“In a fascinating new paper published this summer, five economists, Raj Chetty, John Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan, call into question higher education’s role in promoting upward mobility. The centerpiece of the paper is “mobility report cards” for each college in America. The researchers considered 30 million students between 1999 and 2014 and compared their parents’ incomes to their own post-college earnings, by school. With this data, they could see exactly which colleges helped the most students rise from the bottom of the earnings ladder to the top.”
Archives for August 2017
“Britain withdrew from the subcontinent seventy years ago this month, creating, amid the bloodshed of Partition, the independent states of India and Pakistan. (They came into being at the famous stroke of midnight, the moment when Britain withdrew its sovereignty.) The imperial statues in New Delhi presented a dilemma; compared with the challenges of poverty, industrialization, and the desire to consolidate a constitutional democracy, they were a minor irritant, but a highly visible one.”
“It is hoped 9,000 people will take part in the sleepout, which will see Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and Frightened Rabbit play unplugged. No tickets will be sold, with members of the public and businesses joining the event by reaching fundraising targets and accepting the sleep-out challenge.”
Software engineer Zack Thoutt has trained a recurrent neural network (RNN) to predict the events of The Winds of Winter. This machine-learning algorithm is modeled after the human brain—it can quickly analyze text and remember thousands of plot points.
In a new project titled Fireflies, Cai Guo-Qiang, the artist known for (literal) fireworks such as Fallen Blossoms on the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will send a fleet of pedicabs swathed in colorful lamps to perform synchronized maneuvers on the city’s grand avenue and then pick up passengers for an evening ride.
“If someone doesn’t recognise the joke we’re making, then that’s a whole lot of labour lost. We aim never to trick people but rather to train them to see the world as we see it. In a world infested by ‘fake news’, the intention [and subsequent execution] is everything.”
In which Time Out London‘s theatre editor books a room in Edinburgh via Airbnb, has a minor disagreement with his host, and finds himself on the receiving end of a 500-word “screed”. “As I proceeded to moan about it on Twitter, I heard the faint sound of a very distant penny dropping …”
Of course dig deeper behind the headline and the York initiative is not quite the latest nail in the coffin for expertise that it might first appear. Rather it’s a smart move to broaden audiences and repertoire and involve the local community from a theatre that has already pioneered involving young people in every aspect of theatre production from programming through to producing and marketing with the annual excellent Takeover Festival.
Patricia Rozario, a Mumbai-born soprano who made her name singing the music of the late John Tavener and now teaches at London’s Royal College of Music, has been making regular visits to her home country to give young singers advanced training in opera technique – and then creating opportunities for them to perform. Last month, Rozario and her colleagues produced the first opera seen at Mumbai’s old Royal Opera House in some eight decades.
The tipping point came in 2012: Arts advocates, the city, the state, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) joined forces on the $85 million Confluence Arts Center. Previous big projects proposed for downtown had failed to gain approval, but Confluence’s critical mass of partners overcame some mild opposition. When it’s completed next year, across from Phoenix Park, it’ll have two theaters, apartments, retail space, and a pedestrian plaza, along with artist and technical training facilities.
Alyssa Rosenberg: “Both types of period pieces are valuable historical artifacts, not of the events and people they portray, but of previous generations of Americans’ efforts to figure out how they feel about the Civil War. … [What’s more, the film] casts a more gimlet eye on the Confederacy than it often gets credit for.”
“There are many studies that have shown that there is a strong genetic component to curiosity,” he notes. “It is also the case that some people are more curious than others, in the same way that some people have talent for music and others don’t or some people are smarter than others … But all people are curious, with the possible exception of people who are very deeply depressed or have certain kinds of brain damage.” Humans exhibit two basic types of curiosity that show up in different parts of the brain during functional MRI scans.
“[He] splashed through crocodile-infested rivers, piloted hot-air balloons over stampeding wildebeests and lost a ‘Coke bottle’-size chunk of his calf to an angry hippopotamus, all while producing nearly two dozen acclaimed nature documentaries.”
“The information value of a message depends in part on the range of alternatives that were killed off in its choosing. Symbols chosen from a larger vocabulary of options carry more information than symbols chosen from a smaller vocabulary, because the choice eliminates a greater number of alternatives. This means that the amount of information transmitted is essentially a function of three things: the size of the set of possible symbols, the number of symbols sent per second, and the length of the message. The search for order, for structure and form in the wending catacombs of global communications had begun in earnest.”
