Wealth, World, Spheres, York, Birds

Share The Wealth

Ray Dalio and Joe Stiglitz | Noema | 9th June 2020

America should explore the creation of a sovereign wealth fund, holding “universal basic capital” in trust for, and paying dividends to, all citizens. Dalio: “By allowing everyone to be a capitalist, it would generate more buy-in within a system that today is being torn apart by inequality”. But how to future-proof such a fortune against political and popular pressures for quick cash? Stiglitz: “We have to create institutions that make it difficult to rob the sovereign wealth fund” (2,400 words)

Computation All the Way Down

Stephen Wolfram | Edge | 19th June 2020

Computer scientist questions the fundamentals of physics, with a view to proving that our Universe, complex as it might seem, is derivable from relatively simple rules. “One of the wrong turns of 20th-century physics was this idea that space and time should always be packaged together into a four-dimensional space-time continuum. That's wrong. Time is different from space. Time is the inexorable operation of computation in figuring out what the next state will be from previous states” (8,700 words)

The Unfinished Project Of Enlightenment

Brandon Bloch | Boston Review | 18th June 2020

Overview of the work of German political philosopher Jurgen Habermas, much of which sums to the proposition that good democracy is a system “where rational argument among equal citizens forms the basis of political legitimacy”. Habermas used to argue that democracies should be secular. But since 9/11 he has argued that contemporary Western democracies are “post-secular”. Their “public sphere” should “accommodate religious diversity and permit the participation of religious citizens” (5,300 words)

The Tragic Brothers York

Thomas Penn | Literary Hub | 16th June 2020

The rise and fall of the House of York remains “one of the most seductive and contested stories in English history”. By dynastic standards the Yorks’ reign was “over in the blink of an eye”: The York kings, Edward IV and Richard III, ruled for just 24 years, from 1461 to 1485. But this was time enough for the Yorks to prevail over the rival House of Lancaster, “shake off their usurper origins”,  establish themselves as “England’s undisputed ruling dynasty”, and even achieve “a kind of greatness” (1,600 words)

Nine Rules For The Black Birdwatcher

J. Drew Lanham | Orion | 25th October 2013

Classic satire. This piece has since been updated by the author, in the light of recent birding news from Central Park. But I suggest that the original is unequalled. Rule number one: “Be prepared to be confused with the other black birder. Yes, there are only two of you at the bird festival. Yes, you’re wearing a name tag and are six inches taller than he is. Yes, you will be called by his name at least half a dozen times by supposedly observant people who can distinguish gull molts in a blizzard” (580 words)

Video: Tocatta | Optical Arts. It’s Bach, but visualised as plates and spoons and knives (3m 03s)

Audio: Dragon Psychology 101 | Revisionist History. Art museums have the instincts of dragons. They hide their treasures in underground lairs, where nobody else will find them (46m 40s)

”If you want home truths, you should stay at home”
— Clifford Geertz

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