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  • feedwordpress 08:01:28 on 2017/05/18 Permalink
    Tags: bubble, civic discourse, , , , , ,   

    “The bubbles of certainty are constantly exploding”*… 


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    The internet, most everybody agrees, is driving Americans apart, causing most people to hole up in sites geared toward people like them… This view makes sense. After all, the internet gives us a virtually unlimited number of options from which we can consume the news. I can read whatever I want. You can read whatever you want…  And people, if left to their own devices, tend to seek out viewpoints that confirm what they believe. Thus, surely, the internet must be creating extreme political segregation.

    There is one problem with this standard view. The data tells us that it is simply not true.

    See for yourself at “Maybe the internet isn’t tearing us apart after all.”

    * Rem Koolhaas

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    As we listen for the pop, we might recall that it was on this ate in 1622 that the Stationers Register recorded (allowed the publication of) the first issue of a news weekly– a series of reports from foreign correspondents, generally considered to have been the first “newspaper” in the English language.

    Cover of the second issue (the first issue is lost)

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:33 on 2015/09/05 Permalink
    Tags: August Comte, Bay Area, bubble, , , , , , Roger Babson, ,   

    “This world’s a bubble”*… 


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    From “The Bay Area to Standard English Translator.”

    [A similarly silly-but-serious bonus: “An Interactive Guide to Ambiguous Grammar.”]

    * alternately attributed to St. Augustine and to Francis Bacon

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    As we send birthday greetings to the father of the field of sociology and the discipline of Positivism, August Comte, we might recall that it was on this date in 1929 that bearish economist Roger Babson gave a speech in which he warned, “sooner or later, a crash is coming, and it may be terrific.” He had been delivering this message for two years, but for the first time, investors listened. The stock market took a severe dip (now known in economic history as “the Babson Break”).  The next day, prices stabilized, but the equity collapse that we know as a trigger event for the Great Depression had begun.

    Roger Babson

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:28 on 2014/09/26 Permalink
    Tags: , bubble, computer program, , , , , , ,   

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others”*… 


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    In cosmology as in so many branches of the scientists, theorist tend to get most of the attention.  But in the end, it’s experimentalists who covert hypothesis into knowledge.  Current theories suggest that our universe– which could be “the universe” or could be one of many– could be a hologram, a computer program, a black hole or a bubble—and, experimentalists suggest, there are ways to check…

    Ponder their proofs at “What Is the Universe? Real Physics Has Some Mind-Bending Answers.”

    * Philip K. Dick

    ###

    As we practice our pronunciation of “billions and billions,” we might spare a thought for Ron Toomer; he died on this date in 2011.  Toomer began his career as an aeronautical engineer who contributed to the heat shields on NASA’s Apollo spacecraft.  But in 1965, he joined Arrow Development, an amusement park ride design company, where he became a legendary creator of steel roller coasters.  His first assignment was “The Run-Away Mine Train” (at Six Flags Over Texas), the first “mine train” ride, and the second steel roller coaster (after Arrow’s Matterhorn Ride at Disneyland).  Toomer went on to design 93 coasters worldwide, and was especially known for his creation of the first “inversion” coasters (he built the first coasters with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, loops).  In 2000, he was inducted in the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Hall of Fame as a “Living Legend.”

    Toomer with his design model for “The Corkscrew,” the first three-inversion coaster

    source

    “The Corkscrew” at Cedar Point Amusement Park, Ohio

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