Samir’s Selection 02/24/2015 (p.m.)
Straight Talk for White Men | Nicholas Kristoff >>>
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, a Duke University sociologist, aptly calls the present situation “racism without racists”; it could equally be called “misogyny without misogynists.” Of course, there are die-hard racists and misogynists out there, but the bigger problem seems to be well-meaning people who believe in equal rights yet make decisions that inadvertently transmit both racism and sexism.
Knowledge Isn’t Power | Paul Krugman >>>
“[…] soaring inequality isn’t about education; it’s about power…what I keep seeing is people insisting that educational failings are at the root of still-weak job creation, stagnating wages and rising inequality. This sounds serious and thoughtful. But it’s actually a view very much at odds with the evidence, not to mention a way to hide from the real, unavoidably partisan debate… For one thing, is the pace of technological change really that fast?… Furthermore, there’s no evidence that a skills gap is holding back employment. After all, if businesses were desperate for workers with certain skills, they would presumably be offering premium wages to attract such workers. So where are these fortunate professions?… the notion that highly skilled workers are generally in demand is just false….Finally, while the education/inequality story may once have seemed plausible, it hasn’t tracked reality for a long time… the inflation-adjusted earnings of highly educated Americans have gone nowhere since the late 1990s…So what is really going on? Corporate profits have soared as a share of national income, but there is no sign of a rise in the rate of return on investment. How is that possible? Well, it’s what you would expect if rising profits reflect monopoly power rather than returns to capital. As for wages and salaries, never mind college degrees — all the big gains are going to a tiny group of individuals holding strategic positions in corporate suites or astride the crossroads of finance. Rising inequality isn’t about who has the knowledge; it’s about who has the power… “
The Tangled Roots of English >>>
“From the reconstructed vocabulary, the speakers of proto-Indo-European seem to have been pastoralists, familiar with sheep and wheeled vehicles. Archaeologists find that wheeled vehicles emerged around 4000 B.C., suggesting the proto-Indo-European speakers began to flourish some 6,500 years ago on the steppe grasslands above the Black and Caspian Seas. This steppe theory, favored by many linguists, holds that the proto-Indo-European speakers then spread their language to Europe, India and western China, whether by conquest or the appeal of their pastoral economy.
This theory was challenged by Colin Renfrew, a Cambridge archaeologist who proposed in 1987 that the languages had been spread by the Neolithic farmers who brought agriculture to Europe. Under this scenario, the homeland of proto-Indo-European was in Anatolia, now Turkey, and its speakers started migrating some 8,000 to 9,500 years ago.”
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.