ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

IDEAS

Can Virtual Reality Fix Work?

It’s easy to virtually collaborate. The hard part, of course, is convincing people that, when it comes to their regular work, staring through Fresnel lenses at an LCD screen a few inches from their eyes is somehow superior to a normal computer on their normal desk. - The New Yorker

Yes, Your Sense Of Wellbeing Comes From Your Gut

Everything changes around you, but your internal organs are always there, always broadcasting signals to the brain, always playing their thorough bass in the grand music of life. - Psyche

How “Web3” May Change Value In The Arts

The NFT confers public proof of ownership and authenticity of an item, which may or may not include copyright — just as in the physical world an artist may sell a work but retain the intellectual property. - The New York Times

Biden Appearance Brings Kennedy Center Honors Back To What Seems Nearly Normal

The previous occupant had skipped the ceremony and held no reception while in office. President Biden, who did hold a White House reception, said to honoree Lorne Michaels, "You make me laugh at myself a lot." - Seattle Times (AP)

Sondheim Also Revolutionized Crosswords

"Sondheim is particularly remembered among connoisseurs of word puzzles for his role in introducing Americans to British-style cryptic crosswords. ... The crosswords that he created for New York Magazine in 1968 and 1969 were instrumental in popularizing the cryptic genre on this side of the Atlantic." - Slate

In 2021, We Were Still Cry-Laughing, Or Laugh-Crying, A Whole Lot

At least, according to our collective emoji use. The "face with tears of joy" accounted for five percent of all emojis sent online last year. (A red heart was also right up there, but watch out, kissy face is moving up.) - The Verge

If Democracy Is Institutions, What Institutions Are Democracy?

Political institutions differ considerably from one purportedly democratic society to the next. Voting procedures, representation schemes, conceptions of free speech, and judicial arrangements are not uniform across societies that are widely regarded as democratic. - 3 Quarks Daily

Has America Lost Its Imagination?

Americans used to go to movie theaters to watch new characters in new stories. Now they go to movie theaters to re-submerge themselves in familiar story lines. - The Atlantic

What Ails Us: Our Search For Cures

Adam Phillips tells us again and again, the quest for self-improvement is itself the problem. What we suffer from “are our self-cures”, otherwise known as “symptoms”; what we need to be cured of are our cures, and our hankering for them. “There is no cure.” - New Statesman

Inside The NFT Hype Bubble

After “community,” the second-most used word at NFT.NYC is probably “rich.” As in, “Do you want to be rich?” The speakers ask the audience variations on that question a lot. -Artnet

Is Society Failing, Post-Pandemic?

Jill Lepore: Of course, there is such a thing as society. The question now is how the pandemic has changed it. Speculating about what might happen next requires first deciphering these statements, and where they came from. - The Guardian

When Each Of Us Is Turning Into An Investment Opportunity

Parallel shifts in culture and technology are forging a new paradigm. The rules around how we create and capture economic value are being rewritten, opening up new roads to the kind of wealth creation previously limited to a select few. - The Atlantic

Sondheim Placed The Musical Firmly At The Heart Of American Culture

Before the pandemic, his songs permeated U.S. media. "His primacy within wider culture came from the widest possible acknowledgement that not only had Sondheim created a succession of groundbreaking hits, but that in the mostly reactionary world of the American musical, he was a revolutionary." - The Guardian (UK)

Our Brains Are Prediction Machines

And that's because human brains are so energy hungry that they train hard to be energy-efficient. What happens when actual machines can mimic the brain? - Wired

If Politicians Can’t Fix A City’s Problems, Can Art Do Something?

Manchester intends to find out. - BBC

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