ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Are We At A Creative Reckoning?(It’s All Good)

Deborah Cullinan: "When we finally arrive in this future, we, the people, will be brazen about the power of artists and of art and creativity to change everything. We will have, at last, comprehended and put to action the real potential of our own strength as creative souls." - Howlround

How Our Stories Frame Our Issues

"Why should storytelling matter so much? Because it conditions us to respond to society. Artists teach us what to take notice of and what to turn away from, whom to empathize with and whom to tune out. Plato thought this power too consequential to be entrusted to poets, whom he would ban from his ideal republic, leaving the politics...

The Genius Of Natural Selection. Will AI Wreck It?

"On the face of it, many of the familiar characteristics of animals and plants that we see around us would simply disappear if the organisms in an ecosystem were all super artificial intelligences. Oxford professor Nick Bostrom, for instance, suggests that a community of artificial intelligences will be sharing information in such an effective and rigid way that many...

Imagination Is A Superpower

Aristotle called this imaginative power phantasia. We might mistakenly think that phantasia is just for artists and entertainers, a rare and special talent, but it’s actually a cognitive faculty that functions in all human beings. The actor might guide us, but it’s our own imagination that enables us to immerse fully into the story. If we activate our power...

The Strange Concept Of The Polymath

"The Digital Age has supplied a vast overload of information. “A well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny,” wrote Thomas Jefferson. But are we now living in a time when so much free-floating information has in subtle ways become a tyranny in itself? One could argue that this overflow of information has been accompanied by a simultaneous reduction...

How Clubhouse Took Off

Clubhouse arrived at a perfect moment. It delivered spontaneous conversations and chance meetings to people stuck at home. For those weary of tidying and curating backgrounds for Zoom, its audio-only format is a virtue. Even being iPhone-only and invitation-only hasn’t held back its popularity. New users often become obsessed with it, spending 20, 30, even 40 hours a week...

How Artists, The Arts, And The Culture In General Are Surviving After A Shutdown Pandemic Year In The UK

In some cases, artists will never work again; some venues have shut down; and the cultural life of Britain has taken a beating. Artists including Ai Weiwei explain how the year worked, or didn't. - The Guardian (UK)

How Libraries Are Dealing With, And Helping Solve, Digital Inequity

Pandemic-related shutdowns mean that the people who need help printing, filling out, and scanning documents - "There are lots of forms, which demand lots of one-on-one help from library staff to find and complete" - can't get it directly, but there's still Wi-Fi in the parking lots ... and long lines of people each time the libraries re-open. -...

How A Japanese AI Used In Bakeries Ended Up Fighting Cancer

In early 2017, a doctor at the Louis Pasteur Center for Medical Research, in Kyoto, saw a television segment about the BakeryScan. He realized that cancer cells, under a microscope, looked kind of like bread. He contacted BRAIN, and the company agreed to begin developing a version of BakeryScan for pathologists. - The New Yorker

Lost Music, Lost Books, Lost Culture

"Most music from the past is lost. Written, performed, then fading into obscurity, like the millions of books in our libraries that no one reads, as forgotten as the titles of the lost Library of Alexandria. Lostness is bound up with temporal limits; we cannot maintain an iron grip on the past. The inevitability of time’s erosion of things...

The Lessons Of Generation X Seem Even More True Today

When Generation X was published, Douglas Coupland observed: “information overload meant 50 TV stations instead of ten.” In the current era where internet connections give access to a previously unimaginable wealth of content, this seems rather quaint. Nonetheless, Generation X’s intuitions help us understand the destabilising effects that the online world has on our sense of self today. -...

The Problem When Everyone Is Right

We are aware, of course, that we might be wrong, because we know that on certain issues we have changed our minds, and therefore must have been wrong at least once.  Nonetheless, at any given moment, we believe that we are right. The contrary would be ridiculous. - 3 Quarks Daily

The Pandemic Has Shown Us That We Need A Lot More Art

Yes, we need food and water, air and health care. And we're desperate for cultural nourishment as well. For one family at an outdoor event, "After weeks of seeing very little but the inside of our house, it felt almost impossibly bright and colourful. When we reached a magical glade hung with giant, sparkling thistledown, my eight-year-old tugged on...

The Shocking Case Against Private Prep Schools

Parents at elite private schools sometimes grumble about taking nothing from public schools yet having to support them via their tax dollars. But the reverse proposition is a more compelling argument. Why should public-school parents—why should anyone—be expected to support private schools? Exeter has 1,100 students and a $1.3 billion endowment. Andover, which has 1,150 students, is on track...

Embracing Ambivalence

Even though ambivalence is a common experience, as a concept it’s frequently misunderstood. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care about something or that you’re indifferent. Ambivalence refers to the presence of strong feelings, but in opposition. You love your parents but find them annoying. Your successful colleague inspires you, but you also envy her. - Psyche

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