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Posts Tagged ‘sociology

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net notes that lidar scanning has revealed that the pre-Columbian city of Angamuco, in western Mexico, is much bigger than previously thought.
  • James Bow makes an excellent case for the revitalization of VIA Rail as a passenger service for longer-haul trips around Ontario.
  • D-Brief notes neurological evidence suggesting why people react so badly to perceived injustices.
  • The Dragon’s Tales takes a look at the list of countries embracing thorough roboticization.
  • Andrew LePage at Drew Ex Machina takes a look at the most powerful launch vehicles, both Soviet and American, to date.
  • Far Outliers considers Safavid Iran as an imperfect gunpowder empire.
  • Despite the explanation, I fail to see how LGBTQ people could benefit from a cryptocurrency all our own. What would be the point, especially in homophobic environments where spending it would involve outing ourselves? Hornet Stories shares the idea.
  • Imageo notes that sea ice off Alaska has actually begun contracting this winter, not started growing.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the production and consumption of lace, and lace products, was highly politicized for the Victorians.
  • Language Hat makes a case for the importance of translation as a political act, bridging boundaries.
  • Language Log takes a look at the pronunciation and mispronunciation of city names, starting with PyeongChang.
  • This critical Erik Loomis obituary of Billy Graham, noting the preacher’s many faults, is what Graham deserves. From Lawyers, Guns and Money, here.
  • Bernard Porter at the LRB Blog is critical of the easy claims that Corbyn was a knowing agent of Communist Czechoslovakia.
  • The Map Room Blog shares this map from r/mapporn, imagining a United States organized into states as proportionally imbalanced in population as the provinces of Canada?
  • Marginal Revolution rightly fears a possible restart to the civil war in Congo.
  • Neuroskeptic reports on a controversial psychological study in Ghana that saw the investigation of “prayer camps”, where mentally ill are kept chain, as a form of treatment.
  • The NYR Daily makes the case that the Congolese should be allowed to enjoy some measure of peace from foreign interference, whether from the West or from African neighbous (Rwanda, particularly).
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla looks at the many things that can go wrong with sample return missions.
  • Rocky Planet notes that the eruption of Indonesian volcano Sinabung can be easily seen from space.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes how the New Horizons Pluto photos show a world marked by its subsurface oceans.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that, although fertility rates among non-Russians have generally fallen to the level of Russians, demographic momentum and Russian emigration drive continue demographic shifts.
  • Livio Di Matteo at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative charts the balance of federal versus provincial government expenditure in Canada, finding a notable shift towards the provinces in recent decades.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell makes the case, through the example of the fire standards that led to Grenfell Tower, that John Major was more radical than Margaret Thatcher in allowing core functions of the state to be privatized.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes a look at some alcoholic drinks with outrĂ© names.
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[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • The Buzz recommends twenty-four different novels for Valentine’s Day, drawing on the recommendations of employees of the Toronto Public Library.
  • Centauri Dreams links to a new paper suggesting there are thousands of objects of extrasolar origin, some tens of kilometres in size, in our planetary system right now.
  • D-Brief notes that cryptocurrency is hindering the search for extraterrestrial life, as miners buy up the graphics cards SETI researchers need.
  • Lyman Stone at In A State of Migration notes how unbalanced the marriage market can be for professional women in the United States interested in similar partners, especially for African-American women.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how deeply the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. for racial equality in the United States were driven by anti-colonial nationalism in Africa.
  • The LRB Blog notes how the life and writing of Penelope Fitzgerald was influenced by two decades of living on the English coast, suspended between land and water.
  • At the NYR Daily, Melissa Chadburn tells of what she learned from counting, and queueing, and perservering in routines.
  • At The Numerati, Stephen Baker shares an excerpt from his new book, Dark Site, describing a teenager’s attempts to control a cognitive implant.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer takes issue with elements of the timing of Lyman Stone’s schedule for immigration controls imposed in the United Kingdom on Caribbean migrants.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla explains how scientists are keeping the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in good stead despite its age.
  • At Roads and Kingdoms, Timi Siytangco explains the history of the Philippines through nine Filipino foods.
  • Drew Rowsome is impressed by the power of The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
  • Ethan Siegel at Starts With A Bang explains why black holes have to contain singularities, not merely superdense normal matter.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the rather misogynistic essay of ideologue Vladimir Surkin about women and power, timed for Valentine’s Day.

[URBAN NOTE] Four city links: global distribution, smaller cities, AI in cities, shopping mall music

