Archive for July, 2014

July 13, 2014

Anthony Ausgang

Anthony Ausgang

Anthony Charles Grant Thompson (b 1959), better known as Anthony Ausgang, is an LA based artist and writer born in Pointe-à-Pierre, Trinidad and Tobago. He is a principal painter associated with Lowbrow art, a populist movement with cultural roots in underground comix, punk music, and hot-rod culture. Ausgang was one of ‘the first major wave of lowbrow artists’ to show in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. The protagonists of his paintings are cats — ‘psychedelic, wide eyed, with a kind of evil look in their eyes.’

By 1993, his artistic production consisted of customized cars, original acrylic paintings, and commercial merchandise,  including clothing,  puzzles, toys, lighters, and posters. Laguna Art Museum commissioned Ausgang to design a hole for a miniature golf course exhibit at South Coast Plaza in 1996. In 2010, he did the cover art for the MGMT release ‘Congratulations,’ ‘an eye grabbing illustration that could easily been found on a Grateful dead release circa 1974.’

July 11, 2014

Open-source Economics

Yochai Benkler by Judith Carnaby

global village construction set

Open-source economics is an economic platform (a two-sided market with two distinct user groups that provide each other with network benefits) based on open collaboration for the production of software, services, or other products. First applied to the open-source software industry, this economic model may be applied to a wide range of enterprises. The system requires work or investment to be carried out without an expressed expectation of return; products or services are produced through collaboration between users and developers; there is no direct individual ownership of the enterprise itself.

The structure of open source is based on user participation. According to technology law professor Yochai Benkler, ‘networked environment makes possible a new modality of organizing production: radically decentralized, collaborative, and non-proprietary; based on sharing resources and outputs among widely distributed, loosely connected individuals who cooperate with each other without relying on either market signals or managerial commands.’

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July 10, 2014

Nonviolent Communication

Marshall Rosenberg

cnvc

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is an interpersonal communicative process developed by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s. NVC often functions as a conflict resolution process. It focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (a deep and compassionate awareness of one’s own inner experience), empathy (listening to another with deep compassion), and honest self-expression (expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others).

NVC is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and only resort to violence or behavior that harms others when they don’t recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs. Habits of thinking and speaking that lead to the use of violence (psychological and physical) are learned through culture. NVC theory supposes all human behavior stems from attempts to meet universal human needs and that these needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises when strategies for meeting needs clash. NVC proposes that if people can identify their needs, the needs of others, and the feelings that surround these needs, harmony can be achieved.

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July 9, 2014

Broaden-and-build

positivity

The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions suggests that positive emotions such as enjoyment, happiness, and joy (and perhaps interest and anticipation) broaden one’s awareness and encourage novel, varied, and exploratory thoughts and actions. Over time, this broadened behavioral repertoire builds skills and resources.

For example, curiosity about a landscape becomes valuable navigational knowledge; pleasant interactions with a stranger become a supportive friendship; aimless physical play becomes exercise and physical excellence. This is in contrast to negative emotions, which prompt narrow, immediate survival-oriented behaviors. For example, the negative emotion of anxiety can lead to a fight-or-flight response concerned only with immediate safety.

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July 8, 2014

Unspoken Rule

rules of the game

baseball code by Chris Philpot

Unspoken rues are behavioral constraints imposed in organizations or societies that are not voiced or written down. They usually exist in unspoken and unwritten format because they form a part of the logical argument or course of action implied by tacit assumptions. Examples include unwritten and unofficial organizational hierarchies, organizational culture, and acceptable behavioral norms governing interactions between organizational members.

For example, the captain of a ship is always expected to be the last to evacuate it in a disaster. Or, as Vince Waldron wrote, ‘A pet, once named, instantly becomes an inseparable member of the family.’

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July 7, 2014

What happens on tour, stays on tour

hangover

guy code

What happens on tour stays on tour is a notorious phrase or saying agreed to by men who get together and travel either interstate or overseas for sporting tours. In essence, the phrase means that all exploits during the tour must be kept strictly confidential, never to be discussed with anyone outside the group. In more recent years, the phrase has also been applied to men attending music gigs, going on business trips, and fishing holidays. The expression is also used in the US military when speaking of temporary duty assignment (‘what happens TDY stays TDY’)

The phrase has been described by Samantha Brett, a writer for the ‘Age,’ as an ‘unspoken male pact that for centuries can never be broken.’ In essence, if you were there you may discuss the events, but if you were not there, you get nothing. In contrast, ‘Rugby for Dummies’ describes the phrase as, particularly funny, embarrassing or debauched moments are for consumption only by the tourists themselves and not casual listeners back home.

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July 3, 2014

Concert Etiquette

Beastie Boys Mosh Pit Guide

Concert etiquette refers to a set of social norms observed by those attending musical performances. These norms vary depending upon the type of music performance and can be stringent or informal. Etiquette is especially valued at concerts featuring music from the classical tradition.

The cardinal principle at work is to let others listen to the music undisturbed. Instruments and voices are typically unamplified, the music is rich in detail, wide in dynamic range, and poetic in intent. Audiences want to hear everything.

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July 2, 2014

Illusion of Control

Placebo button

The illusion of control is the tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control events, for instance to feel that they control outcomes that they demonstrably have no influence over. The effect was named by psychologist Ellen Langer and has been replicated in many different contexts.

It is thought to influence gambling behavior and belief in the paranormal. Along with illusory superiority (overestimating positive abilities and underestimating negative qualities) and optimism bias (unrealistic or comparative optimism), the illusion of control is one of the positive illusions, unrealistically favorable attitudes that people have towards themselves or to people that are close to them. Positive illusions are a form of self-deception or self-enhancement that feel good, maintain self-esteem or stave off discomfort at least in the short term.

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July 1, 2014

Induced Demand

Induced demand

Price elasticity of demand

Induced demand, or latent demand, refers to the phenomenon that after supply increases, more of a good is consumed. This is entirely consistent with the economic theory of supply and demand; however, the idea has become important in the debate over the expansion of transportation systems, and is often used as an argument against widening roads, such as major commuter roads. It is considered by some to be a contributing factor to urban sprawl.

Latent demand has been recognized by road traffic professionals for many decades. J. J. Leeming, a British road-traffic engineer and county surveyor between 1924 and 1964, described the phenomenon is his 1969 book: ‘Motorways and bypasses generate traffic, that is, produce extra traffic, partly by inducing people to travel who would not otherwise have done so by making the new route more convenient than the old, partly by people who go out of their direct route to enjoy the greater convenience of the new road, and partly by people who use the towns bypassed because they are more convenient for shopping and visits when through traffic has been removed.’

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