The 14 Features of Fascism

Umberto Eco’s list of 14 features of eternal fascism. These are important signs, which Eco notes, may never all be present, but if any one of these signs is present, regardless of the system in which they appear, there’s a problem to address. America is not a fascist country, but we exhibit enough of these signs to remind us that we’ve got work to do if we want to better ourselves and live up to our rhetoric of freedom and equality.

– via kottke.org

The Mechanics of Familiarity

faces

When we look at each other, we see faces, we recognize them and we read their emotions, and thats just our memory working its magic, right? Not quite. There are two parts of the brain at play: recognition and familiarity. Its not enough to recognize a person’s physical appearance, we must also be able to connect in a familiar sense, connecting memory and appearance with emotion. When this connection is severed, our closest family can seem like imposters. Alternately, when we live in an online world where these familiar connections are absent, we lose the ability to sense imposters, and everyone seems so familiar.

– via Nautilus

How the Soviet Union Passed on the Internet

internyet

This article explains how Soviet computer scientists were among the first to envision the proto-internet and understand its potential, but the structure of Soviet leadership smothered the project. The internet was, of course, later realized (albeit in a different for for a different purpose) by the United States. This is not only interesting history, but an informative examination of the consequences of internal leadership politics.

-via Aeon