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The past decade has seen phenomenal growth in the development and use of virtual worlds. In one of the most notable, Second Life, millions of people have created online avatars in order to play games, take classes, socialize, and conduct business transactions. Second Life offers a gathering point and the tools for people to create a new world online. Too often neglected in popular and scholarly accounts of such groundbreaking new environments is the simple truth that, of necessity, such virtual worlds emerge from physical workplaces marked by negotiation, creation, and constant change. Thomas Malaby spent a year at Linden Lab, the real-world home of Second Life, observing those who develop and profit from the sprawling, self-generating system they have created. Some of the challenges created by Second Life for its developers were of a very traditional nature, such as how to cope with a business that is growing more quickly than existing staff can handle. Others are seemingly new: How, for instance, does one regulate something that is supposed to run on its own? Is it possible simply to create a space for people to use and then not govern its use? Can one apply these same free-range/free-market principles to the office environment in which the game is produced? "Lindens"-as the Linden Lab employees call themselves-found that their efforts to prompt user behavior of one sort or another were fraught with complexities, as a number of ongoing processes collided with their own interventions. Malaby thoughtfully describes the world of Linden Lab and the challenges faced while he was conducting his in-depth ethnographic research there. He shows how the workers of a very young but quickly growing company were themselves caught up in ideas about technology, games, and organizations, and struggled to manage not only their virtual world but also themselves in a nonhierarchical fashion. In exploring the practices the Lindens employed, he questions what was at stake in their virtual world, what a game really is (and how people participate), and the role of the unexpected in a product like Second Life and an organization like Linden Lab.
Despite the resources at their command, U. S. intelligence services failed to anticipate the fall of the Shah's government in Iran in the late 1970s and, more recently, insisted that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction. In this book, Jervis (International Politics, Columbia University) examines both failures, and rejects the common explanations that attribute these failures to political pressure and groupthink. Instead, the author suggests that the failures were a result of an organizational culture that failed to look into the factors behind intelligence assessments or to investigate alternative explanations. Although Jervis' writing can be on the dry side (especially in the part of the book about Iran), this his book is an essential read for anyone wanting to understand the workings of U. S. intelligence agencies, or the history of U. S. involvement in Iraq and Iran. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
A few generations ago, college students showed their romantic commitments by exchanging special objects: rings, pins, varsity letter jackets. Pins and rings were handy, telling everyone in local communities that you were spoken for, and when you broke up, the absence of a ring let everyone know you were available again. Is being Facebook official really more complicated, or are status updates just a new version of these old tokens? Many people are now fascinated by how new media has affected the intricacies of relationships and their dissolution. People often talk about Facebook and Twitter as platforms that have led to a seismic shift in transparency and (over)sharing. What are the new rules for breaking up? These rules are argued over and mocked in venues from the New York Times to lamebook. com, but well-thought-out and informed considerations of the topic are rare. Ilana Gershon was intrigued by the degree to which her students used new media to communicate important romantic information-such as "it's over. " She decided to get to the bottom of the matter by interviewing seventy-two people about how they use Skype, texting, voice mail, instant messaging, Facebook, and cream stationery to end relationships. She opens up the world of romance as it is conducted in a digital milieu, offering insights into the ways in which different media influence behavior, beliefs, and social mores. Above all, this full-fledged ethnography of Facebook and other new tools is about technology and communication, but it also tells the reader a great deal about what college students expect from each other when breaking up-and from their friends who are the spectators or witnesses to the ebb and flow of their relationships. The Breakup 2. 0 is accessible and riveting.
In the horrific events of the mid-1990s in Rwanda, tens of thousands of Hutu killed their Tutsi friends, neighbors, even family members. That ghastly violence has overshadowed a fact almost as noteworthy: that hundreds of thousands of Hutu killed no one. In a transformative revisiting of the motives behind and specific contexts surrounding the Rwandan genocide, Lee Ann Fujii focuses on individual actions rather than sweeping categories. Fujii argues that ethnic hatred and fear do not satisfactorily explain the mobilization of Rwandans one against another. Extensive interviews in Rwandan prisons and two rural communities from the basics for her claim that mass participation in the genocide was not the result of ethnic antagonisms. Rather, the social context of action was critical. Book jacket.
