Monthly Archives: April 2022

How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges and Who Gets Left Outside the Gate 2006


May 4 2022

Read the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=U…

The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges – and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates is a 2005 book by Daniel Golden, a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in journalism. The book criticizes admissions at elite American universities, including preferences given to the wealthy, children of celebrities, and legacy applicants. It also documents discrimination against Asian-Americans in the admissions process.

In 2017, the book was referenced by John Oliver, in the late-night talk show Last Week Tonight, regarding the way Jared Kushner got admitted to Harvard University, soon after the private Ivy League research university received a donation from Kushner’s father.[1] At the end of 2016, Golden expressed “gratitude to Jared Kushner”, for “reviving interest the book”.[2]

Then Massachusetts Institute of Technology Dean of Admissions Marilee Jones is quoted in The Price of Admission as describing a Korean-American student as “yet another textureless math grind.”[3] Two years after the book’s publication, Jones was found out to have fabricated several degrees in order to get her first job at the MIT Admission Office.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pri…

The higher education bubble in the United States is a highly controversial claim that excessive investment in higher education could have negative repercussions in the broader economy. According to the claim, generally associated with fiscal conservatives,[1] although college tuition payments are rising, the supply of college graduates in many fields of study is exceeding the demand for their skills, which aggravates graduate unemployment and underemployment while increasing the burden of student loan defaults on financial institutions and taxpayers.[2][3] The claim has generally been used to justify cuts to public higher education spending, tax cuts, or a shift of government spending towards the criminal justice system and the Department of Defense.[4][5][6][7]

Most economists reject the notion of a higher education bubble, noting that the returns on higher education vastly outweigh the costs.[8][9][10][11]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_…

Harvard College is the undergraduate college of Harvard University, an Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636, Harvard College is the original school of Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States[2] and among the most prestigious in the world.[3]

Part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard College is Harvard University’s traditional undergraduate program, offering AB and SB degrees. It is highly selective, with fewer than five percent of applicants being offered admission in recent years.[4][5] Harvard College students participate in more than 450 extracurricular organizations[6] and nearly all live on campus—first-year students in or near Harvard Yard, and upperclass students in community-oriented “houses”.

The college has produced many distinguished alumni, including prominent politicians, scholars, and business leaders.

A federal lawsuit alleges that Harvard’s admissions policies discriminate against Asian Americans, who tend to be overrepresented among students with high academic achievement. A 2019 district court decision in the case (which has since been appealed) found no evidence of explicit racial bias but did not rule out a small amount of implicit bias. Harvard has implemented more implicit bias training for its admissions staff in accordance with the court’s recommendations. In addition, Harvard’s admissions preference for children of alumni, employees, and donors has been criticized as favoring white and wealthy candidates.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard…

Finn Michael Westby Caspersen Sr. (October 27, 1941 – September 7, 2009) was an American financier and philanthropist. A graduate of the Peddie School, Brown University and Harvard Law School, he was chairman and chief executive of Beneficial Corporation, one of the largest consumer finance companies in the United States. After an $8.6 billion acquisition of Beneficial by Household International in 1998, Caspersen ran Knickerbocker Management, a private financial firm overseeing the assets of trusts and foundations.

As a philanthropist, Caspersen donated tens of millions of dollars to the Peddie School, Brown, Harvard, and Drew University, while overseeing the Hodson Trust, which benefitted four institutions in Maryland. He described education as his “particular love” and regarded it as “an investment in the future—an investment in human capital.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finn_M….

“The Wobblies”: Iconic Film on the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Is Rereleased for M ay Day


Apr 29 2022

The landmark 1979 labor documentary, “The Wobblies,” has been restored and rereleased for May Day, International Workers’ Day. The film details the history of the Industrial Workers of the World — a radical union whose members are also known as Wobblies — and their inclusive fight to organize “unskilled” workers, secure fair wages and enshrine the eight-hour workday in the early 20th century before they were targeted and repressed by the FBI during World War I. It features interviews with former Wobblies still alive in the 1970s. Deborah Shaffer, who co-directed the film with Stewart Bird, says the IWW “was founded in 1905 out of necessity” because no existing unions represented so-called unskilled labor. “The workers had no representation at all, and they were being expected to work seven days a week, 12-hour days, no breaks, no meals, underpaid, overworked,” she says. “Conditions were terrible and intolerable.” The high-definition rerelease of “The Wobblies” comes after the Library of Congress added it to the National Film Registry in 2021.

