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Social philosophy

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In today's pictures, a security guard tackles an activist in Brussels, fighting breaks out in Taiwan's parliament, a horseman stands atop galloping horses in Germany, and more.

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All due respect to Douglas Adams, but I’m a lover of print, and I’m not “confused” about anything.

I like Adams’ analogy. Indeed, only the logically obtuse would fail to recognize that a work of writing takes priority over the medium in which it is transmitted, just as food takes priority over the plate on which it is served. But it doesn’t follow that the medium (in this case, print) is unworthy of “love”. The food might be the primary purpose of the meal, but there is much more to a meal than the food itself, as any chef or server can attest. The same holds for writing. And just as in all other things mediated by culture, there is such a thing as appreciation for the medium. It’s called aesthetics, and everyone has their own tastes and preferences.

Perhaps Adams is a strict utilitarian with no affection for print. I respect his personal preference, even if I shrug off his apparent arrogance in not returning the courtesy. But some of us love reading the printed page and appreciate the art of the bound book, that has developed over the many centuries since Gutenberg. And our love of print has nothing to do with a failure of intellect, thank you very much. And some of us can actually appreciate history in a personal way without being luddites.

Presuming that the context of Adams’ statement is the ongoing digital revolution in publishing, I think it would be more accurate to say, “Opponents of digital publishing are simply confusing the plate for the food.” The distinction between “lovers of print” and “opponents of digital publishing” is an important one. That someone feels romantically about print doesn’t necessarily tell you what one thinks about the digital revolution in publishing. The issue at hand isn’t the subjective disposition one has toward books, but the stand that one takes in response to the history unfolding in our midst, perhaps even in spite of our emotional ambivalence about it. Of course: dismiss bad arguments from digital critics. But don’t muddy the water by assuming that the problem is nostalgia; the fallacy of many critics is not their emotion about books, but the inability to see past it.

I, for one, embrace digital publication, even if I will continue to critically follow the policy discussions regarding intellectual property that it brings about. And yet I will continue to participate in a community that values print. And while many of us will embrace e-readers, we will yet remain, to our dying days, proud collectors of analog volumes which will fill many shelves in our homes. And maybe through some turn of history our undying affinity for print will someday appear not so confused or misguided as once so arrogantly believed by some, but will instead be understood as possessing a wisdom unrecognized by the short-sighted utilitarians of our day. Then again, maybe future generations will forget our love of print altogether. No matter. Our love of books needs no vindication from history; we have the pleasure of the page in our hands. 

The above is a response one of my friends gave to Douglas Adams’ quote in the box above. I think his response is not only poignant, but gets to the heart of the matter for those of us who still love print but yet do not reject digital publication. His response is well worth reading.

(via wordpainting: / machina-analytica:)

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Innovate the way you communicate: Greg Nash at TEDxGympie

From career beginnings as a baker, Greg now lectures and researches at the University of the Sunshine Coast, where he empowers first year students to communicate with confidence. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organised events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organised TED event. The TED conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organised.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Striving for Imperfection: Finding Happiness as an Imperfect Being: Scott "Q" Marcus at TEDxEureka

In 1993, on his 39th birthday, after suffering from chest pains, backaches, financial ruin, and a failing marriage, he decided ‐ one more time ‐ to take control of his life and lost 70 pounds over the next 364 days, which he has maintained (most of the time) to this date.He believes we each know how to make permanent long-term change; we just don't do it. Why? The "wrinkled child" within us doesn't want to! So, instead of focusing on the "Why," he focuses on the "How." In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Short Film by Stuart Willis: Payload

Payload, a short film by Stuart Willis, narrates the tale of a family who live in the shadow of a space elevator, trying to survive a dystopian future. While already the premise of this story is quite depressing, the actors featured within this short only further deliver the wanted message. 

The film has won more than several awards, and been nominated for other categories. Enjoy. 

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TEDxGlasgow - Mick Jackson - Is Social Business the Evolution of Capitalism?

Social business harnesses the dynamism and creative power of capitalism but puts the enhancement of humanity at its heart, says Mick Jackson. Does it represent the Evolution of Capitalism? No economic system has ever lifted as many people out of poverty than capitalism. However it relies purely on the profit motive and as such reduces the individual to a one-dimensional being. Humans are multi-faceted; selfless as well as selfish. More About Mick Jackson... Mick Jackson is a serial entrepreneur, venture philanthropist, author, Ex Chart topping rock singer and international business speaker. He is also the founder of WildHearts, a charity committed to launching companies that fight poverty. Its first company WildHearts Office Supplies gives companies the ability to fund micro-finance globally simply through their office supply purchases. Its second, WildHearts Events has created iconic concepts such as the WolfTrek, WeeWalks and Micro-Tyco. As a result of its success WildHearts now funds loans for the poor in 20 countries across five continents transforming 100000 lives each year. In 2008 Mick was voted Entrepreneur of the Year and Top Scot by the Scottish public, an honour he shares with JK Rowling and Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection <b>...</b>
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