24th July 2014
Link with 1 note
The ceramics teacher announced that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.
His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”.
Well, grading time came and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity!
It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work — and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat around theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
23rd July 2014
Photo reblogged from nyc art scene with 381 notes
thru Aug 3:
“Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010”
The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 St., NYC
Sigmar Polke (German, 1941–2010) was one of the most voraciously experimental artists of the twentieth century. This retrospective is the first to encompass the unusually broad range of mediums he worked with during his five-decade career, including painting, photography, film, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, television, performance, and stained glass, as well as his constant, highly innovative blurring of the boundaries between these mediums. Masquerading as many different artists—making cunning figurative paintings at one moment and abstract photographs the next—he always eluded easy categorization.
22nd July 2014
Photo reblogged from ArtPropelled with 31 notes
22nd July 2014
Ayn Rand was the founder of Objectivism, a far-right libertarian who ruthlessly attacked the State and believed no one should ever go begging the government for money . . . until she got sick, at which point she became the biggest welfare queen around.
21st July 2014
Photoset reblogged from Mechanical Minds with 220,086 notes
Real Time with Bill Maher: 6.6.14 — Anthony Weiner, Jim Geraghety, Nicolle Wallace
Holy shit, Anthony Weiner actually said something important.
It’s a miracle!
That’s been the Republican strategy since day one of Obama’s presidency. Block the President at every turn, then blame him for not getting anything done. In fact, here’s Newt Gingrich openly admitting to it.
That’s why Republicans block jobs bills — so they can blame Obama for the economy still sucking. They’ve blocked budgets, resulting in a government shutdown that they then tried to blame on Obama. They’ve tried over and over again to block Obamacare, and complain that it’s a failure as they work their asses off to try to make it fail.
It’s kindergarten politics, and we need to vote these schmucks out in November. A bunch of white guys throwing temper tantrums and shouting NO! to everything just because they don’t like the president is no way to run a government, especially if we’re going to continue to pretend to be one of the greatest nations on earth.
21st July 2014
Cowen bases his case on what seems on its face paradoxical but is in fact correct: it is possible for a set of 100 countries to each experience increasing income inequality and yet the aggregate of those populations to experience falling inequality. And this is precisely what he thinks is happening. Incomes in (some of) the poorest countries are rising, and the gap between the top and the bottom has fallen. So the gap between the richest and the poorest citizens of planet Earth has declined. The economic growth in developing countries in the past twenty years, principally China, has led to rapid per capita growth in several of those countries. This helps the distribution of income globally — even as it worsens China’s income distribution.
But this isn’t what most people are concerned about when they express criticisms of rising inequalities, either nationally or internationally. They are concerned about the fact that our economies have very systematically increased the percentage of income and wealth flowing to the top 1, 5, and 10 percent, while allowing the bottom 40% to stagnate. And this concentration of wealth and income is widespread across the globe. (Branko Milanovic does a nice job of analyzing the different meanings we might attach to “global inequality” in this World Bank working paper; link.)
This rising income inequality is a profound problem for many reasons. First, it means that the quality of life for the poorest 40% of each economy’s population is significantly lower than it could and should be, given the level of wealth of the societies in which they live. That is a bad thing in and of itself. Second, the relative poverty of this sizable portion of society places a burden on future economic growth. If the poorest 40% are poorly educated, poorly housed, and poorly served by healthcare, then they will be less productive than they have the capacity to be, and future society will be the poorer for it. Third, this rising inequality is further a problem because it undermines the perceived legitimacy of our economic system. Widening inequalities have given rise to a widespread perception that these growing inequalities are unfair and unjustified. This is a political problem of the first magnitude. Our democracy depends on a shared conviction of the basic fairness of our institutions.
20th July 2014
Quote reblogged from substitutes for sleep with 44,122 notes
We now know that 24 hours without sleep, or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .1 percent. We would never say, ‘This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time!’ yet we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep for work.
20th July 2014
Photo reblogged from substitutes for sleep with 4,472 notes
The Walking Dead has the best plots.