02.26.16

Did Pre-Money Barter Economies Ever Actually Exist? Was Adam Smith Wrong?

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“Imagine life before money. Say, you made bread but you needed meat. But what if the town butcher didn’t want your bread? You’d have to find someone who did, trading until you eventually got some meat. You can see how this gets incredibly complicated and inefficient, which is why humans invented money: to make it easier to exchange goods. Right? This historical world of barter sounds quite inconvenient. It also may be completely made up.”

Has The Debate About Oscar Racism Gotten Out Of Hand? Here Are Some Numbers

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“Racism in the entertainment industry is a complex, multifaceted beast, with much blame to go around, from discriminatory hiring patterns on the part of the industry to the casual commercial indifference of audiences to films about the black experience. But, having noticed a lot of changes in the way the academy has gone about its job over the last fifteen years, I think on balance that the criticism of it has gotten into the realm of the irresponsible.”

Museum Audiences Have Less Time. So How Will Museums Adapt?

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“If the lack of leisure is the fundamental problem the museum sector faces, it should address the issue directly, broadly and fearlessly. Indeed, the entire cultural community needs to accept that it makes no sense to obsess about a dwindling audience or the lack of public resources without addressing the underlying issue of leisure, and why, as a society, we have failed to make time for pleasure, learning and self-improvement.”

The Last Opera

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“While his contemporaries steered toward modernism, Floyd took a more conservative tack musically, merging older European tradition with newer American folk music forms and regional vernacular. For years, Floyd’s approach kept some scholars from embracing his work. He wasn’t mentioned in Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker’s ‘A History of Opera’ when it was published in 2012. ‘It’s telling that for years Philip Glass has been held up as important and Floyd hasn’t.'”