Web Highlights - Week 10, 2017

对东亚文字的理性俯瞰

长久以来,因为处于这样的局面中,我们自身位置也变得非常奇怪,对于我们的传统也和一个外国观光客那样从表层去寻找异国趣味。

就角度而言,如果说隶书文字是从正面看,楷书的文字就是从右斜向下方往上看。它们是三次元的。

但是人们以自己为主体并强调书写这种行为的意识时,右手执笔在纸上书写,往往会在不经意间往右上倾斜。

篆书和隶书都是水平垂直体,而具有三次元斜向的楷书,正因为这一微妙的变化,使它占据了书体演变中的顶点位置,具有了东亚文化的真正特质。

我们把初唐的楷书与我们现在使用的楷书放在一起,发现被我们称为楷书的字体是极其具有正方形特性的。典型的楷书如前所述,具有三次元斜向构造的特性,同时又具有向中心凝聚的钻石型造型。楷书虽然有正方形的字型特点,但在书写过程中,尽量避免成为真正的四边型。针对这一情况,作为活字书体的现代楷书系书体却是极力追求正方形。

再来看明版书,看起来好像和现代的明朝代具有同样的间架结构,但是在细微处我们依然可以发现横划还是具有微微右上倾斜的现象。文字整体以一种很微妙的形式往右上倾斜。同时,在收笔部开始出现一个“顿笔三角形”,这个“顿笔三角形”一直保留到我们当今的书写习惯中。我要再次确认的是,明朝体的字形具有完整的垂直水平的田字格性。同时,收笔部的“顿笔三角形”的出现,无疑向我们预示了书体近代化的发端。

明朝体和拉丁字体系的罗马字体在造形上具有类似性。有时侯我们会把这个收笔的三角形称为“SERIF”。但我在这里要说的是,其实这两者之间具有根本性不同。罗马体收笔三角形的原型,可以追溯到罗马的“德拉亚穆斯大帝碑铭文”;但要追溯明朝体三角形的话,在著名的“九成宫醴泉铭”“皇甫诞碑”中,根本无法看见我们习以为常收笔三角形的雏形。而且从字形上来说,“SERIF”是以竖线为轴左右对称的,而明朝体却是左右非对称的。

“顿笔三角形”从一开始是为了打破平衡,在不均衡中体现出美感。“顿笔三角形”就好比是秤砣在不均衡中体现均衡的一个重要砝码,以“一”字为例,从这个“顿笔三角形”中我们在感 受其往下圧力的同时,也可以感受到一股由此而来的从下往上的力,如果不是有这个“顿笔三角形”圧在那里的话,这个横线很有可能就会变得向右上倾斜。

究其根本,明朝体还是以具有楷书的正统性姿态出现的,它的正统性根植于指书体的正统性之上。另一方面,现代楷书正在迅速退化,基本上成了停留于二次元的意匠表现的书体,和其原有的精神性已相距甚远。

12/03/2017, 8:10 AM


How Anti-Science Forces Thrive On Facebook

Instead, studies suggest that people tend to hold beliefs that align with their cultural values.

11/03/2017, 9:02 AM


Top US hospitals aggressively promoting alternative medicine offerings

The people running the hospitals are doctors, but they also have MBAs. They talk of patients as customers. Customers have demands. Your job is to sell them what they want.

11/03/2017, 8:50 AM


The Truth About the WikiLeaks C.I.A. Cache — The New York Times

WikiLeaks seems to have a playbook for its disinformation campaigns. The first step is to dump many documents at once — rather than allowing journalists to scrutinize them and absorb their significance before publication. The second step is to sensationalize the material with misleading news releases and tweets. The third step is to sit back and watch as the news media unwittingly promotes the WikiLeaks agenda under the auspices of independent reporting.

11/03/2017, 8:02 AM


The Underground Railroad for Refugees

When I told him that he seemed remarkably composed, he grabbed me by the hands, squeezing my palms with clammy fingers. “Does this feel calm?” he asked, holding my gaze.

10/03/2017, 3:55 PM


Why does Google think Obama is planning a coup d’etat?

Focusing on direct answers is also a longer-term play. The number of browser-less internet-connected devices is growing fast, and already voice-activated assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home are penetrating the market.

If you’re interacting by voice, and it responds in voice, you know how many answers you get? One. That’s only going to work if you have that answer.

10/03/2017, 12:17 PM


The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness. — The Boston Globe

It’s a polite way of kicking the ball down the road, but never into the goal. I like you. You like me. Is that enough? Does that make us friends?

Men need an activity together to make and keep a bond. Women can maintain friendships over the phone.

When female friends are talking to each other, they do it face to face. But guys stand side by side, looking out at the world together.

When you have a gap in your schedule, you feel bad running off with the fellas and leaving your partner alone to look for the shoes. And the guys I’d like to spend time with are all locked in the exact same bind as me. Planning anything takes great initiative, and if you have to take initiative every time you see someone, it’s easy to just let it disappear.

