Quotes & Links #4

1) vox.com: 40 maps that explain the Middle East

Now pretend it’s the 1800s and you are a British colonial officer named Mortimer Durand, and it’s your job to negotiate the border between the British Indian Raj and the quasi-independent nation of Afghanistan. Do you draw the border right smack across the middle of the Pashtun areas, thus guaranteeing decades of conflict by forcing Pashtuns to be minorities in both states?

Nothing new, but an interesting collection of maps. (and the answer is “Yes.”)

2) vox.com: Millennials have stopped trusting the government

Last year’s survey already showed “historically low” levels of trust in American institutions, polling director John Della Volpe writes. And in 2014 things got even worse, with the presidency, Congress, Supreme Court, military, and federal government more generally reaching new lows.

Loosely relates to what I wrote in “Quotes & Links #3” about trust.

3) prospectmagazine.uk: God is dead – What next?

Watson is more optimistic about the possibility of an emotionally satisfying atheism. His proposal is that we use art and literature to comprehend and re-enchant the world that science has made foreign. Science is one way of understanding the world; art and literature another, he seems to say. Science provides technology, medicine and abstract knowledge; art provides meaning, purpose and a different, more intimate and immediately relevant kind of knowledge. (via @poltheo)

I wonder how that compares to Ernst Blochs famous quote in “Atheismus im Christentum”: “Nur ein Atheist kann ein guter Christ sein, gewiss aber auch: Nur ein Christ kann ein guter Atheist sein“. I have yet to read the book. It also reminds me of Alain de Botton’s 10 Commandments for Atheists (Amazon Link).

4) newrepublic.com: Thomas Piketty: I Don’t Care for Marx

IC: Because your book, obviously with the title, it seemed like you were tipping your hat to him in some ways.

TP: No not at all, not at all! The big difference is that my book is a book about the history of capital. In the books of Marx there’s no data.

Uh-oh. Well, no surprise there.

6) marginalrevolution.com: Are athletes really getting better, faster, stronger?

Biomechanical analysis of the speed of Owens’ joints shows that had been running on the same surface as Bolt, he wouldn’t have been 14 feet behind, he would have been within one stride.

7) nytimes.com: How Gary Becker Transformed the Social Sciences

Grandiose as it may sound, no economist since Marx has had such a profound impact across the social sciences, transforming not just economics, but also sociology, political science, criminology, demography and legal scholarship.

I read quite a few articles by him and it is needless to say that I was impressed by his work.

8) nytimes.com: New Election Model Machinery: A Look Under the Hood

As we’ve written before, we plan to tell you not only about the assumptions behind The Upshot’s Senate model but also to explain why and how it differs from others. So what explains the difference between Election Lab and Leo?

Nice image at the link. I wonder if similar ones exist for German elections?

9) businessinsider.com: Two Cultures Of China

The researchers refer to these as the “rice provinces” (those in the south) and the “wheat provinces” (the north). And they provide evidence their different agricultural traditions are the keys to these divergent cultural traditions.

I did not know that. Certainly interesting. More can be found here: The 2 Cultures of China.

10) http://sarrahxhabibi.tumblr.com: WHY GERMAN IS A BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE
Follow recommendation: @thegermanfor

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