Abstract Expressionism: how New York overtook Europe to become the epicentre of Western art

by João Florêncio Added 26.09.2016
A new exhibition, Abstract Expressionism, opens at London’s Royal Academy this weekend. It is the first major survey of the movement since 1959. Abstract expressionism is often considered the first artistic movement to shift the centre of Western art from Europe to the US, and more precisely New York. But what is it, and how did this happen? Associated with a group of artists working in New York in the 1940s, abstract expressionism came to...

Fewer foreign entrepreneurs say they need the U.S. That’s a problem.

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 24.09.2016
Apple is facing accusations that it copied Chinese innovations in the iPhone 7.  Indeed, China’s smartphone manufacturers released dual-camera systems and handsets without headphone jacks long before Apple did.  And the stickers and animations that Apple is adding to iMessage are a direct knockoff from China’s WeChat.  This is quite a twist from the days when Apple accused the Chinese of copying its inventions.  The reality is that America’s...

The renegade whose dream started the latest space race

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 23.09.2016
Elon Musk’s company SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origins have grabbed the headlines in the space race, both of them building rockets and spacecraft.  But there is fascinating backstory on how this race and the private space industry came into existence.  It is the tale of a renegade entrepreneur, Peter Diamandis, who founded the XPRIZE foundation to incentivize the building of the rockets—in order to find a way into space himself. The story...

Why China won’t own next-generation manufacturing

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 22.09.2016
After three decades of dramatic growth, China’s manufacturing engine has largely stalled. With rising salaries, labor unrest, environmental devastation, and intellectual property theft, China is no longer an attractive place for Western companies to move their manufacturing to. Technology has also eliminated the labor cost advantage, so companies are looking for ways to bring their high-value manufacturing back to the U.S. and Europe. China...

College For Convicts:  The Need Is Great, the Time Is Now

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 17.09.2016
  America faces a humanitarian disaster. It is a disaster that remains invisible to most middle-class Americans, though it is a disaster that blights millions of lives. It is the crisis of the American gulag. America has a higher incarceration rate than any other nation on the planet. Human Rights Watch has eloquently documented the ongoing crisis of the American penal system. In a 2014 Report entitled Nation Behind Bars, this organization...

Stop making health and well-being a moral issue

by Rafael Euba Added 17.09.2016
Applying a human moral construct to nature by dividing foods and lifestyles into good and bad is misleading. In reality, nothing in nature is either good or bad. For instance, our bodies need cholesterol for a variety of important purposes, while exercise and sports can be dangerous and even capable of ending our lives prematurely. A recent study published in the BMJ concluded that replacing saturated with polyunsaturated fat in diet may not...

How universities boost economic growth

by Anna Valero Added 16.09.2016
In 1900, just 1% of young people in the world were enrolled at university. Over the course of the next century this exploded to 20%, as recognition of the value of such an education became widespread. And it turns out that the expansion of higher education from 1950 onwards was not just the product of growing wealth, it has also helped fuel economic growth around the world. These were the findings of my recent paper with colleague John van...

The Anti-American

by Robert S. McElvaine Added 13.09.2016
“I am, have been, and will be only one thing—an American.” — Charles Foster Kane “WAKE UP AMERICA; WAKE UP!” Those words, spoken by John Lewis just before he ended his speech at the 1963 March on Washington, are as imperative today as they were 53 years ago. During this Labor Day week, the traditional start date for fall presidential campaigns, the time is overdue for all Americans to wake up and fully recognize that this is no ordinary...

Lessons from Argentina for Europe's newly-impoverished middle class

by Daniel Ozarow Added 12.09.2016
Leading economic think-tank the institute of Fiscal Studies has warned that “middle-income families are the new poor” – a damning indictment of the way poverty in Britain has spread far beyond groups that are traditionally considered poor. It’s the same story across much of Europe and is a product of the austerity agenda that has squeezed the middle class since the financial crisis. The statistics in the European Union are depressing....

The Settlements: Self-Entrapment of Existential Proportions

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 10.09.2016
Israel’s continued settlement activity—whether retroactively approving ‘unauthorized’ outposts or advancing plans for new units as was recently announced—represents yet another nail in the coffin of the peace process. The settlements have become nothing but Israel’s self-entrapment, threatening its very existence. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition partners, however, are not concerned about the prospective dire repercussions of...

