ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


David Brooks: The “Merit” System We Built For Universities Is Working Against Us

It’s ridiculous that we’ve built a system that overvalues the sort of technocratic skills these universities cultivate and undervalues the social and moral skills that any healthy society should value more. - The New York Times

We Love Stories (And That’s The Problem)

The great breakthrough in human enlightenment was to develop techniques – empirical science – to allow us to grasp the real complexity of the world and to understand it in terms of the interaction of mindless (or at least unintentional) processes rather than humanly meaningful stories of, say, good vs evil. - 3 Quarks Daily

Who “Owns” The Classical Past (And Why It Matters)

Contemporary debates about who ‘owns’ the classical past obscure the intellectual role it played in the emergence of modern democracy, and the reasons we are surrounded by its iconography in the first place. - Aeon

Learn To Love Math And You’ll Be Good At It

Typical curriculums fail to imbue children with love and appreciation of maths. This is not teachers’ fault – the education system judges students on performance, not enjoyment. However, if we focus on content at the expense of feelings then that content is unlikely to stick. Worse, we end up producing maths-phobic or maths-sceptical people. - The Guardian

What’s The Point Of A Prize?

"Winning a prize is an undeniably thrilling, magical thing. It is, in essence, the world’s way of telling you that you’ve done something noteworthy and valuable. It’s your moment to shine. But on the whole, do prizes do any good." - The New York Times

An Auto-Captioned World Is On Its Way

"My first conversation with captioned glasses did feel like something out of the movies. I kept shaking my head in wonder at the captions floating in the air before me. 'This is so cool,' I kept saying." - The Atlantic

It’s A Grave Mistake To Cede The Humanities To Artificial Intelligence

Maureen Down isn't having it. "Without humanities, humanity and humaneness, we won’t be imbuing society with wisdom, just creating owner’s manuals. That would be a floccinaucinihilipilification." - The New York Times

Using AI And Bumping Up Against The Edges Of Reality

Where do real memories end and generative AI begin? It’s a question for the AI era, where our holy photos merge with holey memories, where new pixels are generated whole cloth by artificial intelligence. - Wired

To What Extent Do Our Secrets Define Us?

If a secret really is something I tell only myself, is there something here that is mine and mine alone, that survives as my true ‘self’, more basic than the many roles I play out socially? - Aeon

The Employed Workers Who Don’t Really Work

Reporting for this story, I spoke with multiple people who are essentially funemployed, or at least one meaning of it, who sit around at work all day with very little to do. What was most surprising was that many did not exactly love the situation and felt somewhat conflicted. - Vox

Facts Don’t Win Arguments. But Propaganda?

Numerous studies have shown that, due to a myriad of cognitive biases such as belief perseverance and confirmation bias, facts unfortunately do not change people’s minds. Propaganda, on the other hand, works very well on this front, something we see clearly from how people and groups have used it over the past century. - Psyche

How The 1990s Changed America

New scholarship indicates that the end of the Cold War did not so much settle history’s debates as it did undermine the structuring framework of American politics. - Public Books

The Arts: We’re Being Bored To Death

After a century or so, as Dave Hickey explains, in which it had evaded institutional control—a century of Parisian bohemians, modernist vagabonds, and visionary wackjobs, of Rimbaud, van Gogh, Nijinsky, Cage, Gertrude Stein, et al.—art was being standardized and, more importantly, moralized. The audience, in other words, was being normed as well. - Tablet

Susan Sontag’s Complicated View Of Women

The essays in “On Women” make clear that, for Sontag, the oppression of women presented an aesthetic and narrative problem as well as a political and economic one. - The New Yorker

Want To Be Wildly Successful? Fail. A Lot

Far from being an occasional exception, failure is an inherent part of human life. - Hedgehog Review

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