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Project MUSE - On Nonscalability: The Living World Is Not Amenable to Precision-Nested Scales
"Because computers zoom across magnifications, it is easy to conclude that both knowledge and things exist by nature in precision-nested scales. The technical term is “scalable,” the ability to expand without distorting the framework. But it takes hard work to make knowledge and things scalable, and this article shows that ignoring nonscalable effects is a bad idea. People stumbled on scalable projects through the same historical contingencies that such projects set out to deny. They cobbled together ways to make things and data self-contained and static, and thus amenable to expansion. In European New World plantations, the natives were wiped out; coerced and alienated plants and workers came to substitute for them. Profits were made because extermination and slavery could be discounted from the books. Such historically indeterminate encounters formed models for later projects of scalability. This essay explores scalability projects from the perspective of an emergent “nonscalability theory” that pays attention to the mounting pile of ruins that scalability leaves behind. The article concludes that, if the world is still diverse and dynamic, it is because scalability never fulfills its own promises."

"How is scalability created? It is not a necessary feature of the world. People stumbled on scalable projects through historical contingencies. They cobbled together ways to make raw materials (for both goods and knowledge) selfcontained and static, and thus amenable to expansion. In European sugarcane plantations, the natives were wiped out; exotic, coerced, and alienated plants and workers came to substitute for them. Profits were made because the general mess of extermination and slavery could be discounted from the books. Such historically indeterminate encounters formed models for later projects of scalability.

Do we live in a world of scalable nonsocial landscape elements—nonsoels? Yes and no. The great “progress” projects of the last several centuries have built on the legacy of the colonial plantation to make scalability work in business, government, and technology. But scalability has never been complete. In recent years, changes in global capitalism have challenged the assumption of scalability for labor and natural-resource management, and at least some theorists in the social sciences have pointed out the malevolent hegemony of precision. Meanwhile, critics of scalability have raised distress signals about the fate of biological and cultural diversity on earth. It is an important time to develop nonscalability theory as a way to reconceptualize the world—and perhaps rebuild it."

[PDF here: ]

"I can’t say enough how good Anna Tsing’s essay on nonscalabilty is. “On Nonscalability: The Living World Is Not Amenable to Precision-Nested Scales.” Common Knowledge 18, no. 3 (September 19, 2012): 505–24. "

"Scalability is the enemy of difference. (Page 507)

"On Nonscalability: The Living World Is Not Amenable to Precision-Nested Scales by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing" ]

[See also:
"“On Nonscalability” of teaching and learning"
annalowenhaupttsing  scale  scalability  slow  small  2012  difference  diversity  capitalism  knowledge  expansion  growth  degrowth  culture  technology  progress  labor  work  biology  humanism  humanity  sustainability  environment  sugar  teaching  learning  howweteach  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  antigrowth 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Harvest of Empire – Harvest of Empire
[Available on YouTube, for now: ]

[See also: ]

"The Untold Story of Latinos in America

“We are all Americans of the New World, and our most dangerous enemies 
are not each other, but the great wall of ignorance between us.”
Juan González, Harvest of Empire

At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Onyx Films is proud to present Harvest of Empire, a feature-length documentary that reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.

Based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! Co-host Juan González, Harvest of Empire takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration that is transforming our nation’s cultural and economic landscape.

From the wars for territorial expansion that gave the U.S. control of Puerto Rico, Cuba and more than half of Mexico, to the covert operations that imposed oppressive military regimes in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Harvest of Empire unveils a moving human story that is largely unknown to the great majority of citizens in the U.S.

As Juan González says at the beginning of the film “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.”

Harvest of Empire provides a rare and powerful glimpse into the enormous sacrifices and rarely-noted triumphs of our nation’s growing Latino community. The film features present day immigrant stories, rarely seen archival material, as well as interviews with such respected figures as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz, Mexican historian Dr. Lorenzo Meyer, journalists María Hinojosa and Geraldo Rivera, Grammy award-winning singer Luis Enrique, and poet Martín Espada."
film  documentary  us  history  immigration  latinamerica  puertorico  mexico  guatemala  honduras  juangonzález  cuba  nicaragua  elsalvador  rigobertamenchú  jessejackson  anthonyromero  junotdíaz  lorenzomeyer  maríahinojosa  geraldorivera  2011  martínespada  luisenrique  dominicanrepublic  latinos  imperialism  politics  policy  foreignpolicy  braceros  wwii  ww2  civilrights  race  racism  migration  communism  redscare  centralamerica  caribbean  colonialism  socialism  capitalism  fidelcastro  rafaeltrujillo  spanish-americanwar  inequality  exploitation  sugar  cotton  revolution  resistance  fulgenciobatista  dictatorships  oppression  deportation  texas  california  newmexico  arizona  mexican-americanwar  nevada  colorado  florida  nyc  óscarromero  harrytruman  democracy  jacoboárbenz  unitedfruitcompany  eisenhower  cia  intervention  maya  ethniccleansing  land  ownership  civilwar  iran-contraaffair  ronaldreagan  sandinistas  contras  war  bayofpigs  refugees  marielboatlift  1980  jimmycarter  language  spanish  español  miami  joaquínbalaguer  hectortruji 
july 2018 by robertogreco
How to Make Rich, Flavorful Caramel Without Melting Sugar | Serious Eats
"Want to know something crazy? Sugar doesn't melt; it undergoes thermal decomposition. That may sound like a pedantic distinction, considering we've all watched sugar effectively melt into a pool of caramel atop crème brûlée, but the implications are huge—worthy of far more explanation than a mere tl;dr.