Site of the world's busiest and most lucrative harbor throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the Port of New York was also the historic preserve of Irish American gangsters, politicians, longshoremen's union leaders, and powerful Roman Catholic pastors. This is the demimonde depicted to stunning effect in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954) and into which James T. Fisher takes readers in this remarkable and engaging historical account of the classic film's backstory. Fisher introduces readers to the real Father Pete Barry featured in On the Waterfront, John M. Pete Corridan, a crusading priest committed to winning union democracy and social justice for the port's dockworkers and their families. A Jesuit labor school instructor, not a parish priest, Corridan was on but not of Manhattan's West Side Irish waterfront. His ferocious advocacy was resisted by the very men he sought to rescue from the violence and criminality that rendered the port a jungle, an outlaw frontier, in the words of investigative reporter Malcolm Johnson. Driven off the waterfront, Corridan forged creative and spiritual alliances with men like Johnson and Budd Schulberg, the screenwriter who worked with Corridan for five years to turn Johnson's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1948 newspaper exposé into a movie. Fisher's detailed account of the waterfront priest's central role in the film's creation challenges standard views of the film as a post facto justification for Kazan and Schulberg's testimony as ex-communists before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. On the Irish Waterfront is also a detailed social history of the New York/New Jersey waterfront, from the rise of Irish American entrepreneurs and political bosses during the World War I era to the mid-1950s, when the emergence of a revolutionary new mode of cargo-shipping signaled a radical reorganization of the port. This book explores the conflicts experienced and accommodations made by an insular Irish-Catholic community forced to adapt its economic, political, and religious lives to powerful forces of change both local and global in scope.
Among the most beloved saints in the Catholic tradition, Francis of Assisi (c. 1181-1226) is popularly remembered for his dedication to poverty, his love of animals and nature, and his desire to follow perfectly the teachings and example of Christ. During his lifetime and after his death, followers collected, for their own purposes, numerous stories, anecdotes, and reports about Francis. As a result, the man himself and his own concerns became lost in legend. In this authoritative and engaging new biography, Augustine Thompson, O. P. , sifts through the surviving evidence for the life of Francis using modern historical methods. The result is a complex yet sympathetic portrait of the man and the saint. Francis emerges from this account as very much a typical thirteenth-century Italian layman, but one who, when faced with unexpected crises in his personal life, made decisions so radical that they challenge his own society-and ours. Unlike the saint of legend, this Francis never had a unique divine inspiration to provide him with rules for following the teachings of Jesus. Rather, he spent his life reacting to unexpected challenges, before which he often found himself unprepared and uncertain. The Francis who emerges here is both more complex and more conflicted than that of older biographies. His famed devotion to poverty is found to be more nuanced than expected, perhaps not even his principal spiritual concern. Thompson revisits events small and large in Francis's life, including his troubled relations with his father, his contacts with Clare of Assisi, his encounter with the Muslim sultan, and his receiving the Stigmata, to uncover the man behind the legends and popular images. A tour de force of historical research and biographical writing, Francis of Assisi: A New Biography is divided into two complementary parts-a stand alone biographical narrative and a close, annotated examination of the historical sources about Francis. Taken together, the narrative and the survey of the sources provide a much-needed fresh perspective on this iconic figure. "As I have worked on this biography," Thompson writes, "my respect for Francis and his vision has increased, and I hope that this book will speak to modern people, believers and unbelievers alike, and that the Francis I have come to know will have something to say to them today. "
The shift from manufacturing- to service-based economies has often been accompanied by the expansion of low-wage and insecure employment. Many consider the effects of this shift inevitable. In Disintegrating Democracy at Work, Virginia Doellgast contends that high pay and good working conditions are possible even for marginal service jobs. This outcome, however, depends on strong unions and encompassing collective bargaining institutions, which are necessary to give workers a voice in the decisions that affect the design of their jobs and the distribution of productivity gains. Doellgast's conclusions are based on a comparative study of the changes that occurred in the organization of call center jobs in the United States and Germany following the liberalization of telecommunications markets. Based on survey data and interviews with workers, managers, and union representatives, she found that German managers more often took the "high road" than those in the United States, investing in skills and giving employees more control over their work. Doellgast traces the difference to stronger institutional supports for workplace democracy in Germany. However, these democratic structures were increasingly precarious, as managers in both countries used outsourcing strategies to move jobs to workplaces with lower pay and weaker or no union representation. Doellgast's comparative findings show the importance of policy choices in closing off these escape routes, promoting broad access to good jobs in expanding service industries.
