History

My knowledge of the British suffragettes seems to be completely wrong. Fascinating how their movements used different tactics to draw attention on the street and from the camera.

British suffragettes in the early 20th century used spectacle and drama to draw attention to their fight to win women the vote. They delivered public speeches, marched, displayed colorful banners, and got thrown in jail, all in an effort to pressure legislators to extend suffrage to women.

See more in the following video from Vox, “How British suffragettes fought for the vote”.

In an article by Standpoint Magazine Joseph Rachman uses insights from author Umberto Eco to understand the rise of new far right movements. I found the following quote interesting because it describes how the far right now also uses the “Semiological Guerrilla Warfare” tactics that Eco proposed.

Today’s far Right is also counter-cultural, setting itself against existing institutions, seeing the media, universities, courts and parliaments as lost causes or compromised. Far-Right supporters form networks on social media where news is reinterpreted into evidence of the conspiracy they ‘know’ exists. They also show impressive sensitivity to the media’s weaknesses. When the far Right claim, semi-ironically, common symbols such as the OK sign and the Facebook “trash dove” as their own, they garner media attention and force liberals to worry about previously innocuous signs.

Read the full article here.

A quote from the Freakonomics podcast “How the Supermarket Helped America Win the Cold War”:

[Peter Timmer]: I used to ask my class, I’m talking 1985, “Where is the world’s largest supercomputer?” And the correct answer was, “It’s at the Pentagon.” Okay. “Where is the world’s second largest supercomputer?” Bentonville, Ark. Home of Walmart. They used that computer to track every single item on every single Walmart shelf. That information technology is what revolutionized food marketing. And it was pretty much invented by Walmart.

The episode is terrific if you are interested in the history of food production, the creation of supermarkets and the use of science and technology to create an abundance of food.

Fisnished watching a documentary from DW Documentary, “The Big Bang that created today’s world”. The two part documentary gives an overview of important events in 1989 that still shape our world today. See the video part 1 and part 2 on Youtube.

1979 was a year that still shapes our world even today. That was when three fundamental forces - the collapse of communism, neoliberalism, and politicized and radicalized religion, fused into a single potent force.

Via Wikipedia I learned that on the 24th of January 1848 James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California, leading to the California Gold Rush. I decided to learn more about those years through the documentary “The West Episode 03: The Speck Of The Future 1848 - 1856”. Absolutely insane how this event spawned a migration of some many people from all over the world to California, with far-reaching effects on the wealth of this state and devastating effects on nature and original inhabitants.

Some nice recent articles from Courier International:

  • A bit of history on the introduction of street numbers in Vienna. As ways to collect taxes, for conscription of people into the army, for political reasons, etc. Read it here.
  • A lengthy piece on the invisible business of moving artwork.

What a wonderful short excerpt from BBC documentary about Venice from 1969. I learned something new as well about the creation of “ghettos” in Venice: “physically isolating a society of people [Jewish refugees] that it simultaneously despised and needed”. It also has some nice images of daily and more quiet life in Venice in winter that since then most likely has disappeared. Have a look at the BBC Archive footage on Twitter.

What travellers during baroque period would bring home: “Engravings made ideal souvenirs: they were light, portable, and relatively affordable. Long after the tour ended, they could serve as a focus for treasured memories and display the wonders of Rome to the people back home.” Read more here.

Great article via Aeon on link between increased oranges demand and organised crime: “Sicily’s mafia sprang from the growing global market for lemons – a tale with sour parallels for consumers today” Read more here.