Ukraine Accuses Russia of Firing Missiles Over 3 Nuclear Power Plants, Raising Fear of New Disaster


Apr 29 2022

Nuclear watchdogs are expressing alarm over safety conditions at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since early March after a fight that led to a fire near one of the plant’s reactors. It is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and located in the largest city in southeastern Ukraine still under Ukrainian control. The Ukrainian government accused Russia of launching two missiles that flew over the plant earlier this week, and says Russian missiles have also flown near two other nuclear power plants in the country. Ukrainian energy expert Olexi Pasyuk, deputy director of the group Ecoaction, notes that Russian forces likely already disturbed radioactive materials at the Chernobyl zone, scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986. “Zaporizhzhia, where you have reactors in operation and they continue to work now, is a far more dangerous situation,” says Pasyuk.

“We Created the Pandemicene”: Ed Yong on How the Climate Crisis Could Spark the Next Pandemi c – YouTube


Apr 29 2022

Climate change is forcing animal migrations at an unprecedented scale, bringing many previously disconnected species into close contact and dramatically raising the likelihood of viruses leaping into new hosts and sparking future pandemics. That’s according to a new study in the journal Nature, which predicts that climate-driven disruptions to Earth’s ecosystems will create thousands of cross-species viral transmissions in the coming decades. We speak with The Atlantic’s Ed Yong, who says this new era can be thought of as the “Pandemicene,” a time defined by the power of viruses over humanity and the wider world. “In a warming world, we’ll get lots of these spillover events in which viruses find new hosts, mostly transferring between animal to animal but increasing the odds that they will eventually then spill over into us,” says Yong.

“The Wobblies”: Iconic Film on the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Is Rereleased for M ay Day – YouTube


Apr 29 2022

The landmark 1979 labor documentary, “The Wobblies,” has been restored and rereleased for May Day, International Workers’ Day. The film details the history of the Industrial Workers of the World — a radical union whose members are also known as Wobblies — and their inclusive fight to organize “unskilled” workers, secure fair wages and enshrine the eight-hour workday in the early 20th century before they were targeted and repressed by the FBI during World War I. It features interviews with former Wobblies still alive in the 1970s. Deborah Shaffer, who co-directed the film with Stewart Bird, says the IWW “was founded in 1905 out of necessity” because no existing unions represented so-called unskilled labor. “The workers had no representation at all, and they were being expected to work seven days a week, 12-hour days, no breaks, no meals, underpaid, overworked,” she says. “Conditions were terrible and intolerable.” The high-definition rerelease of “The Wobblies” comes after the Library of Congress added it to the National Film Registry in 2021.

Exiting sunspot blasts powerful X1-class flare, spits fire!

VideoFromSpace – Apr 30, 2022

Sunspot AR2994 had an X1.1-class departing message before it rotates out of view of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The active sunspot blasted a pair of M-class flares prior to the X. Credit: Space.com / footage courtesy: NASA/SDO / produced & edited by [Steve Spaleta](http://www.twitter.com/stevespaleta)

Elon Musk: A future worth getting excited about | TED | Tesla Texas Gigafactory interview


TED – Apr 17, 2022

What’s on Elon Musk’s mind? In this exclusive conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, Musk details how the radical new innovations he’s working on — Tesla’s intelligent humanoid robot Optimus, SpaceX’s otherworldly Starship and Neuralink’s brain-machine interfaces, among others — could help maximize the lifespan of humanity and create a world where goods and services are abundant and accessible for all. It’s a compelling vision of a future worth getting excited about. (Recorded at the Tesla Texas Gigafactory on April 6, 2022)

Just over a week after this interview was filmed, Elon Musk joined TED2022 for another (live) conversation, where he discussed his bid to purchase Twitter, the biggest regret of his career, how his brain works and more. Watch that conversation here:

0:14 A future that’s worth getting excited about
2:44 The sustainable energy economy, batteries and 300 terawatt hours of installed capacity
7:06 “Humanity will solve sustainable energy.”
8:47 Artificial intelligence and Tesla’s progress on full self-driving cars
19:46 Tesla’s Optimus humanoid robot
21:46 “People have no idea, this is going to be bigger than the car.”
23:14 Avoiding an AI dystopia
26:39 The age of abundance
28:20 Neuralink and brain-machine interfaces
36:55 SpaceX’s Starship and the mission to build a city on Mars
46:54 “It’s the people of Mars’ city.”
50:14 What else can Starship do and help explore?
53:18 Possible synergies between Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company and Neuralink
54:44 Intercontinental travel via Starship
58:41 Being a billionaire
1:02:31 Philanthropy as love of humanity
1:03:39 Population collapse and birth rates as a threat to future of human civilization
1:04:13 Elon’s drive
1:06:06 “I think if you want the future to be good, you must make it so.”