Man, who am I kidding; you're here for the tl;dr, aren't you? Okay, fine. Here goes: Caramelization occurs independent of melting. Consider the above photo exhibit A—neither brown sugar nor turbinado, but granulated white sugar that I caramelized without melting. It's dry to the touch, and performs exactly like granulated white sugar.

Except, you know, the part where it tastes like caramel.

That opens up a world of possibility, as it works flawlessly in recipes for buttercream, mousse, or cheesecake, which can accommodate only a small amount of caramel sauce before turning soupy or soft. It's also ideal for desserts that would be ruined by caramel syrup, which is by nature too hot for fragile angel food cake, and too viscous for soft candies like marshmallows or nougat. And, compared to caramel powder (made from liquid caramel, cooled and ground), it won't compact into a solid lump over time.

Some bakers work around these issues by swapping in brown sugar for caramel, but why accept an imitation when you can have the real thing? Unlike quirky brown sugar, this "granulated caramel" won't alter the pH of doughs and batters, which can negatively impact how our favorite cookies and cakes spread, rise, and brown (in turn affecting their texture and crumb). For example, sugar cookies made with granulated caramel stay crisp at the edges, and oatmeal cookies spread like they should.

What's more, granulated caramel is free from the impurities that cause molasses-rich sugars to smoke and burn at high heat. Granulated caramel also won't curdle boiled milk, which can happen when you're making eggless custards and cajeta with brown sugar.

Now, with enough technical know-how, almost any recipe can be reformulated to accommodate brown sugar or caramel sauce/syrup/powder, but granulated caramel requires no such precaution. It's a perfect one-to-one replacement for white sugar; no calculations, no adjustments, no tinkering. Just use it to replace sugar in any recipe you love, from the meringue on Gramma's chocolate cream pie to my own angel food cake.

So what makes this magic possible, and why haven't we been doing it since the dawn of time? Well, the answer goes back to that whole melting-versus-thermal-decomposition thing, so bear with me for a sec as we wade into the nitty-gritty.

Melting is a phase change that has no impact on chemical composition, like the transition from ice to water. It's still good ol' H2O either way, right? Under normal conditions, the melting point of any given substance is fixed—when ice hits 32°F, there's nothing we can do to stop it from melting. Phase changes are also reversible; you can melt and refreeze ice as many times as you like, with no loss of quality on either end.

Thermal decomposition, on the other hand, is a chemical reaction that breaks down molecular bonds to produce new substances. While it's not a perfect analogy, imagine a pile of grass clippings releasing carbon dioxide as it turns to mulch in the sun—an irreversible process with variable results (i.e., no two handfuls of mulch are exactly alike, or composted to the same degree). Instead of occurring at a specific point, thermal decomposition occurs over a range of temperatures determined by the intensity and duration of heat."
sugar  chemistry  cooking  caramel  recipes  food  2016  stellaparks  baking  srg 
may 2016 by robertogreco
University of California Research — The Sugar in Fruit vs. Soda vs. Fruit Juice Fruit...
[Embedded video: ]

"The Sugar in Fruit vs. Soda vs. Fruit Juice

Fruit has a lot of things in it besides sugar: fiber, minerals, vitamins and some bioactive compounds that probably haven’t even been discovered yet. Scientists argue that when you eat fruit, the sugar is packaged in fiber, which takes our bodies a long time to digest (thus slowly releasing the sugar into our bloodstream).

On the other hand, soda and sugar-sweetened beverages have pretty much only one thing in them and that’s the sugar. This liquid sugar is the leading single source of added sugar in the American diet (about 36% of the added sugar we consume).

But what about the sugar in fruit juice…is fruit juice as bad as soda?

