Can computers help us better understand art? What the world thinks is creative. Why is it still okay to discriminate against stupid people? How gaming is taking over. And the “Rotten Tomatoes of Books” reveals a problem with how books are reviewed.
- What’s New In Understanding Art: How do we understand art? Of course there are the tangible technical qualities anyone can see. But there are also intangibles, the essence of which make something “art.” And how to measure and understand those intangibles? Now scientists think that Big Data can help. “A new field of research aims to deepen, and even quantify, our understanding of this intangible quality. Inherently interdisciplinary, visual stylometry uses computational and statistical methods to calculate and compare these underlying image features in ways humans never could before. Instead of relying only on what our senses perceive, we can use these mathematical techniques to discover novel insights into artists and artworks.”
- The Very Meaning Of Creativity: Creativity is one of those words that gets carelessly thrown around these days. We’re all supposed to be creative if we want to be successful – not just in art, but business too. But what does it mean to be creative? So somebody went around the world and asked: “Interviewing 806 young professional men and women in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, China, and India, the report highlights three key topics. First, it defines a new global definition of creativity—combining originality, meaningfulness, and value—and the way that this manifests itself around the world. Second, it reveals a surprisingly lower degree of creative self-confidence in Europe and, in contrast, the creative optimism on display in markets that are currently growing economically. And third, it highlights the increasing importance of seeing creativity as a process to engage in collaboratively, rather than rely on a lone creative genius to dream up a solution.”
- Stupidity – The Last Bias? We’re all trying to be inclusive, right? Equitable, right? But there’s one group that it’s still okay to be disparaging about: stupid people. Somehow, in the age of tolerance, we still hold stupid people to a different standard. Maybe because we feel that stupidity is a choice? “Even in this age of rampant concern over microaggressions and victimization, we maintain open season on the non-smart. People who’d swerve off a cliff rather than use a pejorative for race, religion, physical appearance, or disability are all too happy to drop the s‑bomb: Indeed, degrading others for being ‘stupid’ has become nearly automatic in all forms of disagreement.” But what if they can’t help it?
- The Art Of Gaming: Perhaps it’s the ultimate interactive pursuit. Online gaming is growing fast, and it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry. “With gamers watching 144 billion minutes of gaming videos and live streams every month, content creators known as ‘YouTubers’ and ‘Twitchers’ not only have huge social followings, but are also making a lot of money.” Think what you will about gaming, but there’s not only an art to creating them but also to playing them.
- A New “Rotten Tomatoes Of Books” Reveals Something Disturbing: BookMarks aggregates critics’ reviews of books and assigns them a rating, just as Rotten Tomatoes does for movies. But it turns out there’s a critical difference: “Nearly all of the more than 100 books graded by Book Marks seem to be worth reading, which renders it somewhat useless as a recommendation resource, which wasn’t lost on many of its early readers.” The problem? Perhaps there are so many books out there that critics tend to use their time only to review books they expect they’ll like. It’s a far greater investment of time to read and review a book than it is to watch a movie. Another explanation might be that publications with limited space choose to think of their mission to draw attention to successful books rather than those they don’t think their community will like.
Image: Irrational Geometrics digital art installation 2008 by Pascal Dombis (Wikipedia)