Why Only Us

Author: Robert C. Berwick
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262034241
Size: 12.28 MB
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Berwick and Chomsky draw on recent developments in linguistic theory to offer an evolutionary account of language and humans' remarkable, species-specific ability to acquire it.

Why Only Us

Author: Robert C. Berwick
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262333368
Size: 20.52 MB
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"A loosely connected collection of four essays that will fascinate anyone interested in the extraordinary phenomenon of language." -- New York Review of BooksWe are born crying, but those cries signal the first stirring of language. Within a year or so, infants master the sound system of their language; a few years after that, they are engaging in conversations. This remarkable, species-specific ability to acquire any human language -- "the language faculty" -- raises important biological questions about language, including how it has evolved. This book by two distinguished scholars -- a computer scientist and a linguist -- addresses the enduring question of the evolution of language. Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky explain that until recently the evolutionary question could not be properly posed, because we did not have a clear idea of how to define "language" and therefore what it was that had evolved. But since the Minimalist Program, developed by Chomsky and others, we know the key ingredients of language and can put together an account of the evolution of human language and what distinguishes us from all other animals.Berwick and Chomsky discuss the biolinguistic perspective on language, which views language as a particular object of the biological world; the computational efficiency of language as a system of thought and understanding; the tension between Darwin's idea of gradual change and our contemporary understanding about evolutionary change and language; and evidence from nonhuman animals, in particular vocal learning in songbirds.

Why Only Art Can Save Us

Author: Santiago Zabala
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231544962
Size: 17.12 MB
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The state of emergency, thinkers such as Carl Schmidt, Walter Benjamin, and Giorgio Agamben have argued, is at the heart of any theory of politics. But today the problem is not the crises we do confront, which are often how governments legitimize themselves, but the ones that political realism stops us from recognizing as emergencies, from widespread surveillance to climate change to the systemic shocks of neoliberalism. We need a way of disrupting the existing order that can energize radical democratic action rather than reinforcing the status quo. In this provocative book, Santiago Zabala declares that in an age where the greatest emergency is the absence of emergency, only contemporary art's capacity to alter reality can save us. Why Only Art Can Save Us advances a new aesthetics centered on the nature of the emergency that characterizes the twenty-first century. Zabala draws on Martin Heidegger's distinction between works of art that rescue us from emergency and those that are rescuers into emergency. The former are a means of cultural politics, conservers of the status quo that conceal emergencies; the latter are disruptive events that thrust us into emergencies. Building on Arthur Danto, Jacques Rancière, and Gianni Vattimo, who made aesthetics more responsive to contemporary art, Zabala argues that works of art are not simply for an elevated consumerism or the contemplation of beauty but are points of departure to change the world. Radical artists create works that disclose and demand active intervention into ongoing crises. Interpreting works of art that aim to propel us into absent emergencies, Zabala shows how art's ability to create new realities is fundamental to the politics of radical democracy in the state of emergency that is the present.

Only One Thing Can Save Us

Author: Thomas Geoghegan
Publisher: New Press, The
ISBN: 9781595588654
Size: 20.17 MB
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Is labor’s day over or is labor the only real answer for our time? In this new book, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan argues that even as organized labor seems to be crumbling, a revived—but different—labor movement is now more relevant than ever in our increasingly unequal society. The inequality reshaping the country goes beyond money and income: the workplace is more authoritarian than ever, and we have even less of a say over our conditions at work. He tells us stories, sometimes humorous but more often chilling, about problems working people like his own clients—cabdrivers, cashiers, even Chicago public school teachers—now face in our largely union-free economy. He then explains why a new kind of labor movement (and not just more higher education) will be crucial for saving what is left of the middle class; pushing Keynes’s original, sometimes forgotten ideas for getting the rich to invest and reduce our balance of trade; and promoting John Dewey’s "democratic way of life"—one that would start in the schools and continue in our places of work. A "public policy" book that is compulsively readable, Only One Thing Can Save Us is vintage Geoghegan, blending acerbic and witty commentary with unparalleled insight into the real dynamics (and human experience) of working in America today.

Unmistakable

Author: Srinivas Rao
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101981726
Size: 12.18 MB
Format: PDF
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Stop trying to beat everyone else. True success is playing by your own rules, creating work that no one can replicate. Don’t be the best, be the only. You’re on the conventional path, checking off accomplishments. You might be doing okay by normal standards, but you still feel restless, bored, and limited. Srinivas Rao gets it. As a new business school graduate, Srinivas’s dreams were crushed by a soulless job that demanded only conformity. Sick of struggling to keep his head above water, Srinivas quit his job and took to the waves, pursuing his dream of learning to surf. He also found the freedom to chart his own course. Interviewing more than five hundred creative people on his Unmistakable Creative podcast was the ultimate education. He heard how guests including Seth Godin, Elle Luna, Tim Ferriss, Simon Sinek, and Danielle LaPorte blazed their own trails. Srinivas blends his own story with theirs to tell you: You can find that courage too. Don’t be just one among many—be the only. Be unmistakable. Trying to be the best will chain you to others’ definition of success. Unmistakable work, on the other hand, could only have been created by one person, so competition is irrelevant. Like Banksy’s art or Tim Burton’s films, unmistakable work needs no signature and has no precedent. Whether you’re a business owner, an artist, or just someone who wants to leave your mark on the world, Unmistakable will inspire you to create your own path and define your own success. From the Hardcover edition.

Affluence Without Abundance

Author: James Suzman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781632865748
Size: 17.64 MB
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A vibrant portrait of the "original affluent society†?--the Bushmen of southern Africa--by the anthropologist who has spent much of the last twenty-five years documenting their encounter with modernity. If the success of a civilization is measured by its endurance over time, then the Bushmen of the Kalahari are by far the most successful in human history. A hunting and gathering people who made a good living by working only as much as needed to exist in harmony with their hostile desert environment, the Bushmen have lived in southern Africa since the evolution of our species nearly two hundred thousand years ago. In Affluence Without Abundance, anthropologist James Suzman vividly brings to life a proud and private people, introducing unforgettable members of their tribe, and telling the story of the collision between the modern global economy and the oldest hunting and gathering society on earth. In rendering an intimate picture of a people coping with radical change, it asks profound questions about how we now think about matters such as work, wealth, equality, contentment, and even time. Not since Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's The Harmless People in 1959 has anyone provided a more intimate or insightful account of the Bushmen or of what we might learn about ourselves from our shared history as hunter-gatherers.

The Israel Lobby And Us Foreign Policy

Author: John J Mearsheimer
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141920665
Size: 12.25 MB
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Does America’s pro-Israel lobby wield inappropriate control over US foreign policy? This book has created a storm of controversy by bringing out into the open America’s relationship with the Israel lobby: a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape foreign policy in a way that is profoundly damaging both to the United States and Israel itself. Israel is an important, valued American ally, yet Mearsheimer and Walt show that, by encouraging unconditional US financial and diplomatic support for Israel and promoting the use of its power to remake the Middle East, the lobby has jeopardized America’s and Israel’s long-term security and put other countries – including Britain – at risk.