ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


How Hobbies Took Over America (For Good And Bad)

“Hobbies take on this aura of being good, useful, appropriate, and socially sanctioned. Something you should—the word here is should—be doing. And if you’re one of those slackers that doesn’t have a hobby, then you are suffering from some kind of a moral weakness or failing.” - The Atlantic

Yes We’re Productive. But Burned Out Too. A Revolution Is Under Way

For knowledge workers, the biggest sign that the status quo is broken is the rise in self-reported burnout. McKinsey and Lean In collaborated on a survey of knowledge-sector jobs. They found a significant increase in those describing themselves as feeling burnt out “often” or “almost always." - The New Yorker

We’re Awash In Stories. We’re Addicted To Stories. To What Effect?

Now that we have more storytelling than ever, has empathy increased apace? If stories have such sunny effects, why has the big bang of storytelling coincided with an explosive growth of hostility and polarization rather than harmony and connection? - Boston Globe

An Economist Wonders: Why In The Arts Are “The Greatest” All Oldies?

Why are composers like Mozart, Beethoven and Bach widely regarded as the greatest of all time?  Why is it that in a 1985 survey of art experts by the Illustrated London News, only 2 of the 20 greatest paintings of all time were from the 20th century, one from the 18th century, and none at all from the 19th century? - EconLib

No, Your Attention Span Didn’t Just Shrink. It Was Stolen

A small study of college students found they now only focus on any one task for 65 seconds. A different study of office workers found they only focus on average for three minutes. This isn’t happening because we all individually became weak-willed. Your focus didn’t collapse. It was stolen. - The Guardian

Stop Blaming Tribalism For What Ails Us

Although the notion that group solidarity leads inevitably to prejudice, animosity, and conflict is common, it is also incorrect and potentially dangerous. - The Atlantic

Machines Are Good At Reading Information. What Happens When They Read Emotion?

Since the start of the pandemic, more of our relationships depend on computer-mediated channels. Amid a churning ocean of online spats, toxic Slack messages, and infinite Zoom, could algorithms help us be nicer to each other? Can an app read our feelings better than we can? - Wired

Why Historians Are Taking Video Games Seriously

 “The attention paid by the game developers and their historical consultants to details of both the actual and social geography of these urban settings produced one of the most authentic depictions of eighteenth-century life in popular culture”—far more historically accurate than Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. - Lapham's Quarterly

What’s The Point Of New Year’s Resolutions If Time Is Already Determined?

If all moments of time exist, does that mean that my staying in bed every morning in 2022 instead of going for a run exists, too? Are future events already “there” without me being able to do anything about them? - The Conversation

Big Tech Is Betting This Will Be The Next Big Cultural Thing

After 15 years of riding a boom in mobile computing that has turned tech’s biggest companies into giants worth trillions of dollars, the power brokers of the industry believe that controlling the doors into the metaverse and virtual reality could be the centerpiece of a new business. - The New York Times

How The Pandemic Has Changed Cities (Perhaps For Good)

Even with those opinions on the books, the pandemic—or really, the haphazard response to it—has shifted people’s perceptions of what a city can be. - Wired

Ways To Think About Death (It Might Not Be So Bad?)

This is not an argument that death is not bad. This is the titular argument that death is probably not as bad as you think it is. - 3 Quarks Daily

Let’s Look At The Toxic Damage Of Bullshit

The mass production of warm sounding words with minimal interest in real material outcomes is signifying bullshit (SB). It is nearly ubiquitous. - 3 Quarks Daily

While Paris Wants To Be A “Fifteen-Minute City,” Sweden Experiments With A “One-Minute City”

While Paris works with a 15-minute radius and Barcelona’s superblocks with nine-block chunks of the city, Sweden’s project operates at the single street level, paying attention to “the space outside your front door — and that of your neighbors adjacent and opposite.” - Bloomberg

Meditating On The Art Of Giving Up

The way the idea of giving up figures in our lives, as a perpetual lure and an insistent fear. The giving up that involves leaving ourselves out of what we had wanted, or thought we had wanted. The giving up that is linked to a sense of impossibility, or of possibilities running out. - London Review of Books

Our Free Newsletter

Join our 30,000 subscribers