It’s estimated that Romeo Santos sang to more than 100 thousand people in first four concerts – Dominican Today

The tour began in San Cristobal. (External source).

SANTO DOMINGO.- The Telemicro Group reported on Monday that more than one hundred thousand people gathered at the feet of El Rey de la Bachata, Romeo Santos, last weekend, when the star of the music put to vibrate to San Juan de la Maguana, Barahona, Azua and San Cristbal with the musical download of Utopia: La Gira del Pueblo, an art show that will reach 15 provinces of the country thanks to the owner of the medium, Juan Ramn Gmez Daz.

A show with an impressive stage, never seen in the towns of the interior, an artist delivered to his audience and enjoyed with the audience every moment and every song.During the surprise factor presentations, he was the protagonist of the show that the bachatero offered for two hours, last Sunday, in the province of San Juan de la Maguana, at the Hermanos Surez baseball stadium.

This time the segment of special guests was attended by Alexandra Cabrera, who, despite arriving on stage without Ramn Rijo, known as Monchy, seduced the public by performing Light Years with Santos.

The empathy between Alexandra and The Boy of Poetry became visible immediately, the public confirmed it with their excitement. The former member of the missing duo Monchy and Alexandra came to sing for the second time, but, this time, to the rhythm of Obsession, a vintage theme that Adventure placed on the cusp of popularity, in full premiere, about ten years ago.

As if by magic, Santos reviewed one by one the 20 songs he would play in San Juan de la Maguana.Buried Love and The Demand were just some of the new pieces that intermingled subtly with Amigo or Take Me With You, classic tunes that allowed the public to embrace the first two record productions Santos released solo.

Saint John is one of you, I am prepared for anything.As shown, ask me for a song in a cappella that I dont even remember, the artist asked the public who later heard him interpreting versions of successful songs such as Sometimes I want to cry, Just for a kiss, or Teach me to forget.

To conclude the show, the people from San Juan enjoyed a final presentation of luxury, thanks to the interpretation of The Kiss I Didnt Give from the duo, together with the bachatero Kiko Rodrguez.

During the four presentations Romeo has been singing with Kiko Rodrguez and with Natti Natasha in the first three installments.Theodore Reyes joined in San Cristbal;in Azua Luis Miguel del Amargue came as a surprise, in Barahona the attraction was Frank Reyes and in San Juan de la Maguana Alexandra Cabrera.

The Tour of the people continues this weekend from this Thursday, November 21.

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It's estimated that Romeo Santos sang to more than 100 thousand people in first four concerts - Dominican Today

Resilience in the workplace can help retain employees – Quartz

Patricia Acensi-Ferr learned that she had breast cancer on Valentines Day.

It was 2013, and she was a 35-year old new mom caring for a baby at the tail end of her maternity leave. Her situation was serious. But she decided to fight it with humor: She named her tumor Roberto and, when her hair started falling out, she named one of her wigs Ginger. She survived a 15-month-long treatment that grew to involve surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Today, she is cancer-free.

With the date of her return set for March 2014, though, Acensi-Ferr received another blow: While she was away, her job had been eliminated. Before her cancer, she had worked for about 15 years in the French government. In accordance with French law, Acensi-Ferr was offered another projectbut it was unrelated to her interests and experience.

Even before her maternity leave, Acensi-Ferr had felt like her employer wanted her to quit. The French have a name for it: placardis, meaning relegated to a closet. Now, she had had enough; she negotiated an exit package with her employer, and then quit.

Even without the cancer, the moral limit had been surpassed from my point of view, she says. I think it could not have happened any other way. But still, she wondered how her situation could have played out differently.

Acensi-Ferrs double-whammy of personal transitions may be uncommon, but her experience taking time away from work isnt. Exact figures are tough to come by, but off-ramping, or voluntarily taking leave, has become more common in many rich countries. Every month, 273,000 women and 13,000 men take maternity or paternity leave in the United States. And there are plenty of other reasons why someone might leave their work for an extended amount of time: a serious illness, the death of a close family member, or even burnout, which affects up to two thirds of US workers.

As some workplaces become more flexible about their policies, the number of workers off-ramping is growing.

Not everyone can afford to, or wants to, take time off work. But as some workplaces become more flexible about their policies for everything from parental leave to mental health breaks and sabbaticals, the number of workers off-rampingand the challenge of managing their returnis growing. People who have gone through these kinds of experiences may come back to feel and act differently. They may feel stressed, isolated, and depressed, all of which can impact peoples ability to function at work.

Acensi-Ferrs employer could have welcomed her back and offered her a new position better suited to her background. That wasnt meant to be. But what happened next turned out, in a sense, even better: She started laying the foundation to become a leading advocate for professional resilience in Francepoised to help a population of off-rampers just like her.

For Acensi-Ferr, professional resilience is how we transform a trauma into an opportunity for performance. And in 2015, she did just that, launching SynchroniCits, a consulting and coaching group that trains employees and employers on how to foster resilience in professional situations.

Acensi-Ferr was able to bounce back from adversity on her own, and one goal of her organization is to give other individuals the tools to do the same. But increasingly, companies are seeing the value in supporting their employees transitions after a difficult or traumatic experience requires time away from work. As they struggle to retain or retrain returning employeesand bear the associated costsbusinesses have turned to resilience consulting and coaching firms like Acensi-Ferrs, which have proliferated in the past two decades.

Resilience can absolutely be learned, and experience is the best teacher, says Jessica Chivers, a psychologist and CEO of The Talent Keeper Specialists, a UK-based consulting and coaching firm that helps people returning to work after extended leave.

Resilience can absolutely be learned, and experience is the best teacher.

Along with Chivers company, Acensi-Ferr is joined by Wisdom Labs, a company that focuses on the mental, emotional, and social well-being of workers, and Shes Back, a UK-based coaching group that focuses on women reentering the workplace. Acensi-Ferr has also launched Envie2Rsilience, a group that advocates for professional resilience with employers and public officials. Every year, the groups give out a Professional Resilience Prize (link in French).

These groups believe that coaching makes a difference, says Chivers. Individuals having access to somebody outside of their organization that they can strategize, plan, talk openly with, and use as a sounding board, can make all the difference between that person staying and working to reintegrate and thinking I just cant do this, I need to leave.

And that, the coaches say, is good for business. The faster you can get someone up to speed and working at full capacity, the more money youre going to make out of them, says Lisa Unwin, founder of Shes Back. They also argue that helping returning employees boosts companies bottom line, by keeping turnover and recruiting costs down.

Arlette Pujar saw the value of resilience training for the officials she trains at the National Center for Territorial Public Service in Martinique (CNFPT), a French overseas territory. The center trains hundreds of public officials in all industries across the Caribbean island. Absenteeism, burnout, and turnover is very high, says Pujar.

Despite our idyllic environmentthe sun, the sea, the coconut treesmany territorial officials are suffering, she explains. Income inequality is high and many officials earn less than minimum wage. The island is plagued by air pollution and contaminated waters, and there are deep-seated issues tied to its history of racism and oppression. We are descendants of slaves, says Pujar. Today, we suffer the consequences and sequelae.

Acensi-Ferr spoke to agents of the CNFPT about resilience in June. She gathered small groups of officials who had recently returned to work or been away for a long time for personal or medical reasons, and encouraged them to share their stories with their colleagues. One woman spoke about how her burnout kept her indoors for the better part of two years, too traumatized to go to the office to hand in her medical leave papers. A former public hospital employee talked about losing his leg in a car accident and the difficulties he experienced returning to work. There was a lot of crying, because every situation felt like a mirror to the officials present, says Pujar.

With Acensi-Ferrs help, CNFPT was able to encourage employees to support one another. For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pujar marshaled a group of officials, some of whom had had cancer themselves and others who simply wanted to show their support, to take part in the yole ronde, a special maritime race that is traditional in Martinique, where each person in the boat has a very particular job that keeps it afloat. The goal is to use a tradition employees are familiar with as a tool to increase their confidence, says Pujar.

Since then, things have changed for the better. The CNFPT set up programs to improve reentry for officials after a long absence, and it plans to redo the resilience seminar with Acensi-Ferr.

It has been a great achievement for us, Pujar says of the resilience training. Beyond the number of participants, I believe fundamentally that it has been a game-changer, and even HR directors who were present have realized the importance of taking into consideration the reentry of employees.

Whether or not training affects the bottom line, workers and employers have plenty of reason to want to foster resilience. A lot of people are suffering right now, in the workplace especially, says Cory Smith, the co-founder and CEO of Wisdom Labs. He founded the company with the explicit goal of protecting employees from depression, isolation, stress, and burnout.

Smith knows a thing or two about those issues. In 1997, while working for the UNESCO World Heritage Center, he survived a suicide bombing in Ben-Yehuda Square in Jerusalem. He returned to the US and immediately founded a company, not realizing that he was suffering from symptoms of PTSD. He eventually burned out, which forced him to reexamine his career and life choices. How do we provide something that allows people to not have to go through this alone and suffer so much? he asks.

Smiths answer was to co-found a company that uses the science of what we know about the brain to help workers develop the skills of resilience: setting goals and acting on them, taking risks, and practicing mindfulness and an attitude of gratefulness. Practices like guided breathing, meditation, and exercise can help.

Strengths-focused conversations reconnect individuals with a sense of capability, credibility, and can-do.'

Companies that turn to Wisdom Labs hope to equip their employees with these skills for self-awareness and self-regulation. Similarly, for Chivers clients, the first step in the process is often a strengths diagnostic tool, she says, which helps individuals find out how their skills can help them navigate their transition. Strengths-focused conversations reconnect individuals with a sense of capability, credibility, and can-do, she writes in an email.

But theres only so much an employee can do for themselves. Professional resilience has to be built into an organization itself. So another important element is to highlight the resources an individual has in their workplace, says Smith, including social connections and support. Studies show that people with close and supportive relationships are often more resilient to external stressors. But people can feel quite isolated when they return to work, says Unwin. You dont have to be out long to feel as though youve lost some of your social networks.

For employers, then, resilience can be fostered by encouraging connections and community in the workplace. That can mean group activities, trainings, or mentorship programsanything that makes it comfortable for colleagues to share with each other and ask for help.

Its also important for employers to help off-ramped employees maintain ties while theyre gone. Theres a lot of things you can do during your time off to keep in touch with people, says Unwin. In the UK, employees can work up to 10 days, called Keep In Touch Days, while on leave and still keep their benefits. Companies can support their employees attempts to ease back into the workplace by organizing Keep In Touch Days and making sure their HR departments are on hand to support employees on those days.

Employers should also make sure, as Chivers says, that return employees are sufficiently stretched but not stressed. Being busy is good, but not being overwhelmed. The very worst thing that could happen is for an employee to show up on her first day, and for no one to be expecting her, or for her computer not to be set up, or for her to have nothing to do. Its really soul-destroying, says Unwin. And that happens a lot.

Acensi-Ferr did what she hopes her clients wont do after an extended period of leaveshe left. But she believes time away can be an opportunity for people to ask themselves important questions about their career goals, the big one being, do I really want to come back after this is all over?

What I advocate for in my work, Acensi-Ferr says, is either a reunion, when possible and desirable for the parties involved, or a divorce by mutual consent.

Sometimes our coaching work is about helping people to leave well with reputation and relationships intact, once theyve decided that staying isnt an attractive option, writes Chivers in an email. That isnt a failure of resilience, its the very opposite: Its realizing there are options and choices and they dont have to stay in an unhappy situation.

When employees choose not to return to work, or return for a little while and then quit, Smith views it as an opportunity for their former employer to examine which resources (time, money, technology, support etc.) were missing or which demands were out of balance. Would coaching or training have helped them cope? Or does there need to be a systems change of some kind that optimizes workflows and demands that are in line with employee wellbeing?

The field of professional resilience is just a few decades old, but according to Acensi-Ferr, most companies still dont invest time or resources into thinking about ways in which they can ease an employees reentry into the workplace. Her company has only brought in about 50,000 this year in individual and company coaching fees. There are brave people and brave companies who dare to take an interest in these issues. Unfortunately, for the majority of them at the moment, there is instead a tendency to wait for the situation to resolve itself.

Still, applying the lessons she has learned in her work, she is sticking behind her project of building the practice of resilience in Frances professional settings. My utopia, Acensi-Ferr said in a speech earlier this year (French), is convincing companies that resilience is a virtue that will determine their performance.

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Resilience in the workplace can help retain employees - Quartz

Wake Up With BWW 11/19: A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY Opens at the Public, and More! – Broadway World

Good morning, BroadwayWorld!

A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY opens at The Public Theater tonight! This scorching new version of Kushner's first play stars Linda Emond (Annabella Gotchling), Michael Esper (Vealtninc Husz), Grace Gummer (Paulinka Erdnuss), Jonathan Hadary (Xillah), Nikki M. James (Agnes Eggling), Crystal Lucas-Perry (Zillah), Nadine Malouf (Rosa Malek), Mark Margolis (Gottfried Swetts), Estelle Parsons (Die lte), Michael Urie (Gregor Bazwald), and Max Woertendyke (Emil Traum).

Lucas Steele joins Off-Broadway musical Emojiland alongside Lesli Margherita, Josh Lamon, George Abud, Emojiland Co-Writer Laura Schein, Felicia Boswell, Natalie Weiss, and Ann Harada. The production will have a limited Off-Broadway run Thursday, January 9, 2020 through Sunday, March 8, 2020 at The Duke on 42nd Street in New 42nd Street Studios.

Read more about these and other top stories below!

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1) Voting Now Open For The 2019 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Awards, Presented by TodayTix!

Voting is NOW OPEN for the 2019 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Awards, brought to you by TodayTix! The BWW Cabaret Awards honor exemplary performers and productions in New York from October 1st, 2018 to September 30th, 2019. Nominees in all categories excluding Special Event - Solo and Special Event - Multiple needed to have performed all or the majority of their shows (at least two of three shows) during this eligibility period.. (more...)

2) Kerry Butler, Will Swenson & More Will Star in BROADWAY VACATION Reading

They've been to Wally World, Europe, and Vegas . . . and now The Griswolds are coming to Broadway!. (more...)

3) Photo: Lin-Manuel Miranda Receives the Portrait of a Nation Prize

Lin-Manuel Miranda received the Portrait of a Nation Prize from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery this weekend. The prize was presented to Miranda by former First Lady, Michelle Obama.. (more...)