Dr. Kimber Stanhope from UC Davis gets asked this a lot. The short answer is that no one really knows for sure.
"It drives me crazy that I don’t know the answer for sure. I have not found any studies in the scientific literature that have actually compared the consumption of a sugar-sweetened beverage to a fruit juice-sweetened beverage for more than one day. So we’re going to do a 2-week study…one group will be getting fruit juice (orange juice), the other group will get a sucrose-sweetened beverage.

And I think it’s very important that this study gets done because there are many scientists out there that have made the assumption that fruit juice is just as bad as sucrose [because fruit juice doesn’t have the fiber found in fruit], and they might be right, but I don’t know. There is evidence in the literature —epidemiological studies— that suggest that fruit juice is protective compared to a sugar-sweetened beverage, and there is also a couple of studies that suggest they’re just as bad. We need to know.”

Stanhope points out that the answer may even differ for each type of fruit juice (grapefruit juice, apple juice, orange juice, etc.). She hopes to study the question in more detail once the preliminary results come in."
health  nutrition  fruit  sugar  2015  soda  kimberstanhope 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Sugarizer: a taste of Sugar on any device
"The Sugar Learning Platform is a leading learning platform developed for the One Laptop per Child project and used every day by nearly 3 million children around the world.

With Sugarizer, you could discover the Sugar Learning Platform on any device: from the tiny Raspberry PI to the small Android/iOS tablet or the bigger PC/Mac.

Enjoy the experience and help us reach every children on every device in every country.

Sugarizer has been tested successfully on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Android, Chromebook, Raspberry PI - with Chromium, Firefox OS and Google Glass.

Sugarizer is an open source software under Apache 2 licence, source code is available here."
olpc  sugar  emulation 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Amazing XO Activity: Creating a Community Map of Kasiisi, Uganda - OLPC News
"Nicholas Doiron had a simple but amazing idea - Map Uganda. He wanted to educate the students of Kasiisi Primary School in an Environmental Sensing class to:<br />
<br />
"bridge the gap between technical and personal perspectives by making a creative community map, and then draw several overlays on tracing paper. These overlays will demonstrate multiple uses of water, causes and effects of pollution, and ways to protect the environment. Producing a paper map will lay the foundation towards composing a digital map which can be shared with classmates, pen pals, and online mapping sites."<br />
<br />
Did he succeed? Read his progress reports and take a look at these images, and you'll see his idea was brilliant and has inspired a generation of children to experience their environment as active participants in stewarding nature."
olpc  maps  mapping  uganda  sugar  environment  bighere  community  local  kasiisi 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Features/Spiral Home View - Sugar Labs
"This is an enhancement to the Home View to enable the display of more icons. The idea is that after the circle becomes too large, rather than shrinking the icons, it morphs into a spiral. Only after the spiral no longer fits on the screen do the icons shrink."
olpc  interface  homeview  sugar  sugarlabs  ui 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Craighton Berman: Where is my digital version of the desk blotter, the back of a receipt, or painter’s palette?
"The digital world lacks these kind of informal places for scribbling things to remember in the short term. There are probably thousands of note-taking applications out there, meant to capture small bits of information—but I have yet to encounter any that match the spontaneity of the tangible world’s solutions, or the casual ability to place bits of info in a visual manner. Where is my digital version of the desk blotter, the back of a receipt, or painter’s palette?"

[Sent him an email pointing to a few examples that approach the "digital version of the desk blotter, the back of a receipt, or painter’s palette."

