In September, the head of the TUC said advances in technology mean that a four-day week working week is a realistic goal for most people by the end of this century. “We can win a four-day working week, with decent pay for everyone,” Frances O’Grady said. But is that really attainable? And should this be the focus of how we change the way we work? … [Read more...] about Four-day working week: share your experiences and views
Borders vintage experience
Our community’s history of antiracist struggle in Britain can show us another way to confront these issues. When Indian migrants first arrived in Britain in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, they joined forces with recently arrived African-Caribbean migrants to form a unified “black” community of resistance. They responded to state neglect, racial violence and racist policing with a range of radical self-help initiatives, run through organisations such as the United Coloured People’s Alliance, the Black Liberation Front and the British Black Panther Movement. This is a story of community and class solidarity based on shared resistance. It should be recovered to prepare us for the fight ahead. … [Read more...] about How did British Indians become so prominent in the Conservative party?
From the outside, the trajectory of her career looks smooth, even easy. She won her first film part, in Heavenly Creatures (1994), at the age of 17, against 175 other actors who auditioned. Prior to this, she had done "bits" in soaps while working part-time in a delicatessen."I couldn't believe I was in a film and it was such tremendous fun." It is an interesting film to look at in terms of her career, because she played it before she was fully formed as an actor. Based on a true story, it is the tale of two adolescent girls, Pauline and Julia (Winslet plays Julia), out of touch with reality, who form a cloistered, imaginary world of their own. (That conflict between illusion and reality again.) When the outside world intrudes - the parents try to separate the girls - they plot and then murder Pauline's mother, crushing her to death with rocks. It's a compelling story, it was well received and it brought Winslet to notice. But, looking back now, she is not, in fact, particularly good … [Read more...] about Perfecting the illusion
You're already aware, I assume, that buying stuff is a terrible way to try to achieve happiness or fulfillment. For one thing, it's people rather than things that feature most centrally in our reflections on what happiness is really about. For another, if you must attempt to buy happiness, you're far better off buying experiences – and, by extension, the happy memories that will result – than buying clothes, gadgets or cars. But new research delivers a further blow to materialism's reputation: it looks like it's also associated with more misery in seemingly unrelated areas of life. … [Read more...] about Shoppers beware: a materialist ethos is more misery-inducing than we thought
This sobering outcome suggests that, despite the attractiveness of the computer metaphor and the fact that brains do indeed process information and somehow represent the external world, we still need to make significant theoretical breakthroughs in order to make progress. Even if our brains were designed along logical lines, which they are not, our present conceptual and analytical tools would be completely inadequate for the task of explaining them. This does not mean that simulation projects are pointless – by modelling (or simulating) we can test hypotheses and, by linking the model with well-established systems that can be precisely manipulated, we can gain insight into how real brains function. This is an extremely powerful tool, but a degree of modesty is required when it comes to the claims that are made for such studies, and realism is needed with regard to the difficulties of drawing parallels between brains and artificial systems. … [Read more...] about Why your brain is not a computer