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  • Worthwhile Reading & Viewing

    Posted by David Foster on July 1st, 2015 (All posts by )

    Propaganda:  turning human beings into automatically responding machines

    Victor Davis Hanson:  Progressive mass hysteria, enabled by the Internet

    Sarah Hoyt thinks we are suffering from  the political equivalent of an autoimmune disease

    Tolerance for ambiguity can be an important career asset

    It seems that color movie film was often used in early cinema, going back to the 1890s

    If  railroads are a gauge of a society’s health, then it sounds like Sweden is in serious trouble.  See also  railway socialism and safety

    The story of  Pyrex

    A visit to the Le Creuset factory

    Virtual reality for football training

    Once there was a “know-nothing” movement in America;   today, we have the “know-betters”

    Why we should study the ancient Greeks


    15 Responses to “Worthwhile Reading & Viewing”

    1. Mike K Says:

      There is a lot of New Age BS in that article.

      “The Babylonians knew about Pythagoras’s theorem centuries before Pythagoras was born.”

      Oh yeah ? Prove it. The statement about Egyptian medicine is equally New Agey as the two Egyptian papyruses contain almost nothing that is useful. Certainly nothing as useful as Hippocrates’ descriptions of the treatment of perirectal abscess and empyema,

      Both of his observations are as true today as they were then.

      The wrong turn of Greek medicine was from Galen who set off into the “humours” culdesac.

    2. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Lots of good links there. I generally have trouble getting through anything of Sarah Hoyt’s anymore because she takes so long getting to the point. I seem to have no tolerance anymore for essays that ramble on an on and are about everything except what they’re labeled to be about. I think I’m getting cranky in my old age.

      On the subject of propaganda, I might think it would be obvious to anyone paying the least bit of attention that we’re propagandized relentlessly by the MSM. I know from experience talking to people that it’s not obvious. I also know most people know little or no history and don’t understand how dangerous many of these trends are. The trend to delegitimizing free speech being one of the most dangerous of all.

    3. Whitehall Says:

      The piece on Pyrex is interesting but reads like a puff piece for the new owners of the “Pyrex” trademark. They are using the former brand name for rugged borosilicate glass products and using it on cheaper lime-soda glass.

      This is a dangerous practice as breakage of hot glass can and does happen in the kitchen.

      DO NOT buy new items sold under the brand “Pyrex” or “pyrex” as they are made from inferior quality material.

    4. dearieme Says:

      “If railroads are a gauge of a society’s health”: as my father used to say “IF! If the turkey hadn’t gone to the lavatory it would have burst. IF!”

      Where on earth that saying came from I’ve no idea. I’ve never heard anyone else use it.

    5. dearieme Says:

      “The foundations of Greek culture were laid long before the arrival of Christianity”: oh, what the newspapers have come to! I’ve watched as the British papers have been increasingly infantilised and (sorry, Sgt Mom) feminised.

      Which raises a question: why is feminisation always directed at air-head women? I went to school and university with bright girls – have they no distinctive interests that the papers should cover? Or has the success of the Forces of Progress at buggering up the schools and indoctrinating the lassies meant that a distinctive category of bright girls is now too uncool to be recognised?

    6. GFV Says:

      I really enjoyed these…

      -The story of Pyrex

      -A visit to the Le Creuset factory

      Suggested link for next post…

      -A virtual tour of the Ron Popeil Museum : )

    7. David Foster Says:

      Dearieme, is that “airhead” reference to the Greek article, or to one of the other ones? If it’s indeed to the Greek one, I’d say the article is far too long, and without popular-culture references, to appeal to very many airheads.

      Unless you have a higher grade of airheads in the UK than we have in the US….

    8. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Being somewhat of a cook (although I can’t afford le Creuset) I quite liked the accounts of the factory visit and the Pyrex story.

    9. David Foster Says:

      Mike K…Babylonian mathematics

    10. Grurray Says:

      There was a story the other day about the army training with virtual reality.

    11. Grurray Says:

      “In 1958, they asked industrial designer Raymond Loewy (who designed the Lucky Strike logo and the Studebaker) to design a series of pots and pans, and his Coquelle rectangular lidded pot became a hit back then, and is collectable today. ”

      Loewy was a pioneer in industrial design. In the early 30s he redesigned the Sears refrigerator, perhaps the first instance of selling an appliance on looks alone (it apparently didn’t work that well). It sparked a surge in consumer spending just as the Depression was bottoming. He also did the streamlined shell of the S1 locomotive.

      I’m a huge fan of Streamline Moderne, almost say it’s a healthy obsession. The other day J.Scott Shipman posted this story about the Stout Scarab. I saw this car when the owner brought it down to Chicago for classic car show about 5 or 6 years ago. It was simply fantastic, especially the rear lines.

    12. Joe Wooten Says:

      Mike K…Babylonian mathematics

      David, linky no worky……

    13. David Foster Says:

      Try this for Babylonian math:

    14. David Foster Says:

      Dearieme…railroads…clearly, railroads are not a gauge of the *moral* stature of the society…Nazi Germany, unfortunately, ran them pretty well. But I do think that safe & efficient RR operation is a gauge of a society’s overall ability to do things that involve a lot of people who need to work together in a disciplined environment while behaving intelligently and showing individual initiative where necessary. The MetroRail crash that I wrote about a while back is an indicator, IMO, of a pretty dysfunctional organization; a later MetroRail disaster (in which it was apparently known by a lot of employees that the signal system was frequently displaying false CLEARs, but the problem continued) was even worse, and the NTSB reports on MetroRails “safety culture,” or lack of same, are quite scathing. If things like this happen frequently on a country’s RRs, then yes, I do think it is a social indicator.

    15. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>If things like this happen frequently on a country’s RRs, then yes, I do think it is a social indicator.

      What’s in for me? Nothing? Somebody else’s problem then…

      It’s a microcosm of the broken windows idea. People fail to see the interconnections. Everything slowly breaks down, from windows to machines to society itself. In the case of universities, those who try to correct the out of control oscillations are themselves punished. So why try, why get involved? So the systems – the mechanical and the social – go more and more wildly out of control.