A Newbery Honor award winner book for the year 1937, Audubon is a biography of ornithologist and painter John James Audubon.
A classic study from the author of philosophy which is a must-read for any serious student of the aetiology of hatred.
This anthology presents 90 documents that focus on the nature, evolution and meaning of the principle myths that have made anti-Semitism such a lethal force in history: Jews as deicides, ritual murderers, agents of Satan, international conspirators, and conniving, unscrupulous Shylocks.
Proves that shareholder primacy has no basis in law or economics and does not deliver better bottom-line results Suggests better ways to think about shareholders and their relationship to corporations Written by one of America's most distinguished legal scholars Executives, investors, and the business press routinely chant the mantra that corporations are required to "maximize shareholder value." The results have been disastrous. "Shareholder primacy" thinking causes corporate managers to focus myopically on short-term earnings reports at the expense of long-term performance; discourages investment and innovation; harms employees, customers, and communities; and causes companies to indulge in reckless, sociopathic, and socially irresponsible behaviors. It's the kind of thinking that led directly to the recent worldwide economic collapse. Jack Welch, once a shareholder primacy true believer, has famously called it "the dumbest idea in the world." Lynn Stout proves that there is in fact no legal obligation for corporations to maximize shareholder value--scholars, lawyers, and corporate officers just assumed there was. Nor, she demonstrates, is maximizing shareholder value the optimal economic model--that's just another unproven assumption, one that is conceptually muddled and, Stout shows, unsupported by the actual evidence on what drives good corporate performance. As if this wasn't enough, Stout also shows how shareholder primacy actually hurts individual investors by obscuring their real, diverse, human interests in the name of serving a hypothetical, homogeneous, abstract, and conscienceless shareholder. Stout looks at new theories that better serve the needs not only of actual human beings who invest but of corporations and society as well. "Calm, careful, plainspoken, and relentless argumentation that peels away the distracting layers of abstract mumbo jumbo to expose the lunacy of the underlying theory for all to see. Lynn Stout does the world a great favor in exposing shareholder value theory for what it is: flawed and damaging." --Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and author of Fixing the Game
In desperation, Sarah sends Rotten Ralph to feline finishing school. Will Ralph's mischief finally be a thing of the past? This package comes with a paperback and a two-sided cassette tape. The professionally narrated audio production includes lively sound effects and original music. Side one includes page-turn signals; side two features an uninterrupted reading.
Believe it or not, Rotten Ralph turns 25 this spring. During that quarter century, he has entertained many young children with his shenanigans, which are more often than not rather naughty. Young readers and listeners will delight in helping Ralph celebrate his birthday in this all-new recording of Happy Birthday, Rotten Ralph, read by author Jack Gantos, who brings Ralph to life with this lively reading. This resealable package comes with a paperback and a two-sided cassette tape. The audio production includes lively sound effects and original music. Side one includes page-turn signals; side two features an uninterrupted reading.
