On the dark history of intelligence as domination | Aeon Essays


The story of intelligence begins with Plato. In all his writings, he ascribes a very high value to thinking, declaring (through the mouth of Socrates) that the unexamined life is not worth living. Plato emerged from a world steeped in myth and mysticism to claim something new: that the truth about reality could be established through reason, or what we might consider today to be the application of intelligence. This led him to conclude, in The Republic, that the ideal ruler is ‘the philosopher king’, as only a philosopher can work out the proper order of things. And so he launched the idea that the cleverest should rule over the rest – an intellectual meritocracy.

Plato’s novel idea fell on the eager ears of the intellectuals, including those of his pupil Aristotle. Aristotle was always the more practical, taxonomic kind of thinker. He took the notion of the primacy of reason and used it to establish what he believed was a natural social hierarchy. In his book The Politics, he explains:

‘[T]hat some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.’ What marks the ruler is their possession of ‘the rational element’.

Source: On the dark history of intelligence as domination | Aeon Essays

Free Architecture School? It’s Not As Crazy As It Sounds | Co.Design


For architecture to reach its full potential, diverse perspectives are essential. We’ve already witnessed the damage of discriminatory design on cities and streets.

If architects and designers all have the same cultural, social, and philosophical background, the work they produce will reflect those homogeneous values. A lack of meaningful difference may let design slip into stagnation at a time when it needs to be charging ahead.

Could the solution to changing architecture lie in changing how architects are made? To bring more diverse ideas and people into the conversation, some experimental schools, and even established institutions like Harvard, are adopting a new tactic: make architectural education more accessible—even free.

Source: Free Architecture School? It’s Not As Crazy As It Sounds | Co.Design | business + design

Where Would You Move Agencies? | GovExec.com


Last month, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, proposed a plan for federal agencies to look toward moving offices outside of Washington, D.C. Chaffetz was specific in noting that the Homeland Security Department could move to Des Moines, Iowa to save the federal government money on rent and salaries.

This idea intrigued us here at GovExec and we asked for reader input

Source: Where Would You Move Agencies? – GovExec.com

Border Officers: Real Security is More Complicated Than Building a Wall | Nextgov.com


Simply keeping records on people who cross the border illegally is in many ways far more useful for law enforcement than walls that can be tunneled under or, perhaps, bypassed with false credentials. That’s because walls treat every migrant the same, when in fact many people who enter illegally do so repeatedly, according to Antonio Trindad, CBP’s (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) director of enforcement systems.

Crossing the border under difficult conditions, in secret and under cover of night, often requires a guide. In his address at the summit, Trindad said focusing on guides can dramatically reduce illegal crossings.

The push now to is to collect photographic data, rapidly process it and send it to officers who can apprehend people. But it’s no simple task for a variety of reasons.

Source: Border Officers: Real Security is More Complicated Than Building a Wall – Nextgov.com

Messy people are happier than neat freaks—and more productive too | Quartz


.. that magazine-shoot minimalism, with clean lines of spruce and steel, looks terrific. But what works in the kitchen may not work in your email inbox. Sometimes, we place too much faith in the idea that if something looks well-organized, then we’ve got our lives under control.

It’s all too easy to fall into this trap.

Many of us feel embarrassed about our cluttered desks, for example, assuming that they are an externalization of our internal chaos. Yet emptying your desk may, ironically, clutter your mind more than ever.

Source: Messy people are happier than neat freaks—and more productive too — Quartz

The Border Wall Is a Negotiating Tactic Straight Out of ‘The Art of the Deal’ | GovExec.com


Several people, including Trump, have noted his tendency to give himself a lot of leeway in order to get to where he wants to be in a negotiation. By that logic, it makes perfect sense that he would sign an executive order calling for the wall’s construction while effusively praising Peña Nieto.

“I keep a lot of balls in the air, because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first,” Trump said in The Art of the Deal.

Author Michael D’Antonio, who spent hours with Trump while researching his book The Truth about Trumptold NPR that Trump is intentionally vague. “It’s very consistent with who he is to say something really general —I’m going to build a fantastic building, and it’s going to be a terrific golf course—and then the details are for another day and can always be interpreted as fulfilling the initial promise. And there’s a bit of genius in this,” he said.

The wall is a case in point. It went from 65-feet tall at one point to fencing in some areas more recently. He’s still calling it a wall.

Source: The Border Wall Is a Negotiating Tactic Straight Out of ‘The Art of the Deal’ – Management Matters – Management – GovExec.com

Trump’s border wall: Could he really do it?


The U.S. “border wall” is really a collection of walls, fences and other barriers that currently cover 652 miles of the 1,954-mile border with Mexico, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The wall is strongest along parts of the border that have large populations on both sides, such as San Diego and Tijuana. Each city runs right up to the border, so Department of Homeland Security officials have built up double and triple layers of fencing for 14 miles starting in the Pacific Ocean and heading east.

Source: Trump’s border wall: Could he really do it?

Filtering out the fintech hype | The Adviser


It is easy to get swept up in the hype of the industry and forget what the point of all this innovation is.

What defines innovation that changes the shape of an industry and, more importantly, makes a difference to real peoples’ lives?

Technology should make peoples’ lives easier, much easier. It should cut out the friction in the way we interact with financial services.

By reducing wait times, cutting out painful steps in a process, eliminating repeated identity verifications, eliminating paper, printing and postage, offering services when the client is free, not when you are.

Source: Filtering out the fintech hype – The Adviser

Law Enforcement and the Crisis of Public Confidence | GovExec.com


If You See Something, Say Something” is the most memorable public safety campaign I can think of.

.. eventually DHS did adopt it, and according to Riggs, in 2008 the line “went viral.” (The article offers an excellent timeline showing key moments in its adoption.)

The question for students of law enforcement communication, and social media marketing, is whether the campaign has actually worked. The consensus is that it hasn’t …

These commentators may be right; perhaps encouraging people to report on suspicious activities mucks up the system, distracts the feds and the police, creates unnecessary delays, and encourages an atmosphere of suspicion.

But then again, perhaps the problem with the campaign was not the idea, but its execution …

Source: Law Enforcement and the Crisis of Public Confidence – Promising Practices – Management – GovExec.com

Additive Manufacturing Holds Key to Efficient, Cost-Effective Development of Flexible Electronics | Design News


Flexibility is poised to be the next-generation form factor for electronics. However, the rigidity of typical electronic components makes it no easy task to manufacture these type of devices with the core technologies currently available for them in an efficient or economical way.

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) think that additive manufacturing is the key to solving this problem. A team led by Heng Pan, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has demonstrated how this type of manufacturing process can be used to combine rigid components with elastomers to develop flexible, or “stretchable” electronics .

Source: Additive Manufacturing Holds Key to Efficient, Cost-Effective Development of Flexible Electronics | Design News