How the Appetite for Emojis Complicates the Effort to Standardize the World’s Alphabets - The New York Times
How the Appetite for Emojis Complicates the Effort to Standardize the World’s Alphabets

Do the volunteers behind Unicode, whose mission is to bring all human languages into the digital sphere, have enough bandwidth to deal with emojis too?

Michael Erard. NYTimes Magazine. October 18, 2017
unicode  Michael.Erard 
2 hours ago
Brown Bag - Fiona Hackett - Creating the Geological Imagination
Creating the Geological Imagination: Photographs from Field Work in Geologist Ralph Arnold’s Early 20th-Century Albums

Fiona Hackett
Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

This paper explores the role which photography played in developing a ‘geological imagination’ as geologists became photographers ‘in their own right’ around the turn of the 19th century. Focusing on the geologist Ralph Arnold’s albums held at The Huntington, the analysis explores how photography served geological science. Echoing claims that photography became a tool of the ‘geographical imagination’, these albums show that photography’s discourse of truth and objectivity, was also being used to feed a geological imagination. It is evident that Arnold enthusiastically embraced the medium to support geological fieldwork. But the ‘guise’ of pursuing science is thinly veiled and despite his methodical approach, the images made served not only to document facts but also create imaginings.

October 24, 2017

Ralph.Arnold  Fiona.Hackett  geology 
17 hours ago
Stephen Sparks / What did he read? Patterns. Strings. Never books. Books were just zoos where you went to look at paragraphs. (Robert Kelly)
"What did he read? Patterns. Strings. Never books. Books were just zoos where you went to look at paragraphs." - Robert Kelly

Kelly, Robert, 1935-
Title : LinkDoctor of silence : fictions / by Robert Kelly.
Edition : 1st ed.
Published : Kingston, N.Y. : McPherson, 1988.
18 hours ago
Sketch Model: Creative Residency | Olin College
Call for Applications: 2018-19

Olin College of Engineering is pleased to announce its creative residency program, an initiative that’s part of Sketch Model, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to bring artists and other creative practitioners to Olin’s campus to awaken the political and cultural contexts for technology. We’re seeking individuals or collectives whose work is significantly housed in the arts and humanities and whose interests might intersect in provocative and convivial ways with a small undergraduate college where all students major in engineering.

19 hours ago
Due Nov 10 | CFP – The Unknowable and the Unutterable in early modernity – Renaissance Studies
Beyond Words: The Unknowable and the Unutterable in early modernity
Friday 1st June 2018,
CREMS, University of York
This conference will explore the parameters of the Unknowable and the Unutterable in early modernity. It will range across the theological, the literary and the scientific, to attend to what early modern thinkers deemed beyond what they could find words for. If this apophatic inheritance – the language of what can’t be said – was a theological-mystical mode of thinking, what happened to it in the post-reformation climate of thought? Did natural philosophy understand the knowable limits of nature in the manner of the apophatic? How did emergent science negotiate the edges of what could be thought? What uses did early modern writers find for the apophatic traditions, Dionysius, Cusa, or John Scotus Eriugena? How did early modern poetry attend to the ineffable and that which was beyond words? The conference invites papers on the unknowable, the unutterable, the unthinkable and the unsayable, all broadly considered, in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, whether English or European.

Keynote speaker: William Franke (Vanderbildt)
Author of ‘On What Cannot be Said’ and ‘A Philosophy of the Unsayable’ (among others).

Please send abstracts (c. 250 words) to Kevin Killeen (kevin.killeen@york.ac.uk), by Friday 10th November (or send expressions of interest).

This symposium is part of the lax and diffuse Thomas Browne Seminar series



wikipedia :
Apophasis (Greek ἀπόφασις from ἀπόφημι apophemi, "to say no") is a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it, or denying that it should be brought up. Accordingly, it can be seen as a rhetorical relative of irony.
CFPs  apophasis  unknowable  unutterable  unthinkable  unsayable 
3 days ago
Mirror Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975 (youtube)
low rez, no matter (through a glass darkly)

42:08 hands (in book, and not the first... see a few second earlier)

48:38 (condensation from removed teacup)
earlier, linotype machines, at publishing house

1:23:00 burning hand (not the first)
3 days ago
a pond of live koi fish which survived the Tubbs fire
Karen Balestieri and Heidi Facciano (left to right) marvel at a pond of live koi fish which survived the Tubbs fire in the neighborhood referred to by locals as 'old fountaingrove' in Santa Rosa, Ca. on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

photo, Alex Washburn. The Chronicle
fish  fire  california 
5 days ago
What happened when a poet was sent to the biggest US mall to write for shoppers | US news | The Guardian
What happened when a poet was sent to the biggest US mall to write for shoppers
Brian Sonia-Wallace was selected to pen poems at the Mall of America. In a shrine to consumerism, he regularly brought visitors to tears

Brian Sonia-Wallace, The Guardian. 10 October 2017
poetry  poetical.engines 
8 days ago
'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia | Technology | The Guardian
Weekend magazine technology special
'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia
Google, Twitter and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet. Paul Lewis reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks alarmed by a race for human attention

Paul Lewis. The Guardian. 6 October 2017

. . . . .