4) Review Roundup: The National Tour of FROZEN - What Did the Critics Think?by Review Roundups

From the producers of The Lion King and Aladdin, Frozen launches a North American tour, commencing in Schenectady, NY prior to an official opening at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. Heralded by The New Yorker as 'thrilling' and 'genuinely moving,' Frozen has emerged as the biggest hit musical of the last two Broadway seasons, breaking four house records at its New York home, the legendary St. James Theatre. For more information, including a list of currently announced cities, visit FrozenTheMusical.com/Tour.. (more...)

Today's Call Sheet:

A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY opens at The Public Theater tonight!

This scorching new version of Kushner's first play, originally scheduled to close on December 8, has been extended through Sunday, December 15, with an official press opening on Tuesday, November 19.

The complete cast for A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY features Linda Emond (Annabella Gotchling), Michael Esper (Vealtninc Husz), Grace Gummer (Paulinka Erdnuss), Jonathan Hadary (Xillah), Nikki M. James (Agnes Eggling), Crystal Lucas-Perry (Zillah), Nadine Malouf (Rosa Malek), Mark Margolis (Gottfried Swetts), Estelle Parsons (Die lte), Michael Urie (Gregor Bazwald), and Max Woertendyke (Emil Traum).

BWW Exclusive: Ben Rimalower's Broken Records with Special Guest, Michael Musto

BroadwayWorld is excited to bring you the newest episode of our first self-produced podcast - Ben Rimalower's Broken Records, The Albums You Wouldn't Shut Up About. On each weekly episode Rimalower and co-host Daniel Nolen chat with guests about one album that they were obsessed with, how they discovered it, what it led them to, where they were in life when it impacted them and how it's stayed with them since.

In this episode, Ben and Daniel talk to legendary writer and New York nightlife fixture Michael Musto about the 1968 album "Diana Ross and The Supremes Sing and Perform Funny Girl." They also discuss "The Wiz," Motown, Barbra Streisand, "Mahogany," Liza Minnelli, Madonna, "Evita," Nancy Walker, Mary Wilson, "Follies," and Marilyn Maye. Michael talks about the first time he saw the movie "Funny Girl," as well as his attempt to see Diana Ross live in Central Park. Michael can be seen performing live at venues around New York City, and his weekly column can be found on NewNowNext.

Listen here!

Set Your DVR...

The cast of David Byrne's American Utopia will appear on THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING Jimmy Fallon

Josh Gad will appear on THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH James Corden

Lin-Manuel Miranda will appear on THE DAILY SHOW WITH Trevor Noah

Kristin Chenoweth will appear on WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE, THE Wendy Williams SHOW

What we're geeking out over: Lucas Steele Will Join The Cast Of EMOJILAND The Musical

Lucas Steele (Tony Nominee for The Great Comet) makes the jump from Broadway to the inside of a smartphone this winter, in the new Off-Broadway musical Emojiland. Arborhouse Productions & Visceral Entertainment (Michael Chase Gosselin and Tim Sulka) today announced that the actor will be taking on the role of Skull alongside the previously announced citizens of Emojiland: Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Princess, Josh Lamon (The Prom, Groundhog Day) as Prince, George Abud (The Band's Visit) as Nerd Face, Emojiland Co-Writer Laura Schein as Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes (aka "Smize"), Emmy Winner & Grammy Nominee Felicia Boswell (NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE, Shuffle Along, Motown) as Police Officer, Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture, YouTube's "Breaking Down the Riffs") as Construction Worker, and Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella) as Pile of Poo.

The production will have a limited Off-Broadway run Thursday, January 9, 2020 through Sunday, March 8, 2020 at The Duke on 42nd Street in New 42nd Street Studios (229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues). Emojiland The Musical garnered 12 nominations and 5 wins at the 2018 NYMF Awards and was a 2018 Richard Rodgers Award Finalist.

What we're watching: Watch Marisa Tomei & More in New Highlights from THE ROSE TATTOO on Broadway

Roundabout Theatre Company's new Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Tony Award-winning play The Rose Tattoo, directed by Trip Cullman, is entering its final weeks of performances. The play will conclude its limited engagement on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at the American Airlines Theatre (227 W 42nd St.).

The Rose Tattoo stars Cassie Beck, Alexander Bello, Tina Benko, Andra Burns, Susan Cella, Emun Elliott, Paige Gilbert, Greg Hildreth, Isabella Iannelli, Jacob Michael Laval, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Carolyn Mignini, Portia, Ella Rubin, Jennifer Snchez, Constance Shulman, Burke Swanson and Marisa Tomei.

Social Butterfly: THE SOUND OF MUSIC's Tally Sessions Takes Over Instagram!

The hills were alive this weekend as Tally Sessions took over BroadwayWorld's Instagram Story at Asolo Repertory Theatre's The Sound of Music, exactly 60 years after the iconic musical's original Broadway production opened! So in case you missed it (or just want to relive all of the fun and excitement), we compiled clips for you to enjoy.

And a Happy Birthday shout-out to Allison Janney, who turns 60 today!

Janney starred as Prudy Pingleton in the big screen adaptation of HAIRSPRAY. She most recently starred on Broadway SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Her other Broadway credits include 9TO 5, A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE and PRESENT LAUGHTER.

Allison Janney currently stars alongside Anna Faris in the CBS/Chuck Lorre hit comedy Mom. The actress also received rave reviews for her turn as Margaret Scully on Showtime's Masters of Sex. She won Emmys for both roles in the same year and won a second Emmy for Mom the following year.

She recently won an Oscar for her role in I, Tonya. Her recently released movies include Tallulah, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, The Girl on the Train, Minions and Spy. Other film credits include The Way, Way Back, The Help, Juno, Finding Nemo, The Hours, American Beauty, Nurse Betty, Drop Dead Gorgeous, 10 THINGS I Hate About You, Primary Colors, The Ice Storm, The Object of My Affection and Big Night.

See you bright and early tomorrow, BroadwayWorld!

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Wake Up With BWW 11/19: A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY Opens at the Public, and More! - Broadway World

Supermans apocalyptic villain finally revealed by DC Comics – Polygon

After months of teasing, misdirection, and red herrings, the finale of DC Comics Event Leviathan finally told us who the heck Leviathan is.

As the head of the spy organization of the same name that, Leviathan destroyed all the covert super-spy organizations and evil secret societies in the DC Universe in one fell swoop. The six-issue miniseries, from Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, followed a group of the DC Universes greatest detectives, as they tried to figure out who Leviathan was in a single night, before the rest of their plan could be put into effect.

Bendis maintained that Leviathan wasnt a new character, but someone who existed in DC Comics canon. And as revealed by Event Leviathan #6, that someone was a relatively unknown superhero with a long origin in DC Comics history: Manhunter.

Like 1940s comics characters who never reached the popularity of a Justice League member, Manhunter has been through waves of reinvention. He began as a non-costumed crime fighter, but was revived several times as a red-clad and masked vigilante detective and as an army of robots called the Manhunters who preceded the Green Lantern Corps. as a failed attempt to police the galaxy.

Now, hes one of Supermans canniest foes. Well just have to wait and see how long this incarnation sticks!

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? Ill tell you. Welcome to Polygons weekly list of the books that our comics editor, me, enjoyed over the past seven days. Its part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part look at this cool art. Lets get started!

Mark Shaw, the 1980s incarnation Manhunter, turned out to be Leviathan. He was a human man empowered for costumed crime-fighting by the remnants of the ancient robot Manhunter army. Now hes gone all mastermind-y trying to remake the world in a better image, etc. etc.. You know how this villain stuff goes.

N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbells Far Sector finally kicked off this week and its got a great hook, great worldbuilding, and absolutely gorgeous art. If you like science-fiction mysteries, you should get in on the ground floor with this one.

Im still waiting for the real plot of The Batmans Grave to show itself, but also loving how Ellis writes Bruce and Alfred.

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy is a comic about women defending their girlfriends (and I dont mean friends who are girls), and Im really into this Ivy-makes-armor-out-of-bark look.

Id fall for those big blue puppy dog eyes, too, Lois.

Hey! Its the Wonder-Woman of China! Im so glad someone out there is remembering that the Justice League of China exists and is great.

If you read one comic this week, make it the finale of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, if only for the scene with Galactus. Its a beautiful metaphor about dealing with loss and necessary change, for how to navigate the ever shifting status quo of Marvel and DC comics characters, and also is the books creators speaking directly to its many kid-aged fans who have to say goodbye. It almost made me cry.

Meanwhile, in X-Men #2, two sentient islands did some very personal business and now the mutants utopia is, uh, bigger.

Im a simple woman: A comic makes me laugh out loud, I put it in the roundup.

Runaways gets a runner-up prize for Best Scene This Week, in a bit where all the characters try on new costumes from a giant closet. Kris Anka nails these faces, especially Nicos girlfriend, Karolina (top right).

I thought that some of you might like to know that ElfQuest is back with a new story and its about Skywise being very gay.

Reaver #5 has my favorite kind of reveal: The powerful old sorcerer jerk with a mute female slave turned out to actually be a corpse being puppeted by a mute female sorcerer. If I had a dime for every time that happened to me...

More here:

Supermans apocalyptic villain finally revealed by DC Comics - Polygon

The Internet Dream Became a Nightmare. What Will Become of It Now? – The New York Times

Hey, everyone! the worlds eighth-richest man said, with a bit too much brio, as he waved to the crowd at Gaston Hall in Washington. Its really great to be at Georgetown with all of you today. But then the smile fell away from Mark Zuckerbergs face, and there was an awkward pause as he licked his lips and looked at the crowd.

With his next lines an acknowledgment of the death, earlier that day, of the longtime House of Representatives member Elijah Cummings he settled into a more sober mood, which he sustained for the remainder of his speech. It was clear that Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, knew the message he had come to deliver, bearing the awkward title Standing for Voice and Free Expression, would not be an especially popular one on a college campus in deep-blue Washington, and that indeed he himself might not be an especially popular man.

Over the course of just five or so years, and accelerating significantly in November 2016 with the election of Donald Trump, there had been a sea change in how Americans, especially liberal Americans, regarded Facebook. If, during the Obama era, there was a nagging suspicion among critics of Silicon Valley that Zuckerbergs company and its fellow internet giants had become too large their market power too great, their sway over the political and cultural discourse too absolute the election left millions of people convinced that those suspicions were absolutely correct. Now there were calls among prominent Democratic politicians for tough regulation, even for breaking up the company. One of the most vocal among them, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, had recently surged to a near-lead in the presidential primary race; in leaked audio from a Facebook town hall, Zuckerberg lamented her ascent and vowed, in the event she were elected president, to go to the mat and fight.

All of it the fierce criticism in the media, the political maneuvering among Democrats, the leak from his own staff had fostered a sense of a company under siege, and it was easy to hear this Georgetown speech in October as a simple and defiant response, a middle finger raised to the haters. To those eager to regulate speech on his platform or hold Facebook legally accountable for misinformation, Zuckerberg offered reminders of the First Amendment and the American tradition of free expression more broadly. He pointed out how that tradition benefited movements the audience seemed likely to support (#BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo) and contrasted Facebooks approach with that of Chinese-owned services like TikTok, the new sensation among teenagers in the United States and elsewhere, which has been accused of censoring mentions of anti-China protests in Hong Kong.

Afterward, observers analyzing the speech were unimpressed, seeing it as at best a reiteration of Facebooks perennial self-serving arguments and at worst a vacuous word salad. (Zuckerberg doubles down on free speech, as Wired put it, while Recode sniffed that he offered a lot of nothing.) By the following week, the appearance at Gaston Hall had been filed away as just one more maneuver in Zuckerbergs continuing charm offensive toward the political class, his sole goal being to maintain the status quo.

But whether Zuckerberg intended it or not, his speech showed glimmers of something else. There were hints of a more profound sense of threat and dislocation perhaps, even, a signal of Zuckerbergs understanding, conscious or not, that the status quo might no longer be sustainable.

Despite all his efforts at optimism, Zuckerberg acknowledged some basic problems with Facebook that had become impossible to ignore. Having built a machine to connect the world and let everyone have a say thereby giving rise to a new social reality in which, as he put it at Georgetown, people no longer have to rely on traditional gatekeepers in politics or media to make their voices heard Facebook now had to concede that there was no foolproof way to stop those voices from saying things that were unfactual or malevolent, or to stop their friends and followers from believing them. In part, this was because of a genuine Catch-22 involving scale: Phenomenal size had allowed Facebook and its fellow American tech giants to become the center of online life, but now they could not correct the most toxic problems of online spaces without wielding even more unsettling levels of power. While I certainly worry about an erosion of truth, Zuckerberg said, I dont think most people want to live in a world where you can only post things that tech companies judge to be 100 percent true.

Also revealing was his take on his Chinese competitors, which went well beyond just criticizing them on free-expression grounds. China is building its own internet focused on very different values, and its now exporting their vision of the internet to other countries, he said, informing his American audience that its sense of an internet dominated utterly by Facebook was by now a parochial notion. A decade ago, almost all of the major internet platforms were American, he said. Today, six of the top 10 are Chinese. This remark was directed at his antitrust-minded critics, but it was also a reminder that however bad Facebook might be for democracy, the alternatives might be worse.

For a decade, the story of Facebooks growth seemed like a positive (for Facebook) feedback loop: More users meant more conversation, which meant more relevance, which meant more users. The service became a kind of social power grid, a platform that you simply couldnt not be on. It became fashionable among tech writers to claim that Facebook was subsuming the entire internet, if it hadnt done so already.

Optimism about Facebooks impact on the world was an important part of the cycle. Everything about its sunny rhetoric, its design (clean and spare), its policies (real names, no pseudonyms), was finely calibrated to make people embrace it as the safe and upbeat alternative to the seedy world of the open web. When Facebook became a publicly held company in 2012, its I.P.O. prospectus included a long letter from Zuckerberg about Facebooks values, in which he declared that the company was built to accomplish a social mission and that connecting the world would ultimately bring about better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time.

It wasnt hard to glimpse, lurking behind the strained smiles and flag-draping of the Georgetown speech, the death throes of that Facebook dream. The chief executive was forced to admit that his platform, far from solving social problems, had given rise to some thorny ones of its own. In his bracing rhetoric about the rise of the Chinese internet, you could even see the contours of Zuckerbergs nightmare of the virtuous cycle becoming a vicious one, with the gravitational pull of Facebook reversing, spinning its billions of users and their monetizable conversations out of his platform and inexorably toward China, toward despotism, toward dystopia: a TikTok of a boot stamping on a human face, forever.

