Posts tagged history

..but soon enough he started to realize what his fundamental objection really was.

The whole point of the city was to fortify itself against nature.

But Manhattan failed to do that: an “open” city with a limitless sky above, it let nature in on every side. It was, of course, an island, and thus too exposed to the elements: to storm, hurricane, snow, heat, wind, floods.

It had no real protection against anything. “I feel as though I were camping in the heart of a jungle crawling with insects.”

Therefore he learned to appreciate it only while crossing it in a car, as if he were “driving across the great plains of Andalusia.”

Here Comes The Sun - George Harrison’s lost guitar solo

Dhani Harrison, the son of the late guitarist, returns to the recording studio (presumably at Abbey Road) with George Martin, the Beatles’ legendary producer, and Martin’s son Giles.

Together, they play with the mix of “Here Comes the Sun,” and then the wondrous little moment of discovery happens!

(via Open Culture)

“Linotype: The Film” Official Trailer

“Linotype: The Film” is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. 

The film tells the surprisingly emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world.

The Past 30 Years of Record Sales

Disruption is a beautiful thing.

(via jeremydwill)

Have We Been Worshiping the Wrong Sacred Tree?

The Wheel Will Change the Way We Live Forever, Once We Turn It on Its Side and Attach It to Something, But What?

Global Initiatives for Making God Less Angry

How “Coins” Are Revolutionizing Bartering

Dragon Lairs, Leprechaun Hoards, and Other Promising Sources of Wealth in the New Economy

We Already Have the Technology to Turn Lead into Gold. Why Aren’t We Doing It?

Not Your Father’s Execution: How the Guillotine is Changing the Way We Think about Beheading

Reinventing the Factory: How the Use of Children In Manufacturing Benefits Us All

Are Peasants People?

TED Talks throughout history

Paris Underground

Paris, City of Light, really is a tale of two cities. One of them is above ground, with its beloved Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. That’s the city the world sees.

And then there’s the city very few us will ever see — an underground Paris, the ‘souterrain.’ NPR’s Jacki Lyden and National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez teamed up to see what lies below.

(Photographs by Stephen Alvarez/National Geographic)

Where Do Bad Ideas Come From? ( ..and why don’t they go away? )


We would all like to think that humankind is getting smarter and wiser and that our past blunders won’t be repeated. Bookshelves are filled with such reassuring pronouncements, from the sage advice offered by Richard Neustadt and Ernest May in Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers to the rosy forecasts of Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, not to mention Francis Fukuyama’s famously premature claim that humanity had reached “the end of history.” Encouraging forecasts such as these rest in part on the belief that we can learn the right lessons from the past and cast discredited ideas onto the ash heap of history, where they belong.

Those who think that humanity is making steady if fitful progress might point to the gradual spread of more representative forms of government, the largely successful campaign to eradicate slavery, the dramatic improvements in public health over the past two centuries, the broad consensus that market systems outperform centrally planned economies, or the growing recognition that action must be taken to address humanity’s impact on the environment. An optimist might also point to the gradual decline in global violence since the Cold War. In each case, one can plausibly argue that human welfare improved as new knowledge challenged and eventually overthrew popular dogmas, including cherished but wrongheaded ideas, from aristocracy to mercantilism, that had been around for centuries.


Yet this sadly turns out to be no universal law: There is no inexorable evolutionary march that replaces our bad, old ideas with smart, new ones. If anything, the story of the last few decades of international relations can just as easily be read as the maddening persistence of dubious thinking. Like crab grass and kudzu, misguided notions are frustratingly resilient, hard to stamp out no matter how much trouble they have caused in the past and no matter how many scholarly studies have undermined their basic claims.


Read the rest of this interesting article on Foreign Policy

the uniform of capitalism

BUSINESS and politics are full of surprises—and a near certainty. Whether they are politicians, bankers or trade-union leaders, men nearly always meet other men in suits. The uniform of capitalism has conquered more of the globe than capitalism itself. When Barack Obama first visited Hu Jintao, paramount leader of the People’s Republic of China, the men were clad in near-identical dark blue suits, white shirts and red spotted ties.

It has become a symbol of conformity. “Suit” was the chosen insult of hippies to describe a dull establishment man. The garment has been ostentatiously rejected by Silicon Valley titans like Steve Jobs of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sergey Brin of Google. Yet the business suit has an exciting and mysterious history that should give wearers a tingle of pleasure every time they put one on. It is a garment born out of revolution, warfare and pestilence. The suit still bears the marks of this turbulent past as well as the influence of Enlightenment thinking, sporting pursuits and a Regency dandy. In the year that may well mark the 150th anniversary of the suit it seems a shame that no celebrations were held in its honour.

Read the full article

…this day in another age

“All I was doing was trying to get home from work.” - Rosa Parks

Alexander the Tweet - Historical Tweets

For more such clever, funny historical tweets check out:

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Geek Power: Steven Levy Revisits Tech Titans, Hackers, Idealists

“It’s funny in a way”, says Bill Gates, relaxing in an armchair in his office. “When I was young, I didn’t know any old people. When we did the microprocessor revolution, there was nobody old, nobody. It’s weird how old this industry has become.” The Microsoft cofounder and I, a couple of fiftysomething codgers, are following up on an interview I had with a tousle-headed Gates more than a quarter century ago. I was trying to capture what I thought was the red-hot core of the then-burgeoning computer revolution — the scarily obsessive, absurdly brainy, and endlessly inventive people known as hackers. Back then, Gates had just pulled off a deal to supply his DOS operating system to IBM. His name was not yet a household word; even Word was not yet a household word. I would interview Gates many times over the years, but that first conversation was special. I saw his passion for computers as a matter of historic import. Gates himself saw my reverence as an intriguing novelty. But by then I was convinced that I was documenting a movement that would affect everybody.

(Read More)