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In the News 09.26.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 09.26.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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In the News 09.26.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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In the News 09.26.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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About Time: Why Western Philosophy Can Only Teach Us So Much

One of the great unexplained wonders of human history is that written philosophy first flowered entirely separately in different parts of the globe at more or less the same time. The origins of Indian, Chinese and ancient Greek philosophy, as well as Buddhism, can all be traced back to a period of roughly 300 years, beginning in the 8th century BC.

These early philosophies have shaped the different ways people worship, live and think about the big questions that concern us all. Most people do not consciously articulate the philosophical assumptions they have absorbed and are often not even aware that they have any, but assumptions about the nature of self, ethics, sources of knowledge and the goals of life are deeply embedded in our cultures and frame our thinking without our being aware of them.

Yet, for all the varied and rich philosophical traditions across the world, the western philosophy I have studied for more than 30 years – based entirely on canonical western texts – is presented as the universal philosophy, the ultimate inquiry into human understanding. Comparative philosophy – study in two or more philosophical traditions – is left almost entirely to people working in anthropology or cultural studies. This abdication of interest assumes that comparative philosophy might help us to understand the intellectual cultures of India, China or the Muslim world, but not the human condition.

Read the rest of this article at: Time

In the News 09.26.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The DNA Detectives Who Are
Hunting The Causes Of Cancer

In the News 09.26.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Cancer rates vary wildly across the world, and we don’t know why. To solve this mystery, scientists are tracking down causes of cancer by the fingerprints they leave in the genome.

Halfway up a hill overlooking the Great Rift Valley in western Kenya are two graves. One of them is a few years old now, bristling with bushy shrubs stretching bright green leaves towards a cloudless sky. The other is a freshly dug bed of rough red dirt planted with a white wooden cross. They are the final resting places of Emily’s mother and father, who died within four years of each other.

Still a young woman, Emily now looks after her family’s rural homestead near Iten — a town famed for churning out long-distance runners and playing host to Mo Farah’s training camps. We reach it by driving through urban sprawl and out into the hills, passing a seemingly endless stream of impossibly fit athletes pounding the roadside paths.

Emily is busy cooking lunch when we arrive. Her kitchen is a small straw-capped mud hut built in the traditional style, similar to the other buildings that make up the homestead, with smoke pouring out of the door from an open fire and chickens scratching in the dirt nearby. It seems idyllic, but there’s a killer on the loose around here, and we’ve come to track it down.

That killer is squamous cell esophageal carcinoma — one of the two main forms of esophageal cancer, which starts from the cells lining the oesophagus. Cases started piling up more than 60 years ago in South Africa, when a doctor working in the Transkei territories noticed an unusually high number of people dying from the disease, which was almost unheard-of before the 1940s.

Read the rest of this article at: Digg

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The Cartel Next Door

Juan Guerrero Chapa was craving his favorite frozen yogurt. It was early in the evening on May 22, 2013, and he and his wife, Julia, left their Southlake home and drove a few minutes away to the sprawling, upscale shopping district known as Town Square. Around 6 p.m., they parked their burgundy Range Rover in front of Victoria’s Secret and strolled down the block to Yumilicious.

Guerrero, a 43-year-old with a ruddy face and slick black hair, was wearing crisp blue jeans and a black polo. Julia, her auburn hair pulled back into a ponytail, had on sandals, black pants, and a red blouse. They paid for their frozen yogurt, ate it on a bench in front of the store, and then headed down the block to Nine West, where Julia browsed for shoes. Nothing about the couple stood out among the denizens of Southlake.

A thirty-minute drive northwest of Dallas, the town of Southlake is one of the richest places in America. Many of its roughly 30,000 residents live in opulent walled-off subdivisions with names like Coventry Manor, Monticello, and the Enclave. Famous athletes are a common sight. PGA golfer Rory Sabbatini and former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware live here. The public schools are consistently ranked among the best in the country, and Southlake Carroll High School has one of the most storied football programs in the state. In the mid-aughts, when they won a string of state championships, their games were often broadcast nationally.

