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EPICURUS CAFÉ: A CULTUREPLACES SALON

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DRAFT

Rather than try to tackle complex national and international issues and institutions that affect the entire U.S. , we concentrate on place based trends and academic research that more directly reflect our everyday experiences in our own neighborhoods, workplaces, and other closer connections.
We seek to grapple with ideas that stem from and have immediate implications for our personal ties and intellectual enjoyment.  We deal with those grassroots issues not to influence public policy or resolve differences but to gain an understanding of the way of the world-- in order to sort out the chaos and thereby increase our pleasure.
We start from the premise that changing the body politic at the state and national level is becoming increasingly difficult for citizens of the 21st century in the way that the power structure was able to do at the start of the 20th century, when American Progressivism was imbued with a strong reformist optimism.  “I propose that we lead” declared Edward Adams…

Law Professors Condemned as Racist After Praising America’s 1950s ‘Bourgeois Culture’

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http://freebeacon.com/culture/law-professors-condemned-racist-praising-americas-1950s-bourgeois-culture/amp/


UPenn quad / Wikimedia Commons
Two law professors have been condemned by University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) students, alumni, and faculty as bigots engaging in "racist and white supremacist discourse," after they wrote a nostalgic op-ed praising America's 1950s "bourgeois culture." UPenn Professor Amy Wax and University of San Diego's Lawrence Alexander were slammed by a group of 54 UPenn doctoral students and alumni as "promoting hate and bigotry under the guise of ‘intellectual debate'" in their piece titled, "Paying the price for breakdown of the country's bourgeois culture," published earlier this month by the Philadelphia Inquirer. In it, they argued the "[1950s] culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the educatio…

TEEN CRIME MAY BE A RESULT OF CULTURE, NOT BIOLOGY, STUDY SUGGESTS

BY ON 8/8/17
Newsweek

A new study from Penn State University posits that cultural forces, not biological ones, may be responsible for crime among teens. Criminologists at the university studied the relationship between crime and age in Taiwan, finding that involvement in crime peaks in one's late 20s and early 30s. This differs from trends in Western countries like the U.S., where the culture is more individualistic than it is in Taiwan, where teenagers place less emphasis on having fun and are more likely to behave similarly to adults. "Whatever the biological, or neurobiological, factors that might contribute to criminal behavior, culture and social structure apparently play as great, or greater role," said Yunmei Lu, one of the study's co-authors.

Understanding 'ahorita' takes not a fluency in the language but rather a fluency in Mexican culture.

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By Susannah Rigg26 July 2017
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170725-the-confusing-way-mexicans-tell-time?ocid=ww.social.link.facebook
When I first stepped foot on Mexican soil, I spoke relatively good Spanish. I was by no means fluent, but I could hold a conversation. So when I asked a local ice-cream seller in downtown Guadalajara when he expected a new delivery of chocolate ice cream, and he said ‘ahorita’, which directly translates to ‘right now’, I took him at his word, believing that its arrival was imminent. I sat near his shop and waited, my Englishness making me feel it would be rude to leave. Half an hour passed and still no ice cream arrived, so I timidly wandered back to the shop and asked again about the chocolate ice cream. “Ahorita,” he told me again, dragging out the ‘i’ ‒ “Ahoriiiiita”. His face was a mix of confusion and maybe even embarrassment.  The author learned that ‘ahorita’ shouldn’t be taken literally while waiting for ice cream to arrive (Credit: Madeleine J…

How Class Distinctions are Ruining America

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David Brooks     New York Times     July 11, 2017 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/opinion/how-we-are-ruining-america.html?mcubz=0



Over the past generation, members of the college-educated class have become amazingly good at making sure their children retain their privileged status. They have also become devastatingly good at making sure the children of other classes have limited chances to join their ranks. How they’ve managed to do the first task — giving their own children a leg up — is pretty obvious. It’s the pediacracy, stupid. Over the past few decades, upper-middle-class Americans have embraced behavior codes that put cultivating successful children at the center of life. As soon as they get money, they turn it into investments in their kids. Upper-middle-class moms have the means and the maternity leaves to breast-feed their babies at much higher rates than high school-educated moms, and for much longer periods. Upper-middle-class parents have the means to spend two to thr…

Do parents really matter? Everything we thought we knew about how personality is formed is wrong

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Brian Boutwell
The Spectator
June 14, 2017
https://life.spectator.co.uk/2017/06/do-parents-really-matter/


Parenting does not have a large impact on how children turn out. An incendiary claim, to be sure, but if you can bear with me until the close of this article I think I might be able to persuade you — or at the very least chip away at your certainty about parental influence. First, what if later today the phone were to ring and the voice at the other end informed you that you have an identical twin. You would have lived your entire life up to that point not realising that you had a clone. The bearer of this news says arrangements have been made to reunite you with your long-lost sibling. In something of a daze, you assent, realising as you hang up that you’ve just agreed to meet a perfect stranger. There was a time when separating identical twins at birth, while infrequent, did happen thanks to the harsh nature of adoption systems. One of the people who helped reunite many of them was th…

Frankfurt Becomes First German City Where Natives Are Minority

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"Noting that two-thirds of young people in many of Western Europe’s major cities are of foreign origin, the authors of Super-Diversity: A New Perspective on Integrationslammed politicians’ calls for newcomers to assimilate, stating: 'If there is no longer an ethnic majority group, everyone will have to adapt to everyone else. Diversity will become the new norm.'