[The Atlantic] The creative class and current state of society

Categories: Articles
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 3, 2021

The emergence of creative class (bobos) has broken the old structures of rich, middle and poor but has lead to a new map of class structure. Pretty good article from David Brooks in The Atlantic called “How the bobos broke America: The creative class was supposed to foster progressive values and economic growth. Instead we got resentment, alienation, and endless political dysfunction”.

The article also talks about failings of modern meritocracy.. Another topic in itself.

Read more of this article here: [The Link]


From the article, below is a summary of the current state of groups, more structured around political orientation.

Blue oligarchy: tech and media executives, university presidents, foundation heads, banking CEOs, highly successful doctors and lawyers.

One step down from the blue oligarchy is the creative class (bobos) itself, a broader leadership class of tenured faculty, established members of the mainstream media, urban and suburban lawyers, senior nonprofit and cultural-institution employees, and corporate managers, whose attitudes largely mirror the blue oligarchs above them, notwithstanding the petty resentments of the former toward the latter

One economic rung below are the younger versions of the educated elite, many of whom live in the newly gentrifying areas of urban America, such as Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York or Shaw in Washington, D.C. More diverse than the elites of earlier generations, they work in the lower rungs of media, education, technology, and the nonprofit sector. Disgusted with how their elders have screwed up the world, they are leading a revolution in moral sentiments.

On the lowest rung of the blue ladder is the caring class, the largest in America (nearly half of all workers, by some measures), and one that in most respects sits quite far from the three above it. It consists of low-paid members of the service sector: manicurists, home health-care workers, restaurant servers, sales clerks, hotel employees.

Red hierarchy is the GOP’s slice of the one-percenters. Some are corporate executives or entrepreneurs, but many are top-tier doctors, lawyers, and other professionals who aspire to low taxes and other libertarian ideals.

One step down are the large property-owning families, scattered among small cities and towns like Wichita, Kansas, and Grand Rapids, Michigan—what we might call the GOP gentry.

Below them is the proletarian aristocracy, the people of the populist regatta: contractors, plumbers, electricians, middle managers, and small-business owners.

A level below the people of the populist regatta, you find the rural working class. Members of this class have highly supervised jobs in manufacturing, transportation, construction. Their jobs tend to be repetitive and may involve some physical danger.

Utopia and Dystopia Are Twins—Both Are Born Out of Criticism

Categories: Articles
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: July 18, 2021

… “But it is only Utopia that allows us to dream together.”
An interesting article about talking about Utopia in political/social movements. Most blue prints of Utopia have been distorted and lead to disastrous outcomes. However, efforts to describe possible social conditions is important to make progress. See also recent documentaries by Adam Curtis talks about this – how absence of thought on how we should organise ourselves, has lead to current systems of power, which is not necessarily to the benefit of majority of people in society.

Few excerpts from the article here..” [Fredric] Jameson saw this cramped, blighted imaginative inability to conceive of positive systemic change as one of the hallmarks of postmodernism.”

..”The utopian impulse exists to spark discomfort with the status quo and agitation.


Newsletters: literary genre?

Categories: Articles, Blogs
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: July 8, 2021

An interesting perspective on emergence of newsletters. Newsletters from companies, brands and other thinktanks or consortiums are more common. However, newsletters from artists, novelists and other writers is something different and also perhaps new? Below is a link to an interesting article about this. Also some snippets from this article


“The Sound of My Inbox The financial promise of email newsletters has launched countless micropublications — and created a new literary genre”


“Newsletters vary in subject as widely as, for example, books do, and their authors may be cryptocurrency investors or indie musicians. What they share is the direct personal appeal of special delivery. They require the self-confidence involved in making this appeal to dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of strangers. A newsletter reshapes a writer’s relationship to their readers. The first-person informality that has been present since the earliest days of web writing achieves its business apotheosis in the newsletter: from personal essay to personal brand”


More about this here: [The Link]

[McKinsey] Social contract of 21st century

Categories: Articles
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 10, 2021

An interesting overview from McKinsey on how economic outcomes and the relationship between individuals and institutions have shifted for workers, consumers, and savers in advanced economies.


More details here: [The Link]




Fact vs. fake – why don’t we trust science any more? | DW Documentary

Categories: Articles, SciTech
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: May 8, 2021

A pretty interesting documentary from DW on this topic.

Also, learned about this intereresting field of Agnotology: A study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data. Wiki Link

History of authenticity

Categories: Articles, Blogs
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: April 30, 2021

Probably you have received advice of this in one form or the other:  be yourself, be authentic… etc. Came across an article that goes a bit deeper into the history of where such thinking originated. It is an interested read. Here are a couple of interesting paragraphs from this article.

