Assume for a moment that some of these measures really have helped make our persons and property safer—are they worth it? Where and when was the public debate on whether they’re worth it? Was there no such debate because we’re not capable of having or demanding one? Why not? Have we actually become so selfish and scared that we don’t even want to consider whether some things trump safety? What kind of future does that augur?
At Neumann University’s Mirenda Center last night, some 25 miles southwest of Philadelphia, the board of the Catholic Philopatrian Literary Institute met for its monthly session. The Philopatrian is a fascinating institution—a 163 year old private club for civic philanthropy and social fraternity. At one time, “literary societies” were prevalent. Today, the Philo is the last man standing.
I was there to present the Philo’s refreshed web and communications presence, and represent the junior membership, which is all members under 30 years of age. Our new digital infrastructure streamlines member services, correspondence, and payments, which is already making us more agile.
The Philopatrian’s clubhouse, The Stotesbury Mansion, is a fascinating place full of character. It’s really the last Rittenhouse Square mansion to have survived into the present largely unaltered from the days when the Jay Gatsbys of the world were flesh and blood characters. A result of this unique heritage is that it’s a favorite spot for weddings and catered events even outside of the Philo’s membership. Our relationship with Feastivities Catering makes this possible.
The Philopatrian is a special little treasure in the heart of Philadelphia, having come down through time as a gift for the present. It’s been passed along from generation to generation, and for now, it’s ours.
I also became a “Life Membership” of the Philopatrian last night. Our era is marked by the ephemeral and transitory, and in our cities especially it can often feel like our fingerprints vanish as we pass—that nothing lingers. Places like the Philopatrian suggest we can have both. They suggest that we can enjoy the benefits of our superconnected civilization while still having places that won’t simply be covered over in steel and glass when the property value is right. For people of faith, churches tend to be the obvious symbols of permanence. But I think we need a civic sense of permanence too, and that’s why I became a Philo life member.
I want Philadelphia to be more than simply another point on the map, and places like the Philo safeguard a distinct heritage for the city.
Philadelphia? It’s a fine city. (at Avenue Of The Arts)
You have to exercise,” he said, for instance. “Or at some point you’ll just break down.” You also need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions. It’s why shopping is so exhausting. “You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.” The self-discipline he believes is required to do the job well comes at a high price. “You can’t wander around,” he said. “It’s much harder to be surprised. You don’t have those moments of serendipity. You don’t bump into a friend in a restaurant you haven’t seen in years. The loss of anonymity and the loss of surprise is an unnatural state. You adapt to it, but you don’t get used to it—at least I don’t.
By 2017, half of all employers will require workers to supply their own devices for work purposes. Also, Gartner says, enterprises that offer only corporately-owned smartphones or stipends to buy your own will soon become the exception to the rule. As enterprise BYOD programs proliferate, 38% of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016 and let them use their own, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.’s Executive Programs.
“It feels like I’ve re-programmed myself to become discontent with whatever I’m doing faster. So I’m trying to work against this by checking emails less often, etc etc. It’s a little scary, actually, to observe oneself getting more and more skittish, attention-wise…through some…
I read this during one of my study breaks from outlining, had a moment of clarity that I Am Not Being The Change I Wish To See In My World and In My GPA, and then got scared out of scrolling around the internet anymore. Back to Evidence! You should close the tab with my blog in it and get back to what you were supposed to be doing too! Say hello to your loved ones or do some dishes!
Your tax-free days of online shopping are numbered. If S743, also known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, becomes law, the millions of Americans who have been able to avoid sales tax online will have to start paying it. Given the broad support shown by today’s US Senate vote, some version of it is likely to come to fruition.
The bill will compel companies having annual online sales of more than $1 million to collect sales tax on those purchases. Interstate sales have long been exempted from sales tax, but brick-and-mortar businesses have just as long complained about the edge that online businesses have since they avoid collecting taxes. A key opponent of online taxation, retail giant Amazon, recently switched sides after losing some key legal and political battles over taxation. Amazon already collects taxes on sales in nine states, including California, New York, and Texas.
» via ars technica
Ebooks accounted for 22.55 percent, or nearly a quarter, of U.S. book publishers’ sales in 2012, according to a full-year report released by the Association of American Publishers Thursday. That’s up from 17 percent of sales in 2011 and 3 percent in 2009. Ebook growth continued to plateau, however, suggesting that the industry is maturing.
As we move into an era in which personal devices are seen as proxies for public needs, we run the risk that already existing inequities will be further entrenched. Thus, with every big data set, we need to ask which people are excluded. Which places are less visible? What happens if you live in the shadow of big data sets?
Springtime with a Carlsberg at Hotel State College. (at Allen Street Grill)