Tuesday, October 8, 2013

tweets

Nikhil Goyal (@nikhilgoya_l)
10/7/13 3:53 PM
"People with the most social power pay scant attention to those with little such power."nyti.ms/178QI5Q

Poor people are better attuned to interpersonal relations — with those of the same strata, and the more powerful — than the rich are, because they have to be
attuned interpersonal attention in all directions, in general, those with the most power in society seem to pay particularly little attention to those with the least power. To be sure, high-status people do attend to those of equal rank — but not as well as those low of status
political scientists have noted, redistricting and gerrymandering have led to the creation of more and more safe districts, in which elected officials don’t even have to encounter many voters from the rival party, much less empathize with them.
Social distance makes it all the easier to focus on small differences between groups and to put a negative spin on the ways of others and a positive spin on our own.
Freud called this “the narcissism of minor differences,” a theme repeated by Vamik D. Volkan, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, who was born in Cyprus to Turkish parents. Dr. Volkan remembers hearing as a small boy awful things about the hated Greek Cypriots — who, he points out, actually share many similarities with Turkish Cypriots. Yet for decades their modest-size island has been politically divided, which exacerbates the problem by letting prejudicial myths flourish.
contrast, extensive interpersonal contact counteracts biases by letting people from hostile groups get to know one another as individuals and even friends

jr s inside out

In his research, he found that even in areas where ethnic groups were in conflict and viewed one another through lenses of negative stereotypes, individuals who had close friends within the other group exhibited little or no such prejudice. They seemed to realize the many ways those demonized “others” were “just like me.” 

Nigel Cameron (@nigelcameron)
10/8/13 7:28 AM
How does one think, let alone write, without knowing such Scotticisms as havering, dreich, and peely-wally? #Scotland #edu


Austin Kleon (@austinkleon)
10/8/13 7:29 AM
FYI: I treat @tumblr as just another social media site, like Twitter. Won’t last forever. Important stuff goes here: austinkleon.com/blog

Austin Kleon (@austinkleon)
10/8/13 7:31 AM
My website has been online since 2001. Blog since 2005. It ain’t going anywhere:austinkleon.com



GlobalHigherEd (@GlobalHigherEd)
10/8/13 7:29 AM
A striking reminder we're not all on the grid (%, by country, w access to internet & computers at home) #OECDskills pic.twitter.com/PUQFLTusGl

Richard Florida (@Richard_Florida)
10/8/13 7:31 AM
I'll be on the @thecyclemsnbc today discussing the unequal geography of America's new economy ... theatlantic.com/magazine/archi…



http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/10/14/131014fa_fact_heller?printable=true&currentPage=all

San Francisco’s young entrepreneurs appear less concerned about flaunting their earnings than about showing that they can act imaginatively, with conspicuously noble ethics.

The future of tech influence is not suburban, as it has been for half a century. It’s the city.

“It’s much more a campaign-based model, where you’re going to crush it for a few years and then be absent for a while,” Bahat said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called a C.E.O., and it’s like, ‘I’m at a meditation retreat!’ or ‘I’m tied up for the next three months!’ ” The meditation lacuna is as much a mark of success as the chockablock schedule, since stepping away is something that only high-achieving people can do. Once, when Bahat reported on LinkedIn that he was leaving a job by changing his status to “Doing Nothing,” his New York friends fretted, and promised to let him know if they heard of any openings. His Bay Area friends, meanwhile, congratulated him on his exit.

At some point, in other words, tech stopped being an industry and turned into the substrate of most things changing in urban culture. That broadening has had other effects. Like many observers, I’ve been dimly aware of a shift in the country’s aspirational character over the past few years. It showed up in what people—mostly ambitious middle-class city people—wanted from life, and how they reached for it. Many did good works or started companies that did them. Many who’d been racing up ladders in New York or Los Angeles or Washington dropped everything and moved out to the Bay Area to work. You could enter any coffeehouse in certain neighborhoods there and hear kids talking eagerly about creative plans, a rarity in most cities thought to have inventive youth cultures.

huge:

Investment now stays private and low to the ground: by the time a startup goes public, much of the tech community has put its money in and reaped its benefits. This has enabled San Francisco entrepreneurship to operate by its own rules.

The same systems that make outsourcing of small tasks more efficient have driven down the cost of launching a company. 

All this scaling down, Ravikant thinks, has encouraged new, more rewarding life styles. “I have this guy who’s driven me around in Sidecar a bunch of times,” he said. “He lives in Tiburon. He golfs every day at noon in Palo Alto. On his route from Tiburon to Palo Alto, he stops in San Francisco. He hits a button, turns on his Sidecar, picks his rides, does five or six, rejects two, meets new people, chats them up, and then he continues driving to Palo Alto, having picked up his golfing money for the day.” Ravikant envisages a future in which everybody is a private contractor, snatching jobs out of the ether, working for one another as they please—a future much like today’s San Francisco.

A couple of days before the feature launched, Ravikant saw a panel interview with Fred Wilson, one of the country’s leading venture capitalists. Wilson laid out a nearly identical scheme to explain how the industry might look twenty-five years from now. Ravikant e-mailed him at once. “I’m like, ‘Fred, we’re doing exactly this,’ ” he told me.

And, along with the freewheeling schedule, it may help explain why much about the growing startup culture has a dreamy, arty, idealistic bent: this is the whimsy of youth carried to a place where youth and whimsy have not often thrived.

In 1966, Hendrik Hertzberg, then a young Newsweek reporter in the Bay Area, wrote about San Francisco’s “new bohemianism”:

The hippies, much more numerous than the Beats ever were, accentuate the positive. . . . Like the Beats, they are dropouts from the conventional “status games,” but, unlike them, have created their own happy lifestyles to drop into. “In a way,” says Jerry Garcia, twenty-four, lead guitarist of the Grateful Dead and one of the cultural heroes of Haight-Ashbury, “we’re searching for respectability—not Ford or GM respectability, but the respectability of a community supporting itself financially and spiritually.”


The youth, the upward dreams, the emphasis on life style over other status markers, the disdain for industrial hierarchy, the social benefits of good deeds and warm thoughts—only proper nouns distinguish this description from a portrait of the startup culture in the Bay Area today. It is startling to realize that urban tech life is the closest heir to the spirit of the sixties, and its creative efflorescence, that the country has so far produced.

Still, there’s a crucial difference. If a big impulse behind the hippie movement was metropolitan communitarianism, what’s going on now drifts markedly toward privatization. 


Kirchhoff ... What was missing, he thought, was imagination and a free spirit. Too much of American working culture was about the profit.