Rosenstein, who also helped create Gchat during a stint at Google, and now leads a San Francisco-based company that improves office productivity, appears most concerned about the psychological effects on people who, research shows, touch, swipe or tap their phone 2,617 times a day.

There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.”

But those concerns are trivial compared with the devastating impact upon the political system that some of Rosenstein’s peers believe can be attributed to the rise of social media and the attention-based market that drives it.

. . . . .

All of which, Williams says, is not only distorting the way we view politics but, over time, may be changing the way we think, making us less rational and more impulsive. “We’ve habituated ourselves into a perpetual cognitive style of outrage, by internalising the dynamics of the medium,” he says.


It is against this political backdrop that Williams argues the fixation in recent years with the surveillance state fictionalised by George Orwell may have been misplaced. It was another English science fiction writer, Aldous Huxley, who provided the more prescient observation when he warned that Orwellian-style coercion was less of a threat to democracy than the more subtle power of psychological manipulation, and “man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”.

Since the US election, Williams has explored another dimension to today’s brave new world. If the attention economy erodes our ability to remember, to reason, to make decisions for ourselves – faculties that are essential to self-governance – what hope is there for democracy itself?
405F17  social.media 
11 days ago
Berlin’s ‘Newspaper Poet’ Walks in a Long Line of Eccentrics
Berlin’s ‘Newspaper Poet’ Walks in a Long Line of Eccentrics
For 20 years, Holger Bleck has made poems from the day’s news to sell papers, becoming a cult figure in the bars and restaurants of the German capital.

Sally McGrane. NYTimes. October 6, 2017
11 days ago
'I'm dumbfounded!' … Neave Brown on bagging a RIBA award for the building that killed his career | Art and design | The Guardian
'I'm dumbfounded!' … Neave Brown on bagging an award for the building that killed his career
It was late, over-budget and ended his career. But 40 years on, Neave Brown has just won British architecture’s top award for the Alexandra Road estate and similar masterpieces of social housing

Oliver Wainwright. The Guardian. 6 October 2017

this comment in particular
londinium  architecture  Neave.Brown 
12 days ago
This reclusive life: what I learned about solitude from my time with hermits
This reclusive life: what I learned about solitude from my time with hermits
When the chaos of the big city began to drag, Paul Willis wondered if solitude might be the answer. Would his encounters with hermits yield what he wanted?

Paul Willis. The Guardian. 6 October 2017
Paul.Willis  solitude 
12 days ago
The Giveaway Artist / The stealth artist hides images all over the city
Alex Vadukul. NYTimes. September 28 (online) October 1 (print), 2017

The Giveaway Artist
For more than a decade, the photographer Fred
Cray has been hiding his “Unique Photographs” —
more than 30,000 so far — all over New York City.


(much) better images at this link (than in the print version)
Fred.Cray  photography 
17 days ago
Stamped Out
Eugene L. Meyer. NYTimes. September 29-30, 2017
18 days ago
How Quirky is Berkeley? Lasher's Electronics
How Quirky is Berkeley? Lasher's Electronics
Tom Dalzell. Berkeleyside. September 21, 2017
Berkeley  retail 
24 days ago
The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life: the new sleep science | Life and style | The Guardian
The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life: the new sleep science
Leading neuroscientist Matthew Walker on why sleep deprivation is increasing our risk of cancer, heart attack and Alzheimer’s – and what you can do about it

Rachel Cooke. The Guardian/Observer. 24 September 2017
24 days ago
Do Women Get to Write With Authority?
Nicole Krauss. Do Women Get to Write With Authority"
NYTimes SundayReview. 22 September 2017
Nicole.Krauss  gender  writing  auctoritas 
26 days ago
Poster poems : Found poetry
Billy Mills. The Guardian. 9 August 2017

Sometimes the sources for collage poems are other poems, in which case there's a name for them, the Cento. We tend to think of collage and the like as modern inventions, but there are examples of the Cento to be found in the works of Latin poets of the third and fourth centuries and the basic rules were formulated by Ausonius in around 350.
centones  combinatorics  poetics 
5 weeks ago
'Plagiarists never do it once': meet the sleuth tracking down the poetry cheats | Books | The Guardian
'Plagiarists never do it once': meet the sleuth tracking down the poetry cheats

Will Storr. The Guardian. 9 September 2017

comments interesting.
plagiarism  poetics  centones 
5 weeks ago
Beautiful Joshua Tree home looks like a supervillain’s lair - Curbed LA
Beautiful Joshua Tree home looks like a supervillain’s lair
Perfect for the fashionable Bond villain

Adrian Glick Kudler and Jenna Chandler
LA Curbed, September 8, 2017

designed by super-organic architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, who immediately fell in love with the site—10 beautiful, naked acres in Joshua Tree. Beverly tells the Desert Sun: “He was jumping all over the rocks like a mountain goat. He had been looking for rocks to build on.”
desert  california  architecture 
5 weeks ago
Visual Intelligence | Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University
Visual Intelligence
A Multidisciplinary Group Exhibition of 2017–2018 Radcliffe Institute Fellows

Thursday, September 14, and runs through Saturday, October 28, 2017

Byerly Hall at 8 Garden Street, Radcliffe Yard
Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

opening reception on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at 5 p.m.
6 weeks ago
California Typewriter Documentary
CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER is a documentary portrait of artists, writers, and collectors who remain steadfastly loyal to the typewriter as a tool and muse, featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, Sam Shepard, and others.

