👓 Juneteenth: The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate but Doesn’t | Slate

Read The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate but Doesn’t by Jamelle Bouie (Slate Magazine)
Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, it’s a celebration of our commitment to make it real.

Happy Juneteenth!

👓 A brief history on American political parties | Marty Duren

Read A brief history on American political parties by Marty Duren (Kingdom In The Midst)
As part of my ongoing effort to supplant the two major political parties… Did you know George Washington was not a member of a political party? In fact, he found them dangerous, and warned about them. The first President of the United States got it right. In his farewell address, George Washingto...

Interesting infographics here.

👓 A Perspective on Time | Visual.ly

Read A Perspective on Time (visual.ly)
Humans are good at a lot of things, but putting time in perspective is not one of them. It's not our fault - the span of time in human history, and even more so in natural history, are so vast compared to the span of our life and recent history that it's almost impossible to get a handle on it. A large infographic comparing various timescales from the last 24 hours to the entire span of the universe

🎧 Stephen Fry On How Our Myths Help Us Know Who We Are | Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

Listened to Stephen Fry On How Our Myths Help Us Know Who We Are by Alan Alda from Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

Stephen Fry loves words. But he does more than love them. He puts them together in ways that so delight readers, that a blog or a tweet by him can get hundreds of thousands of people hanging on his every keystroke. As an actor, he’s brought to life every kind of theatrical writing from sketch comedy to classics. He’s performed in everything from game shows to the British audiobook version of Harry Potter. And always with a rich intelligence and searching eye. In this conversation with Alan Alda, Stephen explores how myths — sometimes very ancient ones — help us understand and, even guide, our modern selves.

Just a lovely episode here. I particularly like the idea about looking back to Greek mythology and the issues between the gods and humans being overlain in parallel on our present and future issues between humans and computers/robots/artificial intelligence.

👓 Obama’s Presidential Library Should Be Digital-First | The Atlantic

Read Obama’s Presidential Library Is Already Digital by Dan Cohen (The Atlantic)
The question now is how to leverage its nature to make it maximally useful and used.
Bookmarked How History Gets Things Wrong: The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories by Alex Rosenberg (The MIT Press)

Why we learn the wrong things from narrative history, and how our love for stories is hard-wired.

To understand something, you need to know its history. Right? Wrong, says Alex Rosenberg in How History Gets Things Wrong. Feeling especially well-informed after reading a book of popular history on the best-seller list? Don't. Narrative history is always, always wrong. It's not just incomplete or inaccurate but deeply wrong, as wrong as Ptolemaic astronomy. We no longer believe that the earth is the center of the universe. Why do we still believe in historical narrative? Our attachment to history as a vehicle for understanding has a long Darwinian pedigree and a genetic basis. Our love of stories is hard-wired. Neuroscience reveals that human evolution shaped a tool useful for survival into a defective theory of human nature.

Stories historians tell, Rosenberg continues, are not only wrong but harmful. Israel and Palestine, for example, have dueling narratives of dispossession that prevent one side from compromising with the other. Henry Kissinger applied lessons drawn from the Congress of Vienna to American foreign policy with disastrous results. Human evolution improved primate mind reading―the ability to anticipate the behavior of others, whether predators, prey, or cooperators―to get us to the top of the African food chain. Now, however, this hard-wired capacity makes us think we can understand history―what the Kaiser was thinking in 1914, why Hitler declared war on the United States―by uncovering the narratives of what happened and why. In fact, Rosenberg argues, we will only understand history if we don't make it into a story.

hat tip Jeff Jarvis.

👓 What the Dormouse Said | Wikipedia

Read What the Dormouse Said (Wikipedia)

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry, is a 2005 non-fiction book by John Markoff. The book details the history of the personal computer, closely tying the ideologies of the collaboration-driven, World War II-era defense research community to the embryonic cooperatives and psychedelics use of the American counterculture of the 1960s.

The book follows the history chronologically, beginning with Vannevar Bush's description of his inspirational memex machine in his 1945 article "As We May Think". Markoff describes many of the people and organizations who helped develop the ideology and technology of the computer as we know it today, including Doug EngelbartXerox PARCApple Computer and Microsoft Windows.

Markoff argues for a direct connection between the counterculture of the late 1950s and 1960s (using examples such as Kepler's Books in Menlo Park California) and the development of the computer industry. The book also discusses the early split between the idea of commercial and free-supply computing.

The main part of the title, "What the Dormouse Said," is a reference to a line at the end of the 1967 Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit": "Remember what the dormousesaid: feed your head."[1] which is itself a reference to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

📺 A Night at the Garden

Watched A Night at the Garden by Marshall CurryMarshall Curry from A Night at the Garden

In 1939, 20,000 Americans rallied in New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism – an event largely forgotten from American history. A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN, made entirely from archival footage filmed that night, transports audiences to this chilling gathering and shines a light on the power of demagoguery and anti-Semitism in the United States.

A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN was directed and edited by Marshall Curry and was supported and released by Field of Vision. The film was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short; it was also an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival and was part of a special screening and panel discussion at the New York Film Festival. It was released on 22 Alamo Theater screens across the country and at The IFC Center in NYC.

A painfully powerful short film.

