A Study of History, Author: Arnold Toynbee.
Civilization on Trial, Author: Arnold Toynbee.
By Ian Beacock – Europeans wanted better lives and they were certain that scientific progress would provide them.
After the devastation of the Great War, rationalization ruled from London to Moscow: empirical methods and new technologies were adopted to streamline everything from cityscapes to national populations, intellectual work to household chores. Many administrators and activists believed that there was no problem (material, institutional or social) that couldn’t be engineered away.
As a boy, Arnold Toynbee occasionally spent the night at the home of a family friend who was a distinguished professor of the physical sciences. The best part of these visits was the professor’s library. The young Toynbee devoured everything he could: literary epics, volumes of poetry, the latest scientific theories, surveys of geology and chemistry and the animal kingdoms.
Toynbee bristled at the notion that it (“Industrial System”) could do or explain everything. The problem with the Industrial System was that it didn’t know when to stop, pushing relentlessly into domains where it simply didn’t work. more> http://tinyurl.com/po6lqf9
Posted in Book review, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Science, Technology
Tagged Business, Capital, History, Industrial System, Organization, Regulations, Super regions
City Lights: Intelligent LEDs Could Save Lives, Not to Mention Money and Time
By Jermaine Dallas – An intelligent lighting system could be a central part of the healthcare infrastructure, serving as network through which hospital managers receive updates in real time about a patient’s location and status.
It could significantly improve the quality of medical care and speed up response time.
These examples are much more real that you might imagine. Networked intelligent LED lighting systems (see right) equipped with sensors that can see, feel and hear could soon illuminate roads and hallways, and help improve security, optimize traffic, monitor the environment, and a whole lot more.
There are nearly 90 million streetlights in the U.S. and Europe. For the proponents of smart cities, that’s a lot of potential for lighting upgrades that could make lives easier and more enjoyable. more> http://tinyurl.com/nuyjpsw
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Nature, Net, Technology, telecom, Transportation
Tagged Broadband, Electronics, GE, Intelligent lighting, Internet, Productivity, Technology
By Noah Smith – Why stocks go up is one of the fundamental questions of finance.
If it seems like a silly question, it’s only because the amazing performance of stocks relative to safe bonds — known as the equity premium — has been a fundamental, unchanging fact throughout our lifetimes.
.. we usually teach people that high long-term stock returns are a compensation for risk.
In the 1980s, some top economists challenged this view.
Using a very simple model (pdf) of how much people care about consumption risk, they found that people would have to be incredibly risk averse to generate the equity premium that we see.
So the equity premium got relabeled the “equity premium puzzle” and spawned tens of thousands of econ papers. more> http://tinyurl.com/oopuzt8
By Jessica Stoller-Conrad – By observing the clouds of gas and dust within a galaxy, astronomers can determine important information about the history of star formation and the evolution of galaxies.
Dust in galaxies is created by the elements released during the formation and collapse of stars. Although the most abundant elements in the universe—hydrogen and helium—were created by the Big Bang, stars are responsible for making all of the heavier elements in the universe, such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and iron. And because young, distant galaxies have had less time to make stars, these galaxies should contain less dust. Previous observations had suggested this, but until now nobody could directly measure the dust in these faraway galaxies.
Because it is impossible to watch this evolution from young galaxy to old galaxy happen in real time on the scale of a human lifespan, the researchers use telescopes like ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) to take a survey of galaxies at different evolutionary stages. more> http://tinyurl.com/pz9gvm5
truth-out.org – One of the most important points the Pope makes in his new encyclical on the environment is that the source of our current ecological crisis is actually an ideology, the ideology of unregulated capitalism.
“The idea of infinite or unlimited growth,” he writes, “which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology … is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the Earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry at every limit.”
Ever since the “Reagan Revolution,” we’ve become addicted to the pursuit of “growth.”
Instead of thinking about how to become better stewards of the Earth, we now worry about how to make markets more “efficient” – the environment be damned. more> http://tinyurl.com/nvhgcn4
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Leadership, Media, Nature, Regulations, Technology
Tagged Business, Capital, Earth, Ecology, Government, Industrial economy, Regulations, Technology, United States
By Ted Karczewski – Results from these experiments show that teachers can actively transfer more creative characteristics when they lead by example in the classroom. The same can apply to managers and bosses in the workplace.
Managers need to discover ways to bring their unique and personal creative interests into brainstorm sessions and group projects.
Your primary job should always be to help your team improve upon their unique skills. The more you can inspire through action and education, the more you’ll get out of them when it comes to time-intensive projects. more> http://tinyurl.com/obflvg8
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Leadership
Tagged Business improvement, Jobs, Leadership, Organization, Productivity, Skill