Sunday, 26 April 2015

Trivia (should have been 24 January)

A Case of the Mondays: 1925
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
A Case of the Mondays: 1925
There’s no caption for this yellowing print of a lady at an office desk with postage stamps (quite possibly on October 19, 1925). Yet there must be some reason it’s in the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.
View original post

==========================================
The Hierarchy of Disagreement, by Paul Graham
via Stephen’s Lighthouse
climateadaptation:

The Hierarchy of Disagreement, by Paul Graham.
No comment is required but if you would like to see this in a more readable form here is the place to be.

==========================================
Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Travelling corpse
What the story of one dead man pulled through the snow by another man says about history, historical fiction, and the human imagination… more

==========================================
Which Endangered Species Would You Save?
via 3 Quarks Daily by Carrie Arnold in Nautilus
Image result for blobfish image
You have just been appointed Conservation Czar. But there is a catch. You can only save three animals...After you make your choices, you will learn about the endangered status of each animal.
Continue reading

==========================================
Museum switches on historic computer
via BBC Technology
Edsac
A project to recreate one of Britain’s pioneering computers has reached a key milestone. The first recreated parts of the re-built Edsac machine have been switched on at The National Museum of Computing. The Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator first ran in 1949 and was created to serve scientists at Cambridge University.
Continue reading

==========================================
Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Electric shock studies
Stanley Milgram’s studies endure not because they clarify our capacity for evil, but because his work doesn’t prove what he claimed it does… more

==========================================
Humans Really Have Seven Senses (Don't Forget Proprioception and Vestibular Sensation)
via Big Think by Orion Jones
Smelling_flowers
The way we understand the world is mediated by our five senses: touch, taste, sound, smell, and sight. Right? Well it turns out that humans have more than five senses, if by sense you mean way of knowing about the physical world. Here are two additional senses that don’t easily fit into the customary five:
Continue reading

==========================================
The literature and history of Chaucer
via OUP Blog by Stephen Rigby
1280px-Blake_Canterbury_Pilgrims_engraving2
To read Chaucer today is, in some measure, to read him historically. For instance, when the poet tells us in the ‘General Prologue’ to the Canterbury Tales that the Knight’s crusading experiences include service with the Teutonic Order in ‘Lettow’ (i.e. Lithuania), comprehension of the literal sense or denotation of the text requires some knowledge of fourteenth-century institutions, ideas and events. More generally, discussions of whether the Knight’s crusading activities are being held up for approval or disapproval in the ‘General Prologue’ (i.e., of the text’s connotations), are likely to cite the various, and sometimes conflicting, ways in which the morality of crusading, and in particular of campaigns mounted by the Teutonic Order against the Lithuanians, were regarded in Chaucer’s own day.
Continue reading

==========================================
Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Artists under Hitler
Art and the Third Reich. Why did artists cooperate with the régime? Their motivation came down to – what else? – self-interest and ego… more

==========================================
Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor
via Boing Boing

As with other books from DK, Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor is filled with high quality photographs along with neatly organized informative captions.
Continue reading

Monday, 13 April 2015

Legal structure and outcomes of social enterprise: The case of South Yorkshire, UK

an article by Walter Mswaka and Olu Aluko (University of Huddersfield, UK) published in Local Economy Volume 29 Number 8 (December 2014)

Abstract

Over the past two decades a discourse has emerged on social enterprise as a powerful intervention for addressing socio-economic deprivation in communities across the globe.

Although the concept is increasingly attracting academic interest, there are still several areas requiring further scrutiny. One such key area is how the legal structures of social enterprises influence their outcomes.

Drawing on a qualitative case study approach in South Yorkshire UK, this study contributes to the ongoing debate on social enterprise by providing insights into the nature of legal structures and related operational issues across the region.

The findings revealed that type of legal structure is intricately linked to social enterprises’ ability to achieve their objectives. Rather than rely on traditional legal structures, social enterprises in South Yorkshire have adopted innovative legal vehicles that help them to achieve financial sustainability while at the same time maintaining their social ethos.


Friday, 10 April 2015

Determinants for the transition from work into retirement in Europe

an article by Monika Riedel and Helmut Hofer (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna) and Birgit Wögerbauer (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria and Vienna University of Economics and Business) published in IZA Journal of European Labor Studies Volume 4 Number 4 (2015)

Abstract

We use the labor force ad hoc module “transition from work into retirement” to analyze the link between individual as well as pension system characteristics and planned retirement age within the European Union.

We find that timing of retirement is correlated between partners who are already at the stage of retirement planning. In richer countries of the EU15, standard retirement age seems to have a larger effect on planned retirement age than in poorer EU15 states or in new EU member states.

The effect of pension wealth is largest in the new EU member states and smallest in rich EU15 countries. Furthermore, industry and occupation effects differ by country type.

