Art offers new perspectives on universal issues. It teaches empathy, often evokes strong emotions, and inspires critical thinking. It should come as no surprise that it also makes us kinder. advertisement That’s per a new study by psychologists at the University of Kent (and one psychologist at the University of Lincoln) that shows art can act as a social and psychological catalyst. The researchers found that people who had greater engagement with the arts were more likely to volunteer and give to charity. The study, entitled The Arts as a Catalyst for Human Prosociality and Cooperation, used data from an annual national longitudinal survey of 30,476 people in the U.K. conducted by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The researchers looked at the relationship between charitable giving and various demographics such as gender and personal income; personality qualities like openness; and other interests like sports engagement. According to a press release, … [Read more...] about New Study: Art Makes Society Kinder
The original Constitution of the United States, housed in the National Archives, is instantly recognizable to anyone who studied U.S. history—think “We the People” in large, elegant script. But the Constitution most people read, if they read it at all, usually comes in the form of a pocket-size book or digitized, search-able text. Recently, a surge in enthusiasm for the documents have also compelled artists to copy the Constitution by hand, and the New York Times to print an annotated version in its Sunday paper. advertisement advertisement ThoughtMatter, which has created its own version of the Constitution: a riso-printed, pink-and-blue booklet that wouldn’t look out of place at a zine fair. The agency has rendered the 230-year-old document in the common visual vernacular of today, in the hopes that it will help school kids learn about the Constitution. With a Kickstarter campaign for the … [Read more...] about Does The Constitution Need A Redesign?
“It’s going to be a landslide,” I assured liberal friends and family in the weeks approaching the election. As they expressed concern over Hillary’s resurgent email controversy, or their sinking suspicion that more people would vote Trump on election day than would readily admit it, I scoffed at their ignorance. advertisement advertisement “Have you checked out The Upshot?” I’d ask, like a Kindergarten teacher talking to a kid with a runny nose. “It’s by the New York Times. It has pretty much the best data viz team in the world. And it has Hillary with an 85% chance to win. It’s right on top of the site.” “Do you know FiveThirtyEight?” I’d float with a particular glee at the confounding, esoteric name they’d never remember well enough to Google later. “It’s the data site by Nate Silver. He’s pretty much the guy who called Obama in 2008.” By Election Day, I’d … [Read more...] about Why We Had No Idea Trump Would Win
advertisement advertisement Imagine that data about Medicare costs or the pileup of national debt could be as cool and compelling as an iPhone app or a killer interactive graphic on ESPN.com. Would more people pay attention? Would it change the debate? Would we make better decisions? “I’d love to do a project making government activity a spectator sport,” says Lisa Strausfeld, late one summer afternoon in the Manhattan offices of Pentagram, where she’s a partner specializing in information-focused design. “If we could be as obsessive with government data as we are with baseball stats, maybe it would change the form of democracy.” A wisp of a woman with a soft, tentative way of speaking, Strausfeld hardly fits the image of a wrangler capable of taming beastly chunks of data. But in fact she has an extraordinary capacity for structuring and displaying information. “She’s a natural to work on transforming the infinite depths of data … [Read more...] about Infomaniac: Lisa Strausfeld