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The Hidden Life of Stories
The Hidden Life of Stories
You may not see it, but you feel it
It is remarkable to me, based on the sample of humans that I’ve had in writing classes, both “kids” and adults, how many people 1) express great concern about climate change and its effects on the planet,  2) are completely uninterested in other humans’ visions of what the planet they want to save looks, feels and sounds like, and 3) are even less interested in writing or just noticing what it looks like to them.
Fascinatingly, one student told me that he didn’t like to describe what people look like because he thought it was like staring at someone which was rude.  Another remarked in a similar spirit that in describing people you have to assign value to their appearance in terms of conventional beauty standards
The first concern, about rudeness, makes more sense to me.  But it confuses social looking with artistic looking.  Artistic looking is about care and respect.  It is like saying: I see this human in my mind’s eye and this particular human is worth the most precise attention I can give them. Because they won’t be here forever and they are as amazing as any animal you might see in a documentary devoted to the heart-breaking beauty of endangered animals.
·marygaitskill.substack.com·
The Hidden Life of Stories
Beyond Order Jordan B. Peterson Montreal | Host: Jonathan Pageau
Beyond Order Jordan B. Peterson Montreal | Host: Jonathan Pageau
We had the honor of having our dear friend Jonathan Pageau host this Beyond Order lecture in Montreal on May 23rd, 2022. Jonathan opens the show by describing how he first heard (and subsequently met) Jordan. This event, then, serves as a continuation of the conversations they first had. Throughout this hour-and-a-half-long event, Dr. Peterson and Jonathan Pageau discuss perception, symbolism, values, and the relationship between perception and the cognitive scientist’s attempts to understand consciousness.
·youtube.com·
Beyond Order Jordan B. Peterson Montreal | Host: Jonathan Pageau
Artemisia Gentileschi: The woman behind the paintings - Allison Leigh
Artemisia Gentileschi: The woman behind the paintings - Allison Leigh
Get to know the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the most accomplished artists of the 17th century. The biblical story of the heroine Judith slaying the brutal Holofernes is featured in countless works of art, including the Sistine Chapel. But the most iconic depiction was painted by an artist who tackled this ambitious scene when she was just 19 years old. Her name was Artemisia Gentileschi. So who was Artemisia, and what sets her depiction apart from the rest? Allison Leigh investigates.
·youtube.com·
Artemisia Gentileschi: The woman behind the paintings - Allison Leigh
Most Popular Websites Since 1993
Most Popular Websites Since 1993
Our #DigitalEconomy has experienced several rapid waves of evolution. It began with Dotcom companies, where over exuberance saw fortunes lost when the tech bubble popped. But even before that the search engine emerged. It eventual brought #Google into our daily lives. A fews year down the line, just 15 years ago, #socialmedia also exploded into our live. What will be the next emergence? Perhaps the dominance of video conference sites like Zoom? Nothing about #digitalisation is preditable. In just a few decades the digital economy has changed, reinvents itself and disrupts our lives. It’s exciting, exhilarating and slight frigtening to watch. That’s why I created this #datavisualisation. Music: Jabali by Xack, Epidemic Sounds #digital #economy #tech #digitalization
·youtube.com·
Most Popular Websites Since 1993
The Genius of Thomas Sowell | with Alan Wolan
The Genius of Thomas Sowell | with Alan Wolan
Alan Wolan is a fan of Thomas Sowell. In this conversation he tells me why. Find him on twitter @AlanWolan and his podcast at https://apple.co/3zB8c21 Support this channel: https://bit.ly/3nSybt5 Find all interviews on spotify: https://ift.tt/05uclst https://bit.ly/3pvMOTT Join me on alternative video sites: https://bit.ly/3NEay4r https://bit.ly/3rt5bug And on Twitter @BenjaminABoyce
·youtube.com·
The Genius of Thomas Sowell | with Alan Wolan
These animals are also plants wait what? - Luka Seamus Wright
These animals are also plants wait what? - Luka Seamus Wright
Explore the incredible adaptations of Elysia chlorotica, a species of sea slug that can photosynthesize food. The species of slug known as Elysia chlorotica may not look like much— it resembles a bright green leaf— but it’s one of the most extraordinary creatures on our planet. Living in marshes along the coast of North America, it can go about a year without eating. During that time, it lives like a plant. How is this possible? Luka Seamus Wright digs into the incredible adaptations of these mixotrophs. Lesson by Luka Seamus Wright, directed by Denis Chapon.
