What’s going on in our brains when we see an authentic work versus a copy? Experts, it seems, tend to be right when they follow their initial “vibe,” an instinctual judgment call uncluttered by additional material. From my research into how forgers successfully hoodwinked experts, I know that it is usually the additional material (origin or discovery stories that push the right buttons, doctored or invented provenance) that passes off a forgery, when the object itself, if examined in a vacuum, shouldn’t fool anyone. In Gladwellian terms, this means that the smartest forgers plant clues that provoke “analysis paralysis” and encourage experts to overlook their “thin-slice” response: we might call it encouraging “thick-slicing.”
“In philosophy, since Socrates (a troll before there ever was an internet), the answer has been ‘very bad.’ If you find you believe two inconsistent propositions you need to do something about it. You owe a theory. But theories themselves tend to be confusing, unsatisfactory or both.”
The great author-illustrator specified in his will that all of his ‘rare edition books’ go to the Rosenbach Museum and Library, part of the Free Library of Philadelphia. But the Sendak Foundation didn’t want to part with them (especially the ones worth millions), and two years of messy court battles ensued. At the end of last year, there was finally a settlement, and the Rosenbach’s share of the trove has now arrived. Peter Dobrin looks at what is (and isn’t) in it.
Voices are being heard, of course. Songwriters would be hard-pressed to resist the actions and rhetoric of the Trump presidency. But what rabble is being roused? Are the modern protest singers preaching to choirs? A nation is divided, and many of the protest songs are not of the unifying “this land is your land” kind.
You may not know the term, but you’re familiar with “visual pareidolia” – it’s when you see an animal in a Rorschach blot or the Virgin Mary in a slice of toast. It happens with sounds, too – as when some parents heard in a Fisher-Price doll’s giggles and coos the sentence “Islam is the light.” Philip Jaekl explains how it happens.
“The experiment brings to mind Komar and Melamid’s “Most Wanted” project in the 1990s, in which that Russian duo created paintings based on polls of what people from various countries like to see in art. Here, the cast, with help from the musician Liljie, go through vignettes that illustrate some of the survey’s results.”
Kinan Azmeh, a Syrian clarinettist who has lived in the US legally for 16 years and acquired a green card three years ago, flew to China three weeks ago to tour with Yo-Yo Ma. “I have my apartment. You know, 16 years is not a short time, you accumulate lots of stuff. … But what is not replaceable is all the friends who are incredibly supportive.”
Members of Congress can only hire 18 staffers total, ever. But communication keeps on growing. “In many cases, it’s not that Congress can’t hear you. It’s that the flood of voices so overwhelms the bureaucratic machine that any one citizen becomes hard to hear.”
The ban on travelers from seven countries affects just about every cultural institution and academic institution, especially in New York. A concert promoter who specializes in contemporary Persian music: “‘Tonight I have a concert in L.A.,’ she said, with an American-born Iranian artist, Fared Shafinury, whose band has some immigrant members. ‘I’m just so afraid that this is going to be my last concert.'”
NYT in 360 has the answer, or rather the view, as Daniel Barenboim conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin.
The response to Friday’s immigration and refugee orders came fast at the awards show in LA: They “kicked off with Ashton Kutcher welcoming viewers and ‘everyone in airports that belong in my America. You are a part of the fabric of who we are. And we love you and we welcome you.'”