Certainly thinkers were always concerned with what is true, but the word “fact” didn’t come into common use until the 1660s. David Wootton gives us the story, from how the likes of Kepler and Galileo paved the way for the concept to take hold to Hume’s definition of facts (as distinct from “necessary truths”) to how facts changed the idea of authority.
Prokofiev in particular had hoped to turn Le Pas d’acier (The Dance of Steel) from the quasi-folkloric confection Diaghilev had made of it into a real socialist work of art. Didn’t work. It wasn’t pretty. In an excerpt from Bolshoi Confidential, Simon Morrison tells the head-shaking story.
Producer Jack Viertel: “Mark Twain does not go in and out of style. Whatever one thinks of the specific success or failure of Big River’s efforts to translate The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to the stage, it is faithful to Twain. I’m stunned to read, for instance, that Ms. Collins-Hughes is upset about the character of Jim being the only important black character in the piece.”
“Unlike traditional gaming, Second Life is governed by few rules. Residents can customize their avatars in an infinite number of ways. They can fly and teleport as easily as they can walk, run, and jump. They can build bespoke homes and islands almost from scratch, … marry a Second Life lover, take a rocket to the moon, or simply tuck themselves into bed at night. For many disabled residents, who may spend 12 hours a day or more in Second Life, the most important moments and relationships of their lives happen inside the virtual world.”
“The production of fake, semi-false, and true but compromising snippets of news reached a peak in eighteenth-century London, when newspapers began to circulate among a broad public. In 1788, London had ten dailies, eight tri-weeklies, and nine weekly newspapers, and their stories usually consisted of only a paragraph. “Paragraph men” picked up gossip in coffee houses, scribbled a few sentences on a scrap of paper, and turned in the text to printer-publishers, who often set it in the next available space of a column of type on a composing stone. Some paragraph men received payment; some contented themselves with manipulating public opinion for or against a public figure, a play, or a book.”
You’ve been through it, or know someone who has. The two of you can’t choose from among the zillion end tables, or you can’t remember the name of the one you settled on, or you can’t make sense of the cartoon instructions … here’s an explanation of where the disagreements come from, and some tips on how to avoid the biggest dangers.
Among the facilities listed in the proposal, for an area that stretches from Greenwich and Canary Wharf in London out to the North Sea coast, are a sculpture foundry, theatre rehearsal studios, a centre for video game development, two film studios, an expanded Turner Contemporary gallery, and Britain’s largest 3D-printing facility.
Paint, Hats and Degas–Really?
Today the Saint Louis Art Museum opened a new exhibition called Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade. On the surface, it sounds like one of those cooked-up theses, a mix of fashion with art, … A gimmick.
Well, probably not. … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-02-12
Or, “The America Chord.” … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2017-02-13
“The music industry was built on the passions of record collectors. The album wasn’t just a physical object, but a lifestyle accessory, almost a fetish and talisman. People didn’t just listen to their records, they displayed them as quasi-holy relics. The album cover might seem irrelevant — a baby swimming after a dollar bill, a painting of a big banana, or even a blank white slate with only tiny text (The Beatles) emblazoned on it. But to the owners, these served as supercharged personal emblems. The image could change, but the message stayed the same: This is my music. This is who I am.”
“Black artists from Prince to Michael Jackson to Kanye West have been on the forefront of this sort of expansion of what pop music means. Maybe that fact has something to do with why they have mostly fared poorly in the Grammys general categories over the years even as they have served up exactly the kind of performances that make the Grammys worth watching at all. Or maybe it’s just a deeper sort of bias.”
“Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence,” Musk told an audience at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he also launched Tesla in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “It’s mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output.”
“The neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins started at the most basic level they could think of – the ‘Who painted this?’ test, which she pretty much failed. Her semantic memory about art and artists, her primary area of expertise, was significantly impaired. Remarkably, though, when the scientists included some of her own artworks in the testing, she correctly flagged every one as hers. Even more surprising, when the researchers added drawings done in a style somewhat similar to Johnson’s, she picked them out as artworks she might have produced. To do so, she had to be drawing on some sort of memory.”
“Without that truth-seeking ecosystem of healthy small- and mid-size daily newspapers to explain national news in terms local readers can understand, Americans are left stewing in separate echo chambers, one urban, educated, and liberal, the other working-class, rural, and spoiling for a fight. Not only do the inhabitants of these echo chambers not talk to each other; they barely speak the same language.”
The haul may be a bit challenging for them to sell on the open market. They stole 160 rare books, including “a 1566 copy of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium by Copernicus, worth an estimated £215,000, as well as works by Galileo, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci and a 1569 edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy.”
He saved the best of his show for the last five minutes, where he announced he was buying time for folksy commercials that would impart facts during morning news shows. “It was one small, hilarious counterattack in a landscape that, for liberal-leaning comedians and their fans, has seemed pretty bleak lately.”
The film about Hollywood – perhaps unsurprisingly – looks like it will cruise to an Oscar Best Movie win. Then there’s Viola Davis, “probably the single most purely charismatic performer of all the nominated talent on show at the Baftas, and it is excellent that she has won best supporting actress for her supremely intelligent and sympathetic portrayal of the long-suffering Rose Maxson in the sonorous drama Fences. There aren’t many actors who can stand up to Denzel Washington in full flood and match him in acting power line for line, speech for speech, but that is what Viola Davis does. It is masterclass stuff.”