It also movingly documents the struggles of California Typewriter, one of the last standing repair shops in America dedicated to keeping the aging machines clicking.
typewriter  typewriting 
6 weeks ago
Architecture | Shannon Mattern, "Mapping's Intelligent Agents" - MIT Events
Architecture | Shannon Mattern, "Mapping's Intelligent Agents"

Friday, September 15, 2017 at 5:00pm to 6:30pm
MIT Architecture, 7-408 77 Massachusetts Avenue

MIT Department of Architecture / Fall 2017 Lecture Series

Mapping for machines, by machines is big business. Yet mapping’s artificial intelligences also have the potential to transform myriad design and research areas, to influence policy-making and governance, to support environmental preservation and public health – and, in the process, to pose critical questions about how our cartographic technologies conceptualize and operationalize space. And in order to fully exploit the methodological promise of cartography, those artificial intelligences – all the digital sensors and deep learning models – have to be supplemented with other cartographic intelligences and subjectivities, particularly those that extend beyond the computational “Other.” Marginalized and indigenous populations and non-human environmental actors belong on the map, too – and not merely as cartographic subjects, but as active mapping agents with spatial intelligences and worldviews quite unlike our own, and with an equal investment in the environments we share.
cartography  shannon.mattern 
7 weeks ago
What makes Houston so vulnerable to serious floods?
What makes Houston so vulnerable to serious floods?
The size of storm Harvey is unusual – but rapid expansion, poor infrastructure and a distinctive topography have played a role in the devastating impact

Adam Gabbatt. The Guardian. 28 August 2017

When the city experiences heavy rain – which happens a lot due to its humid subtropical climate – the water has nowhere to go. In new developments where modern drainage systems are installed, Brody said they are often “treating the symptoms, not addressing the underlying problem”.

Those developments themselves might have systems in place to prevent them flooding. But those systems can involve channelling additional water into streams or bayous already at capacity. In severe storms that water can gush downstream and threaten older neighborhoods that traditionally may have been less prone to flooding.

“We hear a lot from folks who have lived in one neighborhood for 20 or 30 years and they say: ‘I have never flooded before, I’m flooding,’” said Lisa Gonzalez, president and chief executive officer of the Houston Advanced Research Center – a not-for-profit which analyses energy, air and water issues.

“When we’re making these development decisions in the Houston region we tend to think of it project by project, and they don’t really think of the cumulative impact of development as they’re making these decisions.”

One of the reasons for the lack of joined-up thinking is that the metropolitan area of Houston is governed by nine different local county governments. Gonzalez said much of the tax income generated by local authorities comes from property tax – “so the economic incentive is to allow development to occur basically where development wants to occur”.

this also :
water  infrastructure 
7 weeks ago
Mathematical secrets of ancient tablet unlocked after nearly a century of study
Mathematical secrets of ancient tablet unlocked after nearly a century of study
Dating from 1,000 years before Pythagoras’s theorem, the Babylonian clay tablet is a trigonometric table more accurate than any today, say researchers

Maev Kennedy. The Guardian / Mathematics. 24 August 2017
cuneiform  mathematics 
7 weeks ago
Studies in Material Thinking
SMT 18 | Between Sensuous and Making-Sense-Of
Studies in Material Thinking, in collaboration with organisers of the conference Image Matter: Art and Materiality (Manchester Metropolitan University, November 2015), is calling for contributions to a special issue of new research articles to be published in late 2017.
CFPs  materiality  ae 
8 weeks ago
Stop treating science denial like a disease | Science | The Guardian
Daniel Sarewitz. The Guardian / Science. 21 August 2017

subtitle :
Turning the rejection of scientific expertise into a pathology mistakenly presents individual ignorance as the bottleneck in political disagreements

title could be re-titled : treating science denial like a disease, that “liberals” are immune to.

. . . . .

And so, experts have begun studying why experts don’t get more respect. Scienceblind and The Knowledge Illusion are two such books by cognitive scientists published this year. As the titles suggest, they take up the question of why people understand so little about the world around them. The first of these, by Andrew Shtulman, focuses on why we don’t intuit scientific truths about the world. It looks in particular at how children’s misunderstanding of the world can help us see how difficult it is even for adults to acquire correct understanding of how things work.

Shtulman’s central premise is that we need to leave our childish intuitions behind and accept the findings of science in order to act effectively in the world. “Intuitive theories,” Scienceblind tells us, “are about coping with the present circumstances, the here and the now. Scientific theories are about the full causal story—from past to future, from the observable to the unobservable, from the miniscule to the immense.” And the book concludes, “While science denial is problematic from a sociological point of view, it’s unavoidable from a psychological point of view. There is a fundamental disconnect between the cognitive abilities of individual humans and the cognitive demands of modern society.”

