Today’s Top AJBlog Posts 01.08.14

Go to the Gemba
Source: Engaging Matters | Published on 2014-01-08

Barbican loses its head of music
Source: Slipped Disc | Published on 2014-01-08

The Return of Pythagoras
Source: PostClassic | Published on 2014-01-08

Second-Rate Or “One Of The Greatest Ever”?
Source: Real Clear Arts | Published on 2014-01-09

TT: So you want to see a show?
Source: About Last Night | Published on 2014-01-09


A Manifesto For The Place Of Musicians In The World


“For starters, let’s decommission our obsession with being geniuses. Three-fourths of the people reading this are geniuses. Who in our world is not a genius? Such a diluted, entry-level position. Such resting on wilted laurels of cleverness. We all took the big leap into pursuing a career in the arts because we were crowned geniuses back wherever we came from. And now it’s the classic scenario: we’re the former high school football stars grateful to be riding the bench in the big leagues.”

Data Everywhere. So What Does It Tell Us About Culture?


“With museum archives, ancient manuscripts, and whole libraries being digitized, some researchers argue that data analysis will let studies of culture finally claim some of the empirical certainty traditionally associated with “hard” sciences like chemistry and physics.”

Newly Revealed: DeGaulle Was Contender For Nobel Literature Prize

Charles de Gaulle

“The Swedish Academy keeps all information about nominations and selections for the literature Nobel secret until 50 years have passed. Newly opened archives in Sweden show De Gaulle was one of 80 individuals suggested for the 1963 honour, alongside more obvious candidates including Pablo Neruda, Samuel Beckett and WH Auden.”

Report: How We’re Buying Music – Streaming And Vinyl Sales Surge


“The number of albums bought on vinyl increased by 33%, echoing the UK trend where events like Record Store Day helped double sales of vinyl last year. UK figures released by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) last week showed that music streaming was up 33.7% and now accounts for nearly 10% of consumer revenues from recorded music.”

Can You Pop A Pill To Get Perfect Pitch?


“From bilingualism to sporting prowess, many abilities rely on neural circuits that are laid down by our early experiences. Until the age of 7 or so, the brain goes through several ‘critical periods’ during which it can be radically changed by the environment. During these times, the brain is said to have increased plasticity.”

Can You Quote A Critic From Their Twitter Feed?


“Is it kosher for a movie producer to selectively quote from the Twitter feed of the NYT’s movie reviewer, in a print ad, even when the reviewer in question explicitly said he would not give permission?”

There’s an Underground at the MLA – And It Aims to Transform Academia


“The result: the ‘MLA Subconference,’ organized with the chief aim of confronting loudly and bluntly, the very real problems crippling higher education today, from the adjunct labor crisis to ballooning student tuition. The subconference ‘shadows’ MLA by being held in the same city, one day before the established convention begins.”

UCLA Has Destroyed The Undergraduate Study Of English and Wounded Civilization


Conservative pundit Heather Mac Donald: “Until 2011, students majoring in English at UCLA had to take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one in Milton – the cornerstones of English literature.” But no more. “What happened at UCLA is part of a momentous shift that bears on our relationship to the past – and to civilization itself.”

Jerry Seinfeld Explains Being Funny

Jerry Seinfeld

“To a guy like me, a laugh is full of information. The timbre of it, the shape of it, the length of it – there’s so much information in a laugh. A lot of times, you could play me just the laughs from my set and I could tell you, from the laugh, what the joke was. Because they match.”