You might have prejudices you won't admit to, or, don't even know about. The Implicit Attribution Test claims to measure these hidden associations and it's been one of the most important psychological developments during the last decade.
Edge has a video interview with two of its creators, psychologists Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald, and an online version of the IAT which allows you to test your unconscious associations in relation to the US presidential candidates.
Via the NYT
Remember George W. Bush? Given all the excitement generated by heated contests for both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, it’s easy to forget that the current resident of the White House will not be moving out for nearly a year. Then again, maybe you know precisely when that particular change occurs, since the date — Jan. 20, 2009 — has found its way onto a variety of buttons, bumper stickers, T-shirts and even golf balls and hot sauce. In fact, the rendering of that date as 1.20.09 was trademarked by a small company that sold more than $1 million worth of “Bush’s Last Day” merchandise in 2007.
Full Article here
Inspired by Barack Obama's 'Yes We Can' speech
Celebrities featured include: Jesse Dylan, will.i.am, Common, Scarlett Johansson, Tatyana Ali, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Kate Walsh, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Adam Rodriquez, Kelly Hu, Adam Rodriquez, Amber Valetta, Eric Balfour, Aisha Tyler, Nicole Scherzinger and Nick Cannon
From the IHT
Who is hiding under our umbrella?
By Paul Kennedy of Yale University for the International Herald Tribune
Published 30 January
Who is hiding under our umbrella?
This is a question that will be increasingly asked in the years to come. It is already being asked in a few circles, as we strive to understand the larger implications of the enormous surpluses of sovereign wealth funds, the soaring cost of raw materials (especially oil and gas), the weakening of Wall Street's once-great banks, and the increasing purchase of American assets by dollar-rich Asian and Middle Eastern enterprises.
The argument goes something like this: The United States has recently expended vast amounts of money, blood and energy in fighting two Iraq wars. On each occasion, the White House had its own secular reasons for going to war (to punish aggression, to protect American consumers from catastrophically high gas prices, and so on). But the chief beneficiaries were clearly our Arab allies like Saudia Arabia and the Gulf states, together with East Asia and Europe, which depend much more than the U.S. does on the uninterrupted flow of Middle East Oil. How convenient to live under the American strategic umbrella.
Yet all the fighting by the U.S. armed forces in those wars has not been able to prevent the great rise in the price of oil and gas, which hits petroleum-dependent Americans hard but puts billions of dollars into the pockets of certain free riders in the system. As the United States takes its economic hits - and while the White House insists on record defense spending to maintain its hegemonic "umbrella strategy" - foreign financial interests are steadily acquiring American companies, especially banks. And Wall Street houses now paying the price for their reckless stoking of dubious subprime loans have little alternative but to sell; as I write, some chief executive will be flying to Dubai or Singapore to sell off a chunk of the firm's assets.
Those bankers, and the free-market economists who service them, will assure you that such asset sales are perfectly O.K. Asian and Arabic sovereign wealth funds are extremely discreet and cautious. They do not play politics. They are not asking for a seat on the board. They have to invest their monies somewhere. So this is just a normal commercial transaction. Stop worrying.
Well, if you think that way, then nothing can be done to help you. But every sensible homeowner or farmer or small businessman knows that, once you take out a loan (mortgage) from another party, or sell a share of your property, a subtle or not-so-subtle power relationship has changed. To a greater or lesser degree, you have become dependent upon other players who can probably influence you more than you can influence them. And in this case, since hundreds of other companies and banks are doing the same, the collective result is that the United States is ceding influence.
Click here to read the full article
From Improv Everywhere
On a cold Saturday in New York City, the world’s largest train station
came to a sudden halt. Over 200 Improv Everywhere Agents froze in place
at the exact same second for five minutes in the Main Concourse of
Grand Central Station. Over 500,000 people rush through Grand Central
every day, but today, things slowed down just a bit as commuters and
tourists alike stopped to notice what was happening around them. Enjoy
the video first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report
Click here for more.
Via the Boston Globe
The Hillary type palette is far from fresh and colorful; it is begging for legitimacy instead of demanding respect. It projects recycled establishment. The type has a tired feeling, as if the ink has been soaking into the page too long. The Hillary logo has the look of an '80s newspaper layout or an investment company. The tall lower-case reminds me of someone with their pants pulled up too high. I wonder about the significance of the three stars and three stripes. A third term?
Edwards is the only candidate to use a sans serif typeface for his main typeface. Sans serif typefaces do not have the added elements at the ends of the vertical and horizontal strokes. Unlike many of the traditional sans serifs used in campaigns, Edwards's typeface is open and friendly. It's utilitarian. In past campaigns, Edwards used a serif typeface. Perhaps he is subtly distancing himself from his unsuccessful 2004 bid. The Edwards type is very Wal-Mart, tabloid, middle class. Not a whif of high-powered lawyer.
type is contemporary, fresh, very polished and professional. The serifs
are sharp and pointed; clean pen strokes evoke a well-pressed Armani
suit. The ever-present rising sun logo has the feeling of a hot new
Internet company. His sans serifs conjure up the clean look of Nike or Sony. This typography is young and cool. Clearly not the old standards of years past.
