We have the tools and technology to work less and live better

In 1930, a year into the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes sat down to write about the economic possibilities of his grandchildren. Despite widespread gloom as the global economic order fell to its knees, the British economist remained upbeat, saying that the ‘prevailing world depression … blind[s] us to what is going on under the surface’. In his essay, he predicted that in 100 years’ time, ie 2030, society would have advanced so far that we would barely need to work. The main problem confronting countries such as Britain and the United States would be boredom, and people might need to ration out work in ‘three-hour shifts or a 15-hour week [to] put off the problem’. At first glance, Keynes seems to have done a woeful job of predicting the future. In 1930, the average worker in the US, the UK, Australia, and Japan spent 45 to 48 hours at work. Today, that is still up around 38 hours.

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Why urban legends are more powerful than ever

Neil Dagnall, Manchester Metropolitan University and Ken Drinkwater, Manchester Metropolitan University

Have you heard the one about the guy who went on holiday to Bolivia? You know, he went on a night out and randomly woke up in an ice-filled bathtub after someone had removed his kidney and harvested it for sale.

You probably have – it is a popular urban legend. Also known as urban myths or contemporary legends, urban legends refer to widely disseminated, unproven stories of unusual or peculiar events that typically convey cautionary advisements or warnings. They often evoke strong emotional reactions such as horror, shock, revulsion, and humour. But how is it that we still buy these tales in the 21st century?

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There’s a psychological link between conspiracy theories and creationism

Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol

Ask a three-year-old why they think it’s raining, and she may say “because the flowers are thirsty”. Her brother might also tell you that trees have leaves to provide shade for people and animals. These are instances of teleological thinking, the idea that things came into being and exist for a purpose.

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The early movies were much better in image quality than we think

During the first film screenings in the 1890s, viewers marveled at moving images that had an unprecedented power to transport them to faraway places in an instant. At first, these shorts – which included glimpses of everything from Niagara Falls to elephants in India – had no narrative structure. Audiences flocked to theatres simply for the novel experience of seeing people and places, some familiar and others deeply strange, rendered lifelike and immediate before their eyes.

As the film curator Dave Kehr explains in this video from New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the images were hardly the grainy and frantically paced footage that has become synonymous with ‘old film’ today. Rather, viewed in their original form on large screens and prior to decades of degradation, these movies were vivid and realistic. In particular, early 68mm film, which was less practical than 35mm film and thus used less frequently, delivered startlingly lifelike impressions of distant realities to early moviegoers.

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Fransa “Bisiklet” Turu?

Eurosport Türkiye versiyonu anlatıcılarının bisiklet literatürüne soktuğu yanlış söyleyişler içinde en berbatı ve beni en çok irrite edeni yarışların adını cümle içinde Fransa “Bisiklet” Turu, İtalya “Bisiklet” Turu şeklinde kullanmaları. Bu turların orijinal adları “Tour de France”, “Giro d’Italia”, “Vuelta a España”. Hangisinin içinde “bisiklet” kelimesi geçiyor?

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Hoşgeldiniz Robot Efendilerimiz. Lütfen bizi işten atmayın…

Akıllı makineler büyük olasılıkla bizi öldürmeyecekler, ama kesinlikle işimizi elimizden alacaklar – ve bu düşündüğünüzden daha yakın bir zamanda gerçekleşecek.

Yine faydalı bir zihin egzersizi sunacağını düşündüğüm bir çeviri. Makalenin orijinali “Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don’t Fire Us?” başlığıyla Mother Jones dergisinin Mayıs/Haziran 2013 sayısında (ve derginin web sitesinde de) Kevin Drum imzasıyla yayınlanmıştır.

Special thanks to Max Horten, Rights and Permissions Manager of the Mother Jones Magazine – Çeviri için izin veren Mother Jones yöneticilerinden Max Horten’a ve bu yazıya dikkatimi ilk çeken Mert Derman’a teşekkür ederim.
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Fermi Paradoksu

Fermi paradoksu üzerine okuduğum en bilgilendirici ve kapsayıcı yazıyı Türkçeye kazandırmak istedim ve bu amaçla waitbutwhy.com‘a yazılarını çeviri izni için mesaj attım. Kısa sürede yanıt döndüler ve yazıyı çevirmeme izin verdiler. Wait But Why’dan Jordan Urban’a ve orijinal makaleye dikkatimi ilk çeken Mert Derman’a teşekkür ediyorum.
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