Desktastic for Mac OS X

Edgies for Mac OS X

The Sugar UI (on the OLPC) shows clipboard items (from copy-paste) on the side. y]
digital  craightonberman  informal  software  computing  interface  ui  ux  mac  macosx  sugar  olpc  destastic  edgies  osx 
august 2010 by robertogreco
ep - Sugar Digest 2010-07-29 [see also the bits responding to the Michael Truncano article]
"The final day of Squeakfest as was uplifting as my first day...There were reports from the field using Etoys and many “oh-the-things-you-can-do” presentations by
squeakfext  walterbender  olpc  sugar  sugralabs  etoys  education  computing  pedagogy  uruguay  planceibal  learning  christopherderndorfer  michaeltruncano  programming 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Princeton University - A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain
"A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
cornsyrup  health  medicine  obesity  nutrition  sugar  diet  cooking  science  food 
march 2010 by robertogreco
OLPC Learning Club: TimeLapse Activity Released! - OLPC News
"TimeLapse is computer software for the Sugar Learning Platform used to gather periodic data (sound and images). It is the first software activity developed by Sugar Labs DC and runs on the OLPC XO-1 laptop. The idea for TimeLapse grew out of the exciting, eclectic, interdisciplinary meeting of scientists, computer programmers, pedagogues, and hardware hobbyists originally brought together by the OLPC Learning Club DC."
olpc  sugar  opensource  software  xo  edg  srg  timelapse 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Inventing a New Paradigm: SugarLabs and the Sugar UI | GeekDad |
"But with Sugar, suddenly there’s something truly different. At first, the experience was maddening. How do I save a file? How do I configure networking? The XO doesn’t ship with a manual, per se, as interacting with the laptop is part of the learning through experimentation ideas that are at the heart of Constructivism, the learning theory behind much of OLPC’s mission. But each time I solved the problem, the lightbulb would go off. I began to see a new paradigm for computing, one that didn’t require the methods those of us in the developed world have used for the past two decades."
olpc  sugar  xo  software  userinterface  ui 
august 2009 by robertogreco
ivan krstić · code culture » Sweet nonsense omelet
"In truth, the XO ships a pretty shitty operating system, and this fact has very little to do with Sugar the GUI. It has a lot to do with the choice of incompetent hardware vendors that provided half-assedly built, unsupported and unsupportable components with broken closed-source firmware blobs that OLPC could neither examine nor fix." [via:]
olpc  nicholasnegroponte  sugar  sugarlabs  xo  hardware 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Ooo4Kids: Open Office for the XO Laptop - OLPC News
"Do you like your office automation software to be a free and Open Source as your Sugar Learning Platform? Then rejoice now that Eric Bachard has helped create OOo4Kids, an Open Office customized for 7-12 year old children that works on the XO laptop:"
openoffice  olpc  sugar  software  applications 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Sugar Activities
"Activities extend Sugar, letting you personalize your experience. Take a look around and make Sugar your own."
xo  olpc  sugar  sugarlabs  activities  education  technology  linux 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Breaking News: Videos of XO-1.5, Faster Sugar, Fedora Dual Boot - OLPC News
"Charbax has exclusive new videos of the XO-1.5 laptop narrated by key OLPC developers posted on Here is is Chris Ball, OLPC Lead Software Engineer showing a fully working demonstration of the latest XO 1.5 motherboard fresh from the lab, running a new faster Sugar Linux OS and multi-booting into a full Gnome desktop version of Fedora."
olpc  xo  hardware  software  fedora  sugar 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Sugar Labs—learning software for children
"The award-winning Sugar Learning Platform promotes collaborative learning through Sugar Activities that encourage critical thinking, the heart of a quality education. Designed from the ground up especially for children, Sugar offers an alternative to traditional “office-desktop” software. Sugar is the core component of a worldwide effort to provide every child with equal opportunity for a quality education. Available in 25 languages, Sugar’s Activities are used every school day by almost one-million children in more than forty countries.
sugralabs  sugar  olpc  os  linux  opensource  education  learning  children  software  interface  gui 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Sugar Labs—learning software for children
"Sugar provides a simple yet powerful means of engaging young children in the world of learning that is opened up by computers and the Internet. Sugar promotes sharing, collaborative learning, and reflection. Children develop skills that help them in all aspects of life.
sugar  sugarlabs  olpc  os  software  learning  constructivism  comics 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Sugar on a Stick - Sugar Labs
"The goal of the Sugar on a Stick project is to give children access to *their* Sugar on any computer in their environment with just a USB key.
sugar  xo  olpc  linux  education  portable  openclassroom  ubuntu 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Daily Life in an Ivory Basement : /feb-09/better-oss-unpaid
"But... what went wrong, anyway? I don't know. I'd guess that the OLPC software development team was overmatched from the beginning: responsibility of developing new software for a novel mix of hardware, together with a novel GUI interface, in an environment of much enthusiasm and relatively little funding, is hard. Add to this the enthusiastic but not very disciplined-sounding roadmap, as well as the unrealistic deadlines set due to PR and political considerations, and it's a recipe for disaster. When you also throw in an overwhelmed OLPC management team, I don't think you can expect anything but disaster."
olpc  coding  development  sugar  software  management  leadership 
