Netflix has accumulated a hefty $20.54 billion in long- and short-term debt in its effort to produce more original content. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company hopes more new shows will capture more subscribers, its primary revenue driver. It’s also under pressure to keep spending on new shows as streaming rivals such as Amazon and Hulu expand their own slates of original programming.
Archives for July 2017
The average percentage of online ticketing transactions that included donations was 15% last year, while only 3% who booked tickets over the counter or on the phone added a donation to their transactions. Of these, concert hall attenders were the most likely to donate online (19%) but among the least likely to donate by phone or in person (1%).
“If the reality is that somewhere between 50% and 75% of all households in America have one or fewer choices for high-speed broadband–defined as 25 megabits per second–and 95% of all households in America have one or fewer choices for 100-mbps service, there is no competition. And when there is no competition, who makes the rules? The rules are made by the monopolists. So the job of the FCC should be to stand up and protect consumers and promote competition and innovation in a non-competitive market.”
In 1937, at the age of 21, Claude Shannon showed how binary circuits could do logic, could even appear to “think”—the discovery behind all of our digital computers today. In 1948, at the age of 32, he published “A Mathematical Theory of Communication,” a paper that has been called “the Magna Carta of the Information Age”—in other words, a founding document that inaugurated an era.
“Facial recognition’s use is increasing. Retailers employ it to identify shoplifters, and bankers want to use it to secure bank accounts at ATMs. The Internet of things—connecting thousands of everyday personal objects from light bulbs to cars—may use an individual’s face to allow access to household devices. Churches already use facial recognition to track attendance at services.”
Laura Zucker is stepping down after 25 years leading the LA County Arts Commision. Three of the biggest issues facing arts administrators? “Ensuring all students everywhere receive a quality arts education. It’s a social justice issue. Valuing diverse cultural traditions equally, really equally, in terms of opportunity and resources. The democratization of culture: creating opportunities for the arts to be accessed by everyone, like breathing.”
“Arts organizations and journalists need each other. Yet, to work together effectively, we need to change the mantra from ‘butts in seats’ to ‘civic discourse’ and work with media and the community in a mutually beneficial way. We can be conduits and facilitators, a constant resource to journalists, giving them the ability to experiment. We need to ensure our organizations are building relationships with journalists, editors, bloggers, and influencers, and researching media outlets before pitching.”
One of the most important and influential early writers in the Off Broadway movement, Mr. Shepard captured and chronicled the darker sides of American family life in plays like “Buried Child,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1979, and “Curse of the Starving Class” and “A Lie of the Mind.”
“The problem isn’t just using the word populist as a euphemism for racism and ethnic chauvinism. The term also helps to reproduce the very ideology that has trapped white working-class people by reinforcing the idea that they are not supposed to experience the same social and economic problems as everyone else.”
“The use of words without fixed or clear meanings is a major part of what makes academic writing so terrible. People often complain that academic writing is “obscure” or overly convoluted and complex. But there’s nothing inherently wrong with either complexity or obscurity in themselves; research papers in the sciences have to be complex and technical, and introducing people to obscure and unfamiliar words or concepts can be a key part of developing human knowledge. The problem largely comes when words are vague and unclear, admitting of many possible interpretations.”
“Lives of artificial bliss handed to us on a platter of biochemical and neuroelectronic manipulation may well turn out to be stifling, unchallenging lives, and the human imagination, if it is not stunted and stupefied by virtual reality and other illusions, is likely to find unpredictable ways to subvert them. We will have found out that gods are never happy.”
“When was the last time you came out of a new opera — or ANY opera — feeling that you had had a vital, exciting dramatic experience? When was the last time you felt you had lost yourself in another world? It certainly happens. But in general, we judge opera by different standards. We don’t expect it to be as gripping as a work of spoken theater. The long passages of music, and the pace of the singing, slow everything down.”
Under its fake radicalism, Banksy’s Girl with Balloon is the kind of sentimental tosh our great grandparents too would have voted as Britain’s best-loved. Its kitsch pathos resembles one of the most popular Victorian images, John Everett Millais’ painting Bubbles, a picture of a child blowing bubbles used as an advert for Pear’s Soap. Today we laugh at it and sneer at them for liking such soppy stuff. Imagine how future generations will mock us for sanctifying Banksy, the Boaty McBoatface of modern art.
Sometimes, publishing companies or individuals have had to start their own imprints. For instance: Salaam Reads “takes submissions directly from writers. Zareen Jaffery, the imprint’s executive editor (who is also Muslim), says this practice grew out of feedback she received from Muslim writers, who said it was difficult to find an agent.”
The so-called “alt-right” didn’t go for National Review style (not in any way). Instead, “they have adopted the fetishism of transgression that marked the Cultural Studies left: they embedded themselves in subcultural styles repellent to mainstream, middlebrow liberal sensibilities and they call on their armies to attack the tastes and sensibilities embodied by n00bs and ‘normies.'”
Using artworks in the collection as fundraising sources a terrible message for potential art donors, not to mention the public. “One of the most fundamental and long-standing principles of the museum field is that a collection is held in the public trust and must not be treated as a disposable financial asset … Two of the works the Museum is currently planning to sell are important paintings by Norman Rockwell, given by the artist to the people of Pittsfield.”
She starred in Louis Malle’s The Lovers and then François Truffaut’s Jules et Jim, and “went on to particularly memorable roles as Marcello Mastroianni’s lonely wife in Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic The Night (1961), a controlling servant in Luis Buñuel’s Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), a coldhearted seducer in Eva (1962) and a vengeful newly wed-newly widowed in The Bride Wore Black (1968).”
OK, it’s a collection on long-term loan from a software entrepreneur, but “for many of the people who work at Rand, the art is more than a backdrop. It’s part of a unique culture, they say.” Apparently it helps people consider thorny problems when there’s challenging art around them.
It might not even be an export. It might only be possible within Germany: “Of the current top five albums on the German charts, two are schlager records. To put it into perspective, that would be like if the number three and four albums on the US Billboard Hot 100 were Christian rock about cats.”