In this special Tech & Design Issue of The New York Times Magazine, we ponder the internets future at a time when that future has never felt more unsettled. It isnt just about Facebook and the other American tech giants, which no longer enjoy the rapid growth that characterized their early days. The rise of the Chinese internet has threatened a geopolitical power shift, as a different government and national economy looks poised to become the center of the online world. Even governments that dont censor the internet have begun to talk about regulating it in unprecedented ways as with the European Unions G.D.P.R. law, which already has given a huge swath of the developed world a subtly different set of online rules.

But perhaps the deepest shift has been a shift in attitudes: the breaking of a spell that seemed to protect Silicon Valley from distrust. After years in which questions about online privacy hardly penetrated the consumer consciousness, Americans have awakened to a feeling of deep suspicion about how companies are harvesting and using their data. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll earlier this year found that American adults, by double-digit margins, believed that social media does more to spread falsehoods than truths and more to divide the country than to unite it. Even the tech giants own employees have now become uneasy about the implications of their work, leading to some unusual labor movements among their highly compensated white-collar ranks.

If all this disappointment seems so acute, its only in contrast to the unrealistic hopes that the internet grew up on, long before Mark Zuckerberg showed up. From the earliest days of Arpanet, the internet has been seen as embodying an ambitious, even utopian set of values. Its supposed to be open and global (such that anyone can plug in, anywhere) and also equal (in that every node should be able to get the same things). Even as the internet quickly morphed from a (mostly) public-funded (mostly) academic project into a (mostly) corporate-funded profit center, the power of those core values persisted. It persisted because those values have proved to be extremely profitable, at least for those who understand how to profit from them. People like Marc Andreessen, who took what he learned developing a web browser at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and helped found a company, Netscape, that went public and eventually was sold to America Online for $4.2 billion; and Mark Zuckerberg, whose company allows all those voices to get attention free but makes a mint by selling them, and their personal data, to advertisers.

In retrospect, Zuckerbergs letter in that 2012 Facebook prospectus was the high-water mark of internet boosterism, and it in fact encompassed most of the dreams that had attached themselves to the internet over the previous decades. References to Gutenbergs printing press? Check. Denouncing of monolithic, top-down mind-sets, coming from the chief executive of a huge corporation? Check. A sense that effecting broad-based social change and becoming fabulously rich are goals that go hand in hand? For sure: Ive developed a deep appreciation for how building a strong company with a strong economic engine and strong growth can be the best way to align many people to solve important problems. Intimations that tech will topple authoritarian rulers around the world? Its in there: Over time, we expect governments will become more responsive to issues and concerns raised directly by all their people rather than through intermediaries controlled by a select few.

As the technology critic Evgeny Morozov noted in his trenchant 2013 book, To Save Everything, Click Here, the distance between the quotidian reality of the internet and the utopian set of notions we projected onto it had become so vast that quotation marks ought to separate the idealized version from the real thing. The internet was going to empower the masses, overthrow hierarchies, build a virtual world that was far superior to the terrestrial one that bound us. But the actual internet was never capable of any of that, and once it fell into the hands of plutocrats and dictators, all the gauzy rhetoric around it only served their interests.

By the same token, though, we might make the same observation about the internet that many people fear theyre bound up in today: Our dark new fantasies about it with the puppet strings that stretch from the Kremlin to Palo Alto, making Grandpa dance to QAnons fiddle are often just as ridiculous as the sunny visions they replaced. In this issue, weve tried to see the internet and its likely future as best we can, from as many angles as we can, in the hope that after decades of imagining it as a utopia, and then years of seeing it as a dystopia we might finally begin to see it for what it is, which is a set of powerful technologies in the midst of some serious flux.

So the internet didnt turn out the way we hoped. Now what?

Arguably the most bracing reality about the internet today is that, after years of pretending that the internet means the same thing to all people everywhere, that fiction has finally become impossible to sustain. For the upper end of the income spectrum, a new suite of pay services promises to clean up the worst aspects of online life, even as the basic infrastructure of broadband and mobile remains highly unequal depending on where you live, both in America and around the world. And while Facebook and its fellow tech giants continue to loom over the American economy, through a business model that involves exploiting user data, their individual dreams of imperial expansion have brought them, collectively, to an awkward stalemate.

At the same time, its crucial for Americans to realize, as Zuckerberg now seems to, that the internet is no longer as American as it once was. Government censorship and other interventions are only entrenching an online reality in which different nations are seeing very different internets, even different sets of facts. In China, a parallel and growing mobile-based internet doesnt just portend a more censored online future; its offering up whole new ways to structure and order online life, with possible consequences that are scary in some ways and egalitarian in others.

Perhaps the most profound force at work upon the internet right now is the simple passage of time. Everyone raised in a pre-internet era continues to age and disappear, while new generations grow up not merely as digital natives but as lifelong witnesses to the internets best and worst effects. In the nave dreams of earlier days, many people joined Zuckerberg in imagining that connecting the world could bring about new social virtues at no social cost. But its now clear that interconnection by its very nature also brings about confounding new social situations, whether its the problem of disinformation seeded and spread by organized propagandists or the mind-bendingly obsessive culture of online fandom. For teenagers today, the internet is both a stage onto which to step boldly and a minefield through which to step gingerly a double bind that has given rise to whole new habits of living online, in which self-expression and self-protection are inextricably linked.

The passage of time, its clear, has been weighing even on Zuckerberg a fact evident in what was, without a doubt, the most eye-opening moment in his Georgetown speech. Building this institution is important to me personally, he said, late in his oration, because Im not always going to be here, and I want to ensure that these values of voice and free expression are enshrined deeply into how this company is governed. Not always going to be here? This 35-year-old, multibillionaire chief executive, with an ownership vice-grip that essentially guarantees he can remain atop Facebook for as long as he chooses, was raising the specter of his retirement, or perhaps even his death.

Those concerns are surely premature, but neither would it be surprising if the impermanence of human existence were on Zuckerbergs mind right now. Facebook and its chief executive might both hold on for decades, but the vision of the internet they represented sunny, American, all-devouring is already dead and gone. What, exactly, is arising to take its place? Its complicated. Read on.

Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian artist whose work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Pierpaolo Ferrari is an Italian photographer and, along with Cattelan, is a founder of the magazine Toiletpaper, known for its surreal and humorous imagery.

Additional design and development by Jacky Myint.

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The Internet Dream Became a Nightmare. What Will Become of It Now? - The New York Times

How Should We Remember the Puritans? – The Nation

Hand-colored engraving of Puritans about to embark for America. (Alamy)

When the word Puritan entered the English language almost 500 years ago, it came as an insulta soul-killing Nick-name, as one of the insulted called it. One of the name-callers, a conforming clergyman exasperated by demands to purify the Anglican Church of all vestiges of Roman Catholicism, replied to his implacable critics, We call you Puritans not because you are purer than other menbut because you think yourselves to be purer.Ad Policy Books in Review

In one variation or another, the charge has been repeated ever since. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne portrayed his Puritan ancestors as stern and black-browed members of the most intolerant brood that ever lived. The narrator of George Santayanas 1935 novel The Last Puritan accused them of sharing with the Bolshies a scorn of all compromises, practical or theoretical. Just a few months ago, Maureen Dowd devoted a New York Times column to denouncing the left flank of the Democratic Party for keeping the spirit of the Massachusetts Bay Colonyalive and well on the Potomac and Twitter, thereby raising the risk of a second term for Donald Trump. These modern Puritans, she wrote, eviscerate their natural allies for not being pure enough.

No nation or culture has had a monopoly on this phenomenon: the hyperorthodox who recoil not only from the profane world but also from anyone who fails to share their revulsion. Nevertheless, serious historians have detected something peculiarly American in the typebeginning with the breakaway faction of Puritans who gave up on England in the fourth decade of the 17th century and emigrated to America, where, it is alleged, they aimed to prove their incorruptibility by serving as a light unto the nations (Isaiah 42:6). And so began, some have argued, the insidious presumption that America stands alone, like ancient Israel, in covenant with God.

Today, college students are often introduced to this ideasometimes called American exceptionalismthrough A Model of Christian Charity, a speech by John Winthrop, a devout Christian of Puritan temperament who became the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Borrowing an image from the King James version of Matthew 5:14 (Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid) that was itself an echo of Isaiah 42:6, the speech contained the famous claim that we shall be as a city upon a hill; the eyes of all people are upon us, and it has become the prime exhibit for prosecuting the case against those first New Englanders. In the words of Daniel T. Rodgers, a distinguished professor emeritus of history at Princeton University who in his new book, As a City on a Hill, recounts the history of this argument in order to dispute it, the Puritans have been blamed for injecting a sense of Gods chosenness into the distinctive cultural DNA of imperially expansive America.

Rodgerss book is not only a close reading of the reception and history of Winthrops speech but also a rescue operation for Puritanism itself. Rather than instigating the pernicious idea of the United States as Gods most favored nation, the Puritans, he argues, were unsure of their worthiness and subjected themselves to the moral scrutiny of the world.

To begin with, Rodgers shows that almost everything we thought we knew about Winthrops speech is wrong. Ever since a copyist (its unclear when) scrawled Written on board the Arrabella on the Atlantick Ocean on a cover sheet attached to the surviving manuscript, Winthrop has been imagined as raising his voice into the roaring wind on the roiling sea. But in fact, he was more likely to have delivered the speechoften called a lay sermon because he was not an ordained ministerin Southampton before embarking. Or he may never have delivered it at all.

For more than 200 years the work lay in manuscript, until the Massachusetts Historical Society published it in 1838, in a collection of documents in which it was preceded by a few poems just a cut above doggerel and followed by a short history of the US Postal Service. Throughout the 19th century, the speech remained little more than an antiquarian curiosity. Even in the early 20thcentury, when scholars began to take note of it, no one attributed to it any claim of divine special favor. Writing in 1916, the Harvard historian Samuel Eliot Morison, who traced his New England ancestry to the 1660s, heard in it an emphasis on collectivism rather than individualismas if Winthrop had been a secret socialist.Current Issue

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The modern career of Winthrops speech got underway in the 1930s, when a graduate student at the University of Chicago, Perry Miller, went east to Harvard, in part to study with Morison. Miller, who also had New England roots (he was related to Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy) but cultivated the personal style of a Midwestern tough guy in the Dreiser-Hemingway mode, had dropped out of college for a while and joined the merchant marine, which took him, among other places, to the west coast of Africa. It was there, he later recalled in brash emulation of Edward Gibbonwho had been seized by the ambition to write The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire while contemplating the ruins of the Forumthat Miller discovered his destiny while unloading drums of American oil. Suddenly, he grasped his lifes mission: to expound to the world what I took to be the innermost propulsion of the United States. This propulsion, Miller insisted, had been ignited in colonial New England.

In two magisterial volumes composed in the 1930s and 40sThe New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century and The New England Mind: From Colony to ProvinceMiller ranged over a vast number of tracts and sermons from both old and New England and assembled them into a brilliant portrait of the Puritans, as Rodgers puts it, in an existentialist key. For Miller, dreadlay at the heart of the Puritan experiment, by which he meant not primarily dread of the wilderness or Americas native heathen inhabitants but dread of themselves. At the core of the Puritan church, in his view, were not the sacraments of baptism or Communion (though he chronicled the furious disputes that arose over qualifications for these rites) but the copious sermons whose central subject was the ubiquitous sin of pride.

The essential task of the Puritan minister was to destroy the presumption that any human being had the slightest merit in the eyes of God. But Puritanism also offered consolation. It taught that the more unworthy one feels before God, the more ground there is for hope. This was the preachers paradoxical work: to castigate his flock without mercy (the minister, as one thundering preacher put it, will discover the lusts, and deceits, and corruptions, that you could not find out) until, stripped of the belief in their essential worth, penitent listeners would throw themselves upon Gods mercy. According to one English minister who did not emigrate to America but mentored several leaders of the emigration, None are fitter for comfort than those that think themselves furthest off.

These were among the themes of Millers demanding two-volume study of the New England mind. But the work for which he remains best known was a kind of codaa short essay published in 1953 whose title, Errand Into the Wilderness, he borrowed from an Election Day sermon delivered in 1670 by the Puritan minister Samuel Danforth. In that essay, Miller focused on A Model of Christian Charity, arguing that Winthrops little flotilla, which sailed from Southampton to Salem, Massachusetts, in April 1630, was a task force launched for the purpose of working out that complete reformation which was not yet accomplished in England and Europe, but which would quickly be accomplished if only the saints back there had a working model to guide them.

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Winthrop and his comrades, Miller contended, departed the Old World not to abandon it but to save it. They wanted to build in New England a model of what old England should be. They fled the Anglican crackdown on religious dissent (several ministers who joined the exodus had been threatened with defrocking or worse) and sought safety in America in order to erect a true church. What they had in mind was not an ecclesiastical establishment like the Church of England, with authority exerted downward from king and bishops. Instead they envisioned independent communities of gathered believers, each with authority vested in itself and served by a pastoral and preaching ministrywhat became known as Congregationalism.

Miller was a prodigious scholar, but he could be carried away by his metaphorical imagination. He told a dramaticeven melodramatictale of self-exiles bewildered as the world they left behind changed beyond recognition. In the 1630s and 40s, while New Englanders built their godly commonwealth, their Puritan comrades in old England were fomenting not only church reform but also a political and social revolution, including what Michael Walzer, in The Revolution of the Saints (1965), called the whole apparatus of radical politics: the illegal press, organized book smuggling, a rough underground network. They defied the bishops and worked to restore power to Parliament after its dissolution by CharlesI, to depose and ultimately execute the king, and under Oliver Cromwell to establish a regime with a degree of religious pluralism that shocked their brethren abroad.

Watching from afar, Millers Puritans were forced to confront their obsolescence. The guiding example of their city on a hill was no longer needed. Miller, who served in Britain during World War II with the Office of Strategic Services, compared them to a platoon of soldiers sent on a reconnaissance mission who, by the time they get back, find that the situation at headquarters [is] entirely changed and their mission has been forgotten. To amplify his point, Miller added a theatrical trope to his military metaphor. The emigrant Puritans were like an actor who, having prepared for the leading role in the greatest dramatic spectacle of the century, stepped onto the stage only to find the theatre empty, no spotlight working, and himself entirely alone. Having failed to rivet the eyes of the world upon their city on the hill, Miller concluded, they were left alone with America.

