Culture - How being shy can help you take good photos. “I was such a shy kid.
Anyone who knows me from when I was young can’t believe this is what I do,” laughs the photographer Alec Soth. He says when he started taking portraits after college “it functioned almost as a kind of therapy, which was embarrassing, but it was a way to learn how to deal with other human beings and confront this fear.” The reticence paid off. Over the course of five years, Soth made frequent road trips along the Mississippi – which runs through his hometown in Minnesota – and shot a collection of landscapes and portraits that have been compared to Robert Frank’s landmark 1958 series The Americans. If you just sit in awkwardness for a period of time, that’s where the magic can appear – Alec Soth After Soth’s series Sleeping by the Mississippi appeared in a self-printed book, he was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and offered assignments that led to him joining Magnum Photos.
Culture - The obscure religion that shaped the West. Talk of ‘us’ and ‘them’ has long dominated Iran-related politics in the West.
At the same time, Christianity has frequently been used to define the identity and values of the US and Europe, as well as to contrast those values with those of a Middle Eastern ‘other’. Yet, a brief glance at an ancient religion – still being practised today – suggests that what many take for granted as wholesome Western ideals, beliefs and culture may in fact have Iranian roots. Even the idea of Satan is a fundamentally Zoroastrian one It is generally believed by scholars that the ancient Iranian prophet Zarathustra (known in Persian as Zartosht and Greek as Zoroaster) lived sometime between 1500 and 1000 BC. Prior to Zarathustra, the ancient Persians worshipped the deities of the old Irano-Aryan religion, a counterpart to the Indo-Aryan religion that would come to be known as Hinduism.
How did Zoroastrian ideas find their way into the Abrahamic faiths and elsewhere? Zoroastrian rhapsody Ice and fire. Eduación indígena en México: Los tres secretos de uno de los centros más premiados de México. El cerebro corrupto. La corrupción podría definirse, en un sentido social, como una creencia compartida, expandida y tolerada de que el uso de la función pública es para el beneficio de uno mismo, de la propia familia y de amigos.
Pero no es una novedad de estos tiempos. Como bien describe el World Development Report de 2015, la corrupción ha sido la norma social por defecto en la mayor parte de la historia. El principio de que todas las personas son iguales ante la ley ha surgido progresivamente en la historia y en muchos países es todavía una tarea pendiente. La corrupción no es exclusiva de la especie humana (se han evidenciado conductas corruptas en chimpancés, abejas y hormigas). Entre los seres humanos, tampoco es exclusiva del poder político (aunque la hay) ni de los empresarios prebendarios (aunque los hay) sino también de la sociedad que a su medida, la ejerce o, al menos, tolera.
Steven Goldberg on Patriarchy. Culture - A glossary for the 21st Century. In 1967, an unusual-looking book called The Medium is the Massage sold in millions and became that rare cultural phenomenon: a mass-market cult success.
Its prophetic words came from a 56-year-old Canadian professor of English literature called Marshall McLuhan (not exactly a hipster or a hippie). Three years earlier McLuhan had introduced a phrase that still sounds current today: ‘the medium is the message’. This dictum became the driving logic behind The Medium is the Massage (and no, that’s not a typo). McLuhan’s fizzing ideas about how all media - including radio, television, magazines and advertising - are “extensions of man” were shaped into a kaleidoscope of graphically audacious words and images in flux. The border between man and technology is porous, McLuhan was saying, and with every new invention we reinvent ourselves as humans. Our book is a poetic manifesto, designed by Wayne Daly with images sourced from 35 visual artists, that portrays what we call ‘the Extreme Present’.
Making Time: Does it matter why we help others? Is altruism simply self-interest in disguise?
And can a mathematical equation hope to answer the question? In 1968, an academic almost unknown in the UK walked into University College London and presented its staff with an equation so remarkable, that they offered him an honorary position and the keys to his own office. His name was George Price, and his equation addressed a problem that has vexed scientists since Charles Darwin published On The Origin of Species more than a century earlier. If we are selfish creatures, engaged in a battle for survival, why do we display altruism? Why do we show kindness to others even at a cost to ourselves? Price's equation explained how altruism could thrive, even amongst groups of selfish people. It built on the work of a number of other scientists, arguably beginning with JBS Haldane, a British biologist who developed a theory in the early 1950s.
It took until the early 1960s for another scientist, William Donald Hamilton, to popularise the theory.