WorldView Good Reads: Off the Press for March 2017
Published: March 28, 2017
Here are good reads from around the globe that have caught our attention.
“You will find the future wherever people are having the most fun,” writes Steven Johnson in his new book, WONDERLAND. How Play Made the Modern World. Johnson takes us on a roller-coaster ride through human history, showing how flutes made of bone, zoos, purple dye made from snails, roulette, Minecraft, synthesizers, the internet, magic shows, Snickerdoodle and scores of other novelties have both ancient roots and modern impact. Read the New York Times review.
David Ding, a former Microsoft software engineer, has created Localingual to highlight the globe's language diversity. Click on a country or region on his world map and if sound has been uploaded, you can hear the dialect and voice from that location. It’s cool—and if you find a gap, you can record your own voice to fill in the world’s map of language. Give it a try—and read more about the background in this article from Wired magazine.
Psychologists are uncovering the surprising influence of geography on our reasoning, behavior and sense of self. For instance, many of us are WEIRD: “western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic,” or ‘Weird’ for short. But some notable differences in Eastern cultures revolve around concepts of “individualism” and “collectivism;” whether you consider yourself to be independent and self-contained, or entwined and interconnected with others, valuing the group over the individual. Of course, there are many exceptions in all cultures. Learn more from the BBC.
Patrick Duddy, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela from 2007-2010, argues that the study of foreign languages and cultures is a critical component in our national commitment to global leadership—military, commercial and diplomatic. Yet funding for such programs could be at risk with the drastic budget cuts being proposed by the President. Such cuts would not be in our national interest, he writes in his OpEd in The Herald Sun.
Today almost half of the world’s population is under the age of 24—the largest youth population the world has ever known. Developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa have predominantly young populations. A large share of the world’s young people live in a fragile and conflict-affected state or in a country where levels of criminal violence are very high. UNOY Peacebuilders is a global network connecting 70 youth peace organizations across 45 countries to give young people the opportunity and skills to build sustainable peace. Take a look at their activities and blogs about their adventures.
You can’t sell in just one language and reach a global market. Proficiency in more than one language will be among the most important skills a job seeker can have. Research has shown that foreign language skills can lead to enhanced job opportunities and higher wages for today’s workers. This study provides valuable insight into how the demand for multilingual workers has grown at both the state and national levels in the United States.comments powered by Disqus