Sarah wakes Ralph up with a great big kiss. "Happy Valentine's Day!" she says. Rotten Ralph hides under his pillow. Sarah is very excited to take Ralph to Petunia's Valentine's Day Party. But Ralph will do almost anything to avoid the party and drippy Valentine kisses!
Rotten Ralph is not at all nice to the Christmas visitor.
Farah feels alone, even when surrounded by her classmates. She listens and nods but doesn't speak. It's hard being the new kid in school, especially when you're from another country and don't know the language. Then, on a field trip to an apple orchard, Farah discovers there are lots of things that sound the same as they did at home, from dogs crunching their food to the ripple of friendly laughter. As she helps the class make apple cider, Farah connects with the other students and begins to feel that she belongs.Ted Lewin's gorgeous sun-drenched paintings and Eve Bunting's sensitive text immediately put the reader into another child's shoes in this timely story of a young Muslim immigrant.
In this redesigned edition of Scott O'Dell's classic novel, a young Native American woman, accompanied by her infant and her cruel husband, experiences joy and heartbreak when she joins the Lewis and Clark expedition seeking a way to the Pacific.
The gradual disappearance of paper and its familiar evidential qualities affects almost every dimension of contemporary life. From health records to ballots, almost all documents are now digitized at some point of their life cycle, easily copied, altered, and distributed. In Burdens of Proof, Jean-François Blanchette examines the challenge of defining a new evidentiary framework for electronic documents, focusing on the design of a digital equivalent to handwritten signatures. From the blackboards of mathematicians to the halls of legislative assemblies, Blanchette traces the path of such an equivalent: digital signatures based on the mathematics of public-key cryptography. In the mid-1990s, cryptographic signatures formed the centerpiece of a worldwide wave of legal reform and of an ambitious cryptographic research agenda that sought to build privacy, anonymity, and accountability into the very infrastructure of the Internet. Yet markets for cryptographic products collapsed in the aftermath of the dot-com boom and bust along with cryptography's social projects. Blanchette describes the trials of French bureaucracies as they wrestled with the application of electronic signatures to real estate contracts, birth certificates, and land titles, and tracks the convoluted paths through which electronic documents acquire moral authority. These paths suggest that the material world need not merely succumb to the virtual but, rather, can usefully inspire it. Indeed, Blanchette argues, in renewing their engagement with the material world, cryptographers might also find the key to broader acceptance of their design goals.
Proposals to make us smarter than the greatest geniuses or to add thousands of years to our life spans seem fit only for the spam folder or trash can. And yet this is what contemporary advocates of radical enhancement offer in all seriousness. They present a variety of technologies and therapies that will expand our capacities far beyond what is currently possible for human beings. In Humanity's End, Nicholas Agar argues against radical enhancement, describing its destructive consequences. Agar examines the proposals of four prominent radical enhancers: Ray Kurzweil, who argues that technology will enable our escape from human biology; Aubrey de Grey, who calls for anti-aging therapies that will achieve "longevity escape velocity"; Nick Bostrom, who defends the morality and rationality of enhancement; and James Hughes, who envisions a harmonious democracy of the enhanced and the unenhanced. Agar argues that the outcomes of radical enhancement could be darker than the rosy futures described by these thinkers. The most dramatic means of enhancing our cognitive powers could in fact kill us; the radical extension of our life span could eliminate experiences of great value from our lives; and a situation in which some humans are radically enhanced and others are not could lead to tyranny of posthumans over humans.
I paused at the stoop and thought this could be the basis of a good book. The story of a young man who went deep into the bowels of the academy in order to understand architecture and found it had been on his doorstep all along. This had an air of hokeyness about it, but it had been a tough couple of days and I was feeling sentimental about the warm confines of the studio which had unceremoniously discharged me upon the world. --from Down Detour RoadWhat does it say about the value of architecture that as the world faces economic and ecological crises, unprecedented numbers of architects are out of work? This is the question that confronted architect Eric Cesal as he finished graduate school at the onset of the worst financial meltdown in a generation. Down Detour Road is his journey: one that begins off-course, and ends in a hopeful new vision of architecture. Like many architects of his generation, Cesal confronts a cold reality. Architects may assure each other of their own importance, but society has come to view architecture as a luxury it can do without. For Cesal, this recognition becomes an occasion to rethink architecture and its value from the very core. He argues that the times demand a new architecture, an empowered architecture that is useful and relevant. New architectural values emerge as our cultural values shift: from high risks to safe bets, from strong portfolios to strong communities, and from clean lines to clean energy. This is not a book about how to run a firm or a profession; it doesn't predict the future of architectural form or aesthetics. It is a personal story--and in many ways a generational one: a story that follows its author on a winding detour across the country, around the profession, and into a new architectural reality.
There is a new way of thinking about the mind that does not locate mental processes exclusively "in the head. " Some think that this expanded conception of the mind will be the basis of a new science of the mind. In this book, leading philosopher Mark Rowlands investigates the conceptual foundations of this new science of the mind. Traditional attempts to study the mind are based on the idea that mental processes--perceiving, remembering, thinking, reasoning--exist in brains; they are often described as "software" realized by the "hardware" of the brain. The new way of thinking about the mind has emerged from the confluence of various disciplines in cognitive science ranging from perceptual and developmental psychology to robotics. It emphasizes the ways in which mental processes are embodied (partly made up of extra-neural bodily structures and processes), embedded (designed to function in tandem with the environment), enacted (constituted in part by action), and extended (located in the environment). The new way of thinking about the mind, Rowlands writes, is actually an old way of thinking that has taken on new form. Rowlands describes a conception of mind that had its clearest expression in phenomenology--in the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. He builds on these views, clarifies and renders consistent the ideas of embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended mind, and develops a unified philosophical treatment of the novel conception of the mind that underlies the new science of the mind.
What can today's corporate raiders learn from the scourge of the high seas? A lot, as it turns out! Pirates have a surprising amount to teach about building better organizations, promoting diversity in the workplace, and creating powerful brands, among many other business lessons. Curious to hear more? Then sign up for Professor Blackbeard's Management 101 class. And don't be late. He's got a hell of a temper.
Spring returns and with it the birds. But it also brings throngs of birders who emerge, binoculars in hand, to catch a glimpse of a rare or previously unseen species or to simply lay eyes on a particularly fine specimen of a familiar type. In a delightful meditation that unexpectedly ranges from the Volga Delta to Central Park and from Charles Dickens's Hard Times to a 1940s London burlesque show, Jeremy Mynott ponders what makes birds so beautiful and alluring to so many people.
Crazy Woman Creek is a collection of prose and poetry about real women in the West and their connection to a larger whole. Long troubled by the misguided images of skinny cowgirls on prancing palominos, the editors embarked on a mission to set the record straight. They wanted these western women to reveal the realities of their lives in their own words. In Crazy Woman Creek, 153 women west of the Mississippi write of the ways they shape and sustain their communities. Whether these groups are organized, imposed, or spontaneous, this collection shows that where women gather, anything is possible. Readers will encounter Buddhists in Nebraska, Hutterites in South Dakota, rodeo moms rather than soccer moms. A woman chooses horse work over housework; neighbors pull together to fight a raging wildfire; a woman rides a donkey across Colorado to raise money after the tragedy at Columbine. Women recall harmony found at a drugstore, at a powwow, in a sewing circle. Lively, heartfelt, urgent, enduring, Crazy Woman Creek celebrates community - connections built or strengthened by women that unveil a new West.
If you really want to know what makes Barack Obama tick, you need to understand his education. James T. Kloppenberg explains the rich American intellectual tradition that shapes Obama's beliefs and influences his actions--particularly his aversion to absolutes and his commitment to compromise. This look at Obama's education is a deeply rewarding education in itself.
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