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Comments Off on What Reparations for Slavery Might Look Like in 2019

The idea of economic amends for past injustices and persistent disparities is getting renewed attention. Here are some formulas for achieving the aim. If you’re surprised that the issue of reparations for black Americans has taken so long to resolve, blame the president. President Andrew Johnson. As the Civil War wound down in 1865, Gen. William T. Sherman made the promise that would come to be known as “40 acres and a mule” — redistributing a huge tract of Atlantic coastline to black Americans recently freed from bondage. President Abraham Lincoln and Congress gave their approval, and soon 40,000 freedmen in the South had started to plant and build. Within months of Lincoln’s assassination, though, President Johnson rescinded the order and returned the land to its former owners. Congress made another attempt at compensation, but Johnson vetoed it. Now, in the early phase of the 2020 presidential campaign, the question […]

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Comments Off on The Music in You

You might not be a virtuoso, but you have remarkable musical abilities. You just don’t know about them yet. Twenty years ago, a pair of psychologists hooked up a shoe to a computer. They were trying to teach it to tap in time with a national anthem. However, the job was proving much tougher than anticipated. Just moving to beat-dominated music, they found, required a grasp of tonal organisation and musical structure that seemed beyond the reach of an ordinary person without special training. But how could that be? Any partygoer can fake a smile, reach for a cheese cube and tap her heel to an unfamiliar song without so much as a thought. Yet when the guy she’s been chatting with tells her that he’s a musician, she might reply: ‘Music? I don’t know anything about that.’ Maybe you’ve heard a variation on this theme: ‘I can’t carry a […]

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Comments Off on 5 Books That Explain Why It Seems the World Is So Messed Up

Smart guides for understanding this strange and contradictory moment in history. If you aren’t freaking out about something, then… well, then I’m freaking out that you’re not freaking out. Tell the rest of us: what’s your secret? Because the rest of us are pretty sure the world is going to hell in a flaming handbasket. And not only do we not know why, but we don’t know what to do. We live in a strange and contradictory time. On the one hand, the economies of the world are doing great! On the other, unless you’re wearing $2,000 Prada shoes and brush your teeth with truffle toothpaste, you’re not benefiting much from that growth. On the one hand, there’s less war than ever before. On the other, pretty much everyone seems to hate their own government and is actively working towards their own demise. So, what the hell is going on? […]

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Comments Off on Service Area Advisory Committee (SAAC) 6

POWER TO THE PEOPLE

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Comments Off on VOTE FOR LORENZO MURPHY
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Comments Off on How the news took over reality

Is engagement with current affairs key to being a good citizen? Or could an endless torrent of notifications be harming democracy as well as our wellbeing? The afternoon of Friday 13 November 2015 was a chilly one in Manhattan, but that only made the atmosphere inside the Old Town Bar, one of the city’s oldest drinking haunts, even cosier than usual. “It’s unpretentious, very warm, a nurturing environment – I regard it with a lot of fondness,” said Adam Greenfield, who was meeting a friend that day over beers and french fries in one of the bar’s wooden booths. “It’s the kind of place you lay down tracks of custom over time.” Greenfield is an expert in urban design, and liable to get more philosophical than most people on subjects such as the appeal of cosy bars. But anyone who has visited the Old Town Bar, or any friendly pub […]

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Comments Off on Forget about artificial intelligence, extended intelligence is the future

We should challenge the cult of Singularity. AI won’t take over the world Last year, I participated in a discussion of The Human Use of Human Beings, Norbert Weiner’s groundbreaking book on cybernetics theory. Out of that grew what I now consider a manifesto against the growing singularity movement, which posits that artificial intelligence, or AI, will supersede and eventually displace us humans. The notion of singularity – which includes the idea that AI will supercede humans with its exponential growth, making everything we humans have done and will do insignificant – is a religion created mostly by people who have designed and successfully deployed computation to solve problems previously considered impossibly complex for machines. They have found a perfect partner in digital computation, a seemingly knowable, controllable, machine-based system of thinking and creating that is rapidly increasing in its ability to harness and process complexity and, in the process, […]

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Comments Off on How to Be More Productive by Working Less

It took me 18 months to write The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. Over that time period, I wrote somewhere in the vicinity of 150,000 words for the book (about 600 pages). Most of that came in the final three months. In fact, I can confidently say I got far more done in the final three months than I did in the first 12 combined. Now, is that because I was on a deadline and worked like an insane person? Did I shove Adderall up my ass and work in 36-hour spurts or something? No, in fact, those last three months, I worked less each day than I did the first 12, yet I still accomplished far more. In this article, I’d like to make a simple argument (backed with lots of shitty images I created in MS Paint): that when it comes to productivity, things are not […]

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Comments Off on Great Records You May Have Missed: Winter 2019