The second book, The Knowledge Illusion, by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach, looks not only at how little we know, but also at how we know a lot less than we think we do. “Because we confuse the knowledge in our heads with the knowledge we have access to, we are largely unaware of how little we understand.”

. . . . . . . . .

sometimes, when I start to explain something I *think* I know or understand, I pretty quickly get to this place where I stumble and hear myself saying, hmm, I need to go read that again… when I realize that I don’t thoroughly understand something — maybe I did once, or not, but certainly no longer or not now — but only have some mental marker/bookmark, or takeaway, of the point.
e.g., how a heat pump works (I could list several examples).
science  knowledge  knowing 
8 weeks ago
The Decentralized Web
Back to the Future: The Decentralized Web
A report by the Digital Currency Initiative and the Center for Civic Media

This report was written by Chelsea Barabas, Neha Narula, and Ethan Zuckerman with support from the Knight Foundation.

18 August 2017

case studies of the following decentralized publishing projects:

Freedom Box, a system for personal publishing
Diaspora, a federated social network
Mastodon, a federated Twitter-like service
Blockstack, a distributed system for online identity services
IPFS (Interplanetary File System), a distributed storage service with a proposed mechanism to incentivize resource sharing
Solid (Social Linked Data), a linked-data protocol that could act as a back-end for data sharing between social media networks
Appcoins, a digital currency framework that enables users to financially participate in ownership of platforms and protocols
Steemit, an online community that uses an appcoin to incentivize development and community participation in a social network

. . .

Easy to use, peer-to-peer distributed storage systems change the landscape for content censorship and archiving. Appcoins may transform how new projects are launched online, making it possible to fund open-source development teams focused on developing shared protocols instead of independent companies. There is also a renewed interest in creating interoperable standards and protocols that can cross platforms.

However, we have reason to doubt that these decentralized systems alone will address the problems of exclusion and bias caused by today’s mega-platforms.
publishing  publishing.models 
8 weeks ago
The Once and Future Liberal reviews: identity and the American body politic | Society | The Guardian
The Once and Future Liberal reviews: identity and the American body politic
Columbia professor Mark Lilla thinks an obsession with identity politics has wrecked American liberalism. Two writers respond to his provocative new book

Charles Kaiser and Lloyd Green. The Guardian. Identity Politics.
20 August 2017
Mark.Lilla  identity  identity.politics 
8 weeks ago
It's Nice That | Hacking Heidelberg: how Erik Spiekermann came to reinvent the printing process
Hacking Heidelberg: how Erik Spiekermann came to reinvent the printing process
Jenny Brewer. It's Nice That.
21 August 2017
Erik.Spiekermann  printing  letterpress 
8 weeks ago
'I know their vital stats, their romantic histories': how Sunderland AFC saved me | Football | The Guardian
'I know their vital stats, their romantic histories': how Sunderland AFC saved me
For this Chinese Jewish Texan, England was a difficult place to feel at home. But all that changed when she discovered football

Jessica Pan. The Guardian. Sunderland. 19 August 2017
8 weeks ago
The dog that didn’t bark: the disappearance of the citizen – Eurozine
The dog that didn’t bark: the disappearance of the citizen
Identity politics in the USA, and what Europe can learn from it

Mark Lilla. 18 August 2017
Mark.Lilla  identity 
8 weeks ago
She Just Won 3 Gold Medals for Her Swimming. She’s Only 73. - The New York Times
Daniela Barnea, who is 73, typically swims for up to an hour and a half, seven days a week. At her age, that kind of workout, during which she covers nearly two miles, is noteworthy.
Kerry Hannon. NYTimes. Your Money. August 11, 2017
print edition "Three Gold Medals, and She’s Only 73" August 13, 2017
9 weeks ago
The rise of populism shouldn’t have surprised anyone
interview with Dani Rodrik (economist at Harvard)
Ana Swanson. The Washington Post. August 10, 2017

author of
Populism and the Economics of Globalization
NBER Working Paper No. 23559 (June 2017)

. . . . . . . . .

The second aspect is that, not always, but typically, right-wing populists do not have any great love for the norms of liberal democracy, because they believe that there is one true national will. They generally abhor the idea that we should have different views as to how that is determined, or things like a free independent judiciary. So right-wing populism is more dangerous to democracy than left-wing populism.

well, depends on your point of view.
gosh it must be great to be an economist, brilliant and nuanced and liberal and all.

. . . . . . . . . .

You imply in a recent paper that Europe has done more than the United States to redistribute the gains in trade, and it has resulted in a different kind of populism in Europe. Explain that.

