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(Almost) Everything You Need to Know about Culture in 10 Books

(Almost) Everything You Need to Know about Culture in 10 Books
by Maria Popova What the limits of the universe have to do with the history of jazz and the secret of happiness. Last week, I was reorganizing my library and realized that some of my favorite books are ones that introduced me to subjects I either admired but knew little about or was unaware of altogether. The kinds of reads that profoundly enrich one’s lens on the world. Long before there was The Visual Miscellaneum or Data Flow, there was Graphis diagrams: The graphic visualization of abstract data — a seminal vision for the convergence of aesthetics and information value, originally published in 1974, which codified the conventions of contemporary data visualization and information design. Images courtesy of insect54 The idea of a ragtime ballet or opera must have seemed an oxymoron to those on both sides of the great racial divide that characterized turn-of-the-century American society. Perhaps most powerful of all is the human hope and scientific vision of Hawking’s ending: Related:  Datavizbrainpickings

armelle caron - tout bien rangé tout bien rangé, anagrammes graphiques de plans de villes, impressions numériques sur toile canevas en 3 ex. 120cm x 90cm. Au sujet de ce travail, quelques articles : en allemand: Staaten der Welt | Alle Länder und Nationen der Erde SmarterComics: 6 Popular Business Books Adapted as Comics by Maria Popova What 6th-century Chinese military strategy has to do with the art of closing a deal. Comic books resonate so deeply with us because they speak to our brains’ fundamental visual bias, known as the pictorial superiority effect. A new series of books by SmarterComics is harnessing this human predilection and doing for nonfiction what The RSA has done for lectures, adapting popular business and strategy books by iconic thought-leaders into visually-driven narratives. Based on the 2006 bestseller of the same name by Wired editor Chris Anderson, The Long Tail explores a counterintuitive side of business profits as Anderson declares the death of “common culture” and makes a case for the multiplicity of small niches, as opposed to the high-volume peaks of the mainstream, as the sweet spot of market opportunity. In 1937, Napoleon Hill wrote what’s commonly considered the greatest wealth-building guide of all time. Share on Tumblr

7 Must-Read Books on Time by Maria Popova What the second law of thermodynamics has to do with Saint Augustine, landscape art, and graphic novels. Time is the most fundamental common denominator between our existence and that of everything else, it’s the yardstick by which we measure nearly every aspect of our lives, directly or indirectly, yet its nature remains one of the greatest mysteries of science. Last year, we devoured BBC’s excellent What Is Time? It comes as no surprise to start with A Brief History of Time — legendary theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking’s 1988 masterpiece, which is commonly considered the most important book in popular science ever published and one of our 10 essential primers on (almost) everything. With a foreword by none other than Carl Sagan, the book remains a fundamental sensemaking mechanism for understanding the cosmos, our place in it, how we got there, and where we might be going. Full review here. Full review here. Share on Tumblr

L'open data, ça sert à quoi ? Voici 5 exemples concrets. Le résumé : Du 17 au 22 septembre se tient à Helsinki (Finlande) l'Open Knowledge & Data Festival (le Festival de la connaissance et des données ouvertes). Une semaine complète dédiée aux problématiques des données et de leur réutilisation dans des domaines aussi diverses que l'éducation, la science, le journalisme, etc. L'occasion de découvrir à quoi peut aboutir l'open data. L'open data est une application des principes de l'open source, qui mise sur la transparence et le partage des informations pour favoriser la démocratie. Voici 5 exemples. Cartographier l'argent des gouvernements Le site Open Spending recense les flux financiers des gouvernements pour les présenter de manière utile et compréhensible. Evaluer le travail des hommes politiques ManyBills permet aux citoyens d'explorer la dense matière législative des Etats-Unis. Décrypter l'actualité Les data journalistes du Guardian ont étudié les données relatives aux émeutes ayant secoué l'Angleterre pendant 5 jours en août 2011.

Lexikon - Karten - Flaggen - Wappen - Länderinfos | Lä Hans Rosling for BBC: 200 Countries Over 200 Years in 4 Minutes by Maria Popova Statistical stuntsman Hans Rosling, mastermind of revolutionary visualization platform Gapminder, is a longtime Brain Pickings darling. From his blockbuster TED talks, better described as performances than mere talks, to his projection of the future of humanity in LEGO, Rosling is easily the most vocal and engaging advocate for data visualization as a sensemaking mechanism for culture and the world. Now, The Hans strikes again with an absolutely brilliant 4-minute distillation of 200 countries over 200 years, part of BBC’s The Joy of Stats. For more on the storytelling and sensemaking art and science of data visualization, the journalistic importance of which we’ve previously examined, we highly recommend Data Flow 2 and Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions, both of which reference Rosling’s work, among countless other masters of the discipline. HT @TEDchris In 2010, we spent more than 4,500 hours bringing you Brain Pickings. Share on Tumblr

Can Science Explain the Benefits of Meditation? Lake Effect's Dan Harmon interviews Richard Davidson, a University of Wisconsin professor who studies the science of emotions. Among the films being featured at this year's Milwaukee Film Festival is a documentary called “Free the Mind." The film, which plays on Monday, follows the work of Richard Davidson, whose research at the University of Wisconsin is at the leading edge of the science of emotions. Davidson is the founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the university’s Waisman Center. His work was spurred by a 1992 challenge from the Dalai Lama to apply science in studying positive qualities of the mind. He says the science of meditation has evolved, but wasn't always so accepted. "The scientific research on meditation was really an oxymoron," he says. Neuroscientific research has shown how the brain is affected by meditation thanks to its plasticity. "Kids naturally glommed on to this," he says.