TED

Watch that conversation here: https://youtu.be/cdZZpaB2kDM

0:14 A future that’s worth getting excited about 2:44 The sustainable energy economy, batteries and 300 terawatt hours of installed capacity 7:06 “Humanity will solve sustainable energy.” 8:47 Artificial intelligence and Tesla’s progress on full self-driving cars 19:46 Tesla’s Optimus humanoid robot 21:46 “People have no idea, this is going to be bigger than the car.” 23:14 Avoiding an AI dystopia 26:39 The age of abundance 28:20 Neuralink and brain-machine interfaces 36:55 SpaceX’s Starship and the mission to build a city on Mars 46:54 “It’s the people of Mars’ city.” 50:14 What else can Starship do and help explore? 53:18 Possible synergies between Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company and Neuralink 54:44 Intercontinental travel via Starship 58:41 Being a billionaire 1:02:31 Philanthropy as love of humanity 1:03:39 Population collapse and birth rates as a threat to future of human civilization 1:04:13 Elon’s drive 1:06:06 “I think if you want the future to be good, you must make it so.”

Giulio Boccaletti: Water—A Biography


Town Hall Seattle – Sep 14, 2021

“If there is magic on this planet,” anthropologist Loren Eiseley said, “it is contained in water.” Humans have been trying to contain that magic for millennia. Giulio Boccaletti knows this more than most anyone. With Water: A Biography, Boccaletti showcases the revealing history of how the distribution of water has shaped human civilization.

We all need water to survive. It is essential to every plant and animal on this earth. Boccaletti offers up a wide-ranging environmental and social history, beginning from the earliest civilizations of sedentary farmers on the banks of the Nile, the Tigris, and Euphrates Rivers. Those early civilizations’ farming techniques forever changed the world. Their irrigation systems led to multiple cropping which, in turn, led to a population explosion and labor specialization.

The development of humankind flows with the development of water infrastructure. Irrigation’s early structure informed social structure. The invention of the calendar, for example, sprung from agricultural necessity. In ancient Greece, a community’s water well laid the groundwork for democracy. During the Roman Empire, water security led to systems of taxation. The control of water continues today, and is becoming increasingly important, as societies far and wide are dealing with water, and the lack thereof, with increasing regularity because of human-induced climate change. There’s no better time to understand our relationship to the most elemental substance on earth than now.

Giulio Boccaletti is a physicist and climate scientist, holding a doctorate from Princeton University, where he was a NASA Earth Systems Science Fellow. He is an honorary research associate at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.

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and

Report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery | Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

https://legacyofslavery.harvard.edu/report

Harvard’s motto, Veritas, inscribed on gates, doorways, and sculptures all over campus, demands of us truth.

La storia del Regno del Congo a Palazzo Pitti attraverso le installazioni di Sammy Baloji | Le Gallerie degli Uffizi

From 26 April in the Andito degli Angiolini the first exhibition in Italy of a protagonist of contemporary art: Congolese historical objects from the Florentine collections and other museums interact with the artist’s works in a site-specific exhibition

From 26 April the Andito degli Angiolini of Palazzo Pitti will host K(C)ongo, Fragments of Interlaced Dialogues. Subversive Classifications, Sammy Baloji’s first solo exhibition in Italy . The exhibition project, curated by Lucrezia Cippitelli, Chiara Toti and the BHMF collective, is the culmination of a research started by the artist starting from 2016 in the collections of various museums around the world, including the Medici palace. In the exhibition – enriched by the production of two new site-specific works for the rooms of the Andito degli Angiolini, Palazzo Pitti –motifs and narratives intertwined derived from objects that came from the Kongo Kingdoms (today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo and Angola) from the sixteenth century, now housed in Palazzo Pitti and in various museums.

In fact, the artist’s works interact with archive material and important works from Kongo on loan from the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology in Florence and the Museum of Civilizations in Rome as well as from the Uffizi Galleries .

Fil rouge of the entire itinerary, which unfolds in seven rooms, is a carpet 88 meters long ( The Crossing ), produced and created for the rooms of the Andito degli Angiolini , whose decoration translates the geometric motifs and circular bands of four precious Kongo olifanti (inlaid ivory ceremonial trumpets) exceptionally gathered in the exhibition: three of them come from the Treasury of the Grand Dukes of Palazzo Pitti , one was on loan for the occasion from the Museum of Civilizations in Rome. These splendid objects, two of which have been present in the Medici collections since the sixteenth century, mark the arrival point of a journey thathall after hall highlights the complexity of the “intertwined dialogues” between Kongo, Renaissance Europe and Modern Europe .