Hat tip: On the Media

🎧 Look Back in Anger | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Look Back in Anger from On the Media | WNYC Studios

The Cohen testimony, a new Breaking News Consumer's Handbook, the risks of laundering our hot takes through history, and the story of an infamous Nazi rally.

When President Trump’s former personal lawyer testified in front of Congress this week, it was both captivating and oddly familiar. This week, On the Media looks at the tropes that ran through the hearings, and offers a guide to news consumers trying to understand the tangled threads of the Mueller investigation. Plus, a sideways glance at historical hot takes and a second look at an infamous Nazi rally in the heart of New York City. 

1. Bob and Brooke on Michael Cohen's enthralling testimony this week. Listen.

2. Eric Umansky [@ericuman], co-host of Trump, Inc. from WNYC Studios and ProPublica, on how news consumers can best understand Mueller-related news. Listen.

3. Corey Robin [@CoreyRobin], political theorist, on the tendency for journalists to launder their hot takes through history. Listen.

4. Marshall Curry [@marshallcurry], documentary filmmaker, on his Oscar-nominated short, A Night At The GardenListen.

CORRECTION: In the opening segment, we describe U.S. Representative Jim Cooper, of Tennessee, as belonging to the wrong political party. Rep. Cooper is a Democrat.

🎧 The World’s Biggest Problem | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The World's Biggest Problem from On the Media | WNYC Studios

The messaging behind the Green New Deal; a former insider's look at Facebook's problems; a potential solution; and the godfathers of the modern newspaper column.

At Tuesday's State of the Union, President Trump continued to call for a wall at the southern border. Meanwhile, some Democrats point to the real crisis: climate change. A look at the messaging of urgency and hope around the Green New Deal. And, a former mentor to Mark Zuckerberg lays out his deep criticisms of Facebook. Then, a Facebook employee makes the case for one potential solution. Plus, a new documentary about Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin, two New York City reporters, who helped turn column writing into an art form.

1. Kate Aronoff [@KateAronoff], contributing writer with The Intercept, on how Democrats are selling the urgent need to address climate change. Listen.

2. Roger McNamee [@Moonalice], author of Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, on the damage that Facebook has done. Listen.

3. Andy O'Connell [@facebook], manager of content distribution and algorithm policy at Facebook, on the network's new "Supreme Court" for content moderation.  Listen.

4. Jonathan Alter [@jonathanalter], filmmaker and journalist, on the legacy of two masterful newspaper columnists. Listen.

👓 The First Federated #Indieweb Comment Thread | Tantek

Read The First Federated Comment Thread by Tantek ÇelikTantek Çelik (tantek.com)
2013-04-19: the day the indieweb successfully federated a comment post. The Test Note It started with Laurent Eschenauer using Storytlr to post a simple note on his site that sent mention pingbacks to Barnaby Walters and Aaron Parecki: Testing federation with @waterpigs.co.uk, @aaronpareck...

Acquired Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve by Tom Bissell

Acquired Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve by Tom Bissell (Faber & Faber (2016))
The story of Twelve Apostles is the story of early Christianity: its competing versions of Jesus’s ministry, its countless schisms, and its ultimate evolution from an obscure Jewish sect to the global faith we know today in all its forms and permutations. In his quest to understand the underpinnings of the world’s largest religion, Tom Bissell embarks on a years-long pilgrimage to the apostles’ supposed tombs, traveling from Jerusalem and Rome to Turkey, Greece, Spain, France, India, and Kyrgyzstan. Along the way, Bissell uncovers the mysterious and often paradoxical lives of these twelve men and how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia. Written with empathy and a rare acumen—and often extremely funny—Apostle is an intellectual, spiritual, and personal adventure fit for believers, scholars, and wanderers alike.

Purchased at UCLA Store for $6.99+tax

👓 What the earliest fragments of English reveal | BBC

Read What the earliest fragments of English reveal by Cameron Laux (bbc.com)
The earliest fragments of English reveal how interconnected Europe has been for centuries, finds Cameron Laux. He traces a history of the language through 10 objects and manuscripts.

🎧 How Quickly We Forget | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to How Quickly We Forget from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Presidential eulogizing, special counsel speculation, immigration coverage, and forgotten Hanukkah history. 

The death of George H.W. Bush brought us a week’s worth of ceremony, eulogy and wall-to-wall coverage. This week, a look at the choices journalists made when they set out to memorialize the president. And, immigration stories in our media focus on the U.S.–Mexico border — but what about immigration elsewhere in Latin America? Is there a journalistic solution to the scale of global immigration? Plus, a baseball metaphor and a bit of forgotten Hanukkah history.

1. Anne Helen Petersen [@annehelen], senior culture writer at Buzzfeed, and David Greenberg [@republicofspin], historian at Rutgers University, on the history — and pitfalls — of presidential eulogies. Listen.

2. Bob on the speculation surrounding Robert Mueller's investigation. Listen.

3. Diego Salazar [@disalch], journalist, on the immigration crisis within Latin America.  Listen.

4. Masha Gessen [@mashagessen], staff writer at The New Yorker, on her modest proposal for immigration coverage. Listen.

5. Rabbi James Ponet, Jewish chaplain emeritus at Yale University, on the historical origins of Hanukkah. Listen.

The ideas of rosier pictures of past presidents is an interesting one.

Masha Gessen’s story makes me wish we had many more Masha Gessens.

I particularly liked the story and history of Hanukkah given here. Definitely something to think about.