february 2009 by robertogreco
What Keeps Me Going with One Laptop Per Child - One Laptop Per Child News
"Seeing five year olds handling their XOs with ease was just amazing. Seeing them document their lives & showing me photos via the journal suddenly made a lot of sense. All discussions of a lack of a file manager were moot at that point. Rahul & Manisha sure don't need a file manager to show me what they did! They could care less about /etc or /usr/local/ I wish I could get the journal on my Ubuntu Thinkpad laptop. They had documented a tight rope walker who visited Khairat... [and] ... Gandhi's birthday (2 Oct) and showed me the photos. They didn't care that Sugar was slow. After all, for them to know that Sugar is slow, they would have to know something faster! They love their XOs and it shows." ... "OLPC brings a level of hope that is rare in projects. Netbooks, while an offshoot of what OLPC has done, still fail to address key issues. They still have embedded Wi-Fi antennas w/ poor range, still are not sunlight readable & I don't think any of these are fanless (no moving parts)."
olpc  hardware  sugar  software  india 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Sugar Labs Status at Six Months - One Laptop Per Child News
"In the next six months, the creation of local or regional Sugar Labs is a priority. We look forward to a "federation" of Sugar Labs, each one autonomous, driven by local priorities and pursuing a local set of goals, while sharing a common set of principles, working with the global Sugar community, and contributing to the "upstream" project." See also conversation in comments regarding "there are now close to 3⁄4 million children using Sugar and there is concrete evidence that they are learning."
olpc  sugar  walterbender 
december 2008 by robertogreco
My experience with OLPC in Tuvalu. « Learn Online
"To the Tuvaluans I would suggest selling the OLPCs on eBay and fetch the $300 you could get from collectors in the United States and Kingdom, then use that money to buy Asus EeePC or similar. That is if you can’t get another operating system working on the OLPCs." some responses on a wiki: AND from Walter Bender: AND pointers to AND
olpc  leighblackall  sugar  tuvalu 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Killer Carbs: Scientist Finds Key To Overeating As We Age
""The more carbs and sugars you eat, the more your appetite-control cells are damaged, and potentially you consume more," Dr Andrews said.
health  brain  hunger  nutrition  appetite  overeating  obesity  sugar  science  diet  carbs  weight 
august 2008 by robertogreco
ivan krstić · code culture » Sic Transit Gloria Laptopi
"OLPC has a responsibility to spread the culture of freedom and ideas that support its educational mission; that cannot be done by only offering a proprietary operating system for the laptops."
olpc  opensource  linux  learning  hardware  economics  politics  software  sugar  philosophy  mac  osx  xo  microsoft  windows  culture  technology  business  education  development 
may 2008 by robertogreco
SQUEAK - "tutorial series about programming using the OLPC Squeak -- not for kids, but for programmers trying to create activities inside the Etoys environment"
"Essa série de tutoriais não se destina a crianças. Nosso foco são programadores que pretendam desenvolver aplicações para o micro OLPC. O micro OLPC aceita originalmente três linguagens: JavaScript, Python e Smalltalk-Squeak."
education  etoys  sugar  olpc  development  programming  glvo 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: Obligatory Future of Sugar Post
" chance in this generation...human...not technological, to create common set of open source tools specifically for writing applications for kids...don't seem to get that this is singular opportunity to invest in foundation of their discipline.
olpc  sugar  children  computers  computing  interface  opensource  writing  teaching  learning  schools 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: Time for Rambling OLPC Speculation
"goals of Sugar were too important to simply say "They're foolish to try."...still a chance it'll all work out, depending on how much time is left on the clock. I don't think they've done a bad job; they've just failed to pull off the nigh impossible."
olpc  sugar  os  development 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Designs - OLPC
"showcase for design ideas & discussion around Sugar UI. Each topic below contains a "slideshow" illustrating our latest ideas and outlining some of the decisions and tradeoffs that were made in coming to them. Please feel free to add to the discussion se
olpc  ui  sugar  interface  user 
march 2008 by robertogreco
simcity on the olpc (29 January, 2008, Interconnected)
"Satellites are very tall towers used for telecommunications. Are there any other profitable uses of space, or is that it?"..."We used to chase horses off cliffs for food. Then we carried spears. A portable cliff!"
mattwebb  olpc  simcity  cities  simulations  sugar  2008 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Is There Enough Sugar in Your Educational Technology Diet?
David Thornburg explains the Sugar interface for the XO laptop including a quick reminder of the history of GUIs.
sugar  olpc  davidthornburg  gui  interface  interaction  children 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: XO Performance Problems and/or Sugar Performance Problems
"#Sugar=slow #hardware no particular performance problems, as fast/slow as expect from specs. w/more typical UI, performs typically. # good reason to expect performance of Sugar can&will improve dramatically, if time&money put into goal."
olpc  hardware  software  sugar 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Twenty-four hours with my OLPC « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"Proud owners of XOs will...want to slap stickers, draw on, make them their own...what we adults do with ours...Why should kids be denied this very real pleasure…or the additional disincentive to theft that goes hand-in-hand with it?"
olpc  adamgreenfield  design  software  sugar  ui 
december 2007 by robertogreco

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