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Artificial Creativity

A very interesting interview at Spark with Michael Cook, a PhD student at Imperial College in the UK. It concerns the question of “artificial creativity,” which is basically artifical intelligence (A.I.) moving into the arts. One of the most difficult issues surrounding this field, I think, is the way it …

The Fallacy of Immediacy

An exemplary piece by Tim Parks at The New York Review on the dream of immediacy when it comes to reading.  “More than any other art form,” writes Parks, “[literature] is pure mental material, as close as one can get to thought itself.” As I wrote already a few years …

Sacred Objects

A recent story in the NY Times about violent protests in Afghanistan after locals witnessed army officials burning sacks of Korans. Not only is the encounter fascinating in the way it dramatizes how dramatically differently sets of people can relate to objects (one’s trash is another’s totem). But I couldn’t …

Klout

The latest in digital neologisms, Klout aggregates your influence on social media and gives you a “score.” We’ve been able to tell how many books an author has sold or how many records a band has sold or how much a movie made at the box office. But we’ve never …

“Note” worthy

I love puns, just love them. Anyway, an integral part of the history of reading is of course the history of taking notes. One of the interesting things about the printed book is the way it has historically been very good at interfacing with the way we take notes. Despite …