Summary of “Imagination is a powerful tool: why is philosophy afraid of it?”

According to the philosopher Dennis Sepper at the University of Dallas, Descartes relied upon a kind of ‘biplanar’ imagination, pioneered by Plato, in which one level of reality could embody and display relations that existed on a different level, and vice versa.
The Scottish philosopher David Hume was equally conflicted about the imagination – especially when compared with perception and memory.
One way to resolve such ambivalence would be to divide the imagination into different kinds.
Along these lines, towards the end of the 18th century, Immanuel Kant distinguished two forms of imagination: the productive imagination and reproductive imagination.
Perhaps the kind of imagination we despise is totally different from its more useful cousin.
Rather than slicing up the imagination into distinct kinds, we might think about its distinct uses.
Whereas our transcendent uses of the imagination tend towards whimsy and fancy, its instructive functions point towards the practical and the concrete.
Perhaps the reason why philosophers have been conflicted about the imagination is that they haven’t grasped how limitations need to be tailored to circumstances.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Terry Pratchett’s unfinished novels destroyed by steamroller”

The unfinished books of Sir Terry Pratchett have been destroyed by a steamroller, following the late fantasy novelist’s wishes.
Pratchett’s hard drive was crushed by a vintage John Fowler & Co steamroller named Lord Jericho at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, ahead of the opening of a new exhibition about the author’s life and work.
Fellow fantasy author Neil Gaiman, Pratchett’s close friend and collaborator , told the Times that Pratchett had wanted “Whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them all”.
On Friday, Rob Wilkins, who manages the Pratchett estate, tweeted from an official Twitter account that he was “About to fulfil my obligation to Terry” along with a picture of an intact computer hard drive – following up with a tweet that showed the hard drive in pieces.
The symbolism of the moment, which captured something of Pratchett’s unique sense of humour, was not lost on fans, who responded on Twitter with a wry melancholy, though some people expressed surprise that the author – who had previously discussed churning through computer hardware at a rapid rate – would have stored his unfinished work on an apparently older model of hard drive.
The hard drive will go on display as part of a major exhibition about the author’s life and work, Terry Pratchett: HisWorld, which opens at the Salisbury museum in September.
The author of over 70 novels, Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007.
He became an advocate for assisted dying, giving a moving lecture on the subject, Shaking Hands With Death, in 2010, and presenting a documentary for the BBC called Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Rural America Is Building Its Own Internet Because No One Else Will”

The old-school directions were necessary because the address doesn’t exactly show up on Google Maps and my phone lost all signal after about the third hill on that county road. It was a blistering hot July day in Appalachian Ohio and I was on a mission to see firsthand how rural communities have stopped waiting for Big Telecom to bring high-speed internet to them and have started to build it themselves.
It’s also home to gigabit internet available via fiber optic cable to every home in the county.
While whitespace enabled a lot of the internet expansion in this corner of Maryland, it was only one tool the county has been using.
Houses with broadband internet in Garrett County in April 2016 vs. April 2017.
“We had great internet service in Warsaw, so I didn’t realize it was an issue until I started campaigning county wide,” Fischer told me.
It quickly became apparent that many people in the county’s rural stretches lacked any internet access-more than 4,000 households were unconnected.
Over the next six years, 16 towers were raised-on top of barns, on MARCS towers, on water towers-to deliver high-speed internet to the county’s most rural residents.
The user fees keep the system entirely self-sustaining, and profitable for the private ISP. Between 2008 and 2011, the percent of Coshocton County residents with broadband internet at home rose from 32 percent to 58 percent, according to Connect Ohio, and they were paying less than the state average.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Race, Money and Broadway: How ‘Great Comet’ Burned Out”

