Posts filtered by tags: Ideas[x]


On The Verge Of Thinking Far Beyond Our Own

Why couldn’t one of these marvelous learning machines, let loose on an enormous astronomical catalog or the petabytes of data compiled by the Large Hadron Collider, discern a set of new fundamental particles or discover a wormhole to another galaxy in the outer solar system, like the one in the movie “Interstellar”? – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, Hadron Collider, 11.23.20

Our Mythology Of Failure On The Road To Success Is Wrong

“Tech companies have created a “fail-fast” system; a culture in which there is no room for what could be genuinely called failure, but only a series of experiments which lead inevitably and inexorably to the conclusion of success. I find it all exhausting. Failure once allowed you to stop trying – that was, famously, the one good thing it has going for it. Having agonised over a doomed project for years, at least you might have the cathartic relief of finally and permanently throwing it away. Y...
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.18.20

Chatting With AI: Here’s How This Artificial Intelligence Stuff Will Go

The thing that we can be sure of is that the A.I. revolution is not a myth. It is the future. And it is happening right now. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.26.20

What Fairytale Of New York And It’s A Wonderful Life Have In Common

And what they tell us about a culture that celebrates Christmas above all, decontextualizing the artists’ other work. “The Pogues had already put out two of the most original albums of the decade by the time they released ‘Fairytale’ in 1987; I can’t remember the last time I heard anything from either played on the radio. Were Frank Capra around today, he would be able to relate.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, New York, Ideas, Frank Capra, Pogues, 11.29.20

How To Pandemic-Proof Our Griefstricken, Routine-Longing Brains And Hearts

It’s not easy, knowing familiar holidays are here and we just can’t expect to celebrate them the same way. “Our brains are literally overburdened with all the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Not only is there the seeming capriciousness of the virus, but we no longer have the routines that served as the familiar scaffolding of our lives.” But now, knowing some things about our new lives, we have to create new routines. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.28.20

The True Value Of An Arts Degree

A recent graduate says of her art history, cultural analysis, and other classes, “Being able to take these topics seriously and giving them the same attention and weight as things such as 18th-century philosophy taught me so much more about our communities, what we value, what we enjoy and whom we pay attention to.” – Maclean’s (Canada)
Tags: Art, Ideas, MacLean, 11.27.20

Boundaries: Our Brains Are Wired For Personal Space

Peripersonal space exists in various forms across the animal kingdom, from fish and fruit flies to wild horses and chimpanzees. The neuroscience behind it sheds fascinating light on how humans and other animals conceive of themselves and their boundaries. Where is the dividing line between you and the world? – Aeon
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.24.20

A Breakthrough In Artificial Intelligence Is Surprising Its Creators

It generates tweets, pens poetry, summarizes emails, answers trivia questions, translates languages and even writes its own computer programs, all with very little prompting. Some of these skills caught even the experts off guard. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.23.20

A Grand Unifying Theory Of Culture?… (Meh)

“In the same way that Darwin’s theory explains how life follows pathways of adaptation via natural selection, cultural evolution proposes that human cultures develop and transmit deep understandings and values across generations. There are many pathways of cultural evolution, Henrich contends, and no single human culture. To better understand the world and Europe’s influence on it, we need to recognise that European culture is, in Henrich’s key acronym, “weird”: western, educated, industrialise...
Tags: Art, Europe, Ideas, Darwin, Henrich, 11.20.20

Does Nudging Someone Really Change Behavior?

“Nudge theory has taken the world by storm (with organizations and governments using these techniques), and so you might be forgiven for thinking that these behavioural interventions get it right most of the time. Well, as is often the case, things do in fact go wrong in the world of nudging.” – 3QuarksDaily
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.23.20

What Intellectual Thought In Silicon Valley Looks Like

In an erudite new book, “What Tech Calls Thinking,” Adrian Daub, a professor of comparative literature and German studies at Stanford, investigates the concepts in which Silicon Valley is still staked. He argues that the economic upheavals that start there are “made plausible and made to seem inevitable” by these tightly codified marketing strategies he calls “ideals.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Stanford, Ideas, Silicon Valley, Adrian Daub, 10.13.20

Remember Disruptive Technologies? There Are Way Fewer Of Them These Days

Since about the year 2000, disruption, or what the economist Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction,” has become less and less common in the US economy, according to a recent working paper by researchers at the Boston University School of Law. – Quartz
Tags: Art, US, Ideas, Joseph Schumpeter, 11.21.20

Calling In Cancel Culture

“I think you can understand how calling out is toxic. It really does alienate people, and makes them fearful of speaking up.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.19.20

With An Uncertain Future Bearing Down On Us, We’ve All Become Storytellers

What will happen next? We don’t fully know. (Of course, we never know, but the pandemic makes it worse.) Novelist Nancy Star: “Aren’t we all lost now, in the pandemic, trying to see what’s going to happen next, unable to catch more than a glimpse of a few feet ahead? Plans have been of questionable use. I still don’t know what made me buy so many frozen vegetables. … I know this feeling. This is how it feels to write a first draft of a novel.” – LitHub
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.23.20, Nancy Star

As ‘Queen’s Gambit’ Shows, The Stories We Choose To Tell Can Change Lives

Chess sets are sold out all over the United States, and little kids (and adults) of all genders are suddenly very, very into chess. What if Queen’s Gambit had been the rage 50 years ago, instead of, or alongside of, stories about Bobby Fischer? – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, United States, Bobby Fischer, 11.20.20

Why Science Isn’t Just About Data

“Before I drag you any further down what might strike you as a rocky, obscure and unpromising path, let me furnish an illustration of scientific censorship in action: the case of beauty.” – Aeon
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.19.20

What Do You Need To Know To Have An Aesthetic Experience?

