Brain Pickings

Maria Popova. Photograph by Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times

Maria Popova. Photograph by Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times

Brain Pickings is the brain child of Maria Popova, an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large, who has also written for Wired UK, The New York Times, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, and The Atlantic, among others, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.

Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why, bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are. Founded in 2006 as a weekly email that went out to seven friends and eventually brought online, the site was included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive in 2012. Here’s a little bit about my 7 most important learnings from the journey so far.

Most of all, Brain Pickings is a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into that grand question of how to live, of what it means to lead a good life.


Bookmark and Share

Edward Glaeser – Triumph Of The City

Triumph of the City: how our greatest invention makes us richer, smarter, greener, healthier and happier
Speaker: Professor Edward Glaeser
Chair: Professor Henry Overman
This event was recorded on 14 March 2011 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Building and maintaining cities is difficult and density has costs, but in this presentation Professor Edward Glaeser will argue that these costs are worth bearing, because whether in London’s ornate arcades or Rio’s fractious favelas, whether in the high rises of Hong Kong or the dusty workplaces of Dharavi, our culture, our prosperity, and our freedom are all ultimately gifts of people living, working, and thinking together — the ultimate triumph of the city.

Bookmark and Share

Jonathan Rutherford – Urban Energy Transitions

UrbanStudiesAs we all go busily about our daily lives, only very rarely do most of us consciously think about or visualize the flows, networks, uses and implications of energy underpinning our very existence and the functioning of the cities in which most of us live and work. This backgrounding or taken-for-grantedness is reflected in the urban studies literature where a sustained focus on energy has been, with a few notable exceptions, conspicuous by its near absence.

A recent Special Issue of Urban Studies on ‘Urban energy transitions: places, processes and politics of socio-technical change’ contributes to thinking through the complex, diverse, always emerging and situated relations between energy and cities at a time when these are (re)appearing on political and policy agendas for a host of reasons. Security of energy resources and supply lines, climate change, affordability and accessibility, and governance and management of utilities are some of the ‘big’ stakes and issues through which energy systems are being rethought and reconfigured across North and South, implicitly or explicitly in relation to built environments and urban lives and lifestyles. But, in contrast to much of the normative policy agenda, taken as a whole, the Special Issue does not reduce the urban to a specific location, context, administrative level or actor, and nor does it view the urban as a readily available instrument or tool through which transitions of energy systems (on ‘other’ scales) can be easily deployed. Instead, we study an urban which is a constitutive and inseparable component (or set of intersecting components) of very diverse processes and practices of energy transition across North and South. By reflecting on the urban materialities, imaginaries, controversies and politics through which energy systems do and can change, and thus on what is, but also what might be, a specifically urban socio-technical transition, from Cape Town to London and Amman to Freiburg, we open up theory and practice to actualities and possibilities of urban energy relations which are other than black-boxed, bounded, pre-set and confiscated by governmental actors or transnational utility companies.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

  • About

    Rozenberg Quarterly aims to be a platform for academics, scientists, journalists, authors and artists, in order to offer background information and scholarly reflections that contribute to mutual understanding and dialogue in a seemingly divided world. By offering this platform, the Quarterly wants to be part of the public debate because we believe mutual understanding and the acceptance of diversity are vital conditions for universal progress. Read more...
  • Support

    Rozenberg Quarterly does not receive subsidies or grants of any kind, which is why your financial support in maintaining, expanding and keeping the site running is always welcome. You may donate any amount you wish and all donations go toward maintaining and expanding this website.

    10 euro donation:

    20 euro donation:

    Or donate any amount you like:

    ABN AMRO Bank
    Rozenberg Publishers
    IBAN NL65 ABNA 0566 4783 23
    reference: Rozenberg Quarterly

    If you have any questions or would like more information, please see our About page or contact us:
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Follow us on Twitter

  • Archives