In an age of increasingly pessimistic and bleak world views, Steven Pinker’s new book, Enlightenment Now, couldn’t come at a better time. It’s a sort of balm from the recent surge in authoritarian populism and the general hopelessness that stems from it. Through the lens of Pinker’s optimistic philosophy, Enlightenment Now expands on his seminal book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and creates a cohesive overview of the liberal Enlightenment values that are currently under attack from both extremes of the political spectrum. While he paints a rose-colored picture of humanity right now, he also explains the media biases that cause most people to feel much worse about human progress than they ought to feel.
Few American businesses are as polarizing to the nation’s people as Walmart, which many believe is pushing out smaller businesses and dominating the marketplace while paying its workers low wages and relying on cheaply made foreign goods, as opposed to those manufactured on American soil. With the brick-and-mortar retail industry in its entirety now facing diminishing sales as Americans increasingly shop and spend online, however, some believe Walmart provides critical job opportunities to low-skilled workers while encouraging commerce and growth in rural or under-served areas.
The phrase “universal basic income” is becoming increasingly well-known among Americans, thanks in large part to Facebook Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg expressing his support for the concept during his recent commencement speech at Harvard University. Essentially, universal basic income involves a country giving a set amount to its citizens each month – say, $600 – to help offset the struggles many experience because of diminishing job opportunities, a growing reliance on technology and automation and increasingly widespread poverty.
In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single interwoven continuum. As the digital domain rapidly expands the human relationship to both space and reality, not to mention dimensions of time, the idea of achieving a unified consciousness is hardly abstract. teamLab, a digital art collective based in Japan, is pioneering the intersection of space, time, reality and consciousness through immersive, interactive digital artworks.
teamLab is a collective of young Japanese creatives, drawn from fields as diverse as computer science, mathematics, graphics design, art history, and philosophy. Working collaboratively in a scruffy Tokyo office building, the vibe is of a tech start-up, with dozens of twenty some-things working at screens in cramped quarters. There are no private offices, and no indications of a hierarchy of any sort. All share equally in the profits. Large scale commercial projects for shopping malls and corporate promotions pay the rent, but clearly people are there because of their commitment to art and to the creative process. While artists have for centuries past employed armies of studio assistants, the collective, cross-disciplinary, tech-savvy approach TeamLab is pioneering might well represent the future. Founded by Toshiyuki Inoko, teamLab is breaking new ground in the art world to reveal new dimensions of art making and interactivity.
How does Steve Jobs, the movie, explain the attraction of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the candidates? How does Steve Jobs, the man, explain why we love Silicon Valley billionaires and hate Wall Street billionaires?