·youtube.com·
These animals are also plants wait what? - Luka Seamus Wright
The Meaning of Everything Everywhere All At Once
The Meaning of Everything Everywhere All At Once
What is the purpose of our existence? Instead of reading obscure existentialist philosophy or meditating on a park bench until the grass speaks to you, why not watch the outstanding new movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once? Just trust us on this one… Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu star as a frustrated mother-daughter pair operating a laundromat being audited by the IRS (enough to send anyone into existential despair). While Yeoh’s character Evelyn shakes her fists at the sky in response to her stymied existence, she soon encounters a glitch in the matrix which changes her life forever. Jump through the wormhole with us while we search for the antidote to nihilism and pursue purpose on this episode of Out of Frame.
·youtube.com·
The Meaning of Everything Everywhere All At Once
Our Consumer Society
Our Consumer Society
I explore our consumer society, looking at the history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology of what consumerism really means. Is it a useful concept? Where did it appear from? Are there alternatives? How is the desire that drives consumption manufactured? Are we shallow? Is there any possibility of ethical consumption? To help answer some of these questions I draw from thinkers including Jean Baudrillard, Fredric Jameson, and David Harvey. Chapters: 0:00 – Our Consumer Society 4:43 – A History of Stuff 14:46 – Shopping for Definitions of Consumerism 17:33 – Let Me Be Your Fantasy (The Production of Desire) 25:52 – Copy Cats (Social Mimicry) 31:50 – Shopping for the Problem 43:49 – Real or Hyperreal? (Jean Baudrillard) 54:56 – Fredric Jameson’s Depthlessness 58:23 – David Harvey’s Postmodern Production 1:03:34 – Are We Shallow? 1:11:10 – Ethical Consumption & it’s Problems Then & Now is FAN-FUNDED! Support me on Patreon and pledge as little as $1 per video: https://bit.ly/3DIcOTy Or send me a one-off tip of any amount and help me make more videos: https://bit.ly/3CAaNY5 Follow me on: Facebook: https://bit.ly/3Q7cVyB Instagram: https://bit.ly/3QfGoGn Twitter: https://twitter.com/lewlewwaller Subscribe to the podcast: https://apple.co/3xwFjTj https://spoti.fi/3MBU9w3 Sources: https://bit.ly/3myjVqI
·youtube.com·
Our Consumer Society
The media is run by trolls
The media is run by trolls
The Star Wars franchise has always been a cultural mirror, with each manifestation reflecting the fears, hopes, and political themes of the moment it was created. The original 1977 film was steeped in the anxieties of a postwar landscape; the late-Nineties prequel trilogy is imbued with the lighthearted confidence (and excessive CGI use) of the pre-social internet era. And as its latest property, Obi Wan Kenobi, is released, a post from the official Star Wars Twitter account launches in to the culture wars. “We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold,” it read, alongside a photo of its newest cast member. “If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist.” And then, just in case you didn’t get the message, there was a follow-up tweet: “There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.” Suggesting millions of Star Wars fans are a bunch of racists-in-waiting might seem like a peculiar PR strategy. But if you were to plot the marketing trajectory of Star Wars alongside the fall of traditional journalism, a pattern would begin to emerge. Today’s predominant mode of cultural engagement began incubating on Tumblr around 2010, spread to mainstream media in the lead-up to America’s 2016 election, and now dominates the entire cultural apparatus up to and including Hollywood itself. It owes much to the 2008 recession, and the mass layoffs in media which fundamentally transformed how news was covered. Imagine a horde of freshly unemployed veteran writers, alongside new journalism grads, desperately trying to claw out a livelihood in a world where writing had been completely devalued. (It was not unusual, at this time, to be told that the job you were applying for paid not in money but “exposure”.) Gone was the $2-per-word magazine staff writer position; gone was the local shoe-leather reporting job that might launch a lifelong career. Now, a writer’s best option was freelance blogging, churning out listicles and aggregated new stories at $15 a pop — and with a quota, which at some outlets ran as high as 20 posts per day. The pressure to produce content on such an accelerated timeline spawned a lot of half-arsed, hastily-executed work (“10 Times Brad Pitt’s Butt Made Me Want To Die: A List In GIFs”) but also created a constant scramble for something, anything, to write about. Social media, then in its infancy, was a lifesaver: as a reporter at MTV News, I could curate a quick roundup of Twitter or Tumblr reactions to last night’s Game of Thrones episode in less than 20 minutes, which allowed me to meet