8.18.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

Mediation more than ever renders what matters in existence, a clear result of which becomes more and more obvious as systemic crisis follows on system-meltdown, to wit that a people without its own media or the means to create it, to coin a phrase, illustrates the makings of farcical or tragic outcomes, perhaps both, with the clear potential to annihilate much of all complex life on this sublime planet in the bargain, including every single human cousin in existence: what a waste, what a travesty, what wanton willful ignorance, the obvious synonym for which is stupidity and the only requirement for which is utter irresponsibility, which is to say a rejection of the absolute mandate to create a collective authority that depends on the masses’ empowerment the way that heat depends upon light.

  Quote of the Day  
We collectively have a special place in our heart for the manned space flight program – Apollo nostalgia is one element, but that is only part of it. American culture worships explorers – look at the fame of Lewis and Clark, for example. The American people want to think of themselves as supporting exploration. Nathan Myhrvold

 This Day in History  

"BattleOfHoms1299" by unknown - BNF Nouvelle acquisition française 886, fol. 31v[1].
“BattleOfHoms1299” by unknown – BNF Nouvelle acquisition française 886, fol. 31v[1].
Thailand today commemorates National Science Day; in an ongoing and all-too-frequent occasion of Syrian conflict thirteen hundred thirty-three years ago, Ummayad battlers solidified their control of the region in a precursor to Shiite and Sunni factionalism, in which Ibn al-Zubayr lost his life and control over what is now Syria to his clan’s enemies; five hundred forty three years after that point in time, in 1227, a male infant came into the world in Mongolia who would soon enough lead conquests far afield as Genghis Khan; twenty-six decades subsequently, in 1487, Christian Spanish forces under the leadership of the Marquis of Cadiz successfully completed the Siege of Malaga and laid the basis of the consolidation of the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula;  MORE HERE
four hundred forty-three years in advance of this moment, a Huguenot King and Catholic Princess wed, a la the magnificent film Queen Margot, so as to attempt to divert bloody conflict between religious factions; eighteen years hence, in 1590, John White returned from England to the Roanoke settlement of which he was leader, on what would have been his granddaughter’s third birthday, to find the encampment utterly deserted; twenty-two years after that, in 1612,infamous English witch trials started at Lancaster Assizes; twenty-two more years further on, in 1634, Urbain Grandier, convicted of sorcery, burned at the stake in France; two hundred forty-three years before now, the male child who became explorer Meriwether Lewis came into the world; one hundred sixty-nine years prior to the present pass, an upper-class Argentinean woman—Camila O’Gorman—who was eight months pregnant, and her priest consort died at the hands of a firing squad for morals violations; seven hundred and thirty days later, in 1850, French author Honore de Balzac died; eighteen years farther down the road, in 1868, a French astronomer discovered helium; exactly a century prior to today,literary warriors and children of privilege Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon met in a hospital where they were recovering from their wounds;five years closer to now, in 1920, the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution occurred and women throughout the U.S. could vote; thirteen years beyond that juncture, in 1933, the baby who grew into controversial director and filmmaker Roman Polanski was born; seven years onward in time and space, in 1940, the child of the working class who rose to the status of master capitalist, Walter Chrysler, breathed no more; exactly a decade past that passing, in 1950, assassins murdered the chairman of the Dutch Communist Party; eight years afterward, in 1958, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita first hit U.S. bookstores to both accolades and controversy; three years further along time’s road, in 1961, the child who became television journalist Bob Woodruff uttered his first cry; two years hence, in 1963, James Meredith graduated from University of Mississippi as its first Black alumnus; eight years still nearer to now, in 1971, Australia and New Zealand withdrew their troops from Vietnam; a half dozen years more proximate to the present, in 1977,anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko fell into the hands of South African police thugs, who proceeded to beat him to death over the next few days; four years further along, in 1981, the long-lived screenwriter, Anita Loos, who had adapted the comic, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, drew her final breath; eight years later, in 1989, assassins gunned down Colombian Presidential hopeful, Luis Galan, while eight thousand miles or so North and East, Soviet plotters rose in a coup against Mikhail Gorbachev’s Perestroika reforms; nine years back, Pakistan’s President Musharraf resigned under threat of impeachment; eight years ago, American journalist Robert Novak died.

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bourdieu "social capital" OR "cultural capital" hegemony OR domination OR imprimatur OR "class rule" OR "class war" science objectivity freedom OR dissent critique OR criticism necessity OR "sine qua non" OR requirement knowledge OR awareness OR consciousness = 224,000 Results.

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 Interesting People Places Things of Note 

Forget About Work

An interesting Aeon look by a curious academic that deconstructs the fallacious work ethic:  “Work means everything to us Americans. For centuries – since, say, 1650 – we’ve believed that it builds character (punctuality, initiative, honesty, self-discipline, and so forth). …

These beliefs are no longer plausible. In fact, they’ve become ridiculous, because there’s not enough work to go around, and what there is of it won’t pay the bills – unless of course you’ve landed a job as a drug dealer or a Wall Street banker, becoming a gangster either way.”

 General Media & ‘Intellectual Property’ Issues 

A Muni Bonds Primer

A Journalist’s Resource look at municipal bonds for jounalists: “Munis, as they’re known, enable a state, county, city, housing authority or other local government to raise money for public projects — usually infrastructure. But unlike the bonds private firms sell to raise cash, the interest is free from federal income tax, meaning, in effect, that munis are federally subsidized. They are also often exempt from local taxes. These tax benefits allow issuers (also known as borrowers) to attract investors at lower rates; in financial parlance, it makes borrowing cheaper for local governments.”

 General Past & Present Issues 

Ancient Chinese ‘Socialism’

A Smithsonian look at a fascinating and little-known Chinese historical character: “Emperor Wang Mang: China’s First Socialist?  In A.D. 9, the Chinese emperor nationalized his state’s land and redistributed it to the peasantry. That revolutionary act cost him his throne and his life—and even now his motives remain unclear””