Mr. Kagan, an Ars Nova board member, loved the musical, and in collaboration with his wife and co-producer, Janet Kagan, sustained it through years of wandering – a production in a tent in the meatpacking district, another in Midtown, and then a more conventional staging at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass. To get it to Broadway, they recruited Mr. Groban, the top-selling recording artist, who had described a 2013 production of the show as “One of my most favorite theatrical experiences ever.” He would play Pierre, an awkward aristocrat with an unhappy marriage and a propensity for philosophizing.
Just as the Broadway production was beginning previews, an unseemly – and, to many, preventable – dispute erupted, as Mr. Kagan went to war with Ars Nova over that nonprofit theater’s insistence that he honor a signed promise to describe the show in the Playbill as “The Ars Nova production.” He argued that the provision was no longer binding; Ars Nova filed suit; Mr. Kagan backed down.
The Incredible Oak June 30, 2017 Mr. Onaodowan described his time with the show as “a very difficult experience.”
The “Great Comet” cast is unusually multiethnic; one of the two leads, Denée Benton, who plays Natasha, is an African-American actress who had repeatedly praised the show for being willing to cast her to play a Russian countess, and the show had just been honored by Actors’ Equity for its diversity.
Some cast members nonetheless tried to persuade Mr. Onaodowan to say something that might save the show.
The AftermathA reckoning is still likely: A group of co-producers and investors, mystified by how the show could go under, are planning to pursue an audit of the production.
Several of the actors and activists who voiced concern about the casting change have declined to be interviewed about the closing, but Andrew Shade, the editorial director of BroadwayBlack.com, said: “I do believe that we have to be mindful of what we say, and how we use our platforms. But the outrage did not close the show. It was the ticket sales.”
“I learned a lot, seeing how much weight money has,” said Gelsey Bell, who made her Broadway debut in the show but who spends much of her life making experimental music and new opera.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Blood, bookworms, bosoms and bottoms: the secret life of libraries”

I recently had the privilege of circling the world to write a book about libraries.
My timing was excellent: after a short-lived e-books scare, physical books are back in fashion, and libraries are the place to be.
On my journey I noticed two trends that are changing how we think of old books and old libraries.
What is coming from this Gonzo-esque rereading of books and their stories? A new history of old books that is human, messy, fascinating and appalling, shot through with desire and criminality, heroism and dereliction.
The history of libraries is rich with metaphors of books as lovers, prisoners, weapons, potions and creatures.
The history of libraries is full of remarkable discoveries, often of scandalous books – such as Richard Heber’s exceedingly rare copy of Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery; and found in the Vatican, The Secret History, which revealed the depraved life of the emperor Justinian and his wife, Theodora.
In private libraries, books share our most intimate moments.
Why do we flinch so when books are burned? Because the books are us.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Game of Thrones’: Bran Stark and the Problem of Omniscience”

“You held a knife to his throat,” cut in Bran Stark, the ever-less-chatty younger brother of Sansa.
Bran was referencing an incident from way back in Season 1, when Baelish betrayed Ned Stark, consigning the honorable family patriarch to execution.
Sansa employed hard-earned wisdom; Arya employed long-honed force; Bran employed expensively gained sight.
He finally met his match not because Sansa the self-described “Slow learner” finally caught on, nor because Arya had trained to kill, but because Bran’s magic omniscience unveiled all the hidden things Littlefinger did to the Stark family.
The often-criticized cliché of mystic disability-which explicitly or symbolically implies that bodily difference marks spiritual difference-has long been in full-force with Bran, who first began seeing visions once he lost the ability to walk.
The show explained these personality changes in the awkward farewell between Bran and Meera earlier in Season 7, during which Bran’s longtime companion said, “You died in that cave,” and he professed to not really be Bran Stark anymore.
Such haziness makes some sense within the story-he’s still getting a handle on his index-but it makes more sense for the integrity of the show: Bran, and hence the viewer, can’t solve every mystery all at once.
Bran’s omniscience gives the show’s writers more cover to cut corners.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It rains solid diamonds on Uranus and Neptune”

Consider this your daily reminder that the solar system is even more awesomely bonkers than you realized: On Uranus and Neptune, scientists forecast rain storms of solid diamonds.
Scientists have long speculated that the extreme pressures in this region might split those molecules into atoms of hydrogen and carbon, the latter of which then crystallize to form diamonds.
These diamonds were thought to sink like rain through the ocean until they hit the solid core.
“Previously, researchers could only assume that the diamonds had formed,” lead author Dominik Kraus, a physicist at the Helmholtz Dresden-Rossendorf research center in Germany, told the magazine Cosmos.
Neptune and Uranus are 17 and 15 times the mass of Earth, respectively, and their oceans are crushed by pressures millions of times more intense than the air pressure at Earth’s sea level.
The process lasted only a fraction of a second, and the diamonds were no bigger than a nanometer in length.
Kraus and his colleagues believe that the diamonds that develop on Uranus and Neptune are probably bigger and longer-lasting.
The results will be useful not just for understanding the outer gas giants but for improving the process of making diamonds.

The orginal article.