Millers prose was heartfelt and arresting, so much so that many students and readers who went on to teach or write about early America had their impression of Puritanism shaped by him. But Rodgers also notes the oversights and exaggerations in his rendition of the Puritan errand. For one thing, Winthrop said nothing in A Model of Christian Charity about transforming England but spoke only of succeeding plantationsthat is, future coloniesabout which he hoped that men shall saythe Lord make it like that of Massachusetts. Rodgers also makes the telling point that Miller used the word model in the modern sense of a small precedent to be replicated on a larger scale, but in the 17th century it could also mean something closer to what we would call an analysis or anatomy, a condensation, Rodgers writes, the marrow and principle of the thing being outlined.

Moreover, Miller missed the force of the crucial words that Winthrop wrote immediately after we shall be as a city upon a hill; the eyes of all people are upon us: So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world. These wordswhich express the existential anxiety that Miller did so much to illuminate in his earlier workattest to Winthrops craving fame less than he feared notoriety.

Nonetheless, when the time came for resistance and revision, as always happens when a new generation of scholars succeeds the last, Millers version of the Puritans was not tamped down but ratcheted up. Another gifted scholar, Sacvan Bercovitch, born in Canada to (in his words) Yiddishist left-wing immigrant parents, was astonished upon his emigration to the United States to discover the persistence of the myth of America as Gods darling nation. Beginning in 1975 with The Puritan Origins of the American Selfwhich took as its proof text Cotton Mathers Nehemias Americanus, the Life of John Winthrop (1702)Bercovitch, who eventually succeeded to Millers professorial chair, argued that his predecessor had not gone far enough. Puritans did not merely see themselves as taking incremental steps toward reforming international Protestantism; they saw themselves appointed by God to prepare the scene of Christs triumphant descent to His New Jerusalem. They imagined New England as no less than the site of the Second Coming, from which truth would radiate throughout the world, as prophesied in the Book of Revelation. These were not Millers Puritans beset by self-doubt. Bercovitchs Puritans were convinced, with terrifying certainty, of their divine charge to lead what he called the last stage of the worldwide work of redemption. Their hallmark was not dread but an overweening confidence in the sanctity of their mission. They saw themselves as legatees of the divine mandate granted to ancient Israel.

Writing in the shadow of another warthe United States monstrous misadventure in VietnamBercovitch went so far as to claim that the Puritans had used the biblical myth of exodus and conquest to justify imperialism before the fact. In this reading, Winthrops speech becomes the ur-text for a kind of collective narcissism that runs through American life: the brazen conviction that the American way is the only way. By implication, the Puritans were retroactively responsible for the predations committed in the name of manifest destiny, for the folly of trying to remake Europe in Americas image after World War I, for the fanatic hatred of godless communism, and for the catastrophic intervention in Vietnam.

By the turn of the 21st century, after the tragic sequence of 9/11 and the Iraq War, this way of telling American history had become so habitual among some scholars that when a Harvard undergraduate, Pete Buttigieg (who studied with Bercovitch), wrote in his 2004 senior thesis that the very founding of America was an act of international interventionwhich would recur in later years with Americas exportation of its democratic creed, he was repeating an academic dogma.

Rodgers insists that neither Millers version of the Puritans attempting to save the Old World by example nor Bercovitchs version as the self-appointed vanguard in the cosmic drama of salvation gets Winthrop and his contemporaries right. In this judgment, Rodgers is not alone. In a sweeping new history of what he calls the city-state of Boston, Yale historian Mark Peterson laments that these interpretations badly distort the meaning and influence of the governors words, and Michael P. Winship, in a valuable new history of Puritanism, Hot Protestants, observes that the idea that the puritans envisioned New England as the site of the millenniums New Jerusalem has been thoroughly discredited. And so the pendulum swings. The Puritans seem to be coming back into view not as progenitors of some future America but as they appeared to themselves in their own time, what the mid-20th-century historian Carl Bridenbaugh called vexed and troubled Englishmen.

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In taking the turn to a more historicist approach, it makes sense, as Rodgers does, to stick with Winthrop as the Puritans representative man. Before emigrating to America, Winthrop struggled to negotiate the accelerating transformation of England from a relatively static feudal order to a dynamic and disruptivemorally as well as sociallymarket economy. A member of the landed gentry, he feared that England was becoming a place where no mans estate almost will suffice to keep sail with his equals, and he who fails herein must live in scorn and contempt; hence it comes that all arts and trades are carried in that deceitful and unrighteous course, as it is almost impossible for a good and upright man to maintain his charge and live comfortably in any of them. In short, it was becoming harder for men of Winthrops rank to be both virtuous and prosperous.

The aim of the great landowner, as R.H. Tawney wrote in his still valuable Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926), was no longer to hold at his call an army of retainers, but to exploit his estates as a judicious investment. Winthrop was not quite a great landowner, though he owned enough to have commissioned a portrait of himself in ruffled collar and white gloves. But when Suffolk, his home county in England, was struck in the 1620s by an economic downturn and revenue from his land holdings declined, he felt compelled to accept an appointment as an attorney to the Court of Wards in London in order to supplement his income. This work was rife with opportunities for corruption. Bribery and favor trading were rampant, and it was common practice for the court to sell wardships on behalf of the king to bidders intent on extracting value by carrying off timber and crops, allowing buildings to rot, and thus leaving the ward, when he came of age, with a depleted inheritance.

Meanwhile, Winthrops real estate holdings in Suffolk forced upon him vexing questions. Should he raise rents on subsistence farmers who had long resided on his property at nominal fees? Should he prohibit scavenging? Should he enclose his lands with hedges for the purpose of raising sheep, thus driving his tenants into the swelling ranks of vagabonds or what we would call the homeless? As the great historian Christopher Hill wrote, this was a time when large landowners had no inhibitionsabout evicting whole villages to make room for sheep in order to profit from the growing wool export trade.

Winthrop never shed his inhibitions. He may have fled England in part because he feared becoming one of the losers in the new economy, but he also feared becoming one of the morally compromised winners. As Rodgers aptly puts it, Winthrops flight from old to New England is best understood not only as an ocean passage but a passage from self to others. His Model of Christian Charity was filled with yearning for a lostno doubt largely imaginaryworld where poor and rich treated each other with reciprocal loyalty.

Winthrop was certainly no radical egalitarian of the sort found in Hills revelatory book The World Turned Upside Down, about the Levellers and Ranters who dreamed during the English Civil War of expanded suffrage, the redistribution of wealth, and limits on the size of property that any landowner could possess. But neither was he insouciant about the plight of the poor, however much he believed, as he wrote in the opening lines of Model, that God hath so disposed of the condition of mankind, as in all times some must be rich, some poor. These words have often been read as an ominous overture to the long history of Americans justifying the extremes of poverty and wealth as consistent with natural law. But as Rodgers shows, this is a bad caricature. Rather, Winthrop hoped that in the New World, God would touch the hearts of those empowered like himself so that the rich and mighty should not eat up the poor. One of the most significant passages in A Model of Christian Charity is his discussion concerning the repayment of loans. If the debtor have nothing to pay, he said, citing Deuteronomy 15:2, then thee must forgive him.

Rodgers gives a subtle account of how the memories of destitute people in old Englandwandering ghosts in the shape of men, as Winthrop called themhaunted not only Winthrop but also other magistrates and ministers in New England, where harsh measures such as whipping vagrants were implemented alongside the abatement of taxes for poorer town residents and grants of grain or firewood to families in distress. Grudging as it often was, Rodgers writes, public, tax-supported responsibility for the poor was a fixture of New England town life. By 1700, he points out, Boston was spending perhaps a quarter of its budget on poor relief. At the center of As a City on a Hill is the insight that Winthrop and his fellow Puritans believed that market price and ordinary market relations would not suffice for a moral community.

In later chapters, Rodgers tells the story of how A Model of Christian Charity was plucked out of Winthrops context by politicians, pundits, and even some historians and reimagined as something quite differentas a founding document for the nation itself. In the process, the moral question Winthrop had placed at the core of his text would no longer be the part of the Model that mattered. Winthrop and his fellow Puritans were turned into prophets of nationalism and unfettered capitalism, and the aching tension, as Rodgers calls it, between the social fact of inequality and Winthrops yearnings for a community rooted in love was all but lost.

Disputes concerning the meaning of the past are, of course, indices to conflicts over the present and divergent hopes for the future. Such a dispute took place some 40 years agothough it is not usually thought of as a debate about Puritanism and its legacybetween two American presidents. In July 1979, in what became known as the malaise speech (although he never used that word), Jimmy Carter spoke of a spiritual crisis in the United States and called for a renewal of Americans faith in each other. In preparing his speech, he was counseled by, among others, Christopher Lasch, who was steeped in the history of the Puritans and especially valued their vision of a society in which, Winthrop wrote, we mustmake others conditions our own and must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities for the supply of others necessities. Winthrop asked his fellow emigrants to keep their eyes [on] our commission and community, and using the language of 1Corinthians, he beseeched them to conceive of themselves as members of the same body. Although Carter made no direct reference to A Model of Christian Charity, his admonishing speech, now notorious for its political miscalculation, was filled with echoes of Winthrops call for charity and self-restraint.

Carters recapitulation of Puritan social and ethical ideals proved unpersuasive. Sixteen months later, Ronald Reagan defeated him for the presidency and set out to dismantle a half century of public policy from the New Deal to the Great Society designedhowever meager those efforts may seem nowto mitigate the inequities of American society. Reagan, too, appropriated the Puritans. For him, they were laissez-faire capitalists in the making, prophets of a free market utopia. Over the next eight years, on at least 30 occasions, he echoed Winthrops speech (to which he liked to add the word shining as a flourish before the scriptural phrase city on a hill). Reagans shining city bore little resemblance to Carters anxious nation. It was a triumphant image of American power, prosperity, and eminence, a movie-set city, as Rodgers describes it, with nothing in it of Winthrops clarion warning that God is affronted when putative believers shutteth our ears from hearing the cry of the poor (Proverbs 21:13) or worship other Gods, our pleasures, and profits.

Every generation imagines its own version of the Puritans errand. The one Rodgers invokesa social experiment conducted with an acute sense of the conditionality of Gods promises and more open to self-criticism, even to a certain humility, than most in historys annalsis a salutary one for our dark time.

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How Should We Remember the Puritans? - The Nation

Boom, Bust and Bankers review a harrowing tale of two Cities – The Guardian

In a world in which finding facts and making sense of things seems increasingly akin to trying to assemble a jet engine made of sand in a hurricane, it is a great comfort to be presented, every now and then, with the intangible rendered tangible. We often labour unsuccessfully to resolve a visual representation of issues and systems into words. Metaphors made flesh make life easier to understand.

Broadgate is a metaphor made flesh, bricks and mortar. The subject of Channel 4s Boom, Bust and Bankers documentary, this is the 13-hectare (32-acre) office and retail estate near Liverpool Street station that is dominated by the fifth tallest building in London, the 164m (538ft) Broadgate Tower.

The site came into being in 1985, complete with what were effectively defensive walls it was known as the Ring of Steel to keep the people of the deprived parts of the city immediately to the north and east out while the men (and, yknow, it really was just men) inside got on with mastering the new universe Thatcher created with the free-market revolution. They warmed themselves at the bonfire of regulations she ignited, while outside it got colder and colder.

The show neatly mapped out a short history of finance from then to now. I dont know if you have heard, but it did not work out well. A lot of people got rich and then even richer when, as Geraint Anderson, a former member of their ranks, put it, they realised there was no downside to being reckless. At least until 2008, when the entire banking system teetered on the brink of collapse with Lehman Brothers tumbling into the abyss, Morgan Stanley losing 80% of its market value and many other stories causing the share price of tiny violin manufacturers to rocket. Fortunately, a full reckoning was averted by the injection of billions upon billions of pounds of taxpayer cash. Everything went back to more or less normal. Footage from the time, showing Peter Mandelson slithering tight-lipped into his car as a reporter asked why he, as business secretary, couldnt stop bankers having bonuses, summed up the whole event quite well.

Alongside this succinct summary of how things work at the top ran an equally concise encapsulation of how they work at the bottom. Literally, as the programme went down into the basement of Broadgate to interview some of its cleaners, security personnel and other unseen workers who make sure the lives of those higher up run smoothly. Jos Tandazo, originally from Ecuador, gets up at 4am to start cleaning and is back home at 11.30pm. This is the best place he has been, he says, but I do miss being outside. Luis Valencia earns the London living wage of 10.50 an hour but it turns out that 355 a week after tax is not all that liveable on, and he and his father (who has two jobs, the first of which is an 11-hour shift at Victoria station) live together to make ends meet. In their spare time (I dont know, I dont know) they join protests outside places that do not even meet the living wage; here, Thomas Cook, which says it outsources to Accelerate. Accelerate declined to comment.

And there was Barry Smith, a former trade union rep who was made redundant from the railway job he loved by privatisation and is now a security guard another forcibly broken link in the chain that once connected the powerless to the powerful.

Interspersed with these stories was the tale of Broadgates regeneration and the millions of pounds being spent on its transformation from financiers fortress to what its overseer, David Lockyer, is keen we envisage as a modern capitalist community utopia. To this end, he is having the ring of steel dismantled and replaced by buzzwords and an enlivenment programme to encourage a mix of tenants and dilute the suits that once formed its rental mainstay.

I imagine Lockyer also envisaged a useful bit of promotion in return for granting Channel 4 its access-all-areas pass. But the makers outmanoeuvred him with their delicate blending of stories, with all their wordless contrasts (the absolute guff talked by PRs about the mindfulness of their new project versus the human language coming out of everyone else), invisible connections (the geopolitical crises that created profits for the people upstairs who bet the right way, but destroyed the lives of many who were forced to emigrate as a result and now work beneath them), and silent testimony to the growing inequities between the haves and have nots. Class, capitalism, power and privilege all playing out in the microcosm of one small patch of London, as they do the world over. Oh, for a reckoning.

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Boom, Bust and Bankers review a harrowing tale of two Cities - The Guardian

Nike’s New Running Shoe Aims to Cut the Running Injury Rate in Half – Gear Patrol

Just about anyone who runs regularly encounters injury or at the very least aches and pains. Nike envisions a world where such hangups are not the norm, and its newest running shoe, the Nike React Infinity Run, is the brands latest effort toward such a utopia. And this one has some science to back it up.

