Saturday, 6 February 2016

Migrants on benefits, mosquitoes, arts funding and other links you'll like

Spooky Bradford

"I didn't even know I could get benefits" - a reality check on migrants and the benefits system

“And actually it doesn’t bother me, all this immigration debate. I’m too busy. I work full time; I have three kids. But nobody I know came here for benefits and I don’t think not getting them will stop anyone coming. Maybe one or two. There’s always someone. But I know many, many more British people who live on benefits than east Europeans.”


Kill all the mosquitoes

"Mosquitoes spread Malaria, Chikungunya, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, a variety of forms of encephalitis (Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, LaCrosse Encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, and others), West Nile virus, Rift Valley Fever, Elephantiasis, Epidemic Polyarthritis, Ross River Fever, Bwamba fever, and dozens more."

So exterminate them - all of them


So you don't do politics? Think again.

"Politics is omnipresent wherever humans negotiate over power and governance. We speak of “office politics” or “university politics,” and those phrases are not mere metaphors. Our negotiations with friends are a form of politics as well, as we figure out where to go out to eat or what show to see. Our romantic and familial relationships are full of similar negotiations about language, persuasion, power, and mutual consent. To say we “don’t do politics” is to have a narrow notion, in Ostrom’s view, of what constitutes being a citizen in a society where democracy is a feature of so many institutions."


Virtue signalling as conspicuous consumption.

"Rather than trying to one-up one another by buying Bentleys, Rolexes and fur coats, the modern social climber is more likely to try and show their ‘authenticity’ with virtue signalling by having the correct opinions on music and politics and making sure their coffee is sourced ethically, the research says."

...interesting and challenging


Nothing new about retailing as performance (ask any market trader) - and it's back...

One of the key themes emerging from the presentations was that creating face-to-face customer experiences is vital to retailers not only because of the value to audiences in-store but also because of the huge value of customers sharing their experience across social media platforms. Sophie Turton from eConsultancy, who spoke at one of the learning talks, noted that:

“Instead of creating content, retailers should be creating opportunities for content creation – instagrammable moments, inspiring experiences.”

The Urbanophile on Charles Taylor's 'A Secular Age'

"The creation of the buffered self had consequences, however. By disconnecting us from the world, and draining the world of meanings, the buffered self creates a sense of improverished existence. That is to say, it produces the pervasive modern sense of malaise long commented on by Freud and others. But whereas Freud saw malaise as the inevitable byproduct of the sense of guilt necessary to make civilization possible, for Taylor it is rooted specifically in Western modernity’s sense of the buffered self."

Fabulous stuff.


And how all the arts funding still goes to London:

The report also highlights that Arts Council England’s decision to move an extra 5% of Lottery funds outside London amounts only to an “improvement outside London of 25p per head”.

Its Rebalancing Our Cultural Capital report in 2013 also claimed that ACE was allocating more than five times as much spending per resident to London organisations as those outside the capital in 2012/13.


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