Beginning in the 1980s, Schwartz says, study after study started showing that those who were more socially isolated were much more likely to die during a given period than their socially connected neighbors, even after you corrected for age, gender, and lifestyle choices like exercising and eating right. Loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and the progression of Alzheimer’s. One study found that it can be as much of a long-term risk factor as smoking.

10/03/2017, 11:56 AM


Big Tobacco Has Caught Startup Fever — Bloomberg

The Cube features a translucent glass facade, passive solar heating, and extensive gardens. It has three wings, named Earth, Wind, and Air. Pointedly, there is no Fire. It is the heat-not-burn of contemporary European architecture.

Since the rise of e-cigarettes, it’s no longer such a stretch to imagine a messianic engineer in a garage somewhere inventing a nicotine-delivery gadget capable of doing to cigarettes what Uber did to taxicabs or Napster did to the compact disc.

“It’s going to be an arms race,” says Nik Modi, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets. “Who has the best technology, the best science? Who can get their applications through the FDA the quickest? We’re not in a pricing war. We’re in an innovation war.”

The move into tech, she points out, is also likely to help cigarette makers overcome some of the stigma of working in a field whose core product remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., according to the CDC, killing almost 500,000 people a year.

But in cigarettes, as in music and news, the shift away from analog is more of a process than a pivot. Murillo points out that Altria has been developing heat-not-burn technology for several decades, but only recently have the consumer and regulatory conditions grown favorable for widespread adoption.

09/03/2017, 11:14 AM


The new dictators speak for the complainer, not the idealist — Holly Case | Aeon Essays

The autocrat of the mid-20th century was a strict and demanding father out to shape you into an ideal. He wanted you to modernise, learn self-discipline and, above all, self-sacrifice. Today’s authoritarians, by contrast, expect very little of their ‘children’. They do not seek to transform their subjects or mould them into an ideal.

Remarkably, although these new dictators endeavour to place themselves above everyday politics by securing a leadership position for life, or at least for indefinite duration, they tread softly around the cult of personality.

They are what happens when the aspiration to betterment is conflated with a corrupt utopianism: it dies.

The Polish philosopher and historian Leszek Kołakowski wrote in 1978 of this ‘new Soviet man’ that he was an ‘ideological schizophrenic, a liar who believed what he was saying, a man capable of incessant, voluntary acts of intellectual self-mutilation’.

Milošević made it clear that the new authoritarianism was no longer going to be oriented toward the future and the creation of a ‘new man’, but toward the past: past glories, defeats, and ‘lessons’ of history. Although history is their element, the new authoritarians are not historians. In lieu of ideology, the new authoritarian offers the paradox of state-sanctioned dissent.

An entropic stasis emerged: the father stopped expecting anything beyond lukewarm love from the child, and the child stopped expecting anything beyond lukewarm love from the father. The new authoritarian does not pretend to make you better, only to make you feel better about not wanting to change.

08/03/2017, 11:59 PM


How The Internet Fueled The Rise In Hate Crimes In California | Fast Company | The Future Of Business

“Some groups continue to promote overt racism and bigotry,” Levin continues, “but some are changing their branding, or toning down the swastikas. And their arguments are no longer that Latinos and immigrants are genetically inferior. It’s that they’re culturally or religiously inapposite to American ideals. Or sometimes the message is shrouded in the idea that we’re under attack from terrorists.”

08/03/2017, 11:15 PM


How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants — The Washington Post

The problem, Druin said, is that this emotional connection sets up expectations for children that devices can’t or weren’t designed to meet, causing confusion, frustration and even changes in the way kids talk or interact with adults.

“If Alexa doesn’t understand the question, is it Alexa’s fault or might it be the question’s fault?”

To ask her a question, all you need to do is say her name, followed by the query. No “please.” And no “thank you” before asking a follow-up. “At the very least, it creates patterns and reinforcement that so long as your diction is good, you can get what you want without niceties.”

Upside: No more fights over what the temperature will really be and what’s appropriate to wear. Downside: Kids will go to their parents less, with both sides losing out on timeworn interactions.

08/03/2017, 8:51 AM


The Uber Conflation — Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Every technicality that Uber takes advantage of, or every new law it gets passed by leveraging lobbyists and by bringing its users to bear on local politicians, is taken by many to be more evidence of a company that considers itself above the law.

08/03/2017, 8:19 AM


知识变现自学手册:从入门到放弃

散养类产品最终逻辑是,为KOL们的认知优势及影响力匹配流量及变现接口。圈养类产品的最终逻辑是,推动创作知识产品的新行业,从业者数量及产品质量决定商业效率。

所以结论来了,知识变现的窗口期只为两种人真正开放 — —

一是老天赏饭且入对了行的KOL,能够源源不断的将认知优势和影响力变现,代表人物:木子美、京虎子、北京大土豆、花荣、葛巾等。

二是拥有结构化知识体系且愿意专职从事知识产品创作的垂直领域专业人士,能够提供标准化服务并赚取睡后收入,代表人物:薛兆丰、刘润、熊太行等。

07/03/2017, 8:16 PM

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