In the U.S., every time there was a trade agreement, you needed to tack on trade adjustment assistance to get labor to go along. Over time, it’s become clear that these measures really don’t work, because there are no political incentives to ensure they work once agreements have been signed. In Europe, you don’t have a separate mechanism for compensating trade losers. Instead you have very broad social insurance mechanisms. Europe, which became an open economy much earlier than the United States, was able to manage this openness because of the presence of these expansive welfare states.
globalization  populism  politics 
9 weeks ago
How to Fight Wealth Inequality | Architect Magazine | Land Planning, Zoning, Policy, Housing Policy, Legislation, Land-value tax, Delaware
How to Fight Wealth Inequality
Amanda Kolson Hurley visits Arden, Del., to see how the land-value tax, a long-forgotten idea by the political economist Henry George, is making a comeback.
Amanda Kolson Hurley
Architect (Magazine). July 14, 2017
11 weeks ago
The Bronte Splashers swimming club, Sydney – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian
Take a dip with what claims to be Australia’s oldest winter swimming club – which certainly has one of the world’s most spectacular settings
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
The Guardian. 1 August 2017
swimming  swimming.pools  oz 
11 weeks ago
Antonio Porchia / Voices
Gonzalo Melchor's page, including (some) translations
11 weeks ago
Boat magazine — The Morning Swimmers
Boat. 12 May 2017

Director and photographer, Fred Scott, photographs the “Morning Swimmers of Sandagerði,” the women who swim in the North Atlantic Ocean every morning of the year.

. . .

“We are raised by the sea, we always see the sea, it is there all around us,” says Elin Lindenskov, one of the swimmers. “We respect the sea, and so we never swim alone.”

The women call themselves the “Morning Swimmers of Sandagerði” and swim every day of the year unless a storm roughs up the water too much. The ladies range in age from 20 to 75 years old. “We do it for our well-being,” Elin says, “it gives a special feeling to ‘dip,’ as we call it, in the morning. It gives a nice chill and makes the heart pump. I used to get a shock from the water, but not so much now I am used to it.”
11 weeks ago
Top 10 books about swimming
Top 10 books about swimming
From Lynne Cox’s feats of endurance to John Cheever’s complacent suburbanites, these titles all explore a kind of life not found on dry land

Gillian Best. The Guardian. 5 July 2017

comments fill out the list, nicely.
beginning with Charles Sprawson's Haunts of the Black Masseur
12 weeks ago
クレディセゾンTVCM「頭は使いよう。カードも使いよう。」30秒篇 - YouTube

japan  humor 
12 weeks ago
THE HIGH ART OF RIDING LOW: RANFLAS, CORAZÓN E INSPIRACIÓN | Petersen Automotive Museum | Museum Los Angeles | Car Museum
The High Art of Riding Low:Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración examines the diversity and complexity with which 50 artists visualize, celebrate, and interrogate the lowrider car through vehicles, paintings, sculptures, and site-specific installations.

July 1, 2017 – July 2018
california  lowrider  car.culture 
july 2017
Maryam Mirzakhani, Stanford mathematician and Fields Medal winner, dies | Stanford News
Maryam Mirzakhani, Stanford mathematician and Fields Medal winner, dies
Stanford mathematics professor Maryam Mirzakhani, the first and to-date only female winner of the Fields Medal since its inception in 1936, died July 15 after a long battle with cancer. Mirzakhani was 40 years old.


A self-professed “slow” mathematician, Mirzakhani’s colleagues describe her as ambitious, resolute and fearless in the face of problems others would not, or could not, tackle. She denied herself the easy path, choosing instead to tackle thornier issues. Her preferred method of working on a problem was to doodle on large sheets of white paper, scribbling formulas on the periphery of her drawings. Her young daughter described her mother at work as “painting.”

“You have to spend some energy and effort to see the beauty of math,” she told one reporter.

In another interview, she said of her process: “I don’t have any particular recipe [for developing new proofs] … It is like being lost in a jungle and trying to use all the knowledge that you can gather to come up with some new tricks, and with some luck you might find a way out.”
July 15, 2017
Maryam.Mirzakhani  mathematics  slow 
july 2017
Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win mathematics' Fields medal, dies at 40 | US news | The Guardian
AP, 15 July 2017

Mirzakhani originally dreamed of becoming a writer but then shifted to mathematics. When she was working, she would doodle on sheets of paper and scribble formulas on the edges of her drawings, leading her daughter to describe the work as painting, the Stanford statement said.

Mirzakhani once described her work as “like being lost in a jungle and trying to use all the knowledge that you can gather to come up with some new tricks, and with some luck you might find a way out”.
Maryam.Mirzakhani  mathematics 
july 2017
Simplicity: Ideals of Practice in Mathematics and the Arts | Roman Kossak | Springer
Simplicity: Ideals of Practice in Mathematics and the Arts / edited by Roman Kossak, Philip Ording.
Cham : Springer International Publishing : Imprint: Springer, 2017.
XX, 305 p. 26 illus., 1 illus. in color. online resource.

To find "criteria of simplicity" was the goal of David Hilbert's recently discovered twenty-fourth problem on his renowned list of open problems given at the 1900 International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris. At the same time, simplicity and economy of means are powerful impulses in the creation of artworks. This was an inspiration for a conference, titled the same as this volume, that took place at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in April of 2013. This volume includes selected lectures presented at the conference, and additional contributions offering diverse perspectives from art and architecture, the philosophy and history of mathematics, and current mathematical practice.

