data Hans Rosling smiling. Copyright Martin Kjellberg. (image via petapixel.com)

Hans Rosling – The Best Data You’ve Ever Seen

0:15 About 10 years ago, I took on the task to teach global development to Swedish undergraduate students. That was after having spent about 20 years together with African institutions studying hunger in Africa,so I was sort of expected to know a little about the world. And I started in our medical university, Karolinska Institute, an undergraduate course called Global Health. But when you get that opportunity, you get a little nervous. I thought, these students coming to us actually have the highest grade you can get in Swedish college systems — so, I thought, maybe they know everything I’m going to teach them about. So I did a pre-test when they came. And one of the questions from which I learned a lot was this one: “Which country has the highest child mortality of these five pairs?”

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CU Law professor Paul Ohm. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado) THE UNDERWHELMING BENEFITS OF BIG DATA (image via www.dailycamera.com)

Paul Ohm – The underwhelming Benefits of Big Data

“The cloud is a hodgepodge, and Paul Schwartz, in his rich Article, Information Privacy in the Cloud, tackles many different parts of the confusing combination, giving meaning to mush in his characteristically careful style. Consider his thoughts on the changes being wrought to information privacy law by the move to “networked intelligence in the cloud.” This expression refers, at least in part, to what others have been calling “Big Data,” the trendy moniker for powerful new forms of data analytics. Professor Schwartz weighs the benefits of Big Data techniques against the risks they pose to privacy. Better than some others, he takes care to point to the benefits that truly matter. Too many commentators have too often overstated the benefits of Big Data, inflating studies and praising the merely trivial.

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Paul_M._Schwartz INFORMATION PRIVACY IN THE CLOUD (image via commons.wikimedia.org)

Paul M. Schwartz – Information Privacy in the Cloud

“Cloud computing is the locating of computing resources on the Internet in a fashion that makes them highly dynamic and scalable. This kind of distributed computing environment can quickly expand to handle a greater system load or take on new tasks. Cloud computing thereby permits dramatic flexibility in processing decisions—on a global basis.

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Michel_Foucault the subject and power (image via www.ub.edu)

Michel Foucault – The Subject and Power

“A writer in a well-known French newspaper once expressed his surprise: “Why is the notion of power raised by so many people today? Is it such an important subject? Is it so independent that it can be discussed without taking into account other problems?” This writer’s surprise amazes me. I feel skeptical about the assumption that this question has been raised for the first time in the twentieth century. Anyway, for us it is not only a theoretical question but a part of our experience. I’d like to mention only two “pathological forms” —those two “diseases of power”— fascism and Stalinism.

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ruut veenhoven - WORLD DATABASE OF HAPPINESS (image via www.happykamping.com)

Ruut Veenhoven – World Database of Happiness

“Happiness is a highly valued matter. Most people agree that it is better to enjoy life than to suffer, and endorse public policies that aim at creating greater happiness for a greater number of people. Though not everybody accepts the utilitarian axiom that happiness is ultimately the only value, the desirability of happiness as such is almost undisputed. This appears in high ranks for happiness in survey studies about value priorities.

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Insatiable Curiosity innovation context (image via www.timeshighereducation.co.uk)

Helga Nowotny – Insatiable Curiosity

“An innovative idea is recognizable by the fact that it surprises. The greater the surprise, the more innovative the idea. But innovations do not consist solely of ideas, even if ideas are where they start from. Innovations are tied to the respective context.They consist in the recognition and implementation of new possibilities that reach beyond the tested or accustomed routine. They are defined by their success, which consists in opening up new spaces for activity, whether in connection with technological products, new markets, organizational adjustments, or other social arrangements.

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Habermas Reason and the rationalization of society (image via www.politipedia.pt)

Jürgen Habermas – Reason and the Rationalization of Society

“The rationality of beliefs and actions is a theme usually dealt with in philosophy. One could even say that philosophical thought originates in reflection on the reason embodied in cognition, speech, and action; and reason remains its basic theme. From the beginning philosophy has endeavored to explain the world as a whole, the unity in the multiplicity of appearances, with principles to be discovered in reason-and not in communication with a divinity beyond the world nor, strictly speaking, even in returning to the ground of a cosmos encompassing nature and society.

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john holden, Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy (image via johnholden.info)

John Holden – Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy

“The ‘cultural system’ faces a crisis of legitimacy. At local government level culture is suffering extreme funding cuts, the recent Arts Council England (ACE) Peer Review uncovers a rift between ACE and its Whitehall department, and individual organisations continue to stagger from one damning headline to the next. These are the current symptoms of a deeper problem that has dogged culture for the last 30 years.

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Norbert Bolz management of culture (image via www.migrosmagazin.ch)

Norbert Bolz – On the Management of Cultural Meaningfulness

Compensating the Burdens of Modernization

In the following I will attempt to make culture recognizable as a compensation of modern society. I assume we agree that our society is unmanageably complex, our technologies overburden us and the human standard no longer provides us with an orientation in our world. Culture offers compensation for these extreme demands. It promises us an escape from complexity and it offers us symbols of unity.

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