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aries1988 : review   30


west  war  state  history  origin  comparison  question  book  review 
january 2019 by aries1988
How Charles de Gaulle Rescued France
His life shows that right-wing politics needn’t bend toward absolutism, Adam Gopnik writes.
president  français  politics  history  france  bio  book  review 
august 2018 by aries1988
LES  review 
june 2018 by aries1988



to:marginnote  review  book  history  ming  china  globalization  xvii 
march 2018 by aries1988
The origin of the thesis; Charles Darwin in his time – TheTLS
Science (which really only means “knowledge”) is a developing conversation and a negotiation with the changing world. What Wilson seems unable to grasp is that science is as much about locating the right question as finding the “right” answer, and it does now seem irrefutable that Darwin’s “tree of life” was the right tree to be barking up.

the fittest of the “survival of the fittest” are not “strong” but rather well adapted to their environment. Wilson’s misapprehension is a serious one because it allows him to elide Darwin’s theory of natural selection with the worst aspects of Social Darwinism and to go dizzily spinning down a track which ends with the Nuremberg Laws, which he says were “all based on bogus Victorian science, much of which had started life in the gentle setting of Darwin’s study at Down House”.
book  review  darwin  nature  biology  evolution 
february 2018 by aries1988
10 terrible Shanghai TripAdvisor reviews
10 lines from real Shanghai TripAdvisor reviews
shanghai  review  humor  tourist 
november 2017 by aries1988
What Makes Countries Rich or Poor?

Acemoglu and Robinson, generalize from these examples of bordering countries and deduce that good institutions also explain the differences in wealth between nations that aren’t neighbors and that differ greatly in their geographic environments and human populations.

why have some countries ended up with good institutions, while others haven’t? The most important factor behind their emergence is the historical duration of centralized government.

The various durations of government around the world are linked to the various durations and productivities of farming that was the prerequisite for the rise of governments.

the reversal of fortune,

in formerly poor countries with sparse native populations, such as Costa Rica and Australia, European settlers had to work themselves and developed institutional incentives rewarding work.

In the New World the two north temperate countries (the US and Canada, average incomes respectively $47,390 and $43,270) and the three south temperate countries (Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina, respectively $10,590, $10,120, and $8,620) are all richer—on the average five times richer—than almost all of the intervening seventeen tropical countries of mainland Central and South America (incomes mostly between $1,110 and $6,970).

biological characteristics of the responsible microbes have made it easier to develop vaccines against major infectious diseases of temperate areas than against tropical diseases; we still aren’t close to a vaccine against malaria, despite billions of dollars invested.

glaciers repeatedly advanced and retreated over temperate areas, creating young nutrient-rich soils.

It costs roughly seven times more to ship a ton of cargo by land than by sea

Young fertile volcanic and alluvial soils are exceptions

inclusive institutions are required for sustained growth based on technological change.

Acemoglu and Robinson’s view of history is that small effects at critical junctures have long-lasting effects, so it’s hard to make predictions. While they don’t say so explicitly, this view suggests that good institutions should have cropped up randomly around the world, depending on who happened to decide what at some particular place and time.

In their Chapter 5, Acemoglu and Robinson use one of those exceptional patterns (that for the Fertile Crescent) to assert, in the complete absence of evidence, that those particular hunter/gatherers had become sedentary because, for unknown reasons, they happened to develop innovative institutions through a hypothesized political revolution.

They take these maps to mean that the ancestors of barley and wheat were distributed along a long arc beyond the Fertile Crescent, hence that the Fertile Crescent’s unique role in agriculture’s origins was not determined by the availability of plant and animal species.

My overall assessment of the authors’ argument is that inclusive institutions, while not the overwhelming determinant of prosperity that they claim, are an important factor.
review  critic  book  debate  economy  inequality  question  instituition  environment 
september 2017 by aries1988
The All New DEVONthink To Go for iOS
Brian Christiansen • 5 days ago
> No one really reads reviews this long.

I did! It came as a critical time. I am considering moving my life into DevonThink. For the past several months. Seeing this glowing review of the iOS app may finally put me over the top. I'm just concerned about its complexity.

Can you explain how you use DT in conjunction with Pinboard? I subscribe to their (his?) web archive feature. For me the search is shaky. I'm thinking of dropping that I favor of DT archives. Do you?

My grand idea for what DT would be for me is that Pinboard archive of everything important to me from the 'net, except for my whole life… sound right?
• Reply•Share ›
macdrifter Mod Brian Christiansen • 4 days ago
Pinboard is really just for bookmarks. I collect a lot of them and they don't always have long term value. But occasionally I remember reading or seeing something and I can go to Pinboard then to find it. DT is really organized around projects or specific domains of my life. I do have some bookmarks in there (and in Pinboard) but they typically have a relationship to a project.

You could totally drop Pinboard if you want to use DT. My issue would be that I use Pinboard on Windows too with a bookmarklet.
review  ios  pkm  devonthink  pinboard 
september 2016 by aries1988
You May Also Like by Tom Vanderbilt review – what forms our tastes in a digital age?
As is fitting in an inquiry into taste, Vanderbilt starts with food. Among rats, taste is indeed a simple thing. If they eat something, they tend to like it. The more they eat of it, the more they like it. Their social situation when eating does not seem to matter much. “Rat eating behaviour does not change according to who is watching or to feelings of guilt or virtuousness.” Humans, Vanderbilt notes, are trickier. Unlike rats, they eat things because they have never tasted them before and because they think other members of their species like them. The pleasure they get from food seems much more variable than that experienced by rats.

