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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, game design, haute couture, impulse control, index card, meta analysis, meta-analysis, patient HM, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, Tenerife airport disaster, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, Walter Mischel
Usually, only when all three parts of this process are fulfilled can a movement become self-propelling and reach a critical mass. There are other recipes for successful social change and hundreds of details that differ between eras and struggles. But understanding how social habits work helps explain why Montgomery and Rosa Parks became the catalyst for a civil rights crusade. It wasn’t inevitable that Parks’s act of rebellion that winter day would result in anything other than her arrest. Then habits intervened, and something amazing occurred. Rosa Parks wasn’t the first black passenger jailed for breaking Montgomery’s bus segregation laws. She wasn’t even the first that year. In 1946, Geneva Johnson had been arrested for talking back to a Montgomery bus driver over seating.8.5 In 1949, Viola White, Katie Wingfield, and two black children were arrested for sitting in the white section and refusing to move.8.6 That same year, two black teenagers visiting from New Jersey—where buses were integrated—were arrested and jailed after breaking the law by sitting next to a white man and a boy.8.7 In 1952, a Montgomery policeman shot and killed a black man when he argued with a bus driver.
Montgomery’s civil life, at the time, was dominated by hundreds of small groups that created the city’s social fabric. The city’s Directory of Civil and Social Organizations was almost as thick as its phone book. Every adult, it seemed—particularly every black adult—belonged to some kind of club, church, social group, community center, or neighborhood organization, and often more than one. And within these social networks, Rosa Parks was particularly well known and liked. “Rosa Parks was one of those rare people of whom everyone agreed that she gave more than she got,” Branch wrote in his history of the civil rights movement, Parting the Waters. “Her character represented one of the isolated high blips on the graph of human nature, offsetting a dozen or so sociopaths.”8.9 Parks’s many friendships and affiliations cut across the city’s racial and economic lines.
Parks’s friends, in contrast, spanned Montgomery’s social and economic hierarchies. She had what sociologists call “strong ties”—firsthand relationships—with dozens of groups throughout Montgomery that didn’t usually come into contact with one another. “This was absolutely key,” Branch said. “Rosa Parks transcended the social stratifications of the black community and Montgomery as a whole. She was friends with field hands and college professors.” And the power of those friendships became apparent as soon as Parks landed in jail. Rosa Parks called her parents’ home from the police station. She was panicked, and her mother—who had no idea what to do—started going through a mental Rolodex of Parks’s friends, trying to think of someone who might be able to help. She called the wife of E. D. Nixon, the former head of the Montgomery NAACP, who in turn called her husband and told him that Parks needed to be bailed out of jail.
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight
But Grant’s research suggests that in at least one important regard—encouraging employees to take initiative—introverted leaders would do well to go on doing what they do naturally. Extroverted leaders, on the other hand, “may wish to adopt a more reserved, quiet style,” Grant writes. They may want to learn to sit down so that others might stand up. Which is just what a woman named Rosa Parks did naturally. For years before the day in December 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, she worked behind the scenes for the NAACP, even receiving training in nonviolent resistance. Many things had inspired her political commitment. The time the Ku Klux Klan marched in front of her childhood house. The time her brother, a private in the U.S. Army who’d saved the lives of white soldiers, came home from World War II only to be spat upon.
During the years I wrote this book, he edited my drafts, sharpened my ideas, made me tea, made me laugh, brought me chocolate, seeded our garden, turned his world upside down so I had time to write, kept our lives colorful and exciting, and got us the hell out of the Berkshires. He also, of course, gave us Sammy and Elishku, who have filled our house with trucks and our hearts with love. Notes INTRODUCTION: THE NORTH AND SOUTH OF TEMPERAMENT 1. Montgomery, Alabama. December 1, 1955: For an excellent biography of Rosa Parks, see Douglas Brinkley, Rosa Parks: A Life (New York: Penguin, 2000). Most of the material in Quiet about Parks is drawn from this work. A note about Parks: Some have questioned the singularity of her actions, pointing out that she’d had plenty of civil rights training before boarding that bus. While this is true, there’s no evidence, according to Brinkley, that Parks acted in a premeditated manner that evening, or even as an activist; she was simply being herself.
She sits in the first row of the Colored section and watches quietly as the bus fills with riders. Until the driver orders her to give her seat to a white passenger. The woman utters a single word that ignites one of the most important civil rights protests of the twentieth century, one word that helps America find its better self. The word is “No.” The driver threatens to have her arrested. “You may do that,” says Rosa Parks. A police officer arrives. He asks Parks why she won’t move. “Why do you all push us around?” she answers simply. “I don’t know,” he says. “But the law is the law, and you’re under arrest.” On the afternoon of her trial and conviction for disorderly conduct, the Montgomery Improvement Association holds a rally for Parks at the Holt Street Baptist Church, in the poorest section of town. Five thousand gather to support Parks’s lonely act of courage.
The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty
affirmative action, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, desegregation, El Camino Real, haute couture, illegal immigration, Lao Tzu, late fees, mass incarceration, p-value, publish or perish, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, telemarketer, theory of mind, War on Poverty, white flight, yellow journalism
I wanted to ask him if he’d received all the fruit I’d sent him over the years: the papayas, kiwis, apples, and blueberries, but I could tell from the suppleness of his skin, the whiteness of his eyes, the sheen in his ponytail, and the relaxed way he leaned on my shoulder that he had. “She told me about you leaving these pictures.” “Is she mad?” Stevie shrugged and continued to stare at the Polaroid. “The bus here because they lost Rosa Parks’s bus.” “Who lost Rosa Parks’s bus?” “White people. Who the fuck else? Supposedly, every February when schoolkids visit the Rosa Parks Museum, or wherever the fuck the bus is at, the bus they tell the kids is the birthplace of the civil rights movement is a phony. Just some old Birmingham city bus they found in some junkyard. That’s what my sister says, anyway.” “I don’t know.” Cuz took two deep swallows of gin. “What you mean, ‘You don’t know’? You think that after Rosa Parks bitch-slapped white America, some white rednecks going to go out of their way to save the original bus? That’d be like the Celtics hanging Magic Johnson’s jersey in the rafters of the Boston Garden.
It wouldn’t be hard to argue that Hominy gave up his seat, not because she was white, but because she was so fucking fine, and that notion had me reassessing the entire civil rights movement. Maybe race had nothing to do with it. Maybe Rosa Parks didn’t give up her seat because she knew the guy to be unapologetically gassy or one of those annoying people who insists on asking what you’re reading, then without prompting tells you what he’s reading, what he wants to read, what he regrets having read, what he tells people he’s read but really hasn’t read. So like those high school white girls who have after-school sex with the burly black athlete in the wood shop, and then cry rape when their fathers find out, maybe Rosa Parks, after the arrest, the endless church rallies, and all the press, had to cry racism, because what was she going to say: “I refused to move because the man asked me what I was reading”?
Kind enough to offer you a ride, you return the favor with smoke. Puffing and passing, and trying to keep your stick from getting dinged up with every California pothole hit and high-as-hell, whoa-dude-is-it-me-or-are-the-caution-lights-getting-shorter? sudden stop. “Incredible bud, dude. Where’d you get this shit?” “I know some Dutch coffee shop owners.” Ten That wintery day in the segregated state of Alabama, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, she became known as the “Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement.” Decades later on, a seasonally indeterminate afternoon in a supposedly unsegregated section of Los Angeles, California, Hominy Jenkins couldn’t wait to give up his seat to a white person. Grandfather of the post-racial civil rights movement known as “The Standstill,” he sat in the front of the bus, on the edge of his aisle seat, giving each new rider the once-over.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto
Over time as I have worked with people and teams this idea has proven useful but has changed sufficiently enough to be described differently. Thus an essential intent. 11. DARE 1. Juan Williams, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965 (New York: Penguin Books, 2002), 66. 2. Mark Feeney, “Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Icon, Dead at 92,” Boston Globe, October 25, 2005. 3. Donnie Williams and Wayne Greenhaw, The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People who Broke the Back of Jim Crow (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2005), 48. 4. “Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks Dies at 92,” CNN, October 25, 2005. 5. This story is shared in a few different places, but this account is taken from my interview with Cynthia Covey in 2012. 6. Stephen R. Covey and Roger and Rebecca Merrill, First Things First (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995), 75. 7. http://wps.prenhall.com/hssaronsonsocpsych6/64/16428/4205685.cw/-/4205769/index.html. 8.
