April 17, 2016
Surveys indicate that economists see their discipline as ‘the most scientific of the social sciences’. What is the basis of this collective faith, shared by universities, presidents and billionaires? Shouldn’t successful and powerful people be the first to spot the exaggerated worth of a discipline, and the least likely to pay for it? In the hypothetical worlds of rational markets, where much of economic theory is set, perhaps. But real-world history tells a different story, of mathematical models masquerading as science and a public eager to buy them, mistaking elegant equations for empirical accuracy.
How Lifetime Became One Of The Best Places In Hollywood For Women. Since Lifetime’s acquisition by A&E Networks in 2009, the channel has mounted a successful effort to legitimize itself — 12 Emmy nominations in 2013, and 17 in 2014. This new legitimacy has hinged on two strategies: Lifetime’s prioritizing the hiring of women to write and direct their stories, and its witty, postmodern self-awareness of its own tropes. [more inside]
“What was remarkable to me is that being constrained by the rules of the rabbi, it forced us to figure out how to better preserve the quality of the grain,” Klaas said. (NYTimes)
Why Diversity And Inclusion Will Be A Top Priority For 2016 Research shows that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their peers and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to do the same.
Fallout: New Vegas - Choose Your Own Apocalypse [slyt, but not really...] is an interactive novel, played entirely within YouTube. Make your choices, pick your allies, select the best approach, and maybe you'll make it all the way to New Vegas...
Encrypted is an essay by New Yorker critic Alex Ross about French 19th Century poet Stéphane Mallarmé, and the difficulties he poses for translators and scholars. Notoriously the most bourgeois of avant-garde poets, his life has proved difficult to write about. So perhaps it's best to just go straight for the poetry. The Electronic Poetry Center has a nice page on his late masterpiece, Un Coup de Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard, with the original and several translations.
Colin Stetson has released "Sorrow - a reimagining of Górecki's 3rd Symphony". Pitchfork writes that the avant-garde saxophonist's reimagining of the famous symphony by the Polish composer comes close to something by Explosions in the Sky or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Stetson himself is hoping that "the sound world and the genre implications are really irrelevant, that they’re second to the musical content and to the overall theme and feeling of the piece." You can listen and decide for yourself here (YT).
Axl Rose as new lead vocalist. "We are dedicated to fulfilling the remainder of our touring commitments to everyone that has supported us over the years, and are fortunate that Axl Rose has kindly offered his support to help us fulfill this commitment," band says in statement G -n- R with Agnus Young and Axl Rose Whole Lotta Rosie live at Coachella 2016
at the same venue. [more inside]
at the same venue. [more inside]
An older man (Barack Obama, POTUS) provides a promising younger man (NBA MVP Steph Curry) some life lessons (YouTube). President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. This lighthearted promotion encourages participation in the program. Perhaps Obama's influence will persuade Steph to set aside distractions and complete his college degree.
In the late ’70s and ’80s, the arrival of personal computers like the Commodore 64 gave rise to the first generation of kids fluent in computation. They learned to program in Basic, to write software that they swapped excitedly with their peers. It was a playful renaissance that eerily parallels the embrace of Minecraft by today’s youth - Inside the Minecraft Generation.
How Seattle Gave Up on Busing and Allowed Its Public Schools to Become Alarmingly Resegregated. Seattle reluctantly bused students to integrate schools in the 1970's. They bus no longer—unfortunately, as integration benefited the students who did it.
The term "one-man band" generally brings to mind someone surrounded by instruments, like this Croatian street performer, but the earliest examples are a simple combination of pipe and tambor, which traces back to the 1300s. There were records of some creative, enterprising individuals in the centuries since, with more in the early to mid 20th century, including seated set-ups by Fate Norris, Jesse Fuller, and Joe Barrick, with Vic Ellis representing the traveling one-man band. Add in a MIDI controller, and you can expand your sound with less gear. The footprint can shrink more with the new ACPAD, with demos focusing on bringing electronic sounds to an acoustic guitar. [more inside]
BBC: "Ever since the Victoria and Albert Museum opened, textiles and how they're used has been a primary focus. But it's taken until now to organise a whole exhibition about underwear. The curator says more than any other clothing, underwear is a mix of the alluring and the utterly practical." [V&A]
Why do some progressives of older generations react with such violence and horror to the new way of doing politics, online and in the streets, to the radical sharing, the intensity of emotion, the insistence that trauma and hurt are political? Why does this matter so very, very much to them? Laurie Penny writes about what she realised in the aftermath of Stephen Fry's remarks about trigger warnings. [more inside]