Read the rest of this article at: Texas Monthly

In the News 09.26.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Rick Owens Is Still Out There

In the News 09.26.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The palace doors flew open. It was him. It was Rick Owens, the American-born designer known to his fans as the Lord of Darkness. And he was dressed: like Rick Owens. Long black coat. Tall black boots. Long black hair. The slanting early-evening sun lit his face. I should mention it was uncommonly gorgeous in Paris that day. It was wintertime, but the day was a little telegram from spring. Light glinted off golden domes. Giant clouds were letting big shafts of light through. Owens put on his sunglasses and looked out at everything, as if Paris were a farm he was glad he’d been wise enough to purchase.

I should also mention that I’d been late to meet him, there at the Petit Palais, where he was going to show me his favorite paintings. Late enough that the museum guard wouldn’t let me in. (“But I need to meet up with a friend inside!” I told the guard. “Ohhhh”—he made a sad face—“ton ami!”)

I walked up to Owens already apologizing. But it seemed he’d forgotten our appointment entirely. He smiled sweetly, looking, if anything, slightly abashed to have been caught enjoying himself like that, in an unguardedly sunny way. I explained the whole catastrophe and he laughed.

I remembered I’d brought a present for him, a red wooden fountain pen made by a company called Lamy. Owens is married to the famous art- and fashion-world figure Michèle Lamy—the couple have been at the heart of avant-garde Paris for more than a decade, ever since they arrived here from Los Angeles. I figured they’d both be delighted by the coincidence of the name. “Yeah,” he said, not smirking but sort of politely half smiling, “this is the first thing that comes up when you type that name into Google.” He handed the pen back to me.

He actually handed it back to me.

Note now: He had been sweet (about my lateness) when another man would have been a dick. He had been truthful and direct (about my sad, apologetic gift) when another man would have been falsely sweet or crypto-condescending or else indifferent.

“Did you get to see some good art?” I asked.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

Exclusive: WhatsApp Cofounder Brian Acton Gives The Inside Story On #DeleteFacebook And Why He Left $850 Million Behind

In the News 09.26.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton, 46, sits in a cafe of the glitzy Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto, California, and the only way you’d guess he might be worth $3.6 billion is the $20 tip he briskly leaves for his coffee. Sturdily built and wearing a baseball cap and T-shirt from a WhatsApp corporate event, he’s determined to avoid the trappings of wealth and runs his own errands, including dropping off his minivan for maintenance earlier that day. An SMS has just come in from his local Honda dealer saying “payment received.” He points to it on his phone.

“This is what I wanted people to do with WhatsApp,” he says of the world’s biggest messaging service, which is used by more than 1.5 billion people and provides ad-free, encrypted messaging as a core feature. “This was informational, and useful.”

The past tense and wistfulness hang in the air. More than four years ago, Acton and his cofounder, Jan Koum, sold WhatsApp, which had relatively insignificant revenue, to Facebook for $22 billion, one of the most stunning acquisitions of the century. Ten months ago he left Facebook, saying he wanted to focus on a nonprofit. Then in March, as details of the Cambridge Analytica scandal oozed out, he sent a Tweet that quickly went viral and shocked his former employers, who had made him a billionaire many times over: “It is time. #deletefacebook.” No explanation followed. He hasn’t sent another Tweet since.

Now he’s talking publicly for the first time. Under pressure from Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to monetize WhatsApp, he pushed back as Facebook questioned the encryption he’d helped build and laid the groundwork to show targeted ads and facilitate commercial messaging. Acton also walked away from Facebook a year before his final tranche of stock grants vested. “It was like, okay, well, you want to do these things I don’t want to do,” Acton says. “It’s better if I get out of your way. And I did.” It was perhaps the most expensive moral stand in history. Acton took a screenshot of the stock price on his way out the door—the decision cost him $850 million.

He’s following a similar moral code now. He clearly doesn’t relish the spotlight this story will bring and is quick to underscore that Facebook “isn’t the bad guy.” (“I think of them as just very good businesspeople.”) But he paid dearly for the right to speak his mind. “As part of a proposed settlement at the end, [Facebook management] tried to put a nondisclosure agreement in place,” Acton says. “That was part of the reason that I got sort of cold feet in terms of trying to settle with these guys.”

Read the rest of this article at: Forbes

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