my quota while also prioritising more interesting, time-consuming work (for instance, getting a trauma surgeon to assess whether it was actually, medically possible for The Mountain to crush Oberyn Martell’s skull like a grape). More from this author The cruel world of yoga By Kat Rosenfield At the time, this interface between reporters and random posters was both friendly and fully symbiotic: the writers got free content, the posters increased their internet clout. And crucially, nobody took any of it all that seriously; even being cruel could earn you a coveted place in the Celebs Read Mean Tweets roundup on Jimmy Kimmel Live. But, in 2014, as cash-strapped media outlets chose to prioritise opinion journalism (quick and cheap) over investigative reporting (time-consuming and expensive), the news cycle became increasingly outrage-driven, and our thinking about the type of post that was deemed worthy of coverage changed. The saga of Justine Sacco had recently introduced a hungry populace to the joys of playing hunt-the-racist on Twitter. The US was becoming more tribal, and art, in turn, more political. The ridiculous culture war known as Gamergate consumed the discourse for months on end, as did a massive controversy over the new, all-female Ghostbusters reboot. Liking this movie — even just liking the idea of it — meant you were one of the good guys. Disliking it, on the other hand, marked you as not just a critic, but a Bad Person. The new Star Wars trilogy, then, was perfectly positioned to become a flashpoint in this newest culture war — a war that directly benefited a media economy in which controversy meant clicks. Its first piece of promotional material could not have been more perfectly designed to provoke the ire of the franchise’s less-enlightened fans: a teaser, released in November 2014, featuring the actor John Boyega dressed as a stormtrooper. This is not to say that the Star Wars publicity department wanted racists to take aim at the trailer, but given the number of pieces about “racist Star Wars fans” which followed over the next 24 hours, they would also have had to be idiots not to realise they’d stumbled on marketing gold. At the same time, celebrities had cottoned on to the value of clapping back on social media. Responding to a random dickhead was no longer undignified or beneath them, but the quickest, easiest way to get positive press. So when Boyega made an Instagram post addressing the black stormtrooper controversy, the internet went wild. A representative post about Boyega’s clapback reveals how easy it was to map this new, slightly sanctimonious mode of media coverage onto the existing social media-based story model. All you needed was a vaguely clickbaity headline (“JOHN BOYEGA SHUT DOWN RACIST ‘STAR WARS’ HATERS WITH FOUR SIMPLE WORDS”), followed by 250 lightly editorialised words about the incident, followed by two embedded tweets showcasing the alleged racism, rounded off with Boyega’s post and a boilerplate link back to the Force Awakens teaser. Suggested reading Given my time again, I wouldn't choose journalism By Sarah Ditum But what it also reveals, in hindsight, is how this mode of coverage blurred the boundaries between identifying a trend and manufacturing one. The two embedded tweets in that piece had a total of 11 retweets between them, suggesting that the sentiment within them were anything but popular. If not for the existing practice of trawling Twitter for “people are saying” stories — and if not for the absurd expectation that journalists should post new material every hour — there would never have been any reason to dig them up. The racist haters would have simply languished in obscurity, their tweets lost to the sands of time. This would have been a good time for culture writers to step back, both from the quota model of journalism and from its engagement with stupid social media controversies. But this was 2015, which was followed by the year in which progressives abandoned all pretence of being culture war noncombatants and went all-in on sneering contempt. The purest form of this shift is Molly Lambert’s article, “Angry baby-men hate the new Ghostbusters trailer”. In hindsight, the “baby-men” article marked a point of no return. The ossified smugness of it, the right-side-of-history certainty, the way that books and movies and television and music now sorted automatically on political grounds into things one ought to be either for or against. By the time the new Ghostbusters was actually released, the criticism of it was not criticism so much as a celebration of its mere existence, so that any assessment of whether it was good or not became entirely irrelevant. (It was, for the record, not good.) And Star Wars was an opportunity like no other to stick it to the baby-men. It was about strong female characters, and intergalactic diversity, and standing up against the fascist forces of the Trump admi… uh, I mean, the Empire. By the time The Last Jedi came out in December 2017, the American Left had so