Huckabee has the most inexplicable selection of typography and
graphics, from the six floating stars to the white stripe seemingly
stolen from the Coca-Cola
Uppercase can attract attention and project boldness, which is probably why the Romney campaign set his name in all caps. It works pretty well for 'Romney'. The letters fit comfortably and form a pretty solid unit.
Unfortunately, MITT does not lend itself well to this treatment. The two T's create a big space between them compared with the space between the MI or, to a lesser extent, the IT. The result is an irregular rhythm and feeling of inconsistency. The graphics are puzzling. The eagle logo has the head of the US Postal Service logo and body of the Norwegian flag flowing behind it. Not sure what that means.
Like Clinton, Giuliani has abandoned his last name nearly completely. Rudy is four easy-on-the-eyes letters set in a strong serif with an eye-catching red border. It is set in a strong, bold serif typeface; the serifs themselves are clear and decisive. Using his short four-letter name allows him to set it particularly large. His message is all about Rudy, name recognition. The enlarged R introduces the other letters like a big, protective parent.
McCain uses type that is a perfect compromise between a sans and a serif, what type geeks call a "flared sans." Not quite sans and not quite serif, sort of in between, moderate, not too far in either direction. The strokes have contrast between the thick and thin, creating the feeling that the ends are going to have cute little serifs, but they just flare out a little, not forming actual serifs but wanting to. The military star centered and shadowed is a not-so-subtle touch. And McCain just says "President," as if to say he's already been elected. Everything about this logo says you can buy a car from this man. From the perfectly centered star to the perfectly spaced type, the entire design looks like a high-end real estate company. McCain has done something no other candidate has done, he uses all blue, no red - not even a dash. If we were to predict the results based on typography and design, we would pick McCain and Obama.
Via the IHT
An Asian Century?
By H.D.S. Green Way - IHT
Published 29 January 2008
Davos, Switzerland: When the World Economic Forum ends its annual meeting here, the high-test clientele drains away from this mountain town surprisingly quickly. This year they left an impression that the power and influence of Europe and North America were draining away too, inexorably shifting from the West eastward toward Asia. The structures that the United States had established after World War II were questioned as never before. The old trans-Atlantic order of the last 60 years seemed less relevant to many influential men and women who gathered here.
A general sense of pessimism wasn't helped by the fact that the panic of '08 was occurring just as delegates were packing their bags to come here. "Boersen Crash," was the headline of one German paper last week, and a new word entered the French language when I heard mention of "une crise subprime." Nor did the mood improve with the news from France of the greatest bank heist in the history of the world, a sum higher than the reserves of several nation states. As if in sympathy, a brief earthquake gave this town a sudden shake.
Although the great source of strength that the United States had been during the last six decades was not forgotten, the attention last week was on the power and ability of greedy lenders and foolish borrowers in America to bring down ruin on markets worldwide. The irony of the United States still being a leader but this time "of a global down turn," as one delegate put it, was not lost on the forum.
Although the erosion of U.S. power, both hard and soft, under the administration of George W. Bush has been common currency in recent years, it was still a shock to me to hear it said, and generally accepted, that America was no longer known for putting a man on the moon, but for Iraq and Hurricane Katrina, the "twin pillars of incompetence" - a country over-stretched militarily that had squandered its legitimacy to lead. The role of America "as the sun around which other planets rotated" was changing. It was not a multipolar world either, but a nonpolar world.
The simultaneous rise of China and India has been unprecedented, but neither is quite there yet. The United States could no longer set the agenda, either alone or with its traditional allies, as Europe and Japan were no longer the players they once were. Europe's share of the world's economy has declined in the last five years, while some were predicting that "by 2025 Asia will account for 60 percent of global production."
We are seeing "an enormous shift of power and influence in the world," said Singapore's foreign minister, George Yong-Boon Yeo. The sooner China and India were admitted to the club of industrial nations the better, he said. Others said that there should be a G-13 or G-14, to include rapidly expanding economies.
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has called for India to be admitted as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. But when I asked France's foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, if the European Union should be limited to one member on the Security Council instead of the current two, Britain and France, he told me that would be impossible because the EU member states couldn't agree among themselves, "not on Kosovo, not on Iran," and, with a shrug, he implied not on much else either.
It would be easy to nominate new members to the Security Council, said Henry Kissinger, but difficult with the increased number of vetoes. Condoleezza Rice spoke of hope and optimism, which she admitted usually made international audiences "groan." She said Americans didn't accept a difference between their ideals and their national interests, yet she admitted that the United States had "no reason for false pride and every reason for humility."
Most of the delegates gathered here still admire the United States, were happy with its leadership, and sad to see it decline. "America was the dream of the world," said a French delegate. After Rice had left a young German said his grandfather had been a prisoner of war of the Americans, but remained staunchly pro-American all through his life. The young man asked: Would that be true of an Iraqi prisoner of war today?
H. D. S. Greenway's column appears regularly in The Boston Globe.