It’s long been understood that making pleasure your goal in life will lead to diminishing returns.
book  review  food  pleasure  society  social  eating  choice  philosophy 
august 2016 by aries1988
Kim Stanley Robinson's "Aurora": space is bigger than you think
Robinson's punchline, the thing he works up to here and in so many of his other books, is that Earth and humans are interpenetrated with one another. We humans are colony organisms made up of microbiomes of creatures with vastly different evolutionary speed to our macro-selves, and the homeostatic mechanisms that keep our colonies intact are intricately wound around the Earth and its climate, its ecosystems, its natural and built environments.
book  review  scifi 
november 2015 by aries1988
The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, by Caspar Henderson – review | Science | The Guardian
a gripping story of evolution that leaves us to ponder on the concept of “deep time”, the billions of years that life on Earth has evolved and of which humans are the merest fraction of a part. As Henderson puts it: “Human history with respect to life on Earth is as deep as the displacement of the smallest seabird floating on top of a wave over the deepest part of the ocean.”
book  review  biology  animal  human  evolution 
may 2015 by aries1988
Chengdu chef Lan Guijun: the new emperor of Chinese gastronomy -
Chinese cuisine is the ghost at the feast of global gastronomy. Despite a rich gastronomic tradition dating back more than two millennia and a remarkable history of culinary innovation, Chinese food is almost invisible at the highest international levels. The Michelin Guides do not venture into China beyond Hong Kong and Macau; the only place on Chinese territory to make the 2014 S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna World’s 50 Best list was a French restaurant in Hong Kong, Amber. Even this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list included a mere six Chinese restaurants in the whole of mainland China. According to the outside gastronomic world, Chinese cuisine seems to be largely terra incognita.

This neglect may be partly due to a simple culture clash. Michelin inspectors, for example, traditionally visit restaurants alone, and it’s impossible for a lone diner to experience the variety of dishes that make up a meal in most Chinese restaurants, where eating “family style” is the norm. The Chinese predilection for bouncy, slithery and gristly textures makes it hard for foreigners to appreciate a proportion of prized Chinese delicacies, and a general lack of informative, well-translated menus doesn’t help. (The first Chinese restaurant in the world to receive three Michelin stars was, unsurprisingly, an international hotel restaurant in Hong Kong offering a tasting menu of Chinese dishes served in small, individual portions.)

Writing for a Chinese food magazine some years later, he said he had decided that a revival of Chinese cuisine would require that kind of small-scale culinary perfection, along with a renewed concern for fine ingredients and unfussy, naturalistic presentation.

He spent much of the following four years researching dishes at home and learning the traditional arts of pottery in the workshops of China’s porcelain capital, Jingdezhen. His confidants thought it crazy that a chef would go to the extreme of learning to design and make his own serving dishes – but Lan believed that serving vessels should be part of the whole culinary experience.

“It’s much better to heat the plates in the kitchen, arrange the food and then hand them out to each diner,” he says. “Otherwise, you end up with shared plates of food getting colder and messier as they are passed around.”
cuisine  today  future  chinese  review  restaurant 
august 2014 by aries1988
Review: Minecraft and the Secret to a Video-Game Phenomenon | MIT Technology Review
There is a certain Lego-like charm and blunt handsomeness to the rectangular clouds that throw shadows on the game’s pea-green hills and the dumpy sheep that roam them. But in an industry traditionally obsessed with chasing realism and authenticity, its kindergarten aesthetic at first appears anachronistic.

Minecraft places its players in the game’s world with few directives. There are almost no goals or commandments to guide or moderate behavior, apart from those of the players’ own making.
Its intelligent design reveals a watchmaker’s precision, while the elemental freedom it offers its inhabitants taps into some primal, irresistible human urges.

Last year this indie game overtook Activision’s blockbuster war game Call of Duty as the most played title on Microsoft’s Xbox Live. The implications of this feat are wide ranging. For one, it shows that a creation game rather than a shooting game can rise to dominance. It also confirms that contrary to big-publisher wisdom, players are more interested in expressive and interesting interactions than simple graphical prowess, whose charms are fleeting.

For a generation of young game makers, empowered by more accessible tools and ubiquitous platforms including mobile devices, the game provides commercial inspiration. In a medium that sprang from student endeavor and bedroom programming only to see the power inevitably shift to companies and, eventually, megacorporations, it’s again possible for the bedroom programmer to become a multimillionaire. Since Minecraft’s rise to prominence, hundreds of young players have been inspired to make their own games, either through structured learning in schools or by using free or cheap tools such as GameMaker on their own. Thanks to Minecraft’s example and the ease of self-publishing through channels such as the Apple App store, Google’s Play Store, and Steam, independent video-game studios are enjoying an unprecedented burst of success.
game  people  human  utopia  review 
july 2013 by aries1988
Send a Notification Badge to the Terminal Dock Icon When a Task is Finished
Send a Notification Badge to the Terminal Dock Icon When a Task is Finished
terminal  osx  knowhow  review 
july 2012 by aries1988
Why should I be using TeX for graphics?
By this time I hope it is clear that so much is possible, thanks to the excellent work of so many people. We are capable of producing little gems of graphics ourselves, thereby enrichting our already beautiful typography using TeX. This is a revolution that has been ongoing for the last couple of years, rendering everything accessible to the public. And I hope you are convinced to try some of it yourself for your next paper, course notes, thesis or book.
maths  review  drawing  graphics  overview  text 
june 2012 by aries1988

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