Inner Simplicity vs. Outer Simplicity (E. Ghys)
The Complexity of Simplicity: The Inner Structure of the Artistic Image (J. Pallasmaa)
Thinking in Four Dimensions (D. McDuff)
Kant, Co-Production, Actuality, and Pedestrian Space: Remarks on the Philosophical Writings of Fred Sandback (J. Kennedy)
What Simplicity Is Not (M. Malliaris)
Constructing the Simples (C. Franks)
The Simplicity Postulate (M. Senechal)
The Experience of Meaning (J. Zwicky)
Math Currents in the Brain (M. Gromov)
bc, becuz, because ASCII (K. Shepherd)
"Abstract, Directly Experienced, Highly Simplified, and Self-Contained": Discourses of Simplification, Disorientation, and Process in the Arts (R. Stewen)
Remarks on Simple Proofs (R. Iemhoff)
The Fluidity of Simplicity (J. Floyd)
"Mathematical Typography" (After Donald Knuth, 1978) (D. Sinister)
Simplicity Via Complexity (A. Villaveces)
On the Alleged Simplicity of Impure Proof (A. Arana)
Minimalism and Foundations (S. Gerhardt)
Economy of Thought: A Neglected Principle of Mathematics Education (A. Borovik) -- Simplicity is the Point (D. Sullivan)
Appendix A: Simplicity, in Mathematics and in Art (A. Jackson)
Appendix B: Conference Program
mathematics  Fred.Sandback 
july 2017
Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win maths' Fields Medal, dies - BBC News
Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to receive the prestigious Fields Medal for mathematics, has died in the US.
The 40-year-old had breast cancer, which had spread to her bones.
Nicknamed the "Nobel Prize for Mathematics", the Fields Medal is only awarded every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40.
It was given to Prof Mirzakhani, an Iranian, in 2014, for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.
"A light was turned off today. It breaks my heart... gone far too soon," her friend, Nasa scientist Firouz Naderi, posted on Instagram.
Born in 1977, Prof Mirzakhani was brought up in post-revolutionary Iran and won two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad as a teenager.
She earned a PhD at Harvard University in 2004, and later a professorship at Stanford.

BBC News. 15 July 2017
mathematics  obituaries  Maryam.Mirzakhani 
july 2017
Real Men Might Get Made Fun Of
Lindy West. NYTimes. July 12, 2017

“How to build a better white guy” is a conversation that could turn academic fast, replete with all the jargon that the sneering class finds so tedious: intersectionality, emotional labor, systemic oppression, the dreaded “privilege.” But when I sat down with my friends, only one question sprang to mind, and it was personal, not pedantic.

“Do you ever stick up for me?”
lindy.west  women  gender 
july 2017
Closet Archive
Closet Archive
A stuffed history of the closet, where the “past becomes space.”
July 2017
Shannon.Mattern  closets 
july 2017
The ‘Rewilding’ of a Century-Old Cranberry Bog
The ‘Rewilding’ of a
Century-Old Cranberry Bog
Scientists are turning a cranberry bog back into coastal wetland. The experiment
is seen as a path for dormant bogs and another chance for vanishing habitat.

Jess Bidgood.
July 4, 2017
july 2017
Newbern Library by Rural Studio | 2017-07-02 | Architectural Record
Beth Broome. Architectural Record. July 2, 2017

Driving along Alabama’s State Route 61 is like a journey through the land that time forgot. Past catfish ponds and rolling pastures, the highway pauses for a moment where it swells to form downtown Newbern (population 189), a rustic collection of warehouses and storefronts from the turn of the last century. But over the last couple of decades, Rural Studio, Auburn University’s design-build program, which is based here, has left its mark, erecting a fire station and other structures. For its latest endeavor, the school has transformed a diminutive masonry bank building into a modern, 1,600-square-foot library—Newbern’s first—that maintains the local down-home spirit while providing an inviting community resource.

libraries  rural.studio 
july 2017
Why Roman concrete still stands strong while modern version decays | Science | The Guardian
Why Roman concrete still stands strong while modern version decays
Scientists have cracked the secret to Roman water-based structures’ strength – and findings could help today’s builders

Nicola Davis. The Guardian / Science. 4 July 2017
july 2017
cloud chamber (wikipedia)
The cloud chamber, also known as the Wilson chamber, is a particle detector used for detecting ionizing radiation.

Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (1869–1959), a Scottish physicist, is credited with inventing the cloud chamber. Inspired by sightings of the Brocken spectre while working on the summit of Ben Nevis in 1894, he began to develop expansion chambers for studying cloud formation and optical phenomena in moist air. Very rapidly he discovered that ions could act as centers for water droplet formation in such chambers. He pursued the application of this discovery and perfected the first cloud chamber in 1911.

cloud.chamber  meteorology 
july 2017
Poems While You Wait by Kathleen Rooney | Poetry Foundation
Poems While You Wait
The Work of Poetry in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Kathleen Rooney. February 22, 2012

25 June 2017
poetry  poetics  poetical.engines 
june 2017
The Liminal Library: My Talk to the SCONUL Conference – A Stick, a Dog, and a Box with Something In It
I gave this talk to the SCONUL Conference, in Gateshead, June 7 2017. Sconul is the Society of College, National and University Libraries.

some excerpts —


If the meaning of a word is its pattern of use, and we use this work to descibe a thing we do, then we find ourselves at the question: what is it that a library does?

