As the world grows increasingly complex, the limitations of user-centered design are becoming painfully obvious. @alexislloyd on what's gone wrong and how we can fix it: "Camera Obscura: Beyond the lens of user-centered design"
(Plus- MLK day)
Investing in one's own misery-- the painful irony of pharma funding: "Pension and state funds dominating biomedical R&D investment: fiduciary duty and public health"
(Plus- Charles V. Chapin)
Untangle unintended consequences: https://roughlydaily.com/2021/01/17/youre-mugging-old-ladies-every-bit-as-much-if-you-pinch-their-pension-fund/
The tale of the man who declared the entire universe to be a country under his protection: "Dictator of the Vacuum of Space" @Frauenfelder
(Plus- Don Quixote
Rampant dishonesty reminds us that we must preserve documents. Even-- indeed, especially-- in the Digital Age, archivists are crucial: "Facts in Flames." @richove explains
(Plus- the Great Boston Molasses Flood)
Lessons for philosophers and scientists from Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown
(Plus- Humphrey Bogart)
Get in touch with your feelings: https://roughlydaily.com/2021/01/14/the-criminal-is-the-creative-artist-the-detective-only-the-critic/
"Is Light Fundamentally A Wave Or A Particle?": the history and the results of John Wheeler's famous "delayed choice" experiments
(Plus- alchemy, outlawed)
We traffic in stories because people can't help being interested in them. But stories also fail at telling truths that don't fit a tale: "Where Journalism Fails" @dsearls on "figure" and "ground"; @Patrick_Wyman with an example
(Plus- Edmund Burke)
Context is everything: https://roughlydaily.com/2021/01/12/context-is-everything/
"WTF Happened In 1971?" Charts galore illustrate an inflection point economically, politically, socially, and culturally
(Plus- the Surgeon General's Report)
Much maligned as a mere tactician of power, Machiavelli was in fact a philosopher of the people. His critique of oligarchic domination remains essential today: "Our Machiavellian Moment"
(Plus- "Common Sense")
Memorializing mistakes in metal: "HG Wells fans spot numerous errors on Royal Mint's new £2 coin"
(Plus- Columbus sees a trio of mermaids)
Nocturnal photographs of New England's famous American neon signs
(Plus- Foucault's pendulum)
Reflect on reflection: https://roughlydaily.com/2021/01/08/night-time-is-the-right-time/
Iggy Pop on the relevance of Gibbon's Decline and Fall in particular, and of history in general: "Caesar Lives"
(Plus- top of the pops in 67)
There is change in the air (?) @DJSnower explains why "Economics Nears a New Paradigm"
(Plus the Four Freedoms)
John Conway, Ronald Graham, and Freeman Dyson all explored the world with their minds. @dan_rockmore celebrates "Three Mathematicians We Lost in 2020"
(Plus- Max Born)
How pulp magazines inspired Wittgenstein's investigations of the mysteries of language: "The Philosopher of the Detectives- Ludwig Wittgenstein's enduring passion for hardboiled fiction"
"Only describe, don't explain": https://roughlydaily.com/2021/01/04/dont-think-but-look/
Resurrecting history’s most quotable man: "The memeification of Dr. Johnson" @benjaminerrett
(Plus- the last of Peanuts)
"This year may be one of the most challenging years in recent memory... However, a survey of 28 historians found that while 2020 was certainly stressful, it was not the most stressful year ever"...
Happy New Year!
Connie Willis, who writes about history and what living through history feels like, is the most famous (11 Hugos, seven Nebulas, four Locus awards,SFWA "Grand Master") SF novelist you’ve never heard of.
"When History Happens"
Lists! Charts! Lists! Charts!
Vox/Recode: 2020 in 20 Charts: https://www.vox.com/recode/21727016/2020-in-charts-covid-vaccine-pandemic-election
Economist: Charts of the year https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/12/24/a-round-up-of-our-favourite-charts-of-2020
538: 40 weirdest (and) and best charts of 2020: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-40-weirdest-and-best-charts-we-made-in-2020/
Taking the (very) long view:
Cal Tech/JPL scientists argue that "The Milky Way is probably full of dead civilizations"
Have helped start lots of orgs (e.g., GBN, Wired, Oxygen); of late, mostly NGOs. Still practice scenario planning, mostly with not-for-profits.
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