criticism   21204

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Cicero "De Officiis" (44 BC)
One thing that reading De Officiis made me wonder is: how far does this pre-‘Modern Moral Order’ book of ethics develops a farmer's rather than a hunter's ethics? I wouldn't want this to become my King Charles' Head where matters of physics, philosophy or morals are concerned, but it is surely a meaningful distinction. So: a hunter's ethics cannot put too high a priority on empathy—identify too closely with your prey and your ability to kill will become impaired, and you'll starve. But the farmer needs to husband his or her empathy: to understand what their crops and livestock need in order to flourish. The hunter needs to track and then overmaster; the farmer needs to slot themselves into the rhythms of the seasons, to attend to the order of nature. The hunter cuts across the natural cycle, sometimes literally so, to wrench life out of nature; the farmer aligns him/herself with the natural cycle to coax nature into doing its thing more fruitfully.

At any rate, I wonder if this may be a way of reading the De Officiis (particularly its Book 1), and its repeated emphasis on Natura.
politics  nature  anthropology  criticism  from instapaper
yesterday by ayjay
Predictive Processing & Art as Cognitive Remodeling
We appear to treat artistic works simultaneously as communications — where accuracy in judging interlocutor intent is valuable — and as maps or models of reality, which is perhaps why we also use words like “authenticity” and “truthiness” in talking about art, or why a work which doesn’t “ring true” is written off. Predictive processing is a way of explaining our attraction to both types of artistic ambiguity, that is, those which play off our understanding of artworks as communications and those which play off our understanding of artworks as reality-training inputs. Insofar as we (often unconsciously) see works as reality models, or eligible inputs in the brain’s predictive training set for reality testing, we look for models which upend, qualify, or otherwise add nuance to any in the system’s current set of all top-down predictions. If a work or a part of a work does not “ring true” or “resonate,” it is dismissed by the predictive processing system so as not to contaminate learning. To use neural network terms: Upon recognizing some kind of fundamental difference between the underlying logic or grammar of the work and the underlying logic or grammar of previously interpreted reality, the brain excludes the stimulus from its training set; the input-space is filtered and constrained by network assessments. While resonance is a necessary heuristic, it is a poor one.
neuroscience  art  criticism  from instapaper
yesterday by ayjay
The Cacophony of Critique
My argument here is that critique operates as a kind of translation of language, capable of rendering anybody else’s account in derogatory terms. Meaningful custom becomes conventional routine, moral values become ideology, society becomes power-relations in the most negative and reductive sense. These accusations can be directed against anything; businesses, unions, parties, social movements, communities, families, intimate relationships. Everywhere and anywhere, critique always ‘discovers’ power, domination, delusion, ideology and so forth.
criticism  philosophy  discourse  power  from instapaper
7 days ago by max_read
Should Art Be a Battleground for Social Justice? - The New York Times
wrestling with art, how we talk about it, how we reconcile artists and their work, and how "problematic" it all is
art  criticism  culture  politics 
8 days ago by cwinters
How Auto-Tune Revolutionized the Sound of Popular Music | Pitchfork
Cracking cultural analysis of technology from Phillip Sherburne - a huge dive into the nitty-gritty of autotune and its impact across music and around the world. Deep and nuanced.
music  technology  writing  criticism  phillipsherburne  sts 
8 days ago by infovore

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