What is it that only a library does?

And should a library do only the thing that a library does, as the world shifts and science becomes driven by the capabilities of technology and literary research relies more on Google Scholar and Menderley and Zotero than close reading of a text and augmented intelligences threaten to replace research assistants at the side of distinguished professors (and seek no acknowledgement in papers or preferment)?

What is that thing?

I think it’s about being the threshold between different forms of captured knowledge.


we must always acknowledge that the combination of physical and virtual space is itself as unique as the physical space, and allow for the local reality to intrude.


You are here to decide not only what your libraries contain and what they offer but, in this time of enormous threat, what we say when we say ‘library’. To decide that it means ‘something chosen’, in contrast to the great mass of everything on offer everywhere else.

Because I see a danger that library becomes, like digital, a word that conveys no meaning at all, that makes no distinction, that has neither intension nor extension but is merely a grunt made by someone who does not appreciate how today’s scholarly environment works.

You currently have an opportunity to define for yourselves a space where to talk of the library or the library service is to raise the spirit and give hope that someone, somewhere, will help – whether you’re a struggling academic or a downhearted undergraduate or a doctoral student lost in the wild wood.

So, can we capture the sense of the library and abstract something from it that will be worthy of the name in ten or twenty or fifty years time?
Bill.Thompson  libraries 
june 2017
Benjamin Kipling, Bell Tuner | Spitalfields Life
he Gentle Author – So it is a question of striking the bell and then bridging the difference between what it is and what you want it to sound like, do you expect to get there immediately or is it a long process?

Benjamin Kipling – Bell tuning is a job of many stages. Calculating what I am aiming for in a particular bell gives me the size of the gap. Usually, I try and make a series of cuts that will get me halfway between where I was and where I need to be, so I can check the bell is responding as I expect it to. Then I will go half as far again, and half as far again, and gradually close in, which theoretically means I never get there. Yet, in practice, this is engineering not mathematics and if I overshoot by a fraction of a semitone then nobody is going to notice. I try and tune a bell to within a cent, which is 1/100 of a semitone, but nobody is going to hear if it is two or three cents out.

The Gentle Author – Are there different kinds of cuts you make to a bell?

Benjamin Kipling – Only in terms of shallow cuts or deep cuts, but they are in different areas of the bell. For instance, if you cut metal out of the shoulder of the bell, the second partial tone flattens more quickly. In the middle of the bell, it is the hum note, the lowest one, that flattens the most quickly. Towards the lip, it is the nominal tone which flattens most quickly. Generally, wherever you take metal off a bell all of the partial tones will move – so it is a juggling act.

The Gentle Author – What is the minimum number of cuts?

Benjamin Kipling – One! But if you are tuning a bell and you are getting very close, you might make one little scratch and test it again, and make another scratch and test it again – it could take dozens.

The Gentle Author – Do you rely upon your ears or instruments?

Benjamin Kipling - The ear is always the final arbiter as to whether a bell sounds good or not.

. . . . .

The Gentle Author – Are you a self-taught bell tuner?

Benjamin Kipling – Partly. I found some tuning graphs on the internet showing how the different partial tones respond according to where you take metal off a bell. But I had to teach myself how to drive the machine and how much metal to take off, which obviously is nerve-wracking and involves taking off tiny amounts to begin with and checking. Then you find the sound of the bell has hardly changed and so you take off a bit more, until you realise you actually have to take quite a bit of metal off to make any significant difference.

The Gentle Author – Did you ever take too much off?

Benjamin Kipling - The simple answer is ‘No.’ If you are gradually homing in on what you want, that should not be a problem. In practice, with four of the five partial tones, it is possible to go back up again if necessary. Generally, you are thinning the wall of the bell and making it more flexible so it vibrates at a lower frequency. Each time you take a little off, the notes go down. However, by taking more metal off the lip of the bell, it is possible to get four of those five to come back up. So there are usually ways of sorting these things out.

June 25, 2017
tuning  bell.tuning  londinium  approximations 
june 2017
What lies beneath the brave new world of feminist dystopian sci-fi?
Vanessa Thorpe. The Guardian. 24 June 2017

good overview, augmented (amidst some snark etc) in the comments.
june 2017
How Machines Write Poetry - Motherboard
How Machines Write Poetry
Elizabeth Preston. Motherboard.
December 15 2015
It’s easy to write software that creates legible poetry. But computer scientists are interested in the next step: a program that’s actually creative.