Summary of “LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy: ‘I was a joke. My wife said I was going to die'”

Some have interpreted this story as LCD Soundsystem announcing they were splitting up purely in order to sell tickets to a big show, but Murphy says, flippant or not, the more he thought about it, the more ending the band made sense.
For one thing, he had been predicting their demise from the start: their debut single Losing My Edge, written when Murphy was 32, was about feeling too old to be involved in music; even when the band took off, he kept telling interviewers he was going to quit before he was 40.
“I was probably sick seven months of every year, with bronchial infections, sinus infections, stuff I’d caught on a plane [I was a] germ factory, low on sleep, probably hungover, taking antibiotics that were like battlefield drugs like: ‘I don’t know if he’s going to get gangrene and lose the lower half of his body, let’s just give him this because we don’t have an operating table here,’ drugs. I was just like a fucking joke. My wife said: ‘You’re just going to die, I don’t even know why I married you.'”.
“We were set up, especially in America, to make a similar record to our last one, and just be way bigger. And that made me deeply sad. It just kind of sickened me. It’s playing a game, like pro wrestling. You know who’s going to win. And I felt as if I would have to fuck up, make a record that’s like – ‘Fuck you, everybody’ – which is so artificial when artists do that, when they forcefully destroy themselves. So it seemed like the most beautiful and honest thing to do was to just not do it.”
LCD Soundsystem ended with what Murphy describes as “a perfect swan-dive”: the Madison Square Garden show spawned both a documentary, Shut Up and Play the Hits, and a three-hour, five-CD live album.
“The options were: the music I’m making just won’t be released, which seemed really arbitrary, weird and forced; I’m going to have a new pseudonym, a fake, also just absurd; or I’m going to make a solo record, which means I couldn’t play with my friends who were in LCD if I was going to play live.” He laughs.
“Well, it’s not going to become less of a theme because I’m not going to miraculously somehow get younger, and the world is not going to fetishise youth less but I don’t feel old because I’m not trying to make grime, I’m not making trap music. There are scenes that are interesting, but they’re so removed from me culturally that I don’t feel, ‘Uh-oh.'”.
“It’s an incredible gift my band gives me by going into rehearsals and allowing me to be a complete like, ‘Hey, infinitely better guitar player than me, can you hand me the guitar and can I show you what I mean?'” He shrugs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Health Care Providers Can Use Design Thinking to Improve Patient Experiences”

Many leading hospitals are starting to focus more on understanding the patient experience to solve these kinds of problems, as well as to improve overall patient experience and to lower costs.
One of the most promising approaches for understanding patients’ experiences has been design thinking, a creative, human-centered problem-solving approach that leverages empathy, collective idea generation, rapid prototyping, and continuous testing to tackle complex challenges.
If more leaders embrace design thinking, they can leverage a deeper understanding of patients to solve such problems, achieving better clinical outcomes, improved patient experience, and lower costs along the way.
How might design thinking be applied to the persistent and costly problem of no-shows? In Mary’s case, she couldn’t explain her concerns through the standard patient experience survey, which is initiated after an appointment and which comprises general questions focused on the medical visit.
To provide the human touch that is necessary to improve the patient experience, we have a team of coaches, trained in the importance of empathy in clinical settings, that teaches caregivers how to partner with patients and be more present with them.
Design thinking can be used to address challenges in a variety of domains related to the patient experience.
It’s every health care leader’s mission to improve patient experiences.
Design thinking is a useful process for doing so, as it requires decision makers to empathize with patients, think creatively, prototype, and continually test solutions to these problems.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Urban Revival Is Over”

Over this same period, the suburbs of Sun Belt cities like Charlotte, N.C.; Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; and Denver gained population.
Low-density suburban counties are once again the fastest-growing parts of the nation, according to a deep dive into America’s 3,000-plus counties by the urban economist Jed Kolko, outpacing the growth rates of dense urban counties by a large measure in 2016, when they posted their fastest growth rates since the housing crisis of 2008.
Several factors have come together to potentially stymie the urban revival.
There would have been no urban revival without the sharp declines in violent crime in the 1990s brought on by demographic shifts, more effective policing and other factors.
Companies are competing for space in gentrifying urban districts, taking over old warehouses that might have been converted into apartments.
Two-thirds of people born since 1997, including those who live in cities, want to live in single-family suburban homes, according to a 2015 survey, but the costs make this aspiration prohibitively expensive in most urban centers.
Pre-emption, the use of state law to nullify municipal authority, and President Trump’s threats to withhold federal subsidies from sanctuary cities are creating a sense of siege in many urban areas.
For all the nostalgia about the seamy old days of Times Square, we should not look forward to going back to the urban economic and social dysfunction of the 1970s and ’80s. Stopping or reversing the urban revival would not just be bad for cities.

The orginal article.