The best under-the-radar finds in hip-hop, rock, dance, and more It’s impossible to hear all the music that comes out everyday, but with this list we hope to direct your attention to generally overlooked albums our writers and editors have been returning to over the last few months. None of these releases were named Best New Music and, in some cases, they weren’t reviewed on Pitchfork. But they’re all worth a listen. (All releases featured here are independently selected by our editors. When you buy something through our Amazon links, however, Pitchfork may earn an affiliate commission.) Clone Aleksi Perälä Sunshine 3 Sunshine 3 starts abruptly, midway through a tone—as if the Finnish electronic producer has been performing for hours, and some enterprising soul just now pressed record. Perälä’s third album for the Clone Dub label offers a peppy update to the subtle, intuitively strange terrain of classic IDM, proposing […]

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Comments Off on 6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal

Photo by Matthew Fassnacht on Unsplash There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe we read a few obscure love stories from the 19th century on how not to be. But when it comes down to actually handling the nitty-gritty of relationships, we’re given no pointers… or worse, we’re given advice columns in women’s magazines. Yes, it’s trial-and-error from the get-go. And if you’re like most people, it’s been mostly error. But part of the problem is that many unhealthy relationship habits are baked into our culture. We worship romantic love — you know, that dizzying and irrational romantic love that somehow finds breaking china plates on the wall in a fit of tears somewhat endearing — and scoff at practicality or unconventional sexualities. Men and women are […]

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Comments Off on Congress asked top experts for a plan to cut child poverty in half. Here it is.

The most important report on child poverty in years is finally out. California Democrats Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Barbara Lee in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on January 16, 2019. Rep. Lee helped spearhead the push for the National Academy of Sciences’ study on child poverty. Finding the best ways to do good. Made possible by The Rockefeller Foundation. In late 2015, Congress agreed as part of a bipartisan funding deal to produce a landmark, $750,000 report on how to cut child poverty in America. The result of pressure from California Democratic Representatives Barbara Lee and Lucille Roybal-Allard, the provision called for the National Academy of Sciences to convene a group of experts to produce “a nonpartisan, evidence-based report that would provide its assessment of the most effective means for reducing child poverty by half in the next 10 years.” That group has now, more than three years later, produced […]

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Comments Off on There’s No Such Thing as a Dangerous Neighborhood

Most serious urban violence is concentrated among less than 1 percent of a city’s population. So why are we still criminalizing whole areas? In 1982, George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson told a story about a window, a story that changed the fates of entire neighborhoods for decades. Writing in the March issue of The Atlantic, Kelling and Wilson proposed that American policing needed to get back to the project of maintaining order if America wanted communities be safe from harm. “Disorder and crime are usually inextricably linked, in a kind of developmental sequence,” they argued. One broken window leads to scores of broken windows; broken windows signal the breakdown of neighborhood social control; neighborhoods become “vulnerable to criminal invasion,” communities ridden with destruction, drug dealing, prostitution, robbery, and ultimately, serious violence. In essence, Kelling and Wilson argued that latent danger loomed everywhere, and everywhere people’s disorderly impulses needed […]

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Comments Off on The Day Trump Lost Control of the Conversation

Michael Cohen showed he learned some tricks from his former mentor. The key to Donald Trump’s political career has been his ability to keep control of the news conversation. Sometimes that involves positive stories; more often, it involves outrageous or negative ones. But either way, the effect is to keep Trump at the center. The president’s control of the conversation is not absolute. He has sometimes been shoved aside—by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s filings, by authors like Michael Wolff and Bob Woodward, or by natural disasters. But on Wednesday, something different happened: One of his political opponents was able to grasp control of the story. Not only was the man who grabbed the spotlight Michael Cohen, whom Trump has called a “rat.” All the more upsettingly for the president, it happened while he was out of the country, at a summit in Vietnam, and in the middle of the night […]

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Comments Off on ‘Fake’: Thousands rally in US against Trump’s national emergency

More than 250 rallies held across the US to decry Trump’s national emergency declaration to build the border wall. Washington, DC – Thousands of people rallied nationwide on Monday to protest against the national emergency US President Donald Trump declared last week to help fund his long-promised wall across the US-Mexico border. More than 250 rallies were organised across the United States on President’s Day, a US government holiday, with protesters carrying banners and placards that called the national emergency “fake”. “I do think we have a national emergency in this country, this is an emergency to our democratic system,” Angelina Huynh, who joined the rally in Washington, DC, outside the White House with her two preschool children, told Al Jazeera. As snow fell in Boston, Massachusetts, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley took to the stage to speak against Trump’s bid to bypass Congress and help free up $8bn in funds for his […]

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Comments Off on How to Hide $400 Million

When a wealthy businessman set out to divorce his wife, their fortune vanished. The quest to find it would reveal the depths of an offshore financial system bigger than the U.S. economy. A few weeks after she realized her husband was finally leaving her, Sarah Pursglove flew down to the Bahamas to figure out how much money he really had. Like many women married to very wealthy men, she didn’t know much about the family accounts. Her husband, a Finnish entrepreneur named Robert Oesterlund, had sworn to a Canadian court that his immediately calculable “net family property” totaled just a few million dollars. Pursglove was skeptical. She could come up with several family purchases worth more than that off the top of her head. There was the 165-foot yacht, Déjà Vu — that cost a few million dollars a year just to keep on the water. There was the $30 […]