The shoe features a blend of technologies developed for earlier shoes. The ultralight, performance-oriented Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% is celebrated for its geometry, with the rockered bottom fueling more fluid and efficient strides. Meanwhile, the Nike React boasts a proprietary foam that delivers a high level of cushioning and energy return.

Weaving the best of these two shoes together results in a shoe that is simultaneously speedy, supportive and, it turns out, safe. According to a study of 226 runners by the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation, the Nike React Infinity Run resulted in a 52 percent lower injury rate versus the Nike Structure 22, a classic motion-control shoe. Wearers also reported less pain in the knees and feet.

Because it basically compared a new Nike with an older Nike, this study is best digested with a healthy grain of salt. Still, the prospect of a super comfortable running sneaker that also delivers high performance and makes running more pleasurable and (possibly) reduces injury is a pretty tempting one. We are currently testing the shoe and will be sharing first-hand impressions very soon.

At a price of $160, the Nike React Infinity Run will be available January 3for Nike Members and January 16 for everyone else.

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Nike's New Running Shoe Aims to Cut the Running Injury Rate in Half - Gear Patrol

Reactions to ‘Sesame Street’ Moving to HBO Max Is Outrage Culture at Its Dumbest – Pajiba

Right off the bat, I want to apologize for using the term outrage culture in the headline because I really dont want to sound like Todd Phillips, Shane Gillis, or the seemingly endless buffet of assholes who are mad that they cant just fire off lazy slurs and be treated like comedy gods. That said, I dont know what other term to use that encapsulates the amount of super dumb reactions to Sesame Street moving to HBO Max thanks to online writers not doing a scant two seconds of Googling before firing off sloppy headlines with equally sloppy reporting. If I seem extremely salty its because this is how 2016 happened. Just a complete disregard for facts and reality because it doesnt fit your narrative that Bernie will instantly turn the United States into a socialist utopia with the snap of his fingers, or Trump will get rid of all the gays and brown people just as quickly. Whichever flavor you were into at the time.

On that note, here are the facts: Sesame Street will continue to be free to watch on PBS. Absolutely nothing has changed since the original HBO deal from five years ago that not only saved Sesame Street but allowed it to create more episodes than ever, all of which freely flow to PBS and its PBS Kids app after nine months. Sesame Workshop specifically chose HBO because the network agreed to make sure low-income children still had access to its educational programming in accordance with its mission statement. In short, there has been no impact on a child turning on PBS and having free access to Big Bird and the gang. Theyre still getting a mix of old and new episodes as has been the case for decades.

Whats happening now is that instead of new episodes of Sesame Street airing on HBO before hitting PBS, its airing on HBO Max. Thats it. Well, not entirely, because it turns out HBO is bankrolling a slew of spinoffs including an Elmo talk show, all of which holy shit will air for free on PBS. How do I know this? I did two seconds of Googling and found this Deadline report with the full announcement. Its almost like all of this is a good thing, but you wouldnt know it if youre one of the terrifying number of Americans getting their news from social media.

So lets take a look at The Verge whose post is getting the most amount of traction and whose writer was retweeting just straight-up wrong takes before scrubbing her Twitter account over the weekend. Clearly, she knows that her headline is deliberately misleading her own reporting contradicts it but has it been corrected? Nope. Heres the passage thats still being repeated ad nauseam as if its the smoking gun of this whole debacle.

For the record, despite putting at some point in quotes even though the time period is nine months like its been for the past five years, the episodes airing for free completely debunks The Verges headline. But this is the internet, so guess what 90% of people are only seeing and immediately reacting to: The headline, which looks like this on Twitter.

It also doesnt help that The AV Club aggregated The Verges reporting, and then made it even more nefarious sounding by ignoring the glossed over part about PBS.

Jesus Christ. No, it is not a big unanswered question because, again, HBO has specifically said that new episodes of both Sesame Street and whatever spinoffs it produces will air for free on PBS. Its not like you have to sift through goddamn microfiche to find that information. Theres a literal computer in your pants that will serve it to you in a matter of seconds.

The problem here is that Sesame Street moving to HBO Max is great news for PBS viewers isnt as sexy a headline and/or take as EVIL CAPITALIST NETWORK TAKES BIG BIRD HOSTAGE IN STREAMING WAR. Once that narrative took hold, welcome to goddamn Galaxy Brain City. It also doesnt help that not only is no one educating themselves on the basic fundamentals of the Sesame Workshop/HBO deal before hitting Send Tweet, but theres clearly a vast misconception about how Sesame Street has been beamed into TVs for almost half a century. Youd think youd want to look into the broad strokes before pontificating on the supposedly villainous move by HBO, but that would make the internet a less festering poophole of dumb.

In a nutshell, there appears to be a narrative out there that Sesame Street has been mostly if not fully funded by the federal government through PBS for decades, which benevolently passed it out for free until HBO came in and Fern Gullyd the place or whatever. Not even close. Sesame Workshop, formerly known as Childrens Television Workshop, had been fighting off a severe lack of federal funds since the 70s. There was a very, very tiny window when the government was helping out, but without seed money from this should melt some brains Carnegie Steel or Ford Motor Company, Sesame Street wouldve never happened. So the solution to this problem was to rely on merchandising, which Sesame Workshop reluctantly and painstakingly started licensing because it didnt want to exploit its child audience. Every dollar was poured back into the show, and thats what kept it alive for decades albeit tenuously. DVDs were a huge boon for a while, but when streaming took hold, the shit hit the fan as those sales tanked, and HBO stepped in and essentially saved the show from extinction.

Of course, if you mention any correct information during the current discourse, heres the type of reaction youll get:

Please kill me.

On that note, here are some viral tweets that are still up and reached tens of thousands of users. A fun thing to do is watch how the OP reacts when its pointed out to them that either Sesame Street is and will continue to be free to watch on PBS or that its relied on capitalism since the jump. The go-to response is almost always, Well, its super messed up that theres a tiered level of content for the rich, which is a f*cking insane thing to say. Were talking about Sesame Street here, a show predominantly watched by toddlers. You can put them in front of an episode from 1999 or 2019, and they wont give a shit as long as Elmo has mail. I have kids of my own, and I couldve bulldozed the entire living room without them blinking an eye if that little red bastard was on. But go off on kings and queens.

I mean, Christ, this tweet is just flat out wrong in every possible way, so naturally, it has the most interactions of them all.

And here are a bunch of other bad takes that just completely ignore that Sesame Street will still be free to watch on PBS. Some of these people are journalists who should honestly know better.

Kids will have it now. It says it right in the poorly headlined article you just tweeted. Goddammit.

Header Image Source: Sesame Workshop

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The rest is here:

Reactions to 'Sesame Street' Moving to HBO Max Is Outrage Culture at Its Dumbest - Pajiba

One Hundred Years Ago Feels Brand New at A Noise Within – coloradoboulevard.net

Gem of the Ocean at A Noise Within (Photo Craig Schwartz)

By Melanie Hooks

A Noise Within, Pasadenas resident troupe dedicated to keeping the classics fresh and accessible, does just that with their current production of August Wilsons Gem of the Ocean. Part of a series of ten plays, each portraying a decade of the 20th century (you might know of Fences from this series, whose film version recently netted Viola Davis an Oscar), Gem begins forty years after slaverys abolition but far from the utopia once envisioned by the older generation, who are now elderly but were young people when first freed.

As actor Evan Lewis Smith commented in a recent question and answer forum, his character Citizen Barlow, a young man, has no memory of the institutionalized horror that central character Aunt Ester (powerhouse Veralyn Jones) lived. In fact, he has no idea of his personal story beyond his own short life, a brutal, confined one of manual labor, his wages shorted, stolen and ultimately used to keep him in servitude a cycle that leads to his violent rebellion and arrival at Aunt Esters door, asking her to wash his soul.

Could a visit to the mythical City of Bones, an African mystical place Aunt Ester alone remembers, ground Citizen and lead to his redemption? Does the context of our suffering help us to accept and transcend it? Jones believes so, and the casts lively discussion of the importance of story as a center of self lent great insight into this American classic that deserves a broader reputation. As one audience member commented, This is our story. The American story.

If youve only read of Wilson but havent experienced much of his work live, this is a chance not to be missed. Multi-layered characters of different generations are treat enough alone. Lifetime friends Eli (Alex Morris), the protector, and Solly Two Kings (Kevin Jackson), the rascal join Ester and traveling salesman Rutherford Selig (Bert Emmett) as one of the most grounded and charming coffee clatches on the modern stage. The first three all started life incarcerated in Alabama before the Civil War, and their stories of escape and coming north would tempt any listener to beg for more.

Wilsons pace allows for this sort of dwelling in memory. In fact, the action that pushes the play forward Citizens crime and his striving for redemption play more like a subplot in the first half. Once that bomb ignites after intermission, however the power of Esters mysticism takes center stage a fascinating mix of African tales, music and Biblical imagery.

(L-R) Veralyn Jones and Evan Lewis in Gem of the Ocean at A Noise Within (Photo Craig Schwartz)

Director Gregg T. Daniel and Choreographer Joyce Guy take full advantage of the thrust stage, pushing Citizens journey of the mind into the audience, using the fly spaces like one of last seasons Argonautika battle action sequences. Its a thrilling, heady mix of light (Jean-Yves Tessier) and sound (Martin Carrillo) design that pushes the solid house sets (Stephanie Kerley Schwartz) around like toy blocks. Truly its a spectacle that only theater can provide. These characters dont allow their minds or spirits to be caged, and the production invites us into their inner worlds as few do.

The dialect of Alabamans-now-in-Pitt presents a special challenge, and coach Andrea Odinov deserves a special nod for making the idiom-filled script accessible for modern audiences living a world away from the characters surrounds.

Also a special treat: the young, incredibly self-possessed Black Mary, brought to life by Carolyn Ratteray. Wilsons words provide the highway, but Ratteray drives the car and its a V8, especially in scenes with the equally young and un-aware Citizen. She runs circles around his simplistic understanding of sexual power a raucous audience moment of sheer, very modern pleasure. Add to that the searing self-righteousness of her brother Caesar, local enforcer for the law, referred to by other characters as an overseer and played with genuine understanding of collaborator sympathy by Chuma Gault, and you have a truly layered family one that feels more like real life than many a modern show.

A Noise Within hopes to bring Wilsons entire cycle of ten Century plays to life; dont be the person who misses the first one. Your inner storytelling soul will be sorry.

Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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One Hundred Years Ago Feels Brand New at A Noise Within - coloradoboulevard.net

Pictures of the week – The Bookseller

Published October 4, 2019 by Francesca Pymm

David Mitchell reads from his new novel Utopia Avenue (Sceptre) in this week's pictures round-up, while BookTrust hosts a free event for aspiring writers and...

Philip Pullman revealed the inspiration behind The Secret Commonwealth (Penguin/David Fickling Books) during a sold-out launch event at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday 2nd October. Pullman was joined on stage by journalist Zing Tsjeng.

David Mitchell read an exclusive extract from his new novel Utopia Avenue at a Sceptre Salon storytelling event on Tuesday 1st October.

To celebrate the launch of Elevate, an employee led BAME networking group founded at HarperCollins, BAME in Publishing's Sarah Shaffitalked toAmrou Al-Kadhi about theirmemoirUnicorn(Fourth Estate)on Monday 30th September.

L-R Barry Forshaw, Catherine Steadman and Robert Glenister took part in a panel event entitled Building Drama Page by Page at the inaugural Capital Crime festival, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms last weekend (26th-28th September).

On Saturday 28th September, BookTrust Represents held a free training session for aspiring writers and illustrators of colour at the Centre for Literacy and Primary Education (CLPE) in London. (David Parry/PA Wire)

Broadcaster Emily Maitlis joined Bret Easton Ellis, Brian Cox and Sir Richard Dearlove at the third Cliveden Literary Festival, which took place at Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire last weekend (28th-29th September). (Cliveden Literary Festival)

L-R Georgina Capel, Ben Okri, Kate Mosse and Ian McEwan were among the guests at a drinks reception hosted by The Arts Club during the sold-out festival. (Cliveden Literary Festival/The Arts Club)

Bonnier Books UK hosted a proof party at Brunswick House on Thursday 26th September to celebrate Stacey Halls' new novel The Foundling.

L-R Emma Straub, Marian Keyes, Louise Moore and Jane Fallon attended Michael Joseph's spring 2020 showcase at Shakespeare's Globe in central London on Wednesday 25th September. (Tom Nicholson)

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Pictures of the week - The Bookseller

Todd About Town: Word on the Street in Minneapolis and St. Paul This Week – Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

It was opening week for the Broadway touring production of Mean Girlsat the Orpheum Theatrein Minneapolis.The cast party was held at the Le Meridien Chambers Hotel.While mingling amongst VIPsand the cast of Mean GirlsI ran into Lisa Krohn, the director of theatre programming for Hennepin Theatre Trust.HTT is responsible for booking many of the shows we see at the Orpheum, Pantages and State Theatre. Lisa is also one of the select few in Minnesota that sees every show nominated for a Tony Award and casts her ballot for her favorites. I thought, Who better to ask than Lisa what her top three picks would be for anyone planning a trip to NYC yet this year?Lisas top picks are Hadestown, David Byrnes American Utopia and Girl from the North Country.See you in the Big Apple!

Caf Latte, the restaurant that has been bringing us delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, and those amazing desserts for the past 35 years, is doing a little refresh and expansion. You may remember the old Quince retail space in the back of the building adjacent to the pizza and wine bar. The area will soon be reinvented as an exhibition style cake finishing area with a massive glass walk-in cooler to display all things covered in whipped cream. The area will also be used as an event space for bridal showers, afternoon high teas, and wine tastings. Owner Bryce Quinn plans to have the new area open in January 2020. My top two personal favorites are the Vanilla Tres Leches Cake and the Turtle Cake.

Scout, the mens clothing store in the West 7thStreet neighborhood of St. Paul celebrated one year in business in August, when a white SUV crashed through the glass entryway of the store. No one was hurt in the mishap but the shop owners were forced to evacuate the historic building. I talked to John Migala, a partner in the mens apparel and gift shop this week, as to their future plans. Scout plan to open a pop-up shop in the former Ann Taylor store on Grand Avenue in St. Paul until their charming West 7thStreet location is rebuilt and ready for business.