It takes asking tough questions, making real trade-offs, and exercising serious discipline to cut out the competing priorities that distract us from our true intention. Yet it is worth the effort because only with real clarity of purpose can people, teams, and organizations fully mobilize and achieve something truly excellent. CHAPTER 11 DARE The Power of a Graceful “No” COURAGE IS GRACE UNDER PRESSURE. —Ernest Hemingway The right “no” spoken at the right time can change the course of history. In just one example of many, Rosa Parks’s quiet but resolute refusal to give up her seat on a segregated Montgomery bus at exactly the right moment coalesced into forces that propelled the civil rights movement. As Parks recalls, “When [the bus driver] saw me still sitting, he asked if I was going to stand up, and I said, ‘No, I’m not.’ ”1 Contrary to popular belief, her courageous “no” did not grow out of a particularly assertive tendency or personality in general.
When the bus driver ordered her out of her seat, she said, “I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night.”3 She did not know how her decision would spark a movement with reverberations around the world. But she did know her own mind. She knew, even as she was being arrested, that “it was the very last time that I would ever ride in humiliation of this kind.”4 Avoiding that humiliation was worth the risk of incarceration. Indeed, to her, it was essential. It is true that we are (hopefully) unlikely to find ourselves facing a situation like the one faced by Rosa Parks. Yet we can be inspired by her. We can think of her when we need the courage to dare to say no. We can remember her strength of conviction when we need to stand our ground in the face of social pressure to capitulate to the nonessential. Have you ever felt a tension between what you felt was right and what someone was pressuring you to do? Have you ever felt the conflict between your internal conviction and an external action?
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce
George Washington had been focused on managing his wheat, flour, fishing, and horse-breeding businesses, joining the cause only after Adams nominated him as commander in chief of the army. “I have used every endeavor in my power to avoid it,” Washington wrote. Nearly two centuries later, Martin Luther King, Jr., was apprehensive about leading the civil rights movement; his dream was to be a pastor and a college president. In 1955, after Rosa Parks was tried for refusing to give up her seat at the front of a bus, a group of civil rights activists gathered to discuss their response. They agreed to form the Montgomery Improvement Association and launch a bus boycott, and one of the attendees nominated King for the presidency. “It had happened so quickly that I did not even have time to think it through. It is probable that if I had, I would have declined the nomination,” King reflected.
“He was to be the final speaker, and his words would be carried on television and radio to millions of people in America and throughout the world, so it was vitally important that his speech be both inspiring and wise.” The march had been announced to the press two months earlier; King knew it would be a monumental event. Along with the media coverage, a crowd of at least a hundred thousand was expected, and King had a hand in recruiting a number of famous figures to attend in support. The audience included civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson, actors Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier, and singers Harry Belafonte and Bob Dylan. With relatively little time to prepare for his closing speech, it would have been natural for King to begin drafting it immediately. Since each speaker was initially given a time limit of five minutes, he needed to be particularly careful in choosing his words. Great thinkers throughout history—from Benjamin Franklin to Henry David Thoreau to King’s namesake Martin Luther—have observed that it takes longer to write a short speech than a long one.
To see why siblings aren’t as alike as we expect them to be, I’ll look at the upbringing of Jackie Robinson and the families of the most original comedians in America. You’ll find out what determines whether children rebel in a constructive or destructive direction, why it’s a mistake to tell children not to cheat, how we praise them ineffectively and read them the wrong books, and what we can learn from the parents of individuals who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Born to Rebel In 1944, more than a decade before Rosa Parks made her heroic stand on a Montgomery bus, Jackie Robinson, then an army lieutenant, was court-martialed for refusing to sit at the back of a bus. The driver “shouted that if I didn’t move to the rear of the bus he would cause me plenty of trouble,” Robinson recounted. “I told him hotly that I couldn’t care less about his causing me trouble.” He gave a similar account for his mad dash toward home plate in the World Series opener.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
affirmative action, cognitive bias, Columbine, Corrections Corporation of America, deindustrialization, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, friendly fire, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, land reform, large denomination, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
Since the days when abolitionists struggled to eradicate slavery, racial justice advocates have gone to great lengths to identify black people who defy racial stereotypes, and they have exercised considerable message discipline, telling only those stories of racial injustice that will evoke sympathy among whites. A prime example is the Rosa Parks story. Rosa Parks was not the first person to refuse to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Civil rights advocates considered and rejected two other black women as plaintiffs when planning a test case challenging segregation practices: Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith. Both of them were arrested for refusing to give up their seats on Montgomery’s segregated buses, just months before Rosa Parks refused to budge. Colvin was fifteen years old when she defied segregation laws. Her case attracted national attention, but civil rights advocates declined to use her as a plaintiff because she got pregnant by an older man shortly after her arrest.
Advocates worried that her “immoral” conduct would detract from or undermine their efforts to show that blacks were entitled to (and worthy of) equal treatment. Likewise, they decided not to use Mary Louise Smith as a plaintiff because her father was rumored to be an alcoholic. It was understood that, in any effort to challenge racial discrimination, the litigant—and even the litigant’s family—had to be above reproach and free from every negative trait that could be used as a justification for unequal treatment. Rosa Parks, in this regard, was a dream come true. She was, in the words of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson (another key figure in the Montgomery Bus Boycott), a “medium-sized, cultured mulatto woman; a civic and religious worker; quiet, unassuming, and pleasant in manner and appearance; dignified and reserved; of high morals and strong character.”7 No one doubted that Parks was the perfect symbol for the movement to integrate public transportation in Montgomery.
.; Bureau of Statistics; report in impact of bias in criminal justice system; and street crime Justice Policy Institute Karlan, Pamela Kennedy, Justice Anthony Kennedy, John F. Kerlikowske, Gil Kilty, Keith King, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther, Jr.; and affirmative action; call for complete restructuring of society; and civil rights lawyers/legal cases; on colorblindness and indifference; and human rights approach; and Poor People’s Movement; and Rosa Parks Klarman, Michael Kraska, Peter Ku Klux Klan Ku Klux Klan Acts Lambright, Nshombi Law & Order (television) law enforcement. See drug-law enforcement and racial discrimination; police/police departments and drug-law enforcement Lawrence, Charles Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Lee, William Levine, Harry liberal philosophy of race relations (Reconstruction era) Lincoln, Abraham Lockyer v.
Eastern USA by Lonely Planet
1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, jitney, license plate recognition, Mason jar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, young professional
Every fall the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn University Tigers continue one of college football’s greatest rivalries. ALABAMA FACTS »Nickname The Heart of Dixie »Population 4.7 million »Area 52,419 sq miles »Capital city Montgomery (population 224,119) »Other cities Birmingham (population 212,237) »Sales tax 4%, but up to 11% with local taxes »Birthplace of Author Helen Keller (1880–1968), civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913–2005), musician Hank Williams (1923–53) »Home of US Space & Rocket Center »Politics GOP stronghold – Alabama hasn’t voted democratic since 1976 »Famous for Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights movement »Bitterest rivalry University of Alabama vs Auburn University »Driving distances Montgomery to Birmingham 91 miles, Mobile to Dauphin Island 38 miles History Alabama was among the first states to secede in the Civil War. Montgomery was the first Confederate capital. Alabama lost around 25,000 soldiers in the war, and reconstruction came slowly and painfully.
Independence National Historic Park Known as America’s most historic square mile, highlights include the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the founding fathers signed the Constitution (Click here) Boston’s Freedom Trail Walk by Paul Revere’s former home, the graveyard where 18th-century patriots lie buried, and 14 other famous Revolutionary sites along the 2.5-mile path (Click here) Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village The adjacent museums hold history’s greatest hits: Rosa Parks’ bus, Lincoln’s assassination chair, the Wright Brothers’ airplane workshop and more (Click here) Washington, DC Visit the theater where John Wilkes Booth shot America’s favorite president, the steps of Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech and the infamous Watergate Hotel (Click here) Vicksburg It’s ground zero for Civil War buffs, with a 16-mile driving tour through the Mississippi area that General Grant besieged for 47 days (Click here) Nightlife When the sun goes down, the music cranks up across the region, from swanky urban clubs to beer-and-a-shot juke joints.
Follow the Great River Rd south from here through juke-jointed Clarksdale, the Civil War battlegrounds of Vicksburg and antebellum mansion-splashed Natchez. It’s not far now to New Orleans, where Katrina be damned, you can still hear live jazz, drink Sazerac cocktails, consult with a voodoo priestess or even ride a steamboat on the Mississippi River. Begin journeying back east for week three. Wheel along the Gulf Coast to the azalea-lined boulevards of Mobile (mo- beel), then inland to Montgomery, where museums honor civil rights pioneers like Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus. Fall under the spell of Savannah’s live oaks and Charleston’s pastel architecture and decadent food. Take your pick of Durham or Chapel Hill, side-by-side university towns offering groovy nightlife. Begin week four brushing up on your history in Virginia. Outside Richmond visit Jamestown, where Pocahontas helped the New World’s first English settlement survive.
Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, business climate, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global reserve currency, Howard Zinn, labour market flexibility, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage tax deduction, Paul Samuelson, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce
But just take a look at the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, for example—take, say, Rosa Parks [who triggered the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott protesting racial segregation]. I mean, the story about Rosa Parks is, this courageous black woman suddenly decided, “I’ve had enough, I’m not going to sit in the back of the bus.” Well, that’s sort of half true—but only half. Rosa Parks came out of a community, a well-organized community, which in fact had Communist Party roots if you trace it back, things like Highlander School [a Tennessee school for educating political organizers] and so on. 6 But it was a community of people who were working together and had decided on a plan for breaking through the system of segregation—Rosa Parks was just an agent of that plan. Okay, that’s all out of history. What’s in history is, one person had the courage to do something—which she did.
What’s in history is, one person had the courage to do something—which she did. But not on her own. Nobody does anything on their own. Rosa Parks came out of an organized community of committed people, people who’d been working together for change for a very long time. And that’s how it always works. The same was true of Martin Luther King: he was able to appear and give public speeches because S.N.C.C. workers and Freedom Riders and others had prepared the ground—and taken a brutal beating for it. And a lot of those people were pretty privileged kids, remember: they chose it, they didn’t have to do it. They’re the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King was important because he could stand up there and get the cameras, but these other people were the real Civil Rights Movement. I’m sure he would have said the same thing too, incidentally—or at least, he should have.
So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
4chan, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, Clive Stafford Smith, cognitive dissonance, Desert Island Discs, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, Menlo Park, PageRank, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, urban planning, WikiLeaks
‘The fact that she was a PR chief made it delicious,’ he emailed me. ‘It’s satisfying to be able to say, “OK, let’s make a racist tweet by a senior IAC employee count this time.” And it did. I’d do it again.’ Her destruction was justified, Sam Biddle was saying, because Justine was a racist, and because attacking her was punching up. They were cutting down a member of the media elite, continuing the civil rights tradition that started with Rosa Parks, the hitherto silenced underdogs shaming into submission the powerful racist. But I didn’t think any of those things was true. If punching Justine Sacco was ever punching up - and it didn’t seem so to me, given that she was an unknown PR woman with 170 Twitter followers - the punching only intensified as she plummeted to the ground. Punching Jonah Lehrer wasn’t punching up either - not when he was begging for forgiveness in front of that giant-screen Twitter feed.
But maybe in other ways feedback loops are leading to a world we only think we want. Maybe - as my friend the documentary maker Adam Curtis emailed me - they’re turning social media into ‘a giant echo chamber where what we believe is constantly reinforced by people who believe the same thing’. We express our opinion that Justine Sacco is a monster. We are instantly congratulated for this - for basically being Rosa Parks. We make the on-the-spot decision to carry on believing it. ‘The tech-utopians like the people in Wired present this as a new kind of democracy,’ Adam’s email continued. ‘It isn’t. It’s the opposite. It locks people off in the world they started with and prevents them from finding out anything different. They got trapped in the system of feedback reinforcement. The idea that there is another world of other people who have other ideas is marginalized in our lives.’
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks
For Dworkin, there is also a great signaling value to civil disobedience, as it can indicate that the law in question doesn’t correspond to common belief or morality—which is one reason why we should investigate whether our smart, digital environments make resistance easier or harder to practice. Would opponents of the Vietnam War have accumulated as much symbolic capital if the draft cards they burned—in violation of federal law—were made from fireproof material? Or take what is perhaps the most symbolic act of civil disobedience in the twentieth century: Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus with the other black riders. This courageous act was possible because the bus and the sociotechnological system in which it operated were terribly inefficient. The bus driver asked Parks to move only because he couldn’t anticipate how many people would need to be seated in the white-only section at the front; as the bus got full, the driver had to adjust the sections in real time, and Parks happened to be sitting in an area that suddenly became “white-only.”
The bus driver—if there still is one—can tap into a big-data computer portal that, much like predictive software for police, produces historical estimates of how many black people are likely to be riding that day and calculates the odds of racial tension based on the weather, what’s in the news, and the social-networking profiles of specific people at the bus stop. Those passengers most likely to cause tension on board are simply denied entry. Will this new transportation system be convenient? Sure. Will it give us a Rosa Parks? Probably not, because she would never have gotten to the front of the bus to begin with. The odds are that a perfectly efficient seat-distribution system—abetted by ubiquitous technology, sensors, and facial recognition—would have robbed us of one of the proudest moments in American history. Laws that are enforced by appealing to our moral or prudential registers leave just enough space for friction; friction breeds tension, tension creates conflict, and conflict produces change.
Sometimes a plutonium processing plant worker needs to contact a reporter to discuss her employer’s inadequate safety practices. And sometimes a black woman needs to sit down at the front of a bus and not get up. Without defectors, social change would be impossible; stagnation would set in,” notes Schneier. John Dewey would agree. However, neither mass disregard for the law (as with the Prohibition) nor civil disobedience (as with Rosa Parks) needs to be present for such change to occur. Sometimes it’s enough for a law to be broken. Sometimes being caught with marijuana in one’s pocket is better than being prevented from putting it there, simply because an arrest is likely to generate media attention and trigger a public debate about drug laws. Preemption, on the other hand, is usually a silent and invisible business. Moreover, as Daniel Rosenthal argues, courts cannot do anything about cases that do not appear before them, which means that preemption diminishes their role in reviewing bad and outdated laws.
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith
British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Drosophila, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Gary Taubes, Haber-Bosch Process, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, peak oil, placebo effect, Rosa Parks, the built environment
On the very fringe, there is a more extreme version which offers a semi-nomadic life of essentially mooching off the employed. To point out the obvious: power doesn’t care. Power doesn’t notice the existence of anarchist freegans and it certainly doesn’t care if they eat out of dumpsters. Power will only care when you build a strategic movement against it. Individual action will never be effective. To quote Andrea Dworkin, we need organized, political resistance.36 Rosa Parks on her own ended up in jail. Rosa Parks plus the courage, sacrifice, and political will of the whole Black community of Montgomery, Alabama ended segregation on the public transportation system. And what about breakfast? I’m going to assume that you know our planet is in trouble. Maybe you mostly turn from the depths of that knowledge, afraid of its 266 The Vegetarian Myth emotional acid. Or maybe you live with it like barbed wire tightening around your heart.
Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford
affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche
The media were full of jokes about the “RuBot,” a Twitter account called “Rubio Glitch” appeared (it repeats itself), and Rubio’s campaign was over not long after. A script can seem protective, like a bulletproof vest; sometimes it is more like a straitjacket. Improvising unleashes creativity, it feels fresh and honest and personal. Above all, it turns a monologue into a conversation. In December 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white man.35 As a local church leader and already an orator of some renown, Martin Luther King was asked to organize a boycott of Montgomery’s busses. He hesitated. He was exhausted; his newborn baby daughter, Yoki, wouldn’t stop crying in the night. He wanted time to think. But an influential local activist, E.
He had had no time to prepare, but he had found something more valuable: in Miles Davis’s phrase, “the freedom and space to hear things.” As he spoke, King listened to the crowd, feeling out their response, speaking in the moment. His early sentences were experiments, grasping for a theme, exploring how each sounded and how the crowd responded. Each phrase shaped the phrase that followed. His speech was not a solo; it was a duet with his audience. After a cautious opening, King talked of Rosa Parks, of her character and “the depth of her Christian commitment,” and of how “just because she refused to get up, she was arrested.” The crowd murmured their assent. And after a pause for breath, King changed direction. “There comes a time when people get tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression.” “Yes! Yes!” replied individuals in the crowd, and suddenly those individual voices turned into something more, a roar of approval, of shared anger, of joy, too, at the sense of community.
Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt
They’d watched the video record, had seen the troopers attack. That was enough. “Best for us,” he continued, “is to just hang around the church for a bit. Meet some of them. Feel what it’s like. And then get out of the way.” “I guess.” Dave looked uncomfortable. But why not? They were on the cusp of one of the pivotal moments in American history, but a price was going to be paid. “This is our chance to meet Rosa Parks,” said Shel. “And Hosea Williams.” They started walking. Uphill along the side of the road. Dave had his hands in his pockets. “You know,” he said, “we talked about going to the Colosseum to watch the gladiators. This is worse. These people don’t get to defend themselves.” Another car was approaching. One of those late-fi fties models with four headlights and a set of tailfins. They held out their thumbs, hoping for a ride.
They represented history’s judgment. “Like hell,” said Dave. “We’re just hanging out. Pretending to be part of this.” “Hey, why are you getting annoyed with me?” “I’m not a hero; I just play one on TV.” “C’mon, Dave, relax. At least we’re here.” They introduced themselves to Ralph Abernathy, and when he asked where they were from, Shel wanted to say, “The next millennium. When things will be better.” And there was Rosa Parks, talking to a group of young girls, barely teens. And Andrew Young. Surrounded by reporters, white and black. “They all seem upbeat,” said Shel. “It’s because they don’t know what’s waiting for them.” “You think it would change anything if they did?” “Don’t know. I can tell you it would stop me.” “Me, too,” said Shel. They wandered among the crowd for the better part of an hour, shaking hands and wishing everyone luck.
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
affirmative action, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Silver, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, working poor
Since this record was already digitized, they could download every word used by every Democratic congressperson in 2005 and every word used by every Republican congressperson in 2005. They could then see if certain phrases were significantly more likely to be used by Democrats or Republicans. Some were indeed. Here are a few examples in each category. PHRASES USED FAR MORE BY DEMOCRATS PHRASES USED FAR MORE BY REPUBLICANS Estate tax Death tax Privatize social security Reform social security Rosa Parks Saddam Hussein Workers rights Private property rights Poor people Government spending What explains these differences in language? Sometimes Democrats and Republicans use different phrasing to describe the same concept. In 2005, Republicans tried to cut the federal inheritance tax. They tended to describe it as a “death tax” (which sounds like an imposition upon the newly deceased).
Democrats described it as an “estate tax” (which sounds like a tax on the wealthy). Similarly, Republicans tried to move Social Security into individual retirement accounts. To Republicans, this was a “reform.” To Democrats, this was a more dangerous-sounding “privatization.” Sometimes differences in language are a question of emphasis. Republicans and Democrats presumably both have great respect for Rosa Parks, the civil rights hero. But Democrats talked about her more frequently. Likewise, Democrats and Republicans presumably both think that Saddam Hussein, the former leader of Iraq, was an evil dictator. But Republicans repeatedly mentioned him in their attempt to justify the Iraq War. Similarly, “workers’ rights” and concern for “poor people” are core principles of the Democratic Party. “Private property rights” and cutting “government spending” are core principles of Republicans.
The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff
3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, basic income, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, means of production, performance metric, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game
Philip Randolph and Walter Reuther into working-class heroes. Stories that challenge the status quo are not just about the economic logic of production, profits, and class struggle. The circuits of power in capitalist society are bolstered by systems of oppression and domination that extend beyond class to gender, race, and sexuality. The 1950s and 1960s were alive with stories about the anger of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King and Malcolm X at Jim Crow and racism. People commiserated with Betty Friedan’s frustration with the cult of femininity and listened to stories about Rachel Carson and her quest to curb pesticide use and later about the Oglala Lakota and their standoff with the FBI at Wounded Knee. Throughout the world, stories circulated of emancipation from imperialism, colonialism, and totalitarianism.
How the World Works by Noam Chomsky, Arthur Naiman, David Barsamian
affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, clean water, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, labour market flexibility, land reform, liberation theology, Monroe Doctrine, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, transfer pricing, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor
If people become aware of constructive alternatives, along with even the beginnings of mechanisms to realize those alternatives, positive change could have a lot of support. The current tendencies, many of which are pretty harmful, don’t seem to be all that substantial, and there’s nothing inevitable about them. That doesn’t mean constructive change will happen, but the opportunity for it is definitely there. Resistance Who knows where the next Rosa Parks [the African-American woman whose refusal to sit in the back of the bus ignited the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955] will sit down and spark a movement? Rosa Parks is a very courageous and honorable person, but she didn’t come out of nowhere. There had been an extensive background of education, organizing and struggle, and she was more or less chosen to do what she did. It’s that kind of background that we should be seeking to develop. Union membership in the US is very low, but it’s even lower in France.
affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional
These places had their roots in the brilliant ideas of urban entrepreneurs, but they evolved into places that thrived by keeping costs down through the economies of specialization and scale. The unusual era of the industrial city is over, at least in the West, and we are left with the problems of former manufacturing giants that have been unable to reinvent themselves in the new era. CHAPTER 2 Why Do Cities Decline? The corner of Elmhurst Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit feels as far from New York’s Fifth Avenue as urban space can get in America. Though this intersection lies in the heart of Detroit, much of the nearby land is empty. Grass now grows where apartment buildings and stores once stood. The Bible Community Baptist Church is the only building at the intersection; its boarded-up windows and nonworking phone number suggest that it doesn’t attract many worshippers.
African Americans were no longer willing to take abuse from white thugs, whether in or out of police uniform. In Detroit, a 93 percent white police force didn’t seem all that integrated in a city that was close to 50 percent black. While later mayors, like Rudy Giuliani, would reduce crime with rigorous policing, in the 1960s, it wasn’t obvious that aggressive enforcement could keep the peace. Less than a mile down Rosa Parks Boulevard from the Elmhurst Street corner, a dilapidated park occupies the corner at Clairmount Street. This is the site of an event from which Detroit has still not recovered almost half a century later. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, July 23, 1967, a club on that corner was hosting a party for some returning veterans, when Detroit’s police department staged a raid. The vice squad, which had a robust reputation for brutality toward the city’s blacks, took a while to cart off the eighty-five partygoers.
Albert Einstein, clean water, energy security, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, invisible hand, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, post-oil, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Rosa Parks, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Y2K
Conduct closed once-public immigration hearings, secretly detain hundreds of people without charges, and encourage bureaucrats to resist public records requests. Section 802(a)(5) of the Patriot Act defines "Domestic Terrorism" as "activities that — involve acts that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state and appear to be intended to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion." According to this definition, Rosa Parks would have been considered a terrorist for not giving up her seat on the bus. It’s not just the Patriot Act you need to read up on. Several other pieces of legislation promise to turn the US into a fascist-style police state: A. Model State Emergency Health Powers Act In November 2001, the Bush administration issued executive orders allowing for the use of special military courts and empowering Attorney General John Ashcroft to detain noncitizens indefinitely; the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA) has been introduced to the governors of all 50 states.