“While aesthetic experiences are universal, most people would probably agree that some of us are more aesthetically sensitive than others. But what does that really mean? In casual conversation, we’ll make claims such as This car is beautiful, and we’re prone to thinking that there is something inherent to the car that makes it aesthetically pleasing. From there, a logical deduction is that aesthetic sensitivity describes the ability to detect and appreciate beauty wherever it exists. However, ...
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.18.20

Defining Creativity (And How To Look For It)

Modern psychology’s approach to creativity was born in 1950, but it was the Sputnik shock of 1957 that turned attention to the role that creativity plays in the real world. Over the following decades, psychologists would come to understand that creativity is not merely a matter of how we think, but also a function of our personalities (some people are inclined to be more open-minded than others) and where we work or learn (some environments are more conducive to creativity than others, for exam...
Tags: Art, Ideas, Sputnik, 11.17.20

Why Election Conspiracy Beliefs Are Ripe Right Now

“More and more we view opposing partisans as alien to ourselves, dislike and distrust them, and see them as iniquitous. “Viewing opposing partisans as different, or even as dislikable or immoral, may not be problematic in isolation,” the researchers write. “But when all three converge, political losses can feel like existential threats that must be averted—whatever the cost.” Which of course includes alleging that elections are rigged.” – Nautilus
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.17.20

Depressed? Here’s Why You Should Cut Back On Social Media

The curated images of other people’s lives we see on the screen can leave us feeling like we’re comparatively inadequate. The often spoken of “fear-of-missing-out” is a real thing. When you have dozens of people doing something once, with continual updating it can appear like everybody is doing something all the time. The political aspects of social media can make things worse. Even when people agree with you, the slew of information can be too much, says Dr. Erin Elfant, a clinical psychologis...
Tags: Art, California, Social Media, Ideas, Erin Elfant, 11.06.20

Why Our Brains Are Built To Forget

“We remember and we forget. Lots of people know that marijuana makes us forget, and researchers in the sixties and seventies wanted to understand how. They discovered that the human brain has special receptors that perfectly fit psychoactive chemicals like THC, the active agent in cannabis. But why, they wondered, would we have neuroreceptors for a foreign substance? We don’t. Those receptors are for substances produced in our own brains.” – Paris Review
Tags: Art, Ideas, Paris, 11.16.20

How The Personal Productivity Revolution Backfired

The knowledge sector’s insistence that productivity is a personal issue seems to have created a so-called “tragedy of the commons” scenario, in which individuals making reasonable decisions for themselves insure a negative group outcome. – The New Yorker
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.16.20

Why The Arts Are Important In Times Of Crises

“Some people were willing to forego their meagre ration of food and forget their fatigue to attend the artistic performances in the concentration camp. For me this is a potent reminder to challenge crude approaches to ranking basic human needs and the components of a decent human life.” – Aeon
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.16.20

How Our World Has Changed In The Age Of Instant Information

The most radical change that instant information has made is the levelling of content. There is no longer a distinction between things that everyone knows, or could readily know, and things that only experts know. – The New Yorker
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.16.20

People Are Really Tired Of Cooking For Themselves During The Pandemic

Turns out humans of the 21st century, who turned in droves to exciting new recipes and, of course, baking at the beginning of the pandemic, are quite tired of doing all of the work they used to offload onto restaurant workers. Also, there’s this: “The pleasure of cooking food for friends and family or hosting dinner parties is gone.” – NPR
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.15.20

Life Might Just Find A Way

That is, biological organisms may be making choices with goals in mind. This is a big change in the mindset of biology researchers. “The latest research suggests that it’s wrong to regard agency as just a curious byproduct of blind evolutionary forces. Nor should we believe that it’s an illusion produced by our tendency to project human attributes onto the world. Rather, agency appears to be an occasional, remarkable property of matter, and one we should feel comfortable invoking.” – Aeon Magaz...
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.13.20

Want To Know How The Pandemic Will Play Out?

Ask some science writers. Or, if you want to stay happy, maybe don’t. “The most optimistic scenario they could muster: a series of deescalating surges, mitigated by a slowly disseminated vaccine and perhaps some herd immunity.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.14.20

Is Mask-Wearing An Impingement On Our Freedom?

Western political thinkers ranging from Herodotus to Algernon Sidney did not think that a free society is a society without rules, but that those rules should be decided collectively. In their view, freedom was a public good rather than a purely individual condition. A free people, Sidney wrote for instance, was a people living “under laws of their own making”. – The Conversation
Tags: Art, Ideas, Herodotus, Sidney, Algernon Sidney, 11.13.20

A Historian Concludes Systemic Civilization Failure

“If you have a discussion among the crew about which way to turn, you will not turn in time, and you hit the iceberg directly. The past 10 years or so have been discussion. That sickening crunch you now hear—steel twisting, rivets popping—­­is the sound of the ship hitting the iceberg.” – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.09.20

1647 – The Year They Canceled Christmas (It Didn’t Work Very Well)

Back in 1647, Christmas was banned in the kingdoms of England (which at the time included Wales), Scotland and Ireland and it didn’t work out very well. Following a total ban on everything festive, from decorations to gatherings, rebellions broke out across the country. While some activity took the form of hanging holly in defiance, other action was far more radical and went on to have historical consequences. – The Conversation
Tags: Art, England, Ideas, Ireland, Wales Scotland, 11.13.20