Entertainment reporter Todd Walker covers the gala a social circuit for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Look for him at events and weekly on FOX 9 News.

October 7, 2019

12:10 PM

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Todd About Town: Word on the Street in Minneapolis and St. Paul This Week - Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

13 cool things to do this week in Pittsburgh – NEXTpittsburgh

Here are the events you need to know about this week in Pittsburgh: October 7-10.

Monday, October 7: Public Exchange at the Frick Environmental Center 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.October is the perfect time to participate in this free public forum with staff from Get Outdoors PA, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Dynamic Paddlers and Venture Outdoors exploring topics like adaptive kayaking, equitable investment and community engagement. Tour the Frick Environmental Center, hike through Frick Park and network with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts.

Monday, October 7: Artist Resource Fair at the New Hazlett Theater5:30-9 p.m.Seeking support from grants, residencies and local and regional resources for your art? Head to this free event to gain insight from experts representing 14 foundations and arts service organizations. At the networking reception, youll meet funders, program directors and fellow artists and enjoy food from Sprezzatura.

Monday, October 7: Stephen Chbosky at Carnegie Library Lecture Hall7 p.m.After having his debut novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, become a multi-million copy bestseller and spawn an award-winning film, the celebrated writer and Pittsburgh native Stephen Chbosky is back with a highly-anticipated second book. Dont miss his Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures talk, followed by a book signing.

The Orion String Quartet.

Monday, October 7: Chamber Music Pittsburgh at Carnegie Music Hall7:30 p.m.Add some music to your Monday. The Orion String Quartet and virtuoso violist Catherine Cho will perform a soaring repertoire of compositions by Beethoven, Haydn, Currier and others.

Tuesday, October 8: Where to Turn Resource Fair9 a.m.-12 p.m.If youre in need of vital community resources, this event is for you. Attend lectures on health care topics, peruse an exhibitor fair packed with helpful resources and meet with social workers, service coordinators, educators and others.

Tuesday, October 8: Bianca Del Rios Its JesterJoke at Stage AE8 p.m.Comedy queen Bianca Del Rio, who emerged from the New Orleans nightclub circuit to win RuPauls Drag Race, brings her new hit comedy sensation to the Burgh. Follow the self-proclaimed clown in a gown on a trip through her outrageous globe-trotting adventures from politics and traveling, to family drama and social media.

Where Justice Ends, George Zuber. Photo courtesy of Reel Q.

Wednesday, October 9: Reel Q LGBTQ+ Film Festival at Row House Cinema7:30 p.m.The regions only LGBTQ+ film festival runs through Oct. 13. On-screen tonight is George Zubers documentary, Where Justice Ends, chronicling the experiences of transgender people within the U.S. prison system. The event includes a panel discussion with Zuber, documentary subject CeCe McDonald and SisTers PGH Executive Director Ciora Thomas.

Thursday, October 10: All for All Summit Neighborhood Tours2-5 p.m.Hop aboard a trolley at Alphabet City on the Northside to kick off the three-day All for All Summit. Experience Pittsburgh through the lens of immigrants, Black Americans and youth and explore the intersection of economic development, art and community-building as you visit neighborhood organizations and cultural landmarks and hear from business owners, local leaders and cultural creators.

Photo courtesy of All for All.

Thursday, October 10: Utopia or Oblivion by Kevin Clancy at Bunker Projects5-8 p.m.Dont miss the free opening reception at this mecca for emerging artists in Garfield, where youll get a first look at new work by Kevin Clancy. Examining the omnipresent forces of the internet, social media, surveillance and screens in contemporary life, the exhibition will feature mixed-media sculptures and a soundscape composed by John Also Bennett.

Thursday, October 10: Pittsburgh Tech Crawl in Downtown Pittsburgh 5-9 p.m.Pittsburgh has numerous art and pub crawls, and even crawls dedicated to cookies and cats. Now, you can eat, drink and network your way through Downtowns booming tech industry. There will also be tech demos, prizes and swag, plus an after-party at the Metropolitan Club.

Thursday, October 10: Tactoberfest at Black Forge Coffee House in McKees Rocks5:30-7 p.m.Move over Oktoberfest, its time for Tactoberfest. Savor a special vegan taco menu at Black Forge Coffee Houses new McKees Rocks digs, where all proceeds from the pop-up dinner will benefit Planned Parenthood of Western PAs Defund Fund.

Thursday, October 10: Soul on the Hill at the Energy Innovation Center6-9 p.m.Celebrate the people, places and music of Pittsburghs historic Hill District neighborhood. See performances by Jacquea Mae Olday, Teresa Hawthorne and the Legacee Live Band, explore multimedia public art by Njaimeh Njie and get groovy during a SOUL Dance Party led by DJ Nate Da Barber.

Catapult. Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Thursday, October 10: Catapult: The Amazing Magic of Shadow and Dance at the Byham Theater7:30 p.m.This is an art form you have to see to believe. Watch in awe as shape-shifting performers morph into a massive mountain, elephant, helicopter and other entities. As seen on Americas Got Talent, the imaginative production fuses music, shadows and sculpture and more to tell captivating stories.

Looking for moreevents and live music? Read ourtop weekly and weekend events,Top 12 things to do in Pittsburgh in October,33 great Pittsburgh concerts in October and NovemberandDont miss these 15 kid-friendly Pittsburgh events in October.

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13 cool things to do this week in Pittsburgh - NEXTpittsburgh

Enterprise hits and misses – AI gets a fresh evaluation, and offshoring gets a rethink – Diginomica

Lead story - Is AI an agent of big tech dominance, or a democratizing force?

MyPOV: It was an AI futures kind of week at diginomica, but this time around, it was not about jobs. Kurt kicked things off with Is AI an agent of big tech hegemony or multi-disciplinary research and innovation?

He pushes back on an alarmist New York Times article about big tech's AI dominance Kurt's reply? "AI hegemony is a myth." Why?

Fears of a big tech monopoly of AI talent and technology are overwrought and comparing the systems required to perform AI research to particle accelerators is absurd... The areas where mega techs like Amazon, Facebook, Google, et al. have a distinct advantage are less due to their AI acumen and more a result of their access to vast amounts of consumer data, be it e-commerce transactions, search results or online interactions.

Deep learning systems crave massive data sets. Access to those data sets, argues Kurt, is the real divide:

If such data repositories are deemed to create unfair competitive asymmetries, the solution isn't an AI technology tax or publicly funded AI server farms, but regulations on the collection, use and sharing of such data.

Meanwhile, Chris parses a seemingly upbeat AI study from Samsung, which found the public to be more informed - and optimistic - about "AI" than I would have expected.

Roughly half of all respondents (51%) believe that AI's impact on society will be positive, 16% that it will be negative, with the remaining one-third of interviewees being ambivalent or unable to answer the question.

Particularly intriguing:

Support is greatest among those who are familiar with the technology and lowest among those who are not.

Not sure where that leaves folks like me, who get more concerned each time a utopian future is flogged by salivating, gee willikers tech vendors the black box is lifted. Chris has issues with some of the survey's approaches - a common affliction with vendor-sponsored surveys. Still, he writes:

Samsung should be commended for trying to counterbalance the negative tabloid narratives and decades of dystopian sci-fi with an outreach programme of techno-evangelism.

However, utopia doesn't fly:

[Samsung] would establish a great deal more credibility for this exercise if it lets the figures speak for themselves, both for and against each question, rather than appear to impose its own utopian narrative.

On a truly upbeat note, Den shares his talk with Vishal Sikka, a long-time AI proponent who now has skin in the AI startup game: Democratizing and demystifying AI - Vianai Systems' approach. Sikka's first question:

How do you make tools that make it dramatically easier for people to use so that millions can take advantage of AI?

Now there's an AI mission I can get behind.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my top choices from our vendor coverage, as we reach the peak of the fall event season:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Stuart comes to the defense of the unexpected, and by that I mean... Facebook? Yep, Stuart's favorite dopamine factory software company, Facebook, is finding backbone on a big issue: encryption (Facebook is right for once as the US, UK and Australia gang up on it over encryption). "Facebook is right. There - Ive said it. Three words youre not going to read very often" - at least not in these parts! Then Stuart shifts from privacy to free speech, another suddenly quaint idea, in Is freedom of speech the real loser as Europe's top court takes on social media platform providers?

No standout pieces this week, so it's time for... quick hits across the enterprise web:

Armis warns of unpatchable vulnerabilities in critical hardware - "For some devices, the vulnerabilities are so severe that they are considered unpatchable." Oh boy. Josh Greenbaum adds via Twitter:

The New York Times published a navel-gazing piece on where outsourcing doom-and-gloom went wrong: The White-Collar Job Apocalypse That Didn't Happen. Quote to ponder:

Where in retrospect I missed the boat is in thinking that the gigantic gap in labor costs between here and India would push it to India rather than to South Dakota," Mr. Blinder said in a recent interview. "There were other aspects of the costs to moving the activities that we weren't thinking about very much back then when people were worrying about offshoring."

Looking to the future of work, this caught my eye:

The new study found that in the jobs that Mr. Blinder identified as easily offshored, a growing share of workers were now working from home. Mr. Ozimek said he suspected that many more were working in satellite offices or for outside contractors, rather than at a company's main location.

Reader Frank Scavo adds:

Honorable mention

So a giant elevator could connect Earth to space, and as per Business Insider, it could be done using current technology. I hope this gets more traction than The Onion's satirical call from George W Bush to construct a giant national air conditioner to combat global warming.

And yes, Broadcast Meteorologists Love To Interrupt Football Games. Let's face it - from time to time, they have a reason. Still: huge bonus for the "FU and your games" graphic. Oh, and a Russian man is suing Apple, claiming his iPhone turned him gay. I really want to make a joke about AirPods here, but I think you'll agree that I'll just get myself into needless trouble.

Finally, in honor of our AI themes this week - I had a bit of a falling out with Alexa recently.

I got a bit roasted on this one, but hey, I set myself up pretty good. All I know is that "You betcha!" is a far cry from the personalized responses I was expecting three years into my "smart home." See you next time...

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.

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Enterprise hits and misses - AI gets a fresh evaluation, and offshoring gets a rethink - Diginomica

ATEEZ Reflect on 1 Year Since Their Debut, ‘Treasure’ Album Series & More – Billboard

Its been a little under a year since K-pop boy band ATEEZ arrived on the scene with their dual debut songs Pirate King"and Treasure in October 2018. Since then, theyve rapidly picked up a reputation as one of the industrys most dynamic young acts and gained particular renown for their impactful performance style and flair for creative sonic production.

With a strong international following -- in the States, each of their first three EPs, all part of their Treasure album series, premiered on the World Albums chart, and they've seen several singles rank on the World Digital Song Sales chart -- the group recently held their first world tour, and have since signed with RCA for local representation.

While in Los Angeles this summer for KCON 2019 LA, ATEEZ sat down with Billboard to reflect on their first year in the K-pop industry. Check out their Q&A below.

You recently signed with RCA. How are you feeling about that?

Hongjoong: Actually, that were [with]RCA, that situation is so amazing to us. Its a very amazing moment. But [theres] nothing different from before. Its a big company, but well continue to do our best. I think there wont be many differences, just that were a bit more secure now. It feels very nice.

What do you hope to achieve in the U.S. now that youve signed with a local company?

Wooyoung: Touring and Billboard [Music] Awards.

Hongjoong: We want to go to some awards shows in America too.

You recently asked your fans their opinions in the decision-making process behind your singles for your most recent album, Treasure Ep.3: One To All, and for your official lightstick. Why did you want to do that?

Seonghwa: For the album, there were two really good songs for the title songs [Wave and Illusion] and we couldnt decide between the two so we talked to our company about it and we thought a voting poll would be nice.

Would you like to do more similar events?

Hongjoong: Of course. Every album, we have different input from fans. Someday maybe well do an album cover made by[our fans] ATINY. We can do everything like that.

Why is it important to you to open up your creative process in this collaborative nature with your fandom ATINY?

Jongho: There must be a reason that fans like us, and through ATINY[s input] we can see a bit of that reasoning. Theres a synergy between us and ATINY.

What if you didn't like their decision?

Hongjoong: Itll never happen. Their opinion is our opinion too. Destiny.

How do you feel, if at all, Treasure Ep.3: One To All shows a new side musically to ATEEZ?

Wooyoung: In the first and second album, it was a lot darker and we showed a charismatic side. Now, were showing off a more summery, lighter viber to ourselves on the latest album. Very pretty, very different from the first two.

Do you feel you fit the darker or brighter styles better?

San: Every member is kind of unique, and there may be some members that pull off cute better than others but in the end were all able to pull off everything.

What are every members favorite album? [A/N: Many responded with single titles, not album titles.]

Wooyoung: Say My Name

Mingi: Say My Name

Hongjoong: Debut album, Pirate King.

Yeosang: Second album,Say My Name.

San: Yeah, Say My name.

Yunho: Episode 3. This album.

Jungho: I think Say My Name.

Seonghwa: Debut.

It sounds like a lot of you like the earlier stuff, so would you like to go back to that now that youve tried something a bit more vibrant?

Hongjoong: Maybe we will try many more different concepts.

What are you guys working on right now?

Hongjoong: Every day, every night, we always make music and try something for the next album. We practice. Were always doing [something]. We cant sleep.

Because of work? Or becuase of insomnia or something?

Hongjoong: Oh, no, Im a very good sleeper. I always sleep. When I eat something, sometimes I fall asleep. I sleep really well, its the opposite of insomnia.

Yunho: [He falls alseep] justin three seconds.

This is the third Treasure album. Is this the final album from the series, or do you plan to continue it?

Hongjoong: We already know how we make our next story, but we cant say about [that] yet.

[Since this interview, the group announced they will release the fourth and final Treasure album, Treasure EP.Fin: All to Action, on Oct. 8..]

What did you want fans to take away from the adventure theme Wave and Illusion music videos?

San: Since the first and second albums music videos were really dark and charismatic and kind of represent how weve worked very hard, these music videos were brighter and can sort of represent atime of rest. Like, for our fans, if you work Monday through Friday, the third album is like the weekend when you can take a break.

You released a music video for Aurora after the albums release, and received a lot of love. What does that song mean to you?

