“Most people see the benefits of empathy as too obvious to require justification. This is a mistake.” Continuing the post-Sontag genre of “Against [Whatever]”, Paul Bloom hosts a forum featuring, among others, Sam Harris, Peter Singer, Marianne LaFrance, Barbara H. Fried, and Simon Baron-Cohen.
“When scientists have studied procrastination, they’ve typically focused on how people are miserable at weighing costs and benefits across time. … In the last few years, however, scientists have begun to think that procrastination might have less to do with time than emotion.” As one researcher says, “To tell the chronic procrastinator to just do it would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, cheer up.”
That seems to be what the government hopes, since it has commissioned a 104-episode series about a ten-year-old Uighur princess who works with her Han and Kazakh friends to free her captive father. Problem is, the folk character on which she’s based is seen very differently by Uighurs (who call her Iparhan) and Han Chinese (who know her as “the Fragrant Concubine”).
“Civic leaders have stepped in with a provisional plan to bring Philadelphia Theatre Company back from the brink of financial collapse, and, possibly, secure its long-term viability. … Certain key changes in leadership are required. … Funds will be doled out as certain conditions are met.”
“‘Just think, says Sir Lancelot, of his nuptials to a young man named Herbert in Monty Python’s Spamalot, In a thousand years time, this will still be controversial. The administration of the South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Junior/Senior High School seems determined to prove the gallant knight prescient.”
“At the end of the year, state-owned Chinese mining company China Metallurgical Group will take control of an ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan, Mes Aynak. Southeast of Kabul, the ancient, abandoned city is home to sculptures, art, and jewelry dating back to the time of Alexander the Great – as well as 5.5 million tonnes of copper ore, one of the world’s largest deposits.”
The owners of the rights to the 1972 porn film sued the Weinstein Co., producers of the 2013 biopic of Linda Lovelace, for recreating three scenes from the older film. A U.S. federal judge dismissed the complaint based on the fair use doctrine.
“The bequest includes biographies, histories, reference books, poetry and fiction. It has been welcomed by public services strained by years of neglect and underfunding; many libraries in Zimbabwe have no budget to buy new books.”
Is “Banksy, arguably the most well-known and successful graffiti artist in the world, now over? In other words, was his production permanently slowing down? Could he now be considered part of art history? Or would he start to mean less to the general public and the street art community?”
“The Internet does make it easier to gather – aggregate, as the jargon goes – information, but not necessarily to make sense of it. An overabundance of raw information devoid of context and interpretation can actually be detrimental to knowledge. Knowledge springs from the act – the art – of interpreting, digesting, and integrating new information with our existing understanding of the world.”
“London, long a choral capital, is setting the tone with law firms, banks, accountancy firms, tech firms, even cosmetics giant L’Oréal now featuring company-supported choirs. A number have set up Google-style music rooms, and some even offer music lessons during the workday.”
The Corbett Foundation – which gave more than $70 million to arts and education in the region over the last 60 years – is shutting its doors, effective immediately.
The conductor announced on his Facebook page that, “with a heavy heart”, he has decided to step down from the orchestra’s music directorship after the 2015-16 season. He gave no reason other than his desire to devote time to his new post at Tokyo’s NHK Symphony (beginning in fall 2015) as well as his ongoing work with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. (in French)
The UC-Berkeley professor and former MacArthur Fellow, “who served as poet laureate of the United States in the mid-1990s, and won a National Book Award in 2007 and a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, has now also won the Wallace Stevens Award, a $100,000 cash stipend given by the Academy of American Poets, an organization founded in 1934 to foster an appreciation for American poetry.”
“Over six decades, Sam Hunter could usually be found at the center of some of the most exciting times for art in New York and beyond. He was an art historian (an authority on 20th-century art), a museum director, a curator, an art critic and an art adviser to museums, corporations and private collectors” – not to mention author or co-author of some 50 books.
“Increased commitments abroad and at home, where Conlon has served as music director of the Los Angeles Opera since 2006 and music director of the Cincinnati May Festival since 1979, have caused him to weigh his personal and professional priorities, he added.”
“Your alarm goes off on your phone, and instead of turning it off or hitting snooze, you pick it up and stupidly say, ‘Hello?’ You are, to use the technical term, in the throes of sleep drunkenness.”
Will the Internet Ever Get Less Nasty?
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-08-26
New Recommendation: Tom Harrell
AJBlog: RiffTides | Published 2014-08-26
Birthplace of Another Sonata
AJBlog: PostClassic | Published 2014-08-26
Lookback: an imaginary dinner with Satchmo, George Balanchine, and H.L. Mencken
AJBlog: About Last Night | Published 2014-08-26
Hadid may not withdraw her suit since, Reuters says, she sought damages and the closing of the venerable NYRB. Why did she ever file it? The retraction should not have been hard to get; a suit simply extends the damage to her reputation, which, in spite of Filler’s serious error, was principally done by her own flippancy, abetted by the Internet’s facility in sating our lust for “how the mighty have fallen” stories.
“Organisers said the gate to the temporary desert city would be closed until at least midday on Tuesday as the Black Rock desert playa turned to mud. Police were turning people around at the entrance to avoid stuck vehicles.”
“The festival, which is drawing to a close on Monday night, said it issued an estimated 2.18 million tickets across 299 venues over 25 days. That is a 12% increase on the same point last year, which was itself a record.”
“Superman made his debut in Action Comics #1, which cost 10 cents in 1938. Only around 50 unrestored originals are thought to have survived, and this was described as the most immaculate.”
“Book collectors and dealers in Hong Kong and Europe have been quietly doing a thriving business in catalogues for exhibitions and auctions of Chinese arts and antiques. While China has always had a black market for imported art publications that cost a few dollars each, in-demand catalogues command prices in the thousands of dollars.”
“Breaking Bad went out in a blaze of glory on Emmy night, taking down a slew of major operators in the process – including a complete shutout of Netflix.”