to have a library degree, but it would be a bonus if you come from a tradition of scholarship, one that understands the significance scholarship to the history of the library profession. We’d like the library to be a good place to work. We haven’t had a trained librarian in the position in forty years, to us that matters" (1,460 words)

Video of the day: Print Wikipedia

What to expect: The print version fills 7473 volumes; plus 91 volumes of index; plus 36 volumes of contributors (3'17")

Thought for the day

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago
Bernard Berenson

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