“Samuel French, Inc., which licenses it, reports that Godot will be professionally produced at least ten times around the world in the next three months, nearly 65 years after it first premiered.” Shannon Reed considers the reasons why – including this one: “we return to Godot at least partly to be able to walk out of Godot.”
“In what began as a one-year experiment last summer, the New York pubcaster [WNET] carved out regular time slots for fundraising programs on its flagship channel, ending the campaign-style drives that go on for weeks. With pledge confined to a limited number of slots – including Thursday primetime and weekends – the station also changed how it communicated with viewers and members about fundraising.”
“The descendant of a celebrated musical dynasty” – two of his grandparents were Leonid Kogan and Elizabeth Gilels, Emil’s sister – “he was known for curating and supporting innovative music projects in his native country and abroad.”
The facility, in a former Kraft Foods factory about a mile and a half from the main museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, “will be known as the Momentary and will showcase visual and performing arts. It also will house an art[ist]-in-residency program.”
The country’s national English-language daily “will be consolidating its ‘Life and Arts’ and ‘News’ sections, beginning in December. The reshuffling means that arts reviews will be relegated to the generic ‘News’ section, and that dedicated space for other arts coverage would be found exclusively in the paper’s weekend edition.”
While the basement and parking garage of the Wortham Theater Center (home venue of Houston Ballet) are flooded, “so far, it seems that the small and mid-size companies came through the storm with minor damage.”
“Jaime Colsa owns a transport company that delivers ordinary consumer goods – computers, food, drinks. The contents of his trucks aren’t eye-catching, but his vehicles certainly are, adorned with paintings showing cartoonlike faces, dogs, brightly colored geometric patterns, spirals and landscapes.”
As one trucker told reporter Alan Yu, “Every single driver I’ve ever talked to listens to NPR.” Why? Some of it is that the substance can keep people engaged for mile after mile. But this is also another case where geography is destiny.
“‘Night mayors,’ as they are commonly known, are popular in Europe, where these figures are chiefly concerned with how people can have a good time after dark in their cities. London, Berlin, Paris and Zurich all have them – and now the initiative is making its way to New York, where night life is in great need of attention.”
Yaël Farber: “Directing is basically asking a bunch of people to run full speed at a wall with you, and to believe that you’ll all pass through. And sometimes you won’t. But you have to feel it’s still worth the injury.”
“Brash and witty, Mr. Kaminsky developed his reputation at Warner with best sellers like Never-Say-Diet (1980), by Richard Simmons; Megatrends (1982), by John Naisbitt; sequels to The Happy Hooker, by the former madam Xaviera Hollander; potboiler fiction by Andrew Greeley, a Roman Catholic priest; the paperback edition of Judith Krantz’s Scruples; and novels by Nelson DeMille. But his best-known deal was certainly the one that Warner made with a recently disgraced former president: Barely six weeks after [Richard] Nixon resigned in 1974, Mr. Kaminsky signed him to an estimated $2.5 million deal to write his memoirs.”
Web 1.0 was the internet before “talkback.” It was static one-directional communication. Whether intentional or not, it was inherently self-centered, presenting the view of the owner of the website. Web 2.0 is the interactive internet … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2017-08-29
“Many, many questions remain. Considering how personality-driven the festival was during Helmut Rilling’s long tenure, will a significantly sized audience be willing to show up for a festival that changes direction year to year? Will the festival hold to its Bach roots, or consider them disposable? What is the “true story” behind what appears to be a divorce?”
Lani Sarem’s “Handbook for Mortals” improbably topped the NYT Bestseller list last week. Then booksellers called foul, and the book was removed from the list. When Sarem saw the tweets circulating about her book, “my first thought was to just ignore it. It was just a couple of — you know, in my mind — silly tweets.” But as the day stretched on, and as she says neither Stamper nor West reached out to her personally, she reached a different conclusion: “I’m being cyberbullied, basically.”
“Looking for years for land art that utilizes the environment as complexly as artists have long done with their subjects through paint (even using paint as a subject), I’ve come up largely disappointed. Land artworks are typically aesthetic interventions forced onto the environment by artists with little to no deep understanding (geologic, ecologic, botanic, etc.) of the materials they are using. Instead, artists who make these works favor aesthetic, surface-level intervention, which documents well for exhibition and (hopefully) sale later, upon return to an art-world setting, be it via a gallery or a coffee table book. Where is the communion with the land’s complexity?”