Author Archive

Why Storm The Capitol? “I Came To See The Art!”

“Faced with the photo evidence, Pham then allegedly admitted to climbing over torn-down fences to get inside. But still, he insisted his reasons were benign: He just wanted the rare opportunity to view ‘historical art,’ investigators said.” – Washington Post

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Why Love Work? It Doesn’t Love You Back

Over the past few decades, this ethos of cheerless duty has been overtaken by the imperative to love your work. Graduation speakers, human resources departments, and motivational memes keep telling us we ought to merge passion with profession. But work remains stubbornly unlovable. Especially for workers in the United States, the hours are long, wages have not remotely kept up with... | Read More

Philadelphia Opera Leading The Streaming Pack

Compared with other American companies, Opera Philadelphia is laying claim to the mantle of making new material during the pandemic. Still, what’s most notable about is not its mere existence, but the strength of the work on offer. – The New York Times

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Why Conspiracy Theories Are So Attractive

Are conspiracy theories truly more prevalent and influential today, or does it just seem that way? – NiemanLab

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What It Took To Program Robots To Dance The Twist And The Mashed Potato

A video which became a viral hit last month “shows two of Boston Dynamics’ humanoid Atlas research robots doing the twist, the mashed potato and other classic moves, joined by Spot, a doglike robot, and Handle, a wheeled robot designed for lifting and moving boxes in a warehouse or truck. … [It took] almost a year and half of choreography, simulation, programming and upgrades... | Read More

Amazon Sued For Price Fixing

The suit “alleges that the publishers pay high commissions and other costs to Amazon, which in turn increases the retail price of e-books sold on the platform. The lawsuit claims the five publishers account for 80 percent of books sold in the US, and calls the arrangement a ‘conspiracy to fix the retail price of e-books,’ which it argues is a violation of... | Read More

Why I Make Undergrads Read Unfinished Novels

Matthew Redmond teaches this class at Stanford in part “to disrupt what seems an obvious distinction between development and result, closure and continuity. On careful inspection, it is surprisingly difficult to tell what makes a novel, or any piece of writing, truly finished.” Yet there was another factor this past fall quarter, “a period defined by the constant escalation... | Read More

Hollywood Rediscovers The Limited Series

Once thought of as a relic of yesteryear, the limited series—or miniseries, depending on which generation you belong to—has rapidly shifted back into focus. – Fast Company

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The Lonely, Mysterious Death Of A Science Fiction Pioneer

“This past Saturday, about a dozen people from across the United States and Canada held a Zoom memorial for a man whose remains have been lying in an unmarked grave in Nova Scotia since last spring. He was Charles R. Saunders, and his lonely death in May belied his status as a foundational figure in a literary genre known as sword and soul.” – The New York Times

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One Composer’s Long Slog To Make A Giant TV Network Pay For Using His Music

Unbeknownst to the composer, waiting beyond a YouTube search for his name was a seeming subindustry that consistently used Kerry Muzzey’s music without his knowledge. ContentID surfaced roughly 20,000 videos for Muzzey in the first month—200 or 400 more got flagged every single day. – Ars Technica

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