20 June 2017
june 2017
The geeks are inherent at birth: older men have geekier sons, study finds
Older men tend to have “geekier” sons who are more aloof, have higher IQs and a more intense focus on their interests than those born to younger fathers, researchers claim.

Ian Sample. The Guardian. 20 June 2017

but see contrary (earlier) view, at
autism  age 
june 2017
Why Emigre mattered – and still matters - Creative Review
Massimo Vignelli once called it a “factory of garbage” but for 20 years Emigre magazine provided a vital forum for fierce debate about the future of graphic design. As the first UK exhibition about the title opens, Rick Poynor looks at its enduring influence

Rick Poynor
Creative Review
12 June 2017
emigre  Rick.Poynor  design.writing 
june 2017
'Life is like a ball of wool': how Iranian poetry brought me closer to my father | Music | The Guardian
'Life is like a ball of wool': how Iranian poetry brought me closer to my father
When I invited my father Bahram to read Persian verse over my music, neither of us were prepared for such an emotional reaction

Cyrus Shahrad. The Guardian. 18 June 2017
poetry  Persia  music 
june 2017
Supercharged children– in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian
Known for his portraits of Spanish miners, Pierre Gonnord has turned his technique to young people, creating portraits that look like oil paintings. Light of the Soul by Pierre Gonnord is at Festival Portrait(s), Vichy, France, 16 June to 10 September. All photographs: Pierre Gonnord; he is represented by the Galería Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid

portraits  Pierre.Gonnord 
june 2017
'Gwyneth glows like a radioactive swan' – my day at the Goop festival | Life and style | The Guardian
'Gwyneth glows like a radioactive swan' – my day at the Goop festival
With its kale ice-cream, rose quartz eggs and inhouse shaman, Paltrow’s ‘wellness adventure’ is silly and fun. But is it only for rich, white people who are disproportionately well already?

Lindy West. The Guardian. 14 June 2017
health  radioactivity  goop  whiteness  Lindy.West 
june 2017
From crushed bugs to cow urine: the history of colours
From crushed bugs to cow urine: the history of colours – in pictures

A new exhibition in Melbourne curated by paint-maker David Coles tracks the history of over 200 pigments – some deadly, some revolting, and some so rare and expensive they are no longer in circulation. The exhibition also features the strange world of modern colours – those that can only be seen when touched, for instance, or are invisible in sunlight.
It is accompanied by 30 works from around the world which showcase how these pure colours are converted into art. ‘Making colour, whether developing the paint or building pigments from scratch, is such an act of creativity,’ Coles says. ‘It’s alchemy, a blend of art and science.’
• Chromotopia is at Tacit Contemporary Art in Melbourne until 18 June
David Coles
Tuesday 13 June 2017

for example —

Oak gall

This medieval ink starts with a wasp. In spring it punctures the soft young buds of the oak tree and lays its eggs. The tree forms little nut-like growths around the wasp holes – and it is these protective oak galls which, when crushed and fermented, created the basis of a deep black drawing ink of the Middle Ages.
june 2017
Follow that bee! Brittany's animal obsessives
ollow that bee! Brittany's animal obsessives – in pictures

Ed Alcock travelled to Morbihan in northwest France to photograph people working with animals, from a roaming beekeeper to an underground bat conservationist. His work is at the La Gacilly photography festival, Brittany, until 30 September
Tuesday 13 June 2017
june 2017
The Typewriter Repairman (Preview Version) on Vimeo
The Typewriter Repairman (Preview Version)
from Thomas Draudt
typewriter  typewriting 
june 2017
In the future will equities be allowed to fall? | Notayesmanseconomics's Blog
Should the next recession or slow down hit before we see any form of exit strategy then there will be much less scope to buy government bonds. Now that the Bank of Japan has broken the moral barrier around buying equities and indeed property such a scenario would see others follow. If we look at the UK then as the current Bank of England Governor is a “dedicated follower of fashion” he would be likely to join the party.

There are a lot of catches here as we look forwards to a potential future. Equities are supposed to provide a form of price discovery as individuals buy and sell and hopefully there is investing in what are good ideas and people. Central banking bureaucrats are unlikely to add any value here.There attempts so far have fallen on stony ground.

6 June 2017

sounds a little like China…
june 2017
An Atlas of Consonance | Sohl
An Atlas of Consonance : http://bit.ly/14YZ055 A graphical tool for the visualization of consonance and dissonance.
music  sound  consonance  dissonance 
may 2017
World Bank economist sidelined after demanding shorter emails and reports
A 2015 study by Stanford University’s Literary Lab found World Bank publications seemed almost to be “another language”. The study coined the term “Bankspeak” to describe report styles becoming “more codified, self-referential, and detached from everyday language.”

Oliver Holmes. The Guardian. 26 May 2017
language  writing  bank.speak 
may 2017
Nasa's Juno probe captures dramatic first close-up images of Jupiter
Nasa's Juno probe captures dramatic first close-up images of Jupiter
Excitement greets pictures of giant, chaotic weather systems plus new measurements that will help build unprecedented map of planet’s interior

Ian Sample. The Guardian. 25 May 2017
Jupiter  NASA 
may 2017
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