Hongjoong: When I was writing the song, I got inspiration from the stage when I see ATINY from it. I feel like they look like an aurora because they always have their [handheld] lightsand different ways of cheering us [on]. I want them to feel the same way as us when they watch our dancing or listen to our music, that they feel an aurora. Relax, very beautiful. I like that. So I write songs like that. The lyrics are about that too.

You also have a song on the album called Utopia. Whats each member's idea of utopia?

San: My utopia is ATINY, so through the song we wanted to show them how weve made a utopia through the bond between ATEEZ and ATINY.

This is a bit random, but you feature the phrase Hakuna Matata in your single Wave. Are you guys big Lion King fans?

Wooyoung: When I was younger, I watched Lion King with my older brother a lot when I was younger and I want to see the live-action film.

Yunho: [Sings the opening lines of Circle of Life.]

Do you have any other favorite movies or fictional inspirations you want to draw inspiration from for future releases?

Jongho: La La Land, Aladdin, those two soundtracks I really like. I think that could be influential for me.

Yunho: I like The Avengers. Kind of how in the seperate movies the general theme is cool and superhero-esque, I would like to see if ATEEZ could pull off something like that. [San plays around in the background, imitating Iron Man and Thor.]

Hongjoong: Pirates of the Caribbean. Were already doing like that [with Pirate King], but yea.

What are some changes youve seen among yourselves since your debut?

San: In the beginning, I wasnt 100% satisfied with myself and fully confident. But by watching the performances of my seniors and through ATINYs support, I was able to find confidence. Even though I may still be lacking now, I feel like Ive made a change for the better. Im very confident, but skills-wise I can work harder.

Who are some of the senior artists youve looked up to to learn from?

San: Taemin [of SHINee], Kai [of EXO]. I dont discriminate between senior male groups or female groups, so also Seulgi [of Red Velvet.] Theyre really good at performing, so I look up to them.

Kind of a similar question, but isthere anything that you feel youve changed about how you perform your songs or choreography since you started out? Either from the reaction of fans, or things youve learned more about as youve developed since your debut?

Seonghwa: When I look on social media, I do see a lot of opinions from my fans. I have my own opinions about what I want to become as well, so I take into account all of these different opinions and try to become a more diverse person with a more unique image for myself.

What is something you want to see for yourself?

Seonghwa: I want to keep improving on my hand gestures and facial expressions for during my parts during our performances.

How about anyone else?

Hongjoong: Weve actually made some changes to our shows. Our fans like more active, harder music sometimes, so we arranged our songs [to be] like what they want. So in our fanmeeting in Korea, we arranged the music again. Some music had a street version, some had an electric guitar version. Things like that. We receive their message, and they want harder music, they want more energetic [music] so we change it a little bit with arrangements. As for me, I want to try everything. For example, in Aurora I want to make more strings. In Pirate King I want to make it more active with drums, guitars, like that.

Yunho: When I was a trainee, I was talking about how I focused on choreography, and one of our strong points as a team is that our choreography is very coordinated. ATINY really likes that, so thats a driving factor, to work on growing as a group.

Another kind of random question but since you mentioned thatyou look online at what fans say Do you have any favorite memes?

Seonghwa: Theres this type of comedic picture where fans compile one picture out of many other pictures, and its really funny to me.

Youre known as a hardworking, really dedicated group, so how do you relax?

Jongho: Every member has a kind of unique way of resting during their break, like some people like to play games and others like to listen to or make music.

What kind of music do you guys like to listen to when resting?

San: Begin Agains Lost Stars.

Wooyoung: [Onces] Falling Slowly.

Yunho: I like upbeat dance music.

Jongho, joking: Heavy metal.

Yunho: No, not up to the point of heavy metal. Upbeat pop songs.

It sounds like many members of ATEEZ like musicals a lot. Do you have any favorites?

Jongho: Jesus Christ Superstar. I watched a lot of musicals when I was younger.

Whats something youd like to try musically moving forward?

Mingi: Lately, Ive been listening a lot to hip-hop and R&B, and the genres are really kind of blending together. The strict boundaries are getting more and more hazy, so Id like to venture into a song that mixes both. Ive been listening to Drake and Lil Nas X.

Do you like Old Town Road?

Hongjoong: [Starts singing.]

Mingi: Yes, but my favorite is Rodeo.

Whats something you miss about not being celebrities in the spotlight?

Mingi: Cant go to the Jimjilbang [Korean sauna.] I saw theres one in Koreatown [in LA] and Id like to go if I have time.

Whats something youve never told fans?

Mingi: Last night, San called room service and ordered pizza for me. My best friend. I love you.

Whats something that you want to try and achieve by the end of 2019 that you havent been able to achieve yet if anything?

Seonghwa: Change the color of my hair. I want to go through a lot of colors and then go back to black.

Wooyoung: I want to perform at the Mnet Asian Music awards.

Watch ATEEZs newly released performance teaser video for their upcoming single Wonderland below.

This interview was conducted in English and Korean, and edited for clarity.

Go here to see the original:

ATEEZ Reflect on 1 Year Since Their Debut, 'Treasure' Album Series & More - Billboard

Love and War in European Fiction – The New York Times

There are clear parallels between this story and the stunning late-90s Danish film Festen (The Celebration, in English), in which a man attends a grand birthday party for his father, using the well-attended occasion to publicly disclose the familys dark history. Hjorth mentions the film multiple times in her novel, and explicitly, effectively contrasts her storys upshot with that of the movie.

I was so inhibited and traumatized that I had to stay away from something that might have been good for me, Bergljot writes after not attending a party. All because of my stupid childhood. That should be my epitaph: All because of my stupid childhood.

THE GIRL AT THE DOORBy Veronica RaimoTranslated by Stash Luczkiw 229 pp. Black Cat. Paper, $16.

Dystopian fatigue is real. It seems that every other novel today is set in some undetermined yet overdetermined future. The Girl at the Door, the first work by the Italian writer Raimo to be translated into English, freshens the genre a bit by setting it in a utopia. Miden is a fictional island where there are no longer any diminutives or pet names, Raimo writes. They were eliminated from the language to keep women from being harangued in an untoward or debasing way. There are no poor people there, nor even unhappy people, because the society couldnt conceive of them.

The novel is told in brief, alternating chapters narrated by characters simply called Him and Her. He is a professor of philosophy in Miden, and she is his pregnant partner. She has recently been visited by a former student of the professor who claims that he raped her throughout an affair they had two years ago. I didnt know then, the girl tells her, meaning that she had been subjected to violence. I know now. A commission is deciding whether he is guilty of causing TRAUMA No. 215 in his victim.

The book makes vague mention of an international language, and as in many dystopian stories there are plenty of portentous, underexplained words in capital letters: There was a Crash that led many to emigrate to Miden. The female narrators father was one of the founders of the Dream. There are Mediators who are subjected to constant monitoring and psychological stress tests in which they had to demonstrate their objectivity even in the most controversial situations and what was often meant by controversy was just life.

Everything in Miden is produced locally because imported goods make the inhabitants feel destabilized by the unknown. Readers have reason to believe that the professor is at the very least morally cloudy, but Raimo is clearly most interested in complicating our ideas about what it might mean to expunge, or even attempt to expunge, the worst impulses and elements from society.

See more here:

Love and War in European Fiction - The New York Times

The AIF announces shortlist for 2019 awards – Access All Areas

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced the shortlist for the 2019 Independent Festival Awards, which will take place on 6November in Sheffield as part of its sixth flagship Festival Congress.

Taking place again at 92 Burton Road in Sheffield, this years winners will be announced during an awards ceremony hosted for the first time by actor, writer and comedian Thanyia Moore.

In 2017, Moore joined the likes of Katherine Ryan, Andi Osho, Sarah Millican, Miss London Hughes and Desiree Birch when she was crowned Funny Women Champion, beating over 400 women in the process and also reaching the semi-finals of the BBC New Comedy Award in 2018.

In a shake-up for the Independent Festival Awards, there are nine awards categories in total this year, designed to recognise success and innovation across the independent festival industry. These include, Unique Festival Arena, Smart Marketing Campaign, Live Act of the Year and four new categories: European Festival of the Year, Backstage Hero, In On The Ground Floor (forward thinking artist booking) and Never Mind The Pollocks (best festival artwork).

The Smirnoff Arctic Disco at Snowbombing Austria, The Seaside Stage at Victorious, The Street at Beat-Herder, Elephants Grave at Nozstock and The Roadhouse at Black Deer Festival are all up for Unique Festival Arena this year.

The contenders for Live Act of the Year, presented in association with PRS for Music, are KOKOKO!, Yola, The Murder Capital, Black Futures, and Bloxx.

Elsewhere, Pete The Monkey (France), Snowbombing (Austria), Let It Roll (Czech Republic), Dunk! Festival (Belgium) and Blue Balls Festival (Switzerland) are all in the running for the inaugural European Festival of the Year award.

Nominees across other categories include Standon Calling, Barn On The Farm, Twisterella, Deer Shed and The Mighty Hoopla.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said: Were refreshing the Independent Festival Awards this year, with a new host and four new categories. The awards were set up as an irreverent alternative to other award shows, and the ultimate end of season celebration for the independent sector so its important to keep moving. Were delighted with the shortlist after receiving a record number of nominations from our members, proving there is no shortage of creativity and innovation in the independent festival sector. Were doing even more with the production and theme of the awards this year to emphasise that festival feel and weve introduced a European Festival of the Year category to demonstrate that, no matter what, the UK industry will remain a Europe-wide market and community.

DJ/producer Bear Growls dubbed the purveyor of the cosmic boogie will DJ at the awards, which will be followed by an after-show party at Yellow Arch Studios with DJ Katie Owen.

AIF has also announced the final Festival Congress schedule including an opening keynote from Owen Kingston, Artistic Director of immersive theatre company Parabolic Theatre, whose productions include For King And Country and Land Of Nod.

Kingston joins more than 45 speakers including previously announced Bing Jones (Extinction Rebellion), rock n roll photographer Jill Furmanovsky, Bert Cole (Arcadia Spectacular), Rebecca Wrigley (Rewilding Britain), Chris Sheldrick (what3words) and many more, with panels and workshops on topics including sustainability, the nature of independence, volunteer management, festival apps and data, licensing, contingency planning and more.

The theme of the event is Utopia And Dystopia, and the two-day conference will take place at Abbeydale Picturehouse a 1920s cinema in Sheffield.

See the complete schedule and list of speakers at festivalcongress.com

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The AIF announces shortlist for 2019 awards - Access All Areas

Crypto Rebels Trip Over Each Other en Route to Financial Utopia – Yahoo Finance

(Bloomberg Markets) -- For Ashleigh Schap, the 2008 Great Recession was more an ideological awakening than an economic crisis. Her hometown of Houston escaped the worst of the maelstrom that ravaged large parts of the U.S., her parents kept their jobs, and the house she was living in retained most of its value. She had little reason to imagine the wheels would come off Americas capitalist machine.

Yet the events of that year left a lasting impression on the teenager. The financial crisis and its aftershocks, which she read about on blogs and discussed with her classmates, made her realize that good times dont last forever. More important to what she would do later in life, she says they left her with a distaste for a lopsided financial system that benefits and protects those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom.

Im from Texas. My family is conservative and capitalist, she says. And this was the first evidence I had seen that the ideas of growth at all times, that the cream always rises to the top, and that markets will be always be efficient, failed.

It would be five more years before Schap would discover Bitcoina key moment in her growing rebellion against existing political and financial structuresand five more before she would work on creating what she saw as a fairer financial order. She would also diverge politically from her family. I dont talk to them about politics anymore, says Schap, whos now 27.

Her path from the high school chess club to crypto rebel was far from inevitable. Even before graduating in 2014 from the University of Texas at Austin, she joined JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Dallas as an analyst in the companys business for wealthy clients. She says she spent less than half a year there, moved to New York, knocked around a fintech firm and a family office for a while, and eventually, in April 2018, landed on the outermost fringes of finance at MakerDAO.

The key to MakerDAO is in its name: DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization. Its an online platform for creating digital dollars, or so-called stablecoins, and generating loans secured by crypto tokensall run by a blockchain-based computer program and free of oversight by any central party, such as, say, a government.

MakerDAO is the most important player in the fast-growing movement known as decentralized finance. #DeFiwidely known by its Twitter hashtagaims to create a financial world where everything from loans to investments is readily available to anyone without having to go through gatekeepers who decide who gets to play or intermediaries who charge fees at every turn.

It was a world in which Schap felt at home. In her early 20s, the online game World of Warcraft had introduced her to Bitcoin: She needed it to buy an accessory for her avatar. She bought five Bitcoin tokens in February 2013 (and then lost the same number a year later when the Mt. Gox exchange froze withdrawals following a hack of its systems). Decentralized finance is a natural outgrowth of cryptos ideology. The DeFi movement is small; its almost exclusively the preserve of crypto utopians, many of them clustered around San Francisco. Its criticsand there are manysay its a wild experiment run by people ill-equipped to be designing financial products.

I left the traditional financial world for a reason. Im not some crazy renegade. Im quite the opposite

The technology might be interesting for more efficient delivery of financial services, but the naivet and lack of knowledge of financial history seem shocking to me, says Richard Bernstein, founder of Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC and a former chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch & Co. Theres this tear-down-the-house mentality, with minimal understanding of why financial regulation even exists.

QuickTake:U.S. Crypto Regulatory Fight Has Everything But Rules

Schap says shes no financial ingnue. I left the traditional financial world for a reason, not because I was not being paid enough, but because I wanted to see what we could do with this new technology and how far we could push it, she says. Im not some crazy renegade. Im quite the opposite. Blockchain has the potential to create a fairer financial system than we currently have, with more flexibility and greater opportunities to access credit.

Indeed, the ideas behind decentralized finance could have broad resonance beyond crypto circles. Popular uprisings from the global Occupy movement to the Hong Kong protests are driven by a young population pushing back against societal injustices and existing power structures, including in finance.

Working for MakerDAO, her hair dyed pink, her workstation a stones throw from the New York Stock Exchange, Schap had completely transitioned to the financial resistance. She says she loved that MakerDAO was the antithesis of a corporate giant like JPMorganless a corporation than a cooperative, a commune for the digital age with developers and entrepreneurs around the world collaborating on an exciting new project.

And yet unbeknownst to Schap, even by the time she joined MakerDAO, a rebellion was brewing within the rebellion. The infightingin which Schap would become an accidental combatantrevolved around how decentralized financial services can ever really be. MakerDAOs founder, Rune Christensen, had come to believe it was time to move away from crypto anarchism and integrate the project into the existing financial system. Others, including Chief Technology Officer Andy Milenius and Schap, saw such a move as a betrayal of the ideals they cherished.

