Newsletter 966


Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Imagining Technology: Science Fiction And Innovation

24th March 2013 | Jon Turney | Nesta

Scholarly paper investigating the relationship between science fiction and technological innovation. Do fictional accounts of technologies, and the societies in which they are used, make breakthroughs in the real world more or less likely? Can they help to forestall undesirable innovations? If there is indeed a positive relationship between science fiction and scientific behaviour, can we make more deliberate use of story-telling to drive and direct innovation? (PDF)

What Is The Business Of Literature?

22nd March 2013 | Richard Nash | Virginia Quarterly Review

As the title suggests, an account of the writing and publishing industry from a business perspective. Interesting throughout, including discussions of the uses of copyright, the economics of book retailing, the impact of computerised typesetting, and the role of the writer before Gutenberg. In brief: the business practices of publishers may often appear inefficient, even perverse, but publishing as an activity is vital and robust. "What we have right now is a system that produces great literature in spite of itself"

The Resurrection Of Julian Schnabel

25th March 2013 | Michael Miller | Gallerist NY

Profile and interview. Schnabel soared to fame as a painter in the early 1980s, peaked with a Whitney show in 1987, then tanked. "The press turned him into a caricature, the archetype of narcissistic artists everywhere". Re-emerged as a film director: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. But, over time, his paintings have held up pretty well. "After all the grand public statements, all the burned bridges and the famous friends, all the awards and insults, all the thousands of gallons of paint—can we finally forgive Julian Schnabel for his sins?"

Our Mothers, Our Fathers: German Atonement

27th March 2013 | Romain Leick | Spiegel

Television series about Hitler's war re-opens debate about German guilt, almost 70 years on. Will the self-examination ever end? "It's as if the Germans, even the very young, to whom tales of the Nazis must feel as if extraterrestrials were at work, still shudder when they think about what their grandmothers and grandfathers were capable of. As if they were afraid that certain patterns of character and behavior could be passed on to future generations"

Is There Life After Fifty For A Songwriter?

21st March 2013 | Kyle Biehle | Ivory Sofa

Data visualisation. "So now I'm approaching fifty, twenty years post musical identity crisis, and I wonder if there's any magic left. But I am also a data guy now, and the anecdotal data I have acquired over time tells me that fifty year old rock artists don't do very good work. Certainly nothing close to what they achieved in their twenties. Are there examples of artists who not only age gracefully, but who actually get better? I grabbed some data"

Ground Control: A Drone In Every Garage

27th March 2013 | Eli Sanders | Magazine

"It’s not a stretch to imagine that a few years down the road a drone will be sold as a shrinkwrapped item. That in turn makes this worth considering right now: What happens to our privacy and our safety when all Americans can, with a few clicks, purchase their own flying proxies to act out their wishes?" Current state of law is that private flyers are supposed to keep their drones below 400 feet and within a line of sight
Group Posts

Video of the day: The Upside Of Isolated Civilisations

Thought for the day:

"Tenderness between people is nothing other than awareness of the possibility of relations without purpose" — Theodor Adorno

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