Poland’s Crime Against History

by Shlomo Avineri Added 08.09.2016
JERUSALEM – My parents and I arrived in Tel Aviv a few months before World War II began. The rest of our extended family – three of my grandparents, my mother’s seven siblings, and my five cousins – remained in Poland. They were all murdered in the Holocaust. I have visited Poland many times, always accompanied by the presence of the Jewish absence. Books and articles of mine have been translated into Polish. I have lectured at the...

The Curse of False Equivalency

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 07.09.2016
For reasons that remain obscure, we seem in our culture to experience a gender bias in the willingness to turn off lights when exiting a room.  With limited data, and at the high risk of infuriating many readers, I would suggest that more women than men tend to leave lights burning when nobody is around to enjoy the benefits of illumination. During a typical day at home I will, in trail of my spouse, stubbornly flip off lights 10 or 20...

How we discovered a possible link between car exhausts and Alzheimer’s

by Barbara Maher and David Allsop Added 07.09.2016
Iron is known to be toxic to brain cells, and tiny magnetic iron particles (magnetite) are thought to be involved in the development of neurological disorders. Now, for the first time, we have identified the abundant presence of these highly reactive particles in human brains. Previous studies have suggested that there are increased amounts of magnetite in Alzheimer’s-affected brains, and that these particles may be linked with the...

Tesla’s batteries have reached their limit – here’s how they could go further

by Vivek Nair Added 07.09.2016
“For the first time, the world’s fastest production car is electric,” said Tesla boss Elon Musk when he recently launched the company’s latest battery. The new 100kwh device can propel Tesla’s cars to about 97kph in just 2.5 seconds and allow them to drive 20% further before recharging, compared to previous batteries. But Musk also admitted that the current design and chemistry of the battery means this is quite close to the theoretical...

Catholics Must Honor Labor

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 06.09.2016
Catholics must honor labor. This has been a steady teaching of the Popes for at least the last century and a quarter. Catholicism, after all, rejects the nasty individualism that characterizes so much of the modern world, in favor of a philosophy of the common good. Catholics realize that we as individuals prosper only when everyone prospers. Catholics understand that the economy only thrives when all of its constituent parts succeed. And...

Beauty From Chaos

by David Galenson Added 06.09.2016
Luis Felipe Noé is one of the giants of contemporary Latin American art. He is a protean conceptual innovator, whose art has never ceased to change: today at the age of 83, he is making some of the most powerful works of his long career. El estricto orden de las cosas (2006), mixed media on paper. All images courtesy of Luis Felipe Noé. Noé first gained fame in 1962, when he organized a group that united four young painters - Ernesto Deira,...

Time for degrowth: to save the planet, we must shrink the economy

by Jason Hickel Added 28.08.2016
What is so refreshing about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is that they recognise the inherent tension between economic development and the ecology of our planet. Or so it seems. The preamble affirms that “planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home” and underscores the necessity of achieving “harmony with nature”. It commits to holding global warming below 2℃, and calls for “sustainable patterns of production and consumption”. This...

Donald Trump: the Politics of Fear and Violence

by David Coates Added 25.08.2016
Editor's pick from the article: It was Mitch McConnell, after all, who committed his party to making the Obama Administration a one-term phenomenon. The Republican Establishment started this fire, and it needs now to put it out. The Republican Establishment needs to break, even at this late stage, from a candidate who does not embody its values, and whose incipient authoritarianism threatens the democratic rights of us all. The national...

What a Party of the Working Class Looks Like

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 18.08.2016
There has been talk, in the pages of the New York Times and elsewhere, that the two political parties may be in the process of reversing their traditional demographics. The Republican Party, it is said, may become the party of the working class, while the Democratic Party may become the party of the college educated and the coastal elites. Frankly, I don’t believe it. Not that the Democratic Party has done a great job representing the...

How work can lead to suicide in a globalised economy

by Sarah Waters and Jenny Chan Added 18.08.2016
A Paris prosecutor recently called for the former CEO and six senior managers of telecoms provider, France Télécom, to face criminal charges for workplace harassment. The recommendation followed a lengthy inquiry into the suicides of a number of employees at the company between 2005 and 2009. The prosecutor accused management of deliberately “destabilising” employees and creating a “stressful professional climate” through a company-wide...
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