With the immersive installation Gnosis , inspired by the Sala delle Carte Geografiche of Palazzo Vecchio, Sammy Baloji explores the concept of Wunderkammer (or room of wonders) framing the Renaissance collections of mirabilia and naturalia and the birth of modern Italian anthropological and ethnographic museums.

Some sculptures on loan from the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology in Florence come from the colonial Congo and arrived in Italy at the beginning of the 20th century.

The letters of King Afonso I of Kongo to the Portuguese sovereign Manuel I, as well as the copper and bronze plaques of Baloji Negative of Luxury Cloth and the sculpture-loom Goods Trades Roots (in which the geometric motifs refer to the precious raffia fabrics, arrived in Italy between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through the Portuguese merchants), speak of an equal and horizontal relationship between Europe and Africa, which overturns the “exotic” narrative which later became predominant.

The exhibition highlights a “subversive” profile of Kongo’s works , which surpass the modern “exotic” or “ethnographic” classifications, a legacy of the transatlantic slave trade and the Scramble for Africa (conquest of Africa) of the late nineteenth century, the whose implications conflict with contemporary cultural perception and values.

The exhibition closes during the hottest months of the year, and will therefore be open in two separate periods: from 26 April to 26 June and from 6 September to 27 November.

The artist Sammy Baloji: “I’m not interested in colonialism as nostalgia, or in it as a thing of the past, but in the continuation of that system”.

The director of the Uffizi Galleries Eike Schmidt : “ Historical research reveals that our perception of objects and works belonging to different cultures has been – and in many cases still is – vitiated in the negative sense. Sammy Baloji’s art, on the other hand, shows us a different path to take, through the discovery of the truth of the past and the recovery of horizontal relations between cultures: in this perspective, his works become political in the highest sense of the term “.

Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji lives and works between Lubumbashi and Brussels. His journey, which began in 2005 with the photographic documentation of the modern buildings of his city, has also developed as a research and visual production together with Picha, a collective of artists and culture professionals with whom he founded the Lubumbashi Biennale and the center in 2008. Picha art. His work explores the memory and history of the Democratic Republic of Congo in relation to global history, bringing out in the dense network of relationships a complexity that deeply touches and revises modern European history. Starting from research on the cultural, architectural and industrial heritage of the Katanga region, Baloji’s work reinterprets the impact of colonization, highlighting how, from the contemporary perspective of colonial narratives, the economic imperialism of our present pervades the imagination and strengthens the power relations. His critical vision embraces the first relations between Africa and Europe in the fifteenth century and shows us how the cultural clichés that formed and shaped collective memories continue to play a central role in today’s perception of the world. Appointed

Knight of Arts and Letters in France, he has received numerous scholarships, prizes and awards, in particular at the Rencontres africaines de photographie de Bamako and at the Dakar Biennial. He was the winner of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. In 2019-2020, he was a resident of the French Academy in Rome-Villa Medici. Since 2018 he has been teaching at the Sommerakademie in Salzburg. He has exhibited in important museums, galleries and exhibitions around the world including: Beaux-Arts de Paris (2021); Sydney Biennial (2020); Documenta 14 (Kassel / Athens, 2017); Biennial of Lyon (2015); Venice Biennale (2015); Photoquai Festival at the Musée du Quai Branly (2015). In 2020, he was included in the Power 100, the ranking of the “most influential personalities in the art world” by the British magazine ArtReview.

https://www.uffizi.it/eventi/sammy-baloji

Information
Sammy Baloji. K(C)ongo, Fragments of Interlaced Dialogues. Subversive Classifications

Palazzo Pitti, Andito degli Angiolini
From 26 April to 26 June and from 6 September to 27 November 2022

Curators: Lucrezia Cippitelli, Chiara Toti, curatorial collective BHMF
Exhibition created in collaboration with: The Recovery Plan, Twenty Nine Studio & Production
Thanks: Arthub, Féderation Wallonie-Bruxelles, Flanders State of the Art, Galerie Imane Farès, Numeroventi, Rolex Foundation, TBA21, Vimar1991, Traumnovelle

Original map images reproduced from the Afriterra Foundation, with permission of Dr. Gerald Rizzo, President.

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