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  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting that whereas cities in developed countries tend to be spread evenly across resource-rich agricultural areas, cities in developing countries tend to cluster near coasts where transport is easier.
  • At In Medias Res, Russell Arben Fox responds to Krugman in considering what role there is for smaller cities and towns in the 21st century.
  • Tracey Lauriault at Policy Options argues that, in projects like Google’s involvement in Toronto’s Quayside, the underlying values of the AI systems used should always be thoughtfully considered. What do they represent?
  • Dangerous Minds shares the oddly haunting YouTube videos of a man who plays classic 1980s pop songs in deserted shopping malls.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • At Anthropology.net, Kambiz Kamrani notes the very recent discovery in Malaysia of the hitherto unsuspected Jedek language by anthropologists doing fieldwork.
  • Hornet Stories interviews the five stars of the new Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Trump plans to privatize the International Space Station.
  • JSTOR Daily links to some of the papers reflecting on the furor around Murphy Brown and that show’s depiction of single motherhood as a defensible choice.
  • Language Hat notes a contention that the more popular a language the more simplified its grammar will be. Is this correct?
  • Language Log notes how hockey terminology differs between the two Koreas, South Korea importing foreign words and the North creating neologisms.
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money does not think a governmental shutdown in the US would have protected DREAMers.
  • Lingua Franca considers the different colloquial uses in English of “baked”.
  • The NYR Daily praises Suburra, a new crime drama set in contemporary Rome.
  • At Starts With A Bang, Ethan Siegel explains how scientists know that the universe is expanding.
  • Supernova Condensate explores the possibility that artificial intelligences might be readily locked into patterns of behaviours not taking human concerns into account and finds it not likely, barring huge design faults.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Khrushchev, not content with transferring Crimea from Russia to Ukraine, also considered border changes in Central Asia.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • The Buzz, over at the Toronto Public Library, recommends some audiobooks, here.
  • Centauri Dreams features an essay, by Kostas Konstantindis, exploring how near-future technology could be used to explore the oceans of Europa and Enceladus for life.
  • Far Outliers takes a look at the many languages used in Persia circa 500 BCE.
  • Hornet Stories notes that Fox News has retracted a bizarrely homophobic op-ed on the Olympics by one of its executives.
  • JSTOR Daily explores what is really involved in the rumours of J. Edgar Hoover and cross-dressing.
  • Language Hat, in exploring Zadie Smith, happens upon the lovely word “cernuous”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to an article, and starts a discussion, regarding the possibility of a North Korean victory early in the Korean War. What would have happened next?
  • The NYR Daily notes that Donald Trump is helping golf get a horrible reputation.
  • Supernova Condensate examines the science-fiction trope of artificial intelligence being dangerous, and does not find much substance behind the myth. If anything, the direction of the fear should lie in the other direction.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little looks at two books which consider the origins of the Cold War from an international relations perspective. What were the actors trying to achieve?
  • Window on Eurasia makes the argument that the powerful clan structures of post-Soviet Dagestan are not primordial in origin, but rather represent attempts to cope with state failure in that Russian republic.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the existential problems facing Capita from a Coasian perspective. How is its business model fundamentally broken?
  • Arnold Zwicky, in taking apart an overcorrection, explains the differences between “prone” and “supine.”

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • Eddie Chong at anthro{dendum} shares a listing of anthropology-relevant links from around the blogosphere.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog takes a quick look at the sociology of food.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that a court ruling making same-sex marriage imaginable has helped an evangelical Christian candidate leap to the front of Costa Rica’s presidential elections.
  • JSTOR Daily explains the import of President’s Day to, among others, non-Americans.
  • Language Hat examines the spelling of the Irish word “imbolc” or “imbolg”, used to describe a festival marking the start of spring.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money calls for legal enforcement of supply chains for minerals and the like, to ensure that they were not produce through human exploitation (for instance).
  • Miranda Vane at the LRB Blog introduces her readers to the northern English sport of Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling.
  • Marginal Revolution highlights the argument of a commenter who argued that self-driving trucks cannot perform on themselves the tasks that human truckers are expected to. (Yet?)
  • The NYR Daily examines the transformation of Putin in office from mere oligarch to the world’s leading kleptocrat.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw celebrates a new Australian satirical newssite, the Betoota Advocate.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla notes new findings suggesting some Kuiper belt objects have huge moons, relatively and absolutely.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that while a powerful laser cannot rip up space literally, it can do pretty remarkable things nonetheless.
  • Towleroad shares an essay by Cyd Ziegler talking about the importance of gay Atlantis Cruise ships for him, in the light of a scandal onboard a ship involving a fatal drug overdose.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at, among other things, tulip trees and magnolias.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • First, a new blog. The Buzz…About Books, official blog of the Toronto Public Library’s Book Buzz, has interesting book-related posts. I liked this one from last December, noting the most popular books in dozens of neighbourhoods according to TPL stats.
  • Centauri Dreams celebrates the life and achievements, as a writer and as a dreamer, of Ursula K Le Guin.
  • D-Brief notes that yesterday was NASA’s Day of Remembrance for lost astronauts, and takes a close look at the Columbia disaster 15 years ago.
  • Hornet Stories notes a recent interview with Tonya Harding, famous again thanks to I, Tonya, that takes a look at some of her more controversial opinions. (Is the pro-Trump enough to prevent her from being some sort of camp icon, I wonder?)
  • JSTOR Daily links to a paper examining the import of artificial intelligence victories in board games, like Go, over human players. Of course simple iterations are able to overcome human-style intelligence, so long as you go through enough iterations at least.
  • Language Hat notes how many languages, and dialects of languages, can survive in far-removed immigrant enclaves. Greek in Ohio is used as one example.
  • Marginal Revolution imagines, through the person of an athlete, what it would be like for someone to know all the data that is to be known about them. (I think it could be empowering.)
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw shares his sad thoughts about how, in an age of instant and potentially overwhelming digital outrage in a polarizing era, he resorts to self-censorship.
  • The Planetary Society Blog explores the work of scientists who are assembling a guidebook indicating what the spectra of Earth-like worlds, at different stages of their history and orbiting different stars, will look like.
  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at how #metoo is revealing sexual harassment and assault everywhere, among gay and straight, in Ontario and abroad.
  • Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy demonstrates that the anti-immigration policies of Trump show the man is uninterested, as some would have it, in deregulation.
  • Understanding Society examines the question of how organizations can ensure that their members will act in compliance with stated organizational values.
  • Window on Eurasia s the ongoing emigration of ethnic Russians from the North Caucasus, a massive and–I suspect–irreversible migration.