“How can one avoid the pitfalls of this phoney authenticity? More historical awareness of where our ideals of authenticity and freedom come from can help. As the American political philosopher Matthew B Crawford details in his book The World Beyond Your Head (2015), the narcissist has a mistaken idea of freedom. Crawford follows Adorno and Lasch, agreeing that the groundlessness of human action doesn’t imply that human beings are or should be completely autonomous. We’re born into a particular place and time, with particular psychological and physical attributions, and with particular people and traditions available to us that we can draw on or reject. These constraints are debilitating only if we see them as such, if we consider them as fetters from which the self should ideally be free. In reality, many rules and constraints are enabling: they are the conditions of freedom, not the barriers to it. They are the friction that allow us to move forward.”

“Learning a craft can teach us a lot about what exactly it is to actualise a self. The word ‘authenticity’ comes from the Greek authentes for ‘master’ or ‘one acting on his own authority’ (aut = self and hentes = making or working on/crafting). Importantly, it doesn’t mean ‘self-maker’ in the reflexive sense of one who makes himself, but one who makes or acts according to his own will – making from out of the self. And in crafting of our accord, we do actually actualise ourselves. We transform inner feelings into something real.”

More of this article here from Aeog mag: [The Link]

Also check out the website: Psyche | on the human condition


Top 10 emerging tech from 2020 [SciAmerican]

Categories: SciTech
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: April 4, 2021

Below is a list of top 10 emerging tech in 2020 as identified by Scientific American.

More of these technologies at SciAm here: [The Link]

  • Microneedles could enable painless injections and blood draws
  • Sun-powered chemistry can turn carbon dioxide into common materials
  • Virtual patients could revolutionize medicine
  • Spatial computing could be the next big thing
  • Digital medicine can diagnose and tread what ails you
  • Electric aviation could be closer than you think
  • Low-carbon cement can help combat climate change
  • Quantum sensors could let autonomous cars see around corners
  • Green hydrogen could fill big gaps in renewable energy
  • whole-genome synthesis will transform cell engineering

The Birth Of Tintin: Discovering Hergé (Art Documentary)

Categories: Blogs
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: March 13, 2021

For those who grew up with adventures of Tintin, here is a nice documentary about its creator Herge. Documentary goes over the context of some of the comics of Tintin through the ages. If you happen to be in Belgium, might be worth a visit to Tintin museum (Musee Herge) as well.


[NYtimes] A collection long-form articles in 2020

Categories: Articles, SciTech, Travel
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: February 7, 2021

Recently came across a great collection of articles from David Brooks in the NYtimes. It has been Brook’s recurring list as Sydney Awards. Here is the list and brief commentary on each from David Brooks [NYTimes article Link] Here are the articles mentioned the above link:

Few on the lighter side of things, also from the same NYTimes article:


A 25-Year-Old Bet Comes Due: Has Tech Destroyed Society?

Categories: Articles, SciTech
Tags: No Tags
Comments: No Comments
Published on: January 30, 2021

Recently read about this long term bet between K. Kelly (techno optimist) and K. Sale (techno skeptic). The best was set in 1995 that by 2020 the world would collapse and tech aspects would have been a major contributing factor in driving the collapse (economic, climate & inequality). Few interesting excerpts from the article here, especially by the arbiter W. Patrick:


Economic Collapse. Sale predicted flatly that the dollar and other accepted currencies would be worthless in 2020. Patrick points to the Dow at 30,000 and the success of new currencies such as Bitcoin. “Not much contest here,” Patrick writes. Round goes to Kelly.

Global Environmental Disaster. Kelly tried to argue that despite worsening climate change, people are still living their lives pretty much as usual. “If this is a disaster, that is not evident to Earth’s 7 billion inhabitants,” Kelly wrote in his four-page argument. But Patrick isn’t convinced. “With fires, floods, and rising seas displacing populations; bugs and diseases heading north; ice caps melting and polar bears with no place to go; as well as the worst hurricane season and the warmest year on record, it’s hard to dispute that we are at least ‘close to’ global environmental disaster,” Patrick wrote in his final decision. This one is Sale’s.

The War Between Rich and Poor. Sale’s book cites devastating statistics on income inequality and the frayed social fabric. If he had written his book after the pandemic, the picture would be even worse. But are the classes at war? Patrick notes that in the decades since Kelly and Sale made the bet, breathtaking economic development has reshaped China and India, among other countries. On the other hand, he points to undeniable social unrest, even in the United States, with Trumpites taking to the streets with semiautomatic weapons, and massive protests against police abuses. He calls this round a toss-up, with an edge to Sale.


Of course, all bets are off. They have not yet resolved the bet.

Read more of this here from WIRED: [The Link]

«page 3 of 21»
Welcome , today is Saturday, April 1, 2023