paulgreer + essays   13

Post-Authenticity and the Real Truths of Meme Culture
Reality’s been having a tough time of it lately. From fake news to fake video to the utter charade of our Instagram personas, ‘authenticity’ seems to be over. When everything is an ironic meme, what are the new vectors for talking truth?
essays  fb  bffr  link 
6 weeks ago by paulgreer
The Congress of Vienna
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the conference convened by the victorious powers of the Napoleonic Wars and the earlier French Revolutionary Wars, which had devastated so much of Europe over the last 25 years. The powers aimed to create a long lasting peace, partly by redrawing the map to restore old boundaries and partly by balancing the powers so that none would risk war again. It has since been seen as a very conservative outcome, reasserting the old monarchical and imperial orders over the growth of liberalism and national independence movements, and yet also largely successful in its goal of preventing war in Europe on such a scale for another 100 years. Delegates to Vienna were entertained at night with lavish balls, and the image above is from a French cartoon showing Russia, Prussia, and Austria dancing to the bidding of Castlereagh, the British delegate.
history  essays 
january 2018 by paulgreer
Moby Dick
Melvyn Bragg and guests Herman Melville's (1819-1891) epic novel, published in London in 1851, the story of Captain Ahab's pursuit of a great white sperm whale that had bitten off his leg. He risks his own life and that of his crew on the Pequod, single-mindedly seeking his revenge, his story narrated by Ishmael who was taking part in a whaling expedition for the first time. This is one of the c1000 ideas which listeners sent in this autumn for our fourth Listener Week, following Kafka's The Trial in 2014, Captain Cook in 2015 and Garibaldi and the Risorgimento in 2016. With Bridget Bennett Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Leeds Katie McGettigan Lecturer in American Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London And Graham Thompson Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Nottingham Producer: Simon Tillotson.
essays  books 
january 2018 by paulgreer
Top 10 Smart Alternatives to TED Talks
TED talks are great, but there’s a point where they all seem too similar, or are just taxing to muddle through. If you’d still like to enjoy a smart, engaging talk now and again but you’ve had enough of TED, here are some alternative to boost your brain.
essays 
october 2016 by paulgreer
A Master List of 1,200 Free Courses From Top Universities: 40,000 Hours of Audio/Video Lectures
For the past ten years, we’ve been busy rummaging around the internet and adding courses to an ever-growing list of Free Online Courses, which now features 1,200+ courses from top universities. Let’s give you the quick overview: The list lets you download audio
essays 
october 2016 by paulgreer
Reimagining Our World
Reimagining Our World

How we can fix our broken nations, economies, societies and cultures. In these exclusive interviews we speak to Professor Theodore Zeldin (International Best-Selling Author and Scholar), Rutger Bregman (Author, ‘Utopia for Realists’), Paul Mason (Award Winning British Journalist, Broadcaster and Author), Andy Stern (President Emeritus, Service Employees International Union) and Paul Ladd (Director, UNRISD – the United Nations Institute for Social Development). We discuss the social, economic, political and cultural challenges our world faces, and look at potential solutions to create a better future for humanity.
brainfood  essays 
august 2016 by paulgreer
Notes on No Man’s Sky | Brendan Keogh
1. No Man’s Sky is a small videogame made by a tiny, indie studio that, like most small indie videogames, is clearly trying to achieve a very specific experience for a very specific audience. No Man’s Sky is a massive, triple-a videogame being released by Sony on a disc for a full sixty bucks that, like all triple-a games, has to please everyone who plays triple-a videogames. Both these statements are true, which, if nothing else, mostly highlights how categories like ‘indie’ are constructed more from a perceived sense of performed ‘indie-ness’ rather than any quantifiable factors. How you perceive No Man’s Sky is intricately tied up in whether you think it succeeds at being that particular thing for a particular audience, or whether you think it fails to be the next big triple-a open-world game for all gamers that it was set up to be (in part by marketing and in part by those gamers).
essays  realtime 
august 2016 by paulgreer
Some rather strange history of maths
Scientific American has a guest blog post with the title: Mathematicians Are Overselling the Idea That “Math Is Everywhere, which argues in its subtitle: The mathematics that is most important to society is the province of the exceptional few—and that’s always been true. Now I’m not really interested in the substantial argument of the article but the author, Michael J. Barany, opens his piece with some historical comments that I find to be substantially wrong; a situation made worse by the fact that the author is a historian of mathematics.
essays  maths 
august 2016 by paulgreer
You may think the world is falling apart. Steven Pinker is here to tell you it isn't.
Steven Pinker
News is a misleading way to understand the world. It’s always about events that happened and not about things that didn’t happen. So when there’s a police officer that has not been shot up or city that has not had a violent demonstration, they don’t make the news. As long as violent events don’t fall to zero, there will be always be headlines to click on. The data show — since the Better Angels of Our Nature was published — rates of violence continue to go down.
world  essays 
august 2016 by paulgreer
Frank Lantz: Strange Love or the Relationship Between Game Theory and Game Design
Game theory, the mathematical analysis of conflict and decision making, is a field of study with important applications in economics, politics, law, and biology. But does it have anything to contribute to the creative discipline of game design? This talk will examine game theory from historical, conceptual, and philosophical perspectives to reveal the points of contact between the abstract equations and rational actors of game theory and the mysterious pleasures and elusive meanings of game design as a creative form.
essays  realtime 
august 2016 by paulgreer
Dan Hodges, lost in reality | Idiot Joy Showland
But Dan Hodges and Nick Cohen have never read Philip K Dick.
politics  quotes  essays 
august 2016 by paulgreer
The Catastrophe of Success by Tennasee Williams
This winter marked the third anniversary of the Chicago opening of “The Glass Menagerie,” an event that terminated one part of my life and began another about as different in all external circumstances as could well be imagined. I was snatched out of virtual oblivion and thrust into sudden prominence, and from the precarious tenancy of furnished rooms about the country I was removed to a suite in a first-class Manhattan hotel. My experience was not unique. Success has often come that abruptly into the lives of Americans. The Cinderella story is our favorite national myth, the cornerstone of the film industry if not of the Democracy itself. I have seen it enacted on the screen so often that I was now inclined to yawn at it, not with disbelief but with an attitude of Who Cares! Anyone with such beautiful teeth and hair as the screen protagonist of such a story was bound to have a good time one way or another, and you could bet your bottom dollar and all the tea in China that one would be caught dead or alive at any meeting involving a social conscience.
essays 
july 2016 by paulgreer

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