Full text (HTML)


Trivia (should have been 17 January)

Louisville Wharfboat: 1905
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Louisville Wharfboat: 1905
Circa 1905
“Ohio River levee at Louisville, Kentucky”
Note the “U.S. Life Saving Station”
8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company
View original post

==========================================
Martin weaves more magic in a welcome trip to Westeros
via 3 Quarks Daily by Neela Debnath in The Independent

From the Dawn Age all the way through to the Glorious Reign, every entry is like embarking on a new journey through Martin's world.
Continue reading

==========================================
Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
What is an author?
Think again, Barthes. The author is not dead. He is tweeting, Facebooking, YouTubing. And that’s a problem for critics of contemporary literature… more

==========================================
AbeBooks' 50 Most Expensive Sales of 2014
via AbeBooks.co.uk
This is the only end-of-year list that places Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone next to Das Kapital, and a postcard from Ghandi next to the works of Voltaire. Discover the most expensive books and ephemera sold by booksellers on the AbeBooks marketplace during 2014.
Continue reading

==========================================
Why be rational (or payday in Wonderland)?
via OUP Blog by Michael Allingham
Please find below a pastiche of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that illustrates what it means to choose rationally.
Please read the whole thing – it really is great fun.
http://blog.oup.com/2014/11/choice-theory-wonderland-vsi/

==========================================
Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
On Walter Pitts
How a wealthy, wild-bearded philosopher-poet and a shy, homeless runaway determined how the mind knows what it knows… more

==========================================
Ants And Us
via 3 Quarks Daily by JM Ledgard in Intelligent Life
They work together, share food and send their elders into battle to protect the young. And the world authority on them thinks they have a lot to teach us. J.M. Ledgard goes to Harvard to discuss ants, and more, with E.O. Wilson
Continue reading

==========================================
Mesmerizing rebuild of a mechanical Fourier calculator
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
Albert Michelson's harmonic analyzer -- a 19th century mechanical calculator that can do Fourier analysis with just gears, springs and levers -- was found at the University of Illinois, and then lovingly restored by a trio of makers who lavishly documented it in a book (free PDF / paperback / hardcover) and a mesmerizing video series.


==========================================
Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Leonard Bernstein
“Whatever the music means, it is not the story,” said Leonard Bernstein. Except that his music is fundamentally story time… more

==========================================
How the Enigma code-machines worked
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
With the release of the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, interest in the Enigma cipher used by the Axis powers and broken by Turing and the exiled Polish mathematicians at Bletchley Park has been revived.
Continue reading

Housing: trends in prices, costs and tenure

IFS Briefing Note (BN161) by Chris Belfield , Daniel Chandler and Robert Joyce

This briefing note looks at changes in the cost of housing for different groups, distinguishing between the purchase price of houses, regular spending on housing costs, and concepts of ‘affordability’ with respect to both house purchases and regular housing costs.

It then looks at changes in housing circumstances, with a focus on tenure and dwelling size, and considers how these might be related to trends in prices and the balance of demand and supply. It concludes by reflecting on the policy challenges that these trends present.

This briefing note forms part of the IFS election 2015 analysis, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Download full version (PDF 27pp) ISBN: 978-1-909463-79-0


Negative emotions in informal feedback: The benefits of disappointment and drawbacks of anger

an article by Genevieve Johnson and Shane Connelly (University of Oklahoma, USA) published in Human Relations Volume 67 Number 10 (October 2014)

Abstract

Using the emotions as social information (EASI) model, this study investigated the emotional, attitudinal and behavioral reactions to failure feedback by manipulating negative emotional displays (angry, disappointed or none) and the position level and relational distance of the feedback source.

Undergraduate students (N = 260) responded to an organizational failure feedback vignette and completed a subsequent performance task.

Results demonstrated that guilt was the complementary emotional experience following displays of disappointment, while reciprocal anger followed displays of anger.

These emotional reactions served as important mediators between the emotional displays paired with the feedback message and participant responses of social behaviors, creative task performance and perceptions of the feedback source.

In addition, our findings indicated that negative emotions can have positive organizational and interpersonal outcomes. Guilt in response to disappointed displays resulted in beneficial behaviors and attitudes, while anger in response to angry displays was socially detrimental. The emotion displayed during feedback provision also served as a consistent contextual factor that did not interact with the position level or relational distance of the feedback source to impact behavioral and attitudinal reactions.

Overall, this study indicates that discrete negative emotions have unique social-functional properties that require further investigation.


The relational self and the political engagements of young adults

an article by Nathan Manning (University of Bradford) published in Journal of Sociology Volume 50 Number 4 (December 2014)

Abstract

This article explores the recent concern over young people’s apathy and disengagement from politics. It critically addresses this, first, by examining and contesting some of the literature addressing this alleged apathy and dissociation, revealing a particular, narrow and regulatory model of politics and an accompanying liberal notion of self. In contrast, a relational model of self is posited as more sociologically robust and suited to contemporary social life.

Second, the article describes a qualitative Australian study of young people aged 18–30 years, recruited from across the political spectrum.

In contrast to the key liberal principles, participants highlight interconnectedness, permeable public/private divides and the important role of friends and family in fostering and sustaining their political engagements. It is argued that the relational interconnected model of self presented by the participants reflects the conditions of contemporary social life.