What I'm Reading, Vol. Twenty

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

After the American Civil War, some 7,000 Confederates set sail for Brazil. Their Dixie-loving descendants represent one of the most curious cultures in the modern world.

"The man spoke an American English that, while wholly fluent, sounded nothing like I had ever heard before. There was the cadence, a slow molasses drawl, but there was more. The words sounded like they came from deep within the bowels of Georgia, maybe just north of Macon, where the gnat line begins. But that wasn't it either. The man had a Portuguese accent, and his inflection and the words he used, how he strung them together, it sounded all wrong. His speech was wobbly and splintered, run together, so some of the words didn't make any sense. And his voice: It was scratchy, like it creaked forth from the worn and weathered horn of a hand-cranked Victrola. What I was hearing didn't sound like it came from someone of this generation, even of this century. I was in a mild and amused state of shock, and all I remember thinking was this: Listen to how this gentleman talks because you will never hear anything like it ever again."

Why the Internet Fetishizes Old Photos (via Fast Company)
Can nostalgia explain why the average Millennial enjoys old photos, too? Can you pine for postwar Britain without having experienced postwar Britain? Psychologist Clay Routledge, who studies nostalgia at North Dakota State University, thinks so. He says there are two types of nostalgia: autobiographical (a fondness for your own memories) and historical (a fondness for broader cultural ones). "There's this notion that younger generations stay connected to older generations because we pass down our nostalgia," Routledge tells Co.Design. "So I think one way this historical nostalgia works is, just like people pass down keepsakes in their family, we pass down memories."

Google Founders Talk About Ending the 40-Hour Work Week (via Mashable)
"If you really think about the things that you need to make yourself happy -- housing, security, opportunities for your kids -- anthropologists have been identifying these things. It's not that hard for us to provide those things," said Larry Page, Google's CEO. "The amount of resources we need to do that, the amount of work that actually needs to go into that is pretty small. I'm guessing less than 1% at the moment. So the idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet people's needs is just not true."

(^^Not sure if I fully agree with that, but Page does have an interesting view.)

You Might Also Like


Follow by Email

Follow on Facebook