In an account of the startups ideological battles that Milenius shared on the companys chat server in early April, he said Christensen, in trying to force his vision on what had been a loose coalition of developers and businesspeople, gave them an ultimatum to get on board with his agenda or leave. While Mileniuss post said numerous staffers were uncomfortable with Christensens power play, Schap was the only employee he mentioned by name.

As would soon become clear, her days at MakerDAO were numbered.

Schaps studies at UT Austin werent a natural launchpad for a career in finance. As a philosophy major, with a minor in French, she says she told a JPMorgan recruiter her liberal arts education taught her how to think through problems. The job didnt suit her in the end. I didnt feel like what we were doing was moving the needle, she says. We were collecting all these fees, but I thought we were really overpaid. It wasnt exactly rocket science.

Schap felt increasingly pulled to the edges of finance. There just hadnt been many opportunities to make a career in the crypto industry, she says, during the five years shed spent in traditional finance. But by last year, she says, she felt qualified enough, and bored enough, to take advantage of an opportunity that arose to join MakerDAO. Schap worked in business development, and what began as a jack-of-all-trades job soon morphed into a singular focus on delivering the most ambitious phase of the project: creating a stablecoin backed by multiple types of collateral. She says she worked on finding partners that could supply collateral to the MakerDAO system.

MakerDAOs stablecoin, Dai, is pegged to the dollar and, in its current iteration, backed by the cryptocurrency Ether. There are about $82million worth of Dai in circulation as of Sept. 19. Launched in late 2017, Dai was one of the first of whats become a flurry of virtual currencies designed to avoid large price swings.

Stablecoins like Dai can be used as a hedge against volatility. Ether peaked at more than $1,400 each at the beginning of 2018, only to fall to $84 at the end of the year and then to trade at $175 at the beginning of October. Dai can also be used to pay for things. Users of Dai claim to have bought cars and paid their employees salaries with the currency. MakerDAO says some payments companies such as Wirex Ltd. allow customers to use the token to facilitate the movement of funds between cryptocurrencies and traditional money.

The Dai token also enables lending. Dai is created when holders of Ether send their crypto to a blockchain-based computer program developed by MakerDAO and open whats known as a collateralized debt position. The CDP then issues a loan to Ether holders in Dai. The loan is smaller than the amount of Ether posted to maintain overcollateralization in case of market stress.

Dai, sold on exchanges such as Coinbase, is also widely used in other DeFi projects. Advocates of decentralized finance aspire to do more than just replicate the current system: They see a world in which DeFi projects collaborate to create business models and products that couldnt exist without blockchain technology.

Imagine being able to develop new financial markets that previously needed a multimillion-dollar bespoke contract designed by an investment bank, but with a few points and clicks, says Joey Krug, a DeFi entrepreneur and co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capital, the first U.S. investment firm focused on Bitcoin.

I left the traditional financial world for a reason. Im not some crazy renegade. Im quite the opposite

MakerDAO has a second token, MKR. A bit like shares in a public company, it gives holders voting rights on such matters as how much collateral is required to borrow Dai. Holders are rewarded for sound management with money drawn from fees charged to borrowers. The value of these tokens could be diluted if loans arent repaid. There are $450 million worth of MKR outstanding.

Schap says that if the MakerDAO system works as envisioned, it will be like a decentralized bank, taking deposits, facilitating lending, and managing risks. It also functions like a central bank in that it sets interest rates (in the form of what is called a stability fee, which is designed to help Dai track the dollar).

Before division and disenchantment set in at MakerDAO, Schap says, she felt she was involved in a startup that wasnt only reinventing finance but also creating a new type of corporate structureimpromptu brainstorming, a flat organization, ideas flying in from people regardless of job title or area of responsibility. All this, she says she believed in those early days, wasnt a function of good personal chemistry; it was Makers DNA.

Or maybe it wasnt. Her growing unease was thinly veiled in a series of tweets she sent on her one-year anniversary there. One of them said: I believe in a global, borderless, decentralized money. I believe in transparency and open governance. I also believe that we are human beings, we are flawed, and we have to set aside our selfish desires to make these things work. Because this work is worth doing. This matters.

A few weeks earlier, Christensen, who co-founded MakerDAO in 2014, had issued his ultimatum in true counterculture style. Christensen is a 28-year-old Danish entrepreneur. While still in college, the Mandarin speaker co-founded a company that recruited European teachers to work in China. Taking inspiration from the sci-fi film The Matrix, he gave his MakerDAO development team a choice. The red pill: Get on board with Christensens vision, whose main focus, as Milenius described it in his post, was on government compliance and integration of Maker into the existing global financial system. The blue pill: If you feel differently, finish your work and then leave.

Taking the red pill doesnt mean youre a sellout to mainstream finance, Christensen says: I reject the idea that Im not an idealist. He says he believes that startups like MakerDAO have few examples to follow, and to succeed in a fast-paced industry, they need to adapt to the real world.

The big journey and challenge is how to deliver this vision, he says. Its quite easy to write a white paper and code, but to get a real live decentralized finance system going, you need to deal with challenges like regulation and how to integrate with the establishment. In his view, the DAO-like setup that Schap cherished led to a tyranny of structurelessness.

MakerDAO last year established the Maker Foundation. Designed to make the Dai credit system a success, it was intended to formalize the structure. As of mid-September, the foundation was still in the process of recruiting a professional board of directors, according to Christensen.

In response to his ultimatum, Schap and some like-minded employees proposed a third way, which became known as the purple pill. They were seeking a compromise to preserve MakerDAOs decentralization ethos and ensure that its resources would be used to finance as broad a spectrum of DeFi projects as possible. If youre going to build a new system, its going to require selfless thinking and be designed so that theres not one company or entity that gets all the rewards, says Schap. You need to remove the advantages of being at the top, and that is hard to do: If we build something, we feel we need to get our pound of flesh.

Christensen, according to Mileniuss post, viewed the purple pill discussion as an uprising. Milenius said numerous purple pill partisans were fired. Schap was fired at the end of April. She says the reason given for her dismissal was violation of a nonsolicitation clause, something she denies. A MakerDAO spokesperson declined to comment.

Milenius, 27, who stepped down as CTO shortly before he wrote his treatise, says the struggles at MakerDAO are representative of a wider conflict that pervades the crypto communitya battle between those who see blockchain technology as a means to entirely reimagine the financial world and those who see it simply as a useful tool to make that world more efficient. The blockchain community has always been starkly divided between those with a reform agenda and those with a radical vision for a new way to live, he says. After the events of this past spring, it has become clear to me that Maker now exclusively falls into the former camp.

For Christensen, the next phase of the project is about increasing users and profits. He says hes considering whether MakerDAO should obtain a broker-dealer license or acquire a licensed brokerage firm so the MakerDAO system can accept collateral from the real world to back Dai. The future is not about making Maker work, but about figuring out how the ecosystem becomes as sprawling as its able to and how it can make money, he says. There is so much to be done before the crypto ecosystem becomes this big self-sustaining economy.

Schap says she was surprised to find herself at the center of the MakerDAO storm. I somehow ended up being the poster child of this perceived mutiny, she says. The reality was quite a bit different. It wasnt me leading. There was no coup.

After losing her job at MakerDAO, Schap headed to Egypt for some downtime. At Dahab, on the Red Sea, the longtime scuba diver tried something more adventurous: learning to free dive down 66 feet (20 meters). Schap says she relished the mental challenge of calming your mind and pushing past the urge to breathe or swim up. From Egypt, she went to Berlin, a hub for blockchain developers, where she advised some DeFi projects.

Schap says her experience at MakerDAO has strengthened, not broken, her conviction that decentralized financial services are necessary and worthwhile. She says she hopes MakerDAO prospers. She put a year of her life into it, after all, and she holds some MKR tokens. But she remains unconvinced that platforms such as MakerDAO need to be regulated.

Decentralized finance is dismissed as little more than a distraction by vast swaths of the financial community, so MakerDAOs next steps matter: Its the largest and most closely watched DeFi project. It has a significant bearing on the broader $220 billion crypto market, says Robert Leshner, CEO of Compound, a virtual-currency money market.

Leshner says MakerDAO and DeFi more generally are helping to provide an answer to the question that hangs over crypto. After the bubble, then crash, of 2017 and 2018, its natural to ask, What do we use this stuff for? he says. [DeFi] is the first legitimate answer to the question. DeFi is starting to have its moment because its the next chapter for crypto.

As for Schap, decentralization has become something of a life goal. She says shes now working on her own DeFi startup with friends and will split her time between Berlin and New York. I dont think Maker will ultimately make or break DeFi, she says. Its already helped to make it. And I dont think its possible, even if Maker were to fail, for this train to stop rolling.

Marsh covers cryptocurrencies in London.

To contact the author of this story: Alastair Marsh in London at amarsh25@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stryker McGuire at smcguire12@bloomberg.net

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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Crypto Rebels Trip Over Each Other en Route to Financial Utopia - Yahoo Finance

What is the Architecture of Degrowth? – Archpaper.com – The Architect’s Newspaper

The Oslo Architecture Triennale, now in its seventh iteration, has made a name for itself under the directorship of Hanna Dencik Petersson as one of the most prescient and timely showcases in the relentless stream of iennales and ennials, those beloved recurring art and design festivals where dreams are made. After a successful 2016 exhibition themed around migration and identity in the face of hyper-globalization, the program returned in 2019, this time examining climate change, resource allocation, and economic systems under the theme of degrowth with Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth. Curated by Interrobang, an architecture and engineering firm, with chief curators Matthew Dalziel, Phineas Harper, Cecilie Sachs Olsen, and Maria Smith, the exhibition is a fresh take on ecology, introducing the ideology of degrowth into architecture discourse and examining how it would help realize a more ecologically-oriented human civilization.

Degrowth has recently gotten attention as a new paradigm for understanding a post-consumerist future where resource extraction and economic growth are decelerated, giving way to new social, political, and economic systems that are more harmonious with nature and the earths finite resources and terrain. For an exhibition, this is fertile intellectual territory to speculate on the ways in which we build, and how they can evolve in alternative worlds. It is a refreshingly positive take on politics today, as much of our discourse, in architecture and beyond, is overwhelmingly negative and aims to discount or problematize (cancel) rather than propose new ideas or provoke new thoughts.

Installation view of The Library at The National Museum Architecture. (Istvan Virag/OAT)

The main festival exhibition, titled The Library, was conceptualized as a spatial infrastructure for sharing knowledge and was organized as a series of four rooms or collections that featured works ranging from material samples and books to analyses of languages and economic systems. The range and breadth of types of thought experiments presented a holistic and clear visionalmost a manifestoof what degrowth might look like as an architectural philosophy. It was not a set of solutions, but rather speculative, positive provocations on what this new area of discourse might look like.

In theLibrarys first collection, The Subjective, personal identities and rituals were examined. How would life change in a degrowth world? How would we live, laugh, and love? The Aerocene backpack by the Aerocene Community is a personal, solar-powered balloon imagined as an alternative to carbon-intensive jet air travel. Helen Stratfords Organizational Diagrams for Everyday Life is a set of schematic diagrams that redraw the rituals of a daily schedule to visualize new routines outside of the pressures of work and productivity metrics that define us today.

Perhaps the most traditionally eco-friendly collection is the Objective Collection, which is about materials and building techniques. Like the rest of the Triennale, it attempts to take these decades-old sustainability ideas and pushes them into new places. Another Column by YYYY-MM-DD is a deployable textile column that can be filled with sand or aggregate to create a site-specific architecture to replace concrete. Multiplo by GUSTO is a simple brise-soleil made of discarded fan covers from an abandoned army base in Northern Italy. A host of other new, eco-friendly materials gave a glimpse into how resource extraction, especially fossil fuels, could be replaced by smaller-scale reuse and bio-engineering to architectural degrowth.

Exhibition view, The Library The National Museum Architecture. (Istvan Virag/OAT)

In the Collective and Systemic collections lie the big questions that both define a possible Architecture of degrowth, and are also impossible to answer now. How new collectivities and systems would be constructed is not clear in degrowth discourse at the moment, but the ideology is ripe for speculating on how we might live in a post-consumerist, post-growth society. Collective projects include Visual Ecolophonic by INDA and Animali Domestici examines and visualizes the Sami language of Northern Finland, which they describe as more in harmony than nature than most languages. ARPA by (ab)Normal is a theoretical world where artificial intelligence replaces market forces as an organizing principle. It is an important aspect to consider here, as questions about power structures and humanitys proclivity toward violence have to be taken into consideration.

The biggest questions are raised in the Systemic Collection, where entire social and political systems, networks, and environments are rethought at both the local and the global scale. This, according to the curators, is where degrowth departs from previous environmental movements. MassBespoke, a project to build quality housing out of timber, another replacement for concrete, was also on show at the Triennale. By allowing that flexibility in the system, these homes can now be personalized like custom homes. The Intentional Estates Agency (Jesse LeCavalier, Tei Carpenter, Dan Taeyuong, and Chris Woebken) is a set of real and imagined real estate models both new and oldfrom 19th-century utopias to seasteadingthat speculate on alternatives to our current real estate metrics.

In addition to the main exhibition, more than 100 events and other programming added to the degrowth chorus. Standouts included a workshop to make tote bags from recycled tote bags from previous events, as well as a spectacular, interactive performance by Rimini Protokoll that made the audience unwilling participants in the complexities and absurdities of our growth-fueled construction industry; politicians engaging in corruption, lawyers battling, financiers gambling, and precarious workers struggling.

Perhaps what is the most interesting aspect of this festival are the questions about that come next. How is degrowth a helpful ideology for architecture? Can it provoke new ways of building at the individual level that can become communal and then translate into change at the systemic scale? What power structures are most susceptible to degrowth in architecture? How can the development and real estate industry be convinced to participate in this? How do democracy and degrowth interact? What would happen if the right were to take degrowth and use it as an excuse to enable eco-fascism? Conversely, what does a green, socialist utopia look like? Can every aspect of our lives be redesigned through the lens of degrowth? The answers dont matter right now, it is the questions being raised that offer promise, and should echo through architecture at this most critical and important time for these eco-ideas.

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What is the Architecture of Degrowth? - Archpaper.com - The Architect's Newspaper