thoroughly fused its pop culture with its politics that it was no longer possible to discern if the “Resistance” movement people kept referring to was the one with the spaceships, or the one with those ludicrous pink hats. By 2020, every Star Wars news cycle included stories about how the franchise’s forays into diversity continued to infuriate its toxic fanbase. This brings us back to Obi Wan Kenobi and Moses Ingram, a story whose trajectory is as good an example as any of how Hollywood has learned to leverage this aspect of the discourse. On 22 May, Ingram told The Independent that she’d been warned about racist Star Wars fans by none other than the execs at Lucasfilm, and took a light jab at the lack of diversity in the franchise: “If you’ve got talking droids and aliens but no people of colour, it doesn’t make sense.” The Independent led with that quote, and the interview was dutifully re-reported over the next few days by multiple outlets — under such provocative headlines as “Lucasfilm Warned ‘Obi-Wan’ Star Moses Ingram About Racist ‘Star Wars’ Trolls”. And within a week, Ingram began posting screenshots of abusive messages she’d received on Instagram, including one calling her a “diversity hire”. From there, it was a short distance to the “don’t be racist” tweet from the official Star Wars account. As of this writing, it has been retweeted upwards of 30,000 times, and dozens of mainstream media outlets from NPR to the Daily Show have run at least one story about it. Suggested reading Antiracism won't save you By Tomiwa Owolade None of this is to say that racist Star Wars fans do not exist. They do; the question is whether they are emboldened, even incentivised, by this continued, bizarre symbiosis with an outrage-driven media that relies on them for content. Consider one of the top citations in these stories, a YouTube video titled “Obi-Wan Series Is Going To Be AWFUL Because It’s Hiding Behind Diversity AGAIN!”, apparently made in response to Ingram’s 22 May comments in the Independent. The video is objectively offensive (the word “darkies” appears in the thumbnail), and the creator, an account named MechaRandom42, seems to specialise in intentionally inflammatory content with an anti...
Today’s predominant mode of cultural engagement began incubating on Tumblr around 2010, spread to mainstream media in the lead-up to America’s 2016 election, and now dominates the entire cultural apparatus up to and including Hollywood itself.
Imagine a horde of freshly unemployed veteran writers, alongside new journalism grads, desperately trying to claw out a livelihood in a world where writing had been completely devalued. (It was not unusual, at this time, to be told that the job you were applying for paid not in money but “exposure”.) Gone was the $2-per-word magazine staff writer position; gone was the local shoe-leather reporting job that might launch a lifelong career. Now, a writer’s best option was freelance blogging, churning out listicles and aggregated new stories at $15 a pop — and with a quota, which at some outlets ran as high as 20 posts per day.
But, in 2014, as cash-strapped media outlets chose to prioritise opinion journalism (quick and cheap) over investigative reporting (time-consuming and expensive), the news cycle became increasingly outrage-driven, and our thinking about the type of post that was deemed worthy of coverage changed.
·unherd.com·
The media is run by trolls
The Asian "Secrets" to Healthy Eating
The Asian "Secrets" to Healthy Eating
A few Asian countries regularly top the rankings of life expectancy lists. In this video, we'll be revealing their secrets to the world for the first time. O...
·youtube.com·
The Asian "Secrets" to Healthy Eating
Build a Backyard Observatory on Paper
Build a Backyard Observatory on Paper
Hi, I'm a cat illustrator... This cat is an astronomer assistant... Since I can't afford to build a backyard observatory, I decided at least to realize it on paper...
·reddit.com·
Build a Backyard Observatory on Paper
Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid
Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid
It’s not just a phase.
The story of Babel is the best metaphor I have found for what happened to America in the 2010s, and for the fractured country we now inhabit. Something went terribly wrong, very suddenly. We are disoriented, unable to speak the same language or recognize the same truth. We are cut off from one another and from the past.
It’s been clear for quite a while now that red America and blue America are becoming like two different countries claiming the same territory, with two different versions of the Constitution, economics, and American history.
Social scientists have identified at least three major forces that collectively bind together successful democracies: social capital (extensive social networks with high levels of trust), strong institutions, and shared stories. Social media has weakened all three.
·theatlantic.com·
Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid