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Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman, Jeff Riggenbach Ph.
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, global village, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the printing press, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the medium is the message
Whatever dangers there may be in a word that is written, such a word is a hundred times more dangerous when stamped by a press. And the problem posed by typography was recognized early; for example, by Henry VIII, whose Star Chamber was authorized to deal with wayward books. It continued to be recognized by Elizabeth I, the Stuarts, and many other post-Gutenberg monarchs, including Pope Paul IV, in whose reign the first Index Librorum Prohibitorum was drawn. To paraphrase David Riesman only slightly, in a world of printing, information is the gunpowder of the mind; hence come the censors in their austere robes to dampen the explosion. Thus, Orwell envisioned that (1) government control over (2) printed matter posed a serious threat for Western democracies. He was wrong on both counts. (He was, of course, right on both counts insofar as Russia, China and other pre-electronic cultures are concerned.)
Scott Ford, Gerald Ford, Henry Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (Mander) Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, James Frelinghuysen, Theodore Freud, Sigmund Frye, Nonhrop Galileo Gerbner, George German Ideology, The (Marx) Goodrich, Samuel Goody, Jack Graham, Billy Great Awakening Greece, Classical; book censorship in; rhetoric in Greeley, Horace Guardian (Steele) “Gunsmoke” (TV show) Hamilton, Alexander Harris, Benjamin Harvard University Havelock, Eric Hawthorne, Nathaniel Hemingway, Ernest Henry VIII, King of England Herschel, John F. W. Heyman, John History and Development of Advertising, The (Presbrey) Hoffman, David Hofstadter, Richard Holbrook, Josiah Homer (Pope) Horn, Steve Huxley, Aldous ; Brave New World illuminated manuscripts Image, The (Boorstin) Index Librorum Prohibitorum Iranian hostage crisis Jackson, Jesse Japan Javits, Jacob Jay, John Jaynes, Julian Jefferson, Thomas Jews Johnston, J. R W. Kennedy, Edward Kennedy, John F. Kent, James Kissinger, Henry Koch, Edward “Kojak” (TV show) Koppel, Ted Las Vegas “Laugh-In” (TV show) lecture hallsh-century legal system; 18- and 19th-century ; televised leisure, changing role of librariesh-century Life Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln-Douglas debates Lindsay, John Lippmann, Walter literacy rates: Colonial; 19th-century “The Little House on the Prairie” (TV show) Locke, John; Essay Concerning Human Understanding Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth Look Lowell, James Russell Luther, Martin Lyceum Movement McCarthy, Joseph McGinnis, Joe, The Selling of the President McGovem, George McGuffy Reader McLuhan, Marshall McNamara, Robert MacNeil, Robert “MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour” (TV show) Madison, James Magnetic Telegraph Company Mander, Jerry, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television Markham, Edwin Marshall,.
Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogs, 1548-1929 by Markus Krajewski, Peter Krapp
business process, continuation of politics by other means, double entry bookkeeping, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, index card, Index librorum prohibitorum, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jacques de Vaucanson, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, means of production, new economy, paper trading, Turing machine
Any volumes that turn out to be duplicates or rejects are assigned to provincial universities.63 The second tactic consists of trying to remedy the problem at the root—by setting up a quality ﬁlter to prevent the publication of “pointless brochures.”64 Counter to Maria Theresa’s order of 1750 (to overcome the 38 Chapter 3 shortage of books by reprinting), Gottfried van Swieten feels impelled to take measures against a ﬂood of academic publications that is more or less the direct result of his own educational reforms.65 By April 1784, authors must deposit a sum of money that is refunded only if the court agrees to the printing; otherwise, the amount is withheld and turned over to welfare.66 Censorship is effective not only in the struggle against the Jesuits, but also in regulating the book ﬂood.67 As a third tactic, Gerhard van Swieten keeps adding to the Roman Catholic Index Librorum Prohibitorum, ﬁrst published in 1559, appending to the Austrian secular version his brief judgments on numerous additions.68 While Gerhard van Swieten concentrated on scholarly texts, his son Gottfried shifts horizons: “Seen from the most innocent standpoint, Cabalistics and magic are the fruits of a weak and unwholesome mind and must be relegated to the realm of insanity.”69 Furthermore, he protects the court library against theological and legal writings; a signiﬁcant portion is turned over to the military for use in manufacturing ammunition.70 The most important mechanism available to the librarian for countering the press of new knowledge via librarianship is indeed the catalog itself, which cannot avoid registering the additions, taking the full brunt of the ﬂood.
Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West
Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, British Empire, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, continuous integration, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Guggenheim Bilbao, housing crisis, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of agriculture, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Marchetti’s constant, Masdar, megacity, Murano, Venice glass, Murray Gell-Mann, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, working poor
By continuing to insist on a heliocentric view derived from his observations, Galileo was to end up paying a heavy price. At the age of sixty-nine and in poor health, he was brought before the Inquisition and found guilty of heresy. He was forced to recant and after a brief imprisonment spent the rest of his life under house arrest (nine more years during which he went blind). His books were banned and put on the Vatican’s infamous Index Librorum Prohibitorum. It wasn’t until 1835, more than two hundred years later, that his works were finally dropped from the Index, and until 1992—almost four hundred years later—and for Pope John Paul II to publicly express regret for how Galileo had been treated. It is sobering to realize that words written long ago in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, based on opinion, intuition, and prejudice, can so overwhelmingly outweigh scientific observational evidence and the logic and language of mathematics.
Statistical Self-Similarity and Fractional Dimension” (Mandelbrot), 139 hubs, 297–98, 319–20 hull shape, 71 Human Behavior and the Principle of Least Effort (Zipf), 310 hunter-gatherers, 187, 213, 282, 283, 287, 386, 401 Hutton, Will, 263 Huxley, Aldous, 98 Huxley, Julian, 97, 98, 164 Huxley, Thomas, 98 hydrodynamics, 71, 131–32 hypoxia, 160 If Mayors Ruled the World (Barber), 262 impedance matching, 122–23, 128–29, 155, 158 increasing returns to scale, 18, 19, 275–76, 378 indeterminate growth, 165–66 Index Librorum Prohibitorum, 38 India, 10, 231, 280 growth curve, 375 individual performance and deviations from scaling, 50–51 industrial city, rise of, 222–26 Industrial Revolution, 9, 184, 185, 191, 209, 211, 214, 215, 216, 223–26, 229–30, 236–37, 328–29, 416 inequality, 286–87 infant mortality, 185–86 Information Society as a Complex System (ISCOM), 250–51, 385 infrastructural networks, 113, 321, 327, 374 infrastructure.
God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican by Gerald Posner
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, credit crunch, dividend-yielding stocks, European colonialism, forensic accounting, God and Mammon, Index librorum prohibitorum, liberation theology, medical malpractice, Murano, Venice glass, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War
That would help priests monitor any youngster who might be entertaining modern thoughts.18 Beyond ferreting out suspected sympathizers, the crackdown expanded to net scholars whose work the simple Pius viewed with suspicion. Encouraged by the Pope, the church moved more aggressively than ever to ban books it considered dangerous. The works of acclaimed modernist scholars such as Ernesto Buonaiuti and Alfred Loisy were transferred to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books). Writers who refused to be silenced, like George Tyrell, were excommunicated.I And the Pope stacked the Vatican’s Biblical Commission with regressive prelates who recommended the suspension of the entire theological faculties at leading Swiss and French institutes and universities.20 A Pope with such a backward view of the world did little to modernize how the Vatican’s financial advisors operated.21 He relied on Pacelli, who told him that the church was solvent although money was tight.
Pacelli’s entrenched foes, jealous of his friendship with the Pope and covetous of his power, began a whisper campaign attacking his character. Leading cardinals who had been his friends did nothing to help him. After twenty years as the chief lay advisor to two Pontiffs, Pacelli was finally without influence. His fall was so great that when Pius was on his deathbed in a couple of years, a Papal chamberlain turned him away. * * * I. The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was active from 1559 until Pope Paul VI eliminated it in 1966. Catholics could be excommunicated for owning or reading the banned books. The Koran and Talmud were prohibited. More than 3,000 authors and 5,200 books were banned over the centuries. The writers ranged from ancient ones such as Aristotle and Plato to philosophers such as Voltaire and Kant to novelists such as Hugo and Balzac.
See generally Chadwick, A History of the Popes, 355–59; see also Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope, 39–40. 18 Historian John Cornwell theorized that the decree from Pius to lower the confessional age to seven inadvertently “prompted sex complexes” and that pedophile clerics used it to target their victims. John Cornwell, The Dark Box: A Secret History of Confession (New York: Basic Books, 2014). 19 M. De Bujanda and Marcella Richter, ed., Index librorum prohibitorum: 1600–1966, Vol. XI (Geneva: Librairie Droz, 2002). 20 Chadwick, A History of the Popes, 356. 21 In a 1907 decree, Pius branded the burgeoning “modernist movement”—represented in part by the works of Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Friedrich Nietzsche—as heresy. Intellectuals universally castigated Pius’s thinking as a giant backward step for the church. 22 Archivo Segreto Vaticano, SdS, Spoglio di Pio X, fasc. 1, letter of April 2, 1905; fasc. 10, three receipts for a total of 500,000 lire, dated August 14, 1907, and September 28, 1914; see Pollard, Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy. 23 Riccards, Vicars of Christ, 67. 24 Pius concentrated on Catholics in Poland, then under Russian control.
Big Bang by Simon Singh
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, V2 rocket, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam
However, among the ten cardinals presiding over the trial, there was a sympathetic rationalist faction led by Francesco Barberini, the nephew of Pope Urban VIII. For two weeks, the evidence mounted against Galileo and there were even threats of torture, but Barberini continually called for leniency and tolerance. To some extent he was successful. After being found guilty, Galileo was neither executed nor thrown into a dungeon, but sentenced instead to indefinite house arrest, and the Dialogue was added to the list of banned books, the Index librorum prohibitorum. Barberini was one of three judges who did not sign the sentence. Galileo’s trial and subsequent punishment was one of the darkest episodes in the history of science, a triumph for irrationality over logic. At the end of the trial, Galileo was forced to recant, to deny the truth of his argument. However, he did manage to salvage some small pride in the name of science. After sentencing, as he rose from his knees, he reputedly muttered the words ‘Eppur si muove!’
Nobody's Perfect: Writings From the New Yorker by Anthony Lane
a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, colonial rule, dark matter, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, Index librorum prohibitorum, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, moral hazard, Norman Mailer, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, The Great Good Place, trade route, University of East Anglia, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, urban planning
But Gide, who began by crediting a parade of Soviet youth with “perfect taste,” quickly saw behind the showpieces, and on his return he wrote Back from the U.S.S.R. Reading it today, you will find it mild and compromised. But to French communists, who brought to their totalitarian faith the kind of exclusive rigor that was formerly the preserve of French Catholicism, it was blasphemy. Gide’s collected works were banned in the Soviet Union, and one year after his death they were placed by the Vatican on the Index librorum prohibitorum. This is a fine double whammy: any author who is deemed wrong by so many people must be doing something right. What Gide did right was perhaps not as simple as the version that he offered to the world on receiving the Nobel Prize. “If I have represented anything,” he wrote, “it is, I believe, the spirit of free inquiry, independence, insubordination even.” He was a rebel with innumerable causes, it is true, but his protests, like his more unseemly political affiliations, have faded from our hearing, leaving behind a calmer but still frighteningly acute tutorial in self-inspection.