Acquired Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (Nation Books)

Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America--more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.

Contrary to popular conceptions, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial disparities in everything from wealth to health. And while racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much-needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose them--and in the process, gives us reason to hope.

Ordered on 9/20/2018 after bookmarking
Arrived 9/22/2018

Syndicated copies to:
Acquired Martha Stewart Collection Antique Market Reversible Quilt

A modern play on a classic style, this Antique Market quilt from Martha Stewart Collection reinvigorates your bedroom's look and feel with an updated patchwork-inspired print at the face reversing to a unique geometric pattern. Showcasing timeless channel quilting and a vibrant color palette this bedspread takes your ensemble to the next level.

Style: THFTSHPFQ MEDIUM BLUE
Purchased on sale for $47.96+tax

Acquired Blue Microphones Yeti and accessories (Amazon)
Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone Four Pattern Midnight Blue - Closed-Back Professional Headphones Black - Microphone Stand Screw Thread Adapter - Microphone Suspension With Boom Scissor Arm Stand - Universal Pop Filter Microphone Wind Screen with Mic Stand Clip - 1 Piece Micro Fiber Cloth
Syndicated copies to:

👓 Why 2016 Was the Year of the Algorithmic Timeline | Motherboard

Read Why 2016 Was the Year of the Algorithmic Timeline (Motherboard)
2016 was the year that the likes of Instagram and Twitter decided they knew better than you what content you wanted to see in your feeds.

use algorithms to decide on what individual users most wanted to see. Depending on our friendships and actions, the system might deliver old news, biased news, or news which had already been disproven.


2016 was the year of politicians telling us what we should believe, but it was also the year of machines telling us what we should want.


The only way to insure your posts gain notice is to bombard the feed and hope that some stick, which risks comprising on quality and annoying people.


Sreekumar added: “Interestingly enough, the change was made after Instagram opened the doors to brands to run ads.” But even once they pay for visibility, a brand under pressure to remain engaging: “Playing devil’s advocate for a second here: All the money in the world cannot transform shitty content into good content.”

Artificially limiting reach of large accounts to then turn around and demand extortion money? It’s the social media mafia!


It disorients the reader, and distracts them with endless, timeless content.

Syndicated copies to:
Acquired The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World by Simon WinchesterSimon Winchester (Harper)

The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement—precision—in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future.

The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools—machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras—and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider.

Simon Winchester takes us back to origins of the Industrial Age, to England where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who later exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Winchester moves forward through time, to today’s cutting-edge developments occurring around the world, from America to Western Europe to Asia.

As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?

One of my favorite all-time writers and somehow I had missed any news about its pending release and hadn’t seen it despite having just been to the bookstore. What a fantastic surprise!

Received as the most perfect gift. Originally purchased at Vroman’s.

Syndicated copies to:
Acquired Brush pens and paper for Japanese practice

2 Kuretake TSF1-10 double sided brush pen with fine and medium points for $7.90
1 Kyokuto notebook with 10 column lines for kana and space for ふりがな (furigana) for $3.55.
1 Tales from Moomin Valley notebook with 7 column lines for kana (with dotted squares) $3.00
(great for little kids and practicing kana)

Acquired A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram (Wolfram Media)
Starting from a collection of simple computer experiments illustrated by striking computer graphics Stephen Wolfram shows in this landmark book how their unexpected results force a whole new way of looking at the operation of our universe. Wolfram uses his approach to tackle a remarkable array of fundamental problems in science, from the origins of apparent randomness in physical systems, to the development of complexity in biology, the ultimate scope and limitations of mathematics, the possibility of a truly fundamental theory of physics, the interplay between free will and determinism, and the character of intelligence in the universe.

Gifted to me by my friend Dave Snead who picked up a copy from the Wolfram booth earlier today at the APS Conference in downtown Los Angeles. Thanks Dave!

Syndicated copies to:
Acquired Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals (Volume 1) 6th Edition by George Trombley,‎ Yukari Takenaka (From Zero!)
Japanese From Zero! is an innovative and integrated approach to learning Japanese developed by professional Japanese interpreter George Trombley and co-writer Yukari Takenaka. The lessons and techniques used in this series have been taught successfully for over ten years in classrooms throughout the world.Using up-to-date and easy-to-grasp grammar, Japanese From Zero! is the perfect course for current students of Japanese as well as absolute beginners. In Book 1 of the Japanese From Zero! series, readers are taught new grammar concepts, over 800 new words and expressions, and also learn the hiragana writing system. Features of Book 1: * Integrated Workbook with Answer Key * Over 800 New Words and Expressions * Learn to Read and Write Hiragana * Easy-to-Understand Example Dialogues * Culture Points about Japan * Bilingual Glossaries with Kana and Romaji ...and much more!

Purchase price: $30.08
Paperback: 338 pages
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.7 inches

Syndicated copies to:
Acquired Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven PinkerSteven Pinker (Viking)
The follow-up to Pinker's groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

New hardcover purchased at Amazon.com for $21.00
ISBN-13: 978-0525427575

h/t to Cesar Hidalgo and Philip Ball

Syndicated copies to:

Purchased The Origin by Dan Brown

Acquired Origin: A Novel by Dan Brown (Doubleday)
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.”

Purchased for $19.68 from Amazon.com via previous bookmark on 10/4/17.

Syndicated copies to:

The pre-op patient 🎄

The pre-op patient
The pre-op patient 🎄
Our 8′ Christmas tree needs a small shortening to come down to at least 7’10”. The newly cut bottom will also let it soak up more water and last longer.

Instagram filter used: Normal

Photo taken at: The Home Depot

Syndicated copies to:

Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies

I just ordered a copy of Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies by Cesar Hidalgo. Although it seems more focused on economics, the base theory seems to fit right into some similar thoughts I’ve long held about biology.

Why Information Grows: The Evolutiion of Order from Atoms to Economies by Cesar Hidalgo
Why Information Grows: The Evolutiion of Order from Atoms to Economies by Cesar Hidalgo

 

From the book description:

“What is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions, geography, finances, and psychology. But according to MIT’s antidisciplinarian César Hidalgo, understanding the nature of economic growth demands transcending the social sciences and including the natural sciences of information, networks, and complexity. To understand the growth of economies, Hidalgo argues, we first need to understand the growth of order.

At first glance, the universe seems hostile to order. Thermodynamics dictates that over time, order–or information–will disappear. Whispers vanish in the wind just like the beauty of swirling cigarette smoke collapses into disorderly clouds. But thermodynamics also has loopholes that promote the growth of information in pockets. Our cities are pockets where information grows, but they are not all the same. For every Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Paris, there are dozens of places with economies that accomplish little more than pulling rocks off the ground. So, why does the US economy outstrip Brazil’s, and Brazil’s that of Chad? Why did the technology corridor along Boston’s Route 128 languish while Silicon Valley blossomed? In each case, the key is how people, firms, and the networks they form make use of information.

Seen from Hidalgo’s vantage, economies become distributed computers, made of networks of people, and the problem of economic development becomes the problem of making these computers more powerful. By uncovering the mechanisms that enable the growth of information in nature and society, Why Information Grows lays bear the origins of physical order and economic growth. Situated at the nexus of information theory, physics, sociology, and economics, this book propounds a new theory of how economies can do, not just more, but more interesting things.”

Syndicated copies to: