The Other 'burg

New Yorker, dreaming of st. Petersburg

"Money was no more ever ‘invented’ than music or mathematics or jewelry. What we call ‘money’ isn’t a ‘thing’ at all, it’s a way of comparing things mathematically, as proportions of saying one of X is equivalent to six of Y. As such it is probably as old as human thought." -David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

How to Speak Money led me to Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber of should-have-but-didn’t-get-tenure-at-Yale fame. I am obsessed with this book. So far Graeber has refuted Adam Smith’s well-propagated idea that barter begot money, which begot credit. He illustrates that, in fact, credit is the entire basis of money—the the easy use and transference of credit necessitated money. He has also argued that “the market” is not some divine creation that operates through the invisible hand but that “the market” is a product of the state, levying taxes and armies. It’s amazing to learn something that appears so obvious but that has never occurred to me.

Lichtgrenze in Berlin, commemorating the Berlin Wall.

historyofromanovs:

The Catherine Palace and the nearby Alexander Palace (in the background) at Tsarskoe Selo, near Saint Petersburg, Russia. 
Photo by Alexander Petrosyan

historyofromanovs:

The Catherine Palace and the nearby Alexander Palace (in the background) at Tsarskoe Selo, near Saint Petersburg, Russia. 

Photo by Alexander Petrosyan

(via russiabeyond)

Started this today and totally obsessed.

Started this today and totally obsessed.

thecultureofme:

Hung out on an orchard yesterday in New Paltz, picked some apples, and saw some pumpkins.

thecultureofme:

Hung out on an orchard yesterday in New Paltz, picked some apples, and saw some pumpkins.

condenasttraveler:

At the Coral Beach Club in #Bermuda. #dispatchfrom senior editor @lindsay_talbot. #takemethere

condenasttraveler:

At the Coral Beach Club in #Bermuda. #dispatchfrom senior editor @lindsay_talbot. #takemethere

In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than children whose parents used traditional books. Part of the reason, they said, was that parents and children using an electronic device spent more time focusing on the device itself than on the story (a conclusion shared by at least two other studies). “Parents were literally putting their hands over the kids’ hands and saying, ‘Wait, don’t press the button yet. Finish this up first,’ ” said Dr. Julia Parish-Morris, a developmental psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the lead author of the 2013 study that was conducted at Temple University. Parents who used conventional books were more likely to engage in what education researchers call “dialogic reading,” the sort of back-and-forth discussion of the story and its relation to the child’s life that research has shown are key to a child’s linguistic development.

BBC - Podcasts and Downloads - BBSeva from BBCRussian

Another life hack.

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to integrate maintaining my Russian skills into my every day life. I was trying to read the russian news every day but some days I am so busy that I don’t even read the American news, plus the editorial board of my favorite russian news source was forcibly removed by the Russian government, so… I would read on my commute to work, but most of my time is spent walking, with just a ten minute subway ride.

I finally realized that I should consume Russian news the same way I consume american news—podcasts! Discovered BBSeva last night, and so far, so good. Didn’t understand everything, but definitely understood a lot.