Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Big Short - A farce explained

"[They] had always sort of assumed that there was some grown-up in charge of the financial system whom they had never met; now they saw there was not." Michael Lewis

The movie is good, well acted and very good editing and directing in my humble opinion. Entertaining and also educational at some level, a fact that is not to be taken for granted since is not a normal characteristic of hollywood movies.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Coffins as productivity motivators

“There is no document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” 
― Walter Benjamin

The BBC article reports that to combat the high stress related suicide rates in South Korea, workplaces are encouraging employees to perform their own funeral rituals. They believe this theatrics will help them appreciate what life has to offer and to accept their problems as a part of life. Additionally the article describes other efforts made by employers to improve stress related problems with their employees, for example morning rituals that include stretching exercises and loud and joint forced laughter also aimed at dealing with stress and workplace “happiness”.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Revised Post: The use of sugar (sweet metaphors) in literature

We construct reality through our actions and practices. The representation of reality also reflects our sociocultural practices. Mintz contends that our preference for sugar is not rooted in our biology rather our reverence for sugar is historical and closely connected to our social practices. Mintz argues that sugar replace our desire for honey—"linguistic imagery suggested not only the association of sweet substance with certain sentiment, desires and moods but also the historical replacement, in large measure, of honey by sugar" (p. 154). To buttress his argument, Mintz highlights that language has been used to normalize and perpetuate the socially constructed practices throughout the history; and, sugar is one of them. Sugar has become part of our daily conversations, acts, music, poetry; and through which our cultural imagery of sugar proliferated. For example, we started to integrate sugar as a metaphor to describe personality and closeness of the human relationship. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sweet Slavery - Final Post

What surprised me most about the sugar production was the effort necessary to produce such a desirable good, “Once planted, the cane sprouts and with adequate heat and moisture may grow an inch a day for six weeks. It becomes ripe- and reaches the optimum condition for extraction- in a dry season after anywhere from nine to eighteen months. ‘Ratoon’ cane… is normally cut about every twelve months. Seed cane cuttings in the tropics take longer to reach maturity. In all cases cane must be cut when ready so as not to lose its juice… and once it is cut, the juice must be rapidly extract to avoid rot…” (page 21).