David Litvinoff, Apple, Adolescence, Ageing, Iliana Regan, Money

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The Shape-Shifting Hippie Genuis

Colin MacCabe | New Statesman | 26th August 2016

David Litvinoff was “the most brilliant talker London had known since Coleridge”, “a tough and violent Jew from the East End”. He wrote a gossip column for the Daily Express, worked for Peter Rachman and the Kray brothers, inspired Performance, explained jazz to the Rolling Stones and blues to Eric Clapton. Lucien Freud painted him as Portrait Of A Jew; they fell out when Freud re-titled the picture The Procurer. Later Freud paid to have Litvinoff beaten up and strung naked from a balcony (770 words)

The iBrain Is Here

Steven Levy | Backchannel | 25th August 2016

In a striking departure from Apple’s usual secrecy about everything it does, executives open up about the company’s advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. Interesting throughout, and the inference must be that Apple fears its reputation for tech leadership is slipping among consumers, investors, and, crucially, engineers. Google and Facebook get all the attention; nobody knows what Apple is doing. “It’s not part of the community. Apple is the NSA of AI” (5,100 words)

Adolescence And Evolution

Christopher X Jon Jensen | Evolution Institute | 26th August 2016

During adolescence the urge to seek new sensations temporarily outstrips the capacity for self-control. The result is a phase of risky and disruptive behaviour which can be explained in narrow reproductive terms as a show of vigour, but makes more sense when seen as a greater cultural adventure: “The adolescent brain rejects many of her family’s ideas in order to discover, explore, and assess new ideas. Throughout adolescence, these new ideas compete with familial ideas” (3,100 words)

The Fountain Of Youth

Benjamin Wallace | New York | 23rd August 2016

A daily pill called Basis using ingredients extracted from blueberries and milk is either “the most sophisticated fountain-of-youth scam ever to come to market, or the first fountain-of-youth pill ever to work”. What Basis does is to trick your body cells into thinking that they are starving, without your actually feeling hungry, because very-low-calorie diets are known to encourage long life in mammals. Against: It sounds ridiculous. For: The inventor runs the Ageing Center at MIT (4,600 words)

Reign In Hell

Peter Meehan | Lucky Peach | 27th August 2016

Highly engaging conversation with chef-proprietor Iliana Regan, about how she came to run a small experimental Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago. “I’m awkward and I hate social interactions, but not in the restaurant. This is the place where I feel most comfortable, my own little world … We treat everybody kindly who comes through the doors. Do I have dark thoughts? Yes. But I think that’s also part of my alcoholism — my brain will go to the worst possible scenario all the time” (3,450 words)

The Ongoing Joke About Women And Money

Monica Drake | The Establishment | 17th August 2016

A wife loses patience with her husband’s insistence that women are bad with money. “For years, I’ve been earning more than my husband. I’ve been juggling a day job, housework, and parenting. He reads money magazines. Month after month, these magazines cycle through a repetitive drama of financial anxiety. It’s the manly equivalent of women’s magazines and their endless weight loss articles. He is studying up on a culturally conditioned, never-ending gender play called Finances“ (2,400 words)

Video of the day: Realtime Facial Expressions

What to expect:

Demonstration of a computerised animation programme based on 3D facial scanning (1’10”)

Thought for the day

I, too, would burn my candle at both ends, if I could find the right candle-holder
Ann Lauinger

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