How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
affirmative action, carbon footprint, Columbine, dark matter, desegregation, drone strike, housing crisis, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, supply-chain management, the scientific method, transatlantic slave trade
If you’re serious about hating black people, prove it by delaying that hate for a few weeks. Racism is exhausting, and you could use a break. Take one! On March 1, you’ll return to peak form, fired up and ready to marginalize. 4. Know the Key People There have been lots of unsung heroes in the history of Africans in America, but they’re unsung for a reason. To appear knowledgeable, you need to know only a few: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, J.J. from Good Times, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama. When in doubt, see if there’s ever been a feature-length film about the person or a T-shirt sold using his or her image. If the answer to both of these questions is no, move on. 5.
The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips
3D printing, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar
This skill is important for anyone—manager, spouse, parent, entrepreneur—who may not be a political agitator but may feel “stirred up” to take a stand within a company, marriage, school district, or start-up. To challenge “the way we’ve always done things” and make room for something new. In an age of sexual prudishness, Helena Wright challenged women to think about sex as a pleasurable activity beyond reproduction. Writers Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne got us to think about the feasibility of space flight. Jane Austen called our ideas of marriage into question through her romantic fiction. Rosa Parks challenged norms around segregation by refusing to give up her seat on the bus. Coco Chanel pushed the boundaries of women’s fashion and never hesitated to speak her mind (“The most courageous act is to still think for yourself, aloud,” she once said). Artists and writers, protestors and social reformers, misfits all. But call them what they are: successful. Like all great entrepreneurs, misfit provocateurs make us believe in a different version of the truth because they have the audacity to imagine a different world.
citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, Google Earth, informal economy, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, Occupy movement, RAND corporation, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, WikiLeaks
In Egypt, plainclothes police officers beat Khaled Said in view of neighbors. These two men became symbols of mass movements, the detonators which touched the fiber of people and the hooks that motivated them to join, as the anti-FARC campaigner Oscar Morales wrote about in the AYM manual for cyberdissidents. Activists have long understood the power of symbols in galvanizing people to join a movement; think of what Rosa Parks meant to the civil rights movement, or Nelson Mandela to the anti-apartheid struggle. In the age of social media activism, the difference has been that an image and story can proliferate in the guise of a meme and travel across space at breakneck speed. In the breathtaking pace at which images and stories spread, there is little time for fact-checking, reflection, or bottom-up movement building.
American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carried interest, citizen journalism, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, full employment, greed is good, housing crisis, immigration reform, invisible hand, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, new economy, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, smart grid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Works Progress Administration
King left the meeting certain that the votes would never be found in Washington until he turned up the heat in the rest of the country. And that’s what he set out to do: produce the votes in Washington by getting the people to demand it. Two days later, the “Bloody Sunday” confrontation in Selma—in which marchers were met with tear gas and truncheons—captured the conscience of the nation. Five months after that, on August 6, LBJ signed the National Voting Rights Act into law, with King and Rosa Parks by his side.180 At that March meeting, LBJ didn’t think the conditions for change were there. So King went out and changed the conditions. Similarly, before the start of WWII, legendary labor leader A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, lobbied FDR to promote equal employment opportunities in the defense industry. Roosevelt was sympathetic but made no promises.181 Randolph responded by taking his cause to the American people, organizing a massive march on Washington.
3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, lifelogging, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator
These types of discriminatory behavior could prove challenging to break, particularly if they are largely invisible and in most cases users will never know how they have been categorized. Unlike the shared history that was drawn on to help bring about the civil rights or women’s lib movements, algorithmically generated consumer categories have no cultural background to draw upon. What would have happened in the case of Rosa Parks’s December 1955 protest—which garnered the support of the African-American community at large—had she not been discriminated against purely on the basis of her skin color, but on several thousand uniquely weighted variables based upon age, location, race and search term history? There is racism, ageism and sexism, but is there an “ism” for every possible means of demographic and psychographic exclusion?
Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg
agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game
In 1954 the Supreme Court desegregated public schools, and when the Arkansas Governor called out the National Guard to stop Little Rock Central High School from accepting nine black students, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to the high school to protect the students. But the major steps towards racial equality were taken by the African Americans’ own civil rights movement. On 1 December 1955, forty-two-year-old Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, which was the space the law had reserved for African Americans. She said that she was tired after a long day. The police took her to jail. A group of black community leaders protested by organizing a bus boycott. They chose the twenty-six-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. as their spokesman, a Baptist minister with a gift for oratory. He was ordered to pay a fine, for defying a state anti-boycott law.
For the Love of Money: A Memoir by Sam Polk
There were countless injustices out there—rampant poverty, a porn and sexual assault epidemic, swelling prison populations, an obesity crisis—and I wasn’t doing a thing about them. If I’d lived in the ’60s, I would not have been on those buses with the Freedom Riders. I would have been betting on which companies would benefit from the civil rights movement. I would have been long the stocks and bonds of taxi companies and hospitals during the Rosa Parks bus strike, and I would have been short the department stores that were being boycotted. My words would have been on the side of the civil rights activists, but my actions would have been on the side of enriching myself. I looked up at my colleagues and realized that I’d been lost in thought for the last several minutes, and no one had even noticed. We had a special musical guest that night.
Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, British Empire, corporate governance, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Occupy movement, Rosa Parks, urban planning, urban sprawl
They are meant to give you not only the tools but also, and more important, the con dence to approach life a di erent way and the understanding that the greatest changes, the ones that are most far-reaching and long-lasting, are never achieved by armies and tanks and cruise missiles or by well-paid consultants with their sharp suits and leather briefcases. Rather, lasting change comes from the tired woman who refuses to give up her seat on the bus, a canny camera store owner who nds his way to the city council, or a scrawny bald little Indian dude who goes hungry for his cause and wears simple clothes that he makes himself. These heroes—Rosa Parks, Harvey Milk, Gandhi, and others—are revered not because they are so special but because they are utterly ordinary. They did nothing that any of us can’t do. The only reason they’re enshrined in history is because, unlike so many of us, they had the courage to act up and the smarts to do it right. There is a false notion that only the elites in our societies matter and that all change, progress, or setbacks emanate magically from within their dark or greedy souls.
USA Travel Guide by Lonely, Planet
1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, edge city, El Camino Real, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, intermodal, jitney, license plate recognition, Mars Rover, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, Menlo Park, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, off grid, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, supervolcano, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, the payments system, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar
ALABAMA FACTS » Nickname The Heart of Dixie » Population 4.7 million » Area 52,419 sq miles » Capital city Montgomery (population 224,119) » Other cities Birmingham (population 212,237) » Sales tax 4%, but up to 11% with local taxes » Birthplace of Author Helen Keller (1880–1968), civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913–2005), musician Hank Williams (1923–53) » Home of US Space & Rocket Center » Politics GOP stronghold – Alabama hasn’t voted democratic since 1976 » Famous for Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights movement » Bitterest rivalry University of Alabama vs Auburn University » Driving distances Montgomery to Birmingham 91 miles, Mobile to Dauphin Island 38 miles History Alabama was among the first states to secede in the Civil War. Montgomery was the first Confederate capital.
Alabama lost around 25,000 soldiers in the war, and reconstruction came slowly and painfully. Racial segregation and Jim Crow laws survived into the mid-20th century, when the Civil Rights movement campaigned for desegregation of everything from public buses to private universities, a notion that Governor George Wallace opposed. In perhaps the most famous moment in civil rights history, an African American woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger and was arrested; the ensuing uproar began to turn the tide in favor of racial equality. Alabama saw brutal repression and hostility, but federal civil rights and voting laws eventually prevailed. At a political level, reform has seen the election of dozens of African American mayors and representatives. Information Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel ( 334-242-4169, 800-252-2262; www.alabama.travel) Sends out a vacation guide and has a website with extensive tourism options.
East of Huntsville, in Scottsboro, you’ll find the infamous Unclaimed Baggage Center ( 256-259-1525; www.unclaimedbaggage.com; 509 W Willow St; 9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm Sat) , which draws pilgrims from far and wide who peruse the now-for-sale belongings of unfortunate air travelers who have lost their baggage irrevocably down the dark annals of fate. Finders keepers. The area receives some acclaim for music history, and the cheesy-cool Alabama Music Hall of Fame (www.alamhof.org; 617 Hwy 72 W, Tuscumbia; adult/child $8/5; 9am-5pm Mon-Sat, 1-5pm Sun summer) immortalizes both Hank Williams and Lionel Richie. Montgomery In 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus, launching a bus boycott and galvanizing the Civil Rights movement nationwide. The city has commemorated that incident with a museum, which (along with an excellent Shakespeare program) is the main reason to visit. Although it’s Alabama’s capital city, Montgomery feels more like a sleepy little city with a dead downtown. To its credit, it both fine and folk arts well, with a terrific Shakespeare festival and a museum devoted to country-music legend Hank Williams.
After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine by Antony Loewenstein, Ahmed Moor
Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, drone strike, facts on the ground, ghettoisation, land reform, Naomi Klein, one-state solution, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, young professional
In the postcolonial world, life in the context of European settler-colonialism is similarly easy to remember. But the American experience carries no recognisable historical parallels to the Palestinian situation when it is framed as a quest for a state. The American revolutionary period is a distant memory that bears little resemblance to the twentieth-century occupation experience. That’s not true about the equal rights struggle, however. Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King are alive in the national spirit of the United States – and they are the best-fit for understanding what is really happening in Israel/Palestine. The question of how to arrive at equal rights in Israel/Palestine is an open one, with which many of us are currently engaged. It is an urgent question, and I suspect that the answer lies partly in the BDS movement. But a full discussion of how to get there and what the single state will look like is beyond the range of this essay.
Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky
Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor
From 1960 to 1967 or 1968, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) professed belief in nonviolence and in what we called ‘participatory democracy’. We believed that we are all leaders, and, although we did not use the term, our practice expressed horizontalism. We sought to influence each other by exemplary action rather than by ideological harangue. History, it seemed to us, might come about because Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of a bus, because four young men ‘sat in’ at a segregated lunch counter, or because David Mitchell refused to be drafted for a war in Vietnam that he considered a war crime. The Occupy movement exhibits these same characteristics to an astonishing degree. Who would have believed that this ‘structure of feeling’ could reappear after SNCC and SDS crashed and burned in the late Sixties?
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl Wudunn
agricultural Revolution, correlation does not imply causation, demographic dividend, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, illegal immigration, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, paper trading, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, special economic zone, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce
They are exceptional because they depend on research, materials, and knowledge that do not exist at the grassroots. CHAPTER FOURTEEN What You Can Do You must be the change you wish to see in the world. —MAHATMA GANDHI Americans knew for decades about the unfairness of segregation. But racial discrimination seemed a complex problem deeply rooted in the South’s history and culture, and most good-hearted people didn’t see what they could do about such injustices. Then along came Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. and the Freedom Riders, along with eye-opening books like John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me. Suddenly the injustices were impossible to look away from, at the same time that economic change was also undermining Jim Crow. One result was a broad civil rights movement that built coalitions, spotlighted the suffering, and tore away the blinders that allowed good people to acquiesce in racism.
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
affirmative action, availability heuristic, Barry Marshall: ulcers, correlation does not imply causation, desegregation, Menlo Park, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, telemarketer
The key element of a Challenge plot is that the obstacles seem daunting to the protagonist. Jared slimming down to 180 pounds is a Challenge plot. Jared’s 210-pound neighbor shaving an inch off his waistline is not. We’ve all got a huge mental inventory of Challenge plot stories. The American hockey team beating the heavily favored Russians in the 1980 Olympics. The Alamo. Horatio Alger tales. The American Revolution. Seabiscuit. The Star Wars movies. Lance Armstrong. Rosa Parks. Challenge plots are inspiring even when they’re much less dramatic and historical than these examples. The Rose Blumkin story doesn’t involve a famous character. Challenge plots are inspiring in a defined way. They inspire us by appealing to our perseverance and courage. They make us want to work harder, take on new challenges, overcome obstacles. Somehow, after you’ve heard about Rose Blumkin postponing her one-hundredth birthday party until an evening when her store was closed, it’s easier to clean out your garage.
Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise
(The investor later walked back that comment, saying it was a “poor choice of words.”) Start-ups seem to believe it is okay for them to bend rules. Some, like Uber and Airbnb, have built their businesses by defying regulations. Then again, if laws are stupid, why follow them? In the World According to Start-ups, when tech companies cut corners it is for the greater good. These start-up founders are not like Gordon Gekko or Bernie Madoff, driven by greed and avarice; they are Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., engaging in civil disobedience. There’s also a sense among start-ups that it’s okay for them to break the rules because they’re underdogs competing against huge opponents; they’re David, firing his slingshot at Goliath. Another argument is that the big guys break just as many rules as the little guys. Everybody cheats, and only suckers drive inside the lines. Presumably the venture capitalists in Silicon Valley know what will happen when they invest in young, inexperienced founders, and they simply don’t care.
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom by Mary Catherine Bateson
affirmative action, Berlin Wall, Celebration, Florida, desegregation, double helix, estate planning, feminist movement, invention of writing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce
Some of the best thinkers around came and spoke there, and it was also a sort of a base for the people in all of the agencies and community organizations who were working with the poorest people and involved in the sort of nitty-gritty revolutionary tenor of that time. So it was a very, very stimulating and exciting place.” Individual clergy and laypeople had been involved from the beginning of the civil rights movement, but institutional responses were slower. The Urban Training Center was created a decade after the Supreme Court declared school segregation unconstitutional in 1954. Rosa Parks had triggered the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 by refusing to accept bus segregation, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded in 1957, the same year that Little Rock public schools were desegregated under the eye of the National Guard. By 1960 the focus had shifted to voter registration and a push for legislative change, with the March on Washington in August 1963, when Dr.
Au Contraire: Figuring Out the French by Gilles Asselin, Ruth Mastron
Other modern heroes might be sports figures such as Michel Platini, a famous soccer player during the 1980s, and With the Self 49 Zinedine Zidane, who led the French World Cup team to victory in 1998. All these people have brought fame, honor, or glory to France and, from a French point of view, have made it more worthy of respect in the eyes of the world. Of course, Americans also admire similar heroes such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks, and others who improved the lives of millions through their personal efforts and struggles. In recent years, though, another type of American hero has emerged, possibly in connection with the adulation of celebrities: the individual who succeeds by surmounting some barrier to self-realization or by surviving personal challenges. People like Christopher Reeve or Captain Scott O’Grady, the American pilot who survived for six days in the woods after being downed in Bosnia in 1996, could hardly reach the high levels of popularity in France that they enjoy in the United States.
Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar
After Judge John Ferguson ruled that Plessy had to pay a fine for his presumption, the appeals that followed ended up in the US Supreme Court. When the Court handed down its decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, it upheld the constitutionality of “white” and “colored” sections, enshrining the concept of “separate but equal” facilities for whites and African Americans for the first half of the twentieth century. Five decades later, Rosa Parks refused to take a seat in the back of a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, igniting the yearlong boycott that was ended by another Supreme Court decision, this time desegregating the city’s buses and consequently public transit throughout the United States. Over and over again, access to public transportation and the promotion of social equality have been joined together at the hip. This isn’t just some vague Progressive liking for diversity for its own sake.
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky
autonomous vehicles, Bernie Madoff, biofilm, blood diamonds, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Brownian motion, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, desegregation, double helix, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fudge factor, George Santayana, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, long peace, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game
I sniped that it was ridiculous that many legislators needed pictures of the brain to believe that there was something desperately, organically wrong with veterans with PTSD. Similarly, neuroplasticity makes the functional malleability of the brain tangible, makes it “scientifically demonstrated” that brains change. That people change. In the time span considered in this chapter, people throughout the Arab world went from being voiceless to toppling tyrants; Rosa Parks went from victim to catalyst, Sadat and Begin from enemies to architects of peace, Mandela from prisoner to statesman. And you’d better bet that changes along the lines of those presented in this chapter occurred in the brains of anyone transformed by these transformations. A different world makes for a different worldview, which means a different brain. And the more tangible and real the neurobiology underlying such change seems, the easier it is to imagine that it can happen again.
Anyone who says that our worst behaviors are inevitable knows too little about primates, including us. One Person Somewhere between neurons, hormones, and genes on one hand and culture, ecological influences, and evolution on the other, sits the individual. And with more than seven billion of us, it’s easy to feel that no single individual can make much of a difference. But we know that’s not true. There’s the obligatory list of those who changed everything—Mandela, Gandhi, MLK, Rosa Parks, Lincoln, Aung San Suu Kyi. Yes, they often had scads of advisers. But they were the catalysts, the ones who paid with their freedom or their lives. And there are whistle-blowers who took great risks to trigger change—Daniel Ellsberg, Karen Silkwood, W. Mark Felt (Watergate’s Deep Throat), Samuel Provance (the U.S. soldier who revealed the abuses at Abu Ghraib Prison), Edward Snowden.* But there are also lesser-known people, acting alone or in small numbers, with extraordinary impact.
That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum
3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks
For all our ailments as a country today, our society and economy are still the most open in the world, where individuals with the spark of an idea, the gumption to protest, or the passion to succeed can still get up, walk out the door, and chase a rainbow, lead a crusade, start a school, or open a business. “Show me an obstacle and I will show you an opportunity” is still the motto of many, many Americans, be they business entrepreneurs or civic and charitable entrepreneurs. So Rosa Parks just got on that bus and took her seat; so new immigrants just went out and started 25 percent of the new companies in Silicon Valley in the last decade; so college dropouts named Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg just got up and created four of the biggest companies in the world. So, when all seemed lost in the Iraq war, the U.S. military carried out a surge, not a retreat, because, as one of the officers involved told Tom, “We were just too dumb to quit.”
Food Revolution, The: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins, Dean Ornish M. D.
Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, clean water, complexity theory, double helix, Exxon Valdez, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Rosa Parks, telemarketer
During her 738 days and nights in Luna, Julia endured relentless battering from El Nino storms, savage helicopter harassment, and repeated sieges by logging company "security guards"-all while living perched on a tiny and woefully unprotected platform eighteen stories off the ground. Vhhen Julia Butterfly Hill began her famous tree-sit, she was only twenty-three years old. She had no idea she would come to be called the Rosa Parks of the environmental movement. She never expected to be honored as one of Good Housekeeping's "Most Admired Women" and George magazine's "20 Most Interesting Women in Politics," to be featured in People magazine's "25 Most Intriguing People of the Year" issue, or to receive hundreds of letters weekly from young people around the world. She also did not know that she would be viciously condemned by the logging and meat industries.
All the Devils Are Here by Bethany McLean
Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, Black-Scholes formula, break the buck, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, interest rate swap, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Own Your Own Home, Ponzi scheme, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, race to the bottom, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, telemarketer, too big to fail, value at risk, zero-sum game
A few months later, it was Take Your Daughters to Work Day. Summers brought his two daughters, as one former Treasury executive recalls. Another employee said to them, in an obvious reference to the GSEs, “What would you tell your daddy to do if there are people who are doing a lot of harm, and Daddy could take them on, but they might do Daddy some harm, and nothing he does may do any good?” “Oh, is Daddy like Rosa Parks?” asked one of Summers’s daughters. Finally, on March 22, 2000, assistant Treasury secretary Gary Gensler testified in favor of Baker’s bill on behalf of the administration. Among other things, he said that the U.S. Treasury should consider cutting off the GSEs’ $2.5 billion lines of credit with the federal government. All hell broke loose. At the hearing, Gensler was berated by Fannie’s many defenders.
Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark Penn, E. Kinney Zalesne
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, big-box store, call centre, corporate governance, David Brooks, Donald Trump, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, haute couture, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, life extension, low skilled workers, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, the payments system, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white picket fence, women in the workforce, Y2K
But what did happen is that the passion of illegal immigrants touched a deep chord with legal immigrants, who sensed that the animus behind the Sensenbrenner legislation was directed at them, too. And it touched a deep chord with native-born Americans who are deeply tied to the illegals—like their children. (When I asked a Latino immigration expert how many American-born Latinos have parents who came here illegally, he said, “Practically everyone.”) Suddenly, in 2006, a significant group of Americans was insulted—some say as deeply as when Rosa Parks was asked to move to the back of the bus. And they have turned that indignation into a sense that they can and must influence the course of immigration policy, and beyond. The number of people feeling that way could be big enough to tip a presidential election. Let’s look at the figures. In the presidential election of 2004, just over 16 million Hispanics were eligible to vote, but only about 8 million did.
The Big Book of Words You Should Know: Over 3,000 Words Every Person Should Be Able to Use (And a Few That You Probably Shouldn't) by David Olsen, Michelle Bevilacqua, Justin Cord Hayes
My daughter became an amateur ENVIRONMENTALIST after her first nature hike. eon (EE-on), noun A very long, indefinite period of time; seemingly forever; a span of time beyond comprehension. (In the disciplines of geometry and astronomy, however, eons have specific durations.) After what felt like several EONS, the tow truck finally arrived and we were able to haul our car back to the campground. epic (EP-ik), adjective Of major proportions; extraordinary. Rosa Park’s refusal to go to the back of the bus would take on legendary status in the EPIC struggle for civil rights. epilepsy (EP-ih-lep-see), noun A condition characterized by seizures and tremblings resulting from abnormal rhythmic impulses in the brain. Researchers believe that many of the “demonic possessions” recounted in the Bible were actually instances of EPILEPSY. equidistant (ee-kwih-DIS-tunt), adjective Describes two objects, places, people, etc. that are exactly the same distance from one vantage point.
The black women from the Deep South, the immigrant women, and the college women considering careers outside the home had something in common: they recognized that the pursuit of opportunity required independence, and achieving that independence meant avoiding—or at least postponing—motherhood. In the 1950s, women were voting in roughly equal numbers to men for the first time in American history. The radical feminist movement of Margaret Sanger’s youth was gone, but other forms of rebellion were taking root. In the South, women like Rosa Parks, Septima Clark, and Ella Baker helped spark the civil rights movement. In factory towns and in cities, women became union activists. When they married or when they had children and wished not to have more, women turned to doctors, priests, and even newspaper columnists for advice, and they did so without the same degree of shame their mothers would have felt. “Contraception” wasn’t a bad word anymore.
The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community by David C. Korten
Albert Einstein, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, death of newspapers, declining real wages, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, God and Mammon, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, new economy, peak oil, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Project for a New American Century, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, source of truth, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, trade route, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, World Values Survey
Blatantly unfair sharecropper arrangements forced blacks into debts that became an instrument of bondage only one step removed from an outright return to slavery.4 Oppression and terror prevailed until the civil rights movement of the latter half of the twentieth century achieved an important, but still partial, cultural transformation in race relationships and backed it with legal sanctions against those who overtly denied African Americans their basic civil rights. Securing Civil Rights for People of Color The modern civil rights movement was born in Montgomery, Alabama, when Rosa Parks, a middle-aged African American seamstress and Struggle for Justice 203 longtime activist leader with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was arrested on December 1, 1955, for refusing to give up her seat to a white patron. The success of the subsequent bus boycott led by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. unleashed a sense of pride and possibility in black communities across the country, inspiring wave after wave of protest — and often deadly white reprisals.
Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett
Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism
‘Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is our original virtue’ wrote Oscar Wilde. ‘It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made.’ Radicalism is the source of new ideas, renewal and change. The list of outspoken radicals dismissed for being impractical or dangerous at the time, but whom modern society now extols, is extremely long: John Lilburne, John Stuart Mill, Rosa Parks, Thomas Paine, Emmeline Pankhurst, Harvey Milk, Martin Luther King, and on and on. Ought we be so sure we’ve got it all figured out? That our way of living is the best one, and that alternatives could never work? It often takes outsiders to suggest that another world is possible. Even if they are not completely right—no single idea ever is—they are often half right. And we only know which half if radical ideas are allowed to flourish.
On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World by Timothy Cresswell
British Empire, desegregation, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global village, illegal immigration, mass immigration, moral panic, Rosa Parks, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, urban planning
While speaking to members of the Bus Riders Union in Los Angeles (see chapter 6) it was frequently observed how transport planners sought to dissociate transit from race. The Bus Riders Union response was that they could not be so easily dissociated. In the United States the politics of race and the politics of mobility (particularly public transit provision) have moved side by side through the civil rights movement. Think of Jim Crow. Think of Rosa Parks. The population of New Orleans that was left behind were indeed the transit dependent, but they were overwhelmingly black. In the New Orleans metropolitan area, only 5 percent of non-Hispanic white people did not have access to an automobile. For the black population, the figure was 27 percent.6 The elderly and the very young were similarly transit dependent. Some of the worst scenes from RT52565_C010.indd 261 4/13/06 7:48:42 AM 262 • On the Move New Orleans were of elderly hospital patients abandoned as the waters rose.
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker
1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
These victories, even if partial, are moments we should acknowledge, savor, and seek to understand. CIVIL RIGHTS AND THE DECLINE OF LYNCHING AND RACIAL POGROMS When most people think of the American civil rights movement, they recall a twenty-year run of newsworthy events. It began in 1948, when Harry Truman ended segregation in the U.S. armed forces; accelerated through the 1950s, when the Supreme Court banned segregated schools, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, and Martin Luther King organized a boycott in response; climaxed in the early 1960s, when two hundred thousand people marched on Washington and heard King give perhaps the greatest speech in history; and culminated with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968. Yet these triumphs were presaged by quieter but no less important ones.
In another conscience-jarring incident, four black girls attending Sunday school were killed in 1963 when a bomb exploded at a Birmingham church that had recently been used for civil rights meetings. That same year the civil rights worker Medgar Evers was murdered by Klansmen, as were James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner the following year. Joining the violence by mobs and terrorists was violence by the government. The noble Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King were thrown into jail, and peaceful marchers were assaulted with fire hoses, dogs, whips, and clubs, all shown on national television. After 1965, opposition to civil rights was moribund, antiblack riots were a distant memory, and terrorism against blacks no longer received support from any significant community. In the 1990s there was a widely publicized report of a string of arson attacks on black churches in the South, but it turned out to be apocryphal.16 So for all the publicity that hate crimes have received, they have become a blessedly rare phenomenon in modern America.
The autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X; Alex Haley
Malcolm X, you've often gone on record as disapproving of the sit-ins and similar Negro protest actions-what is your opinion of the Montgomery boycott that Dr. King is leading?” Now my feeling was that although the civil rights “leaders” kept attacking us Muslims, still they were black people, still they were our own kind, and Iwould be most foolish to let the white man maneuver me against the civil rights movement. When I was asked about the Montgomery boycott, I'd carefully review what led up to it. Mrs. Rosa Parks was riding home on a bus and at some bus stop the white cracker bus driver ordered Mrs. Parks to get up and give her seat to some white passenger who had just got on the bus. I'd say, “Now, just _imagine_ that! This good, hard-working, Christian-believing black woman, she's paid her money, she's in her seat. Just because she's _black_, she's asked to get up! I mean, sometimes even for _me_ it's hard to believe the white man's arrogance!”
Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, clean water, Golden Gate Park, hacker house, jitney, Maui Hawaii, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, trade route, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism
The Narrows Dam in Colorado, Orme Dam in Arizona, the Garrison Project in North Dakota, O’Neill Dam in Nebraska, Auburn Dam, the North Coast dams—none of the projects whose construction seemed likely when I began writing this book exists. There has been no NAWAPA-scale apotheosis; it’s hardly mentioned anymore. The dam-building machine didn’t even coast down like a turbine going off-peak. It just suddenly fell apart. So many factors have played a role that it’s hard to judge which mattered most. You have to give some credit to Mark Dubois: Like Rosa Parks climbing defiantly aboard her segregated bus, he started something that couldn’t be quelled. Millions of people who had never seen the Stanislaus River found themselves feeling upset, if not infuriated, over its loss. Among environmentalists, “Remember the Stanislaus” is what “Stay the Course” was to the Reagan faithful. Meanwhile, river recreation—rafting, kayaking, fishing, just watching the river go—boomed all through the Eighties, in a way that hauling a sinister, gas-guzzling fighter jet of a motorboat to the local mudflat did not.
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
active measures, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, God and Mammon, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, jobless men, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration
Part of that memory was of words uttered, laws passed, decisions made, which turned out to be meaningless. For such a people, with such a memory, and such daily recapitulation of history, revolt was always minutes away, in a timing mechanism which no one had set, but which might go off with some unpredictable set of events. Those events came, at the end of 1955, in the capital city of Alabama—Montgomery. Three months after her arrest, Mrs. Rosa Parks, a forty-three-year-old seamstress, explained why she refused to obey the Montgomery law providing for segregation on city buses, why she decided to sit down in the “white” section of the bus: Well, in the first place, I had been working all day on the job. I was quite tired after spending a full day working. I handle and work on clothing that white people wear. That didn’t come in my mind but this is what I wanted to know: when and how would we ever determine our rights as human beings?
Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan by Lynne B. Sagalyn
affirmative action, airport security, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, estate planning, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, informal economy, intermodal, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, place-making, rent control, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, the High Line, time value of money, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional
Russell, “Who Owns Grief,” Architectural Review, July 2002, 120−123; Linenthal, The Unfinished Bombing, 181. 7 Smith, “Hallowed Ground Zero.” 8 Anita Contini author interview, April 11, 2012; Julia Levy, “Contini on Contini—Weighing Culture and Memory,” NYS, January 27, 2003; Robin Finn, “Public Lives: A Delicate Challenge for the ‘Voice of Organization,’ ” NYT, August 23, 2002. 9 Contini author interview. 10 The memorials visited included Tompkins Square Park memorial to the victims of the 1891 General Slocum steamboat disaster in the East River in which an estimated 1,021 people on board died; the Prison Ships Martyrs Monument in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park commemorating the more than 11,500 men and women held captive by the British during the country’s 1776 Revolution who died on ships anchored in the East River; and the Maine Monument at the entrance to Central Park in Manhattan, commemorating the 260 American sailors who died when their battleship exploded in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, in 1898. 11 Paul Goldberger, Up from Zero: Politics, Architecture, and the Rebuilding of New York (New York: Random House, 2004), 213–214. 12 The sites visited included Shanksville Flight 93 impact site and temporary memorial, the Pentagon outdoor and indoor memorials, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial (under construction), Korean War Memorial, National Law Enforcement Memorial, Japanese American Internment Memorial, John F. Kennedy Memorial, Pentagon Memorial and Grave Site, Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Oklahoma City National Memorial, Civil Rights Memorial, and Rosa Parks Museum. 13 LMDC, “Memorial Research Tour, October 1–5, 2002, Summary and General Observations,” n.d. [October 2002], PowerPoint slides available at renewnyc.com/The Plan/memorial.asp. 14 Goldberger, Up from Zero, 216. 15 The ten members of the Mission Statement Drafting Committee included Kathy Ashton, Lt. Frank Dwyer, Tom Eccles, Capt. Steve Geraghy, Meredith Kane, Michael Kuo, Julie Menin, Dr.