Guardian.UK: Is it justifiable to show footage of people being killed?
Depends on how its framed, IMHO. Characterising the Flanagan video as resembling a ‘first person shooter’ game got me very uneasy. I saw a five year old rack an unattended 9mm Beretta like an old pro - parents were alarmed also. How many guns/shootings do kids see by that age? Not so much ‘what are we doing’ as ‘what are we allowing to happen’ with our culture?
Petapixel: When Photography Becomes a Weapon.
“... in the 21st century, photographs of an atrocity don’t wait to give rise to opposing responses. They are created and distributed with an intent to harm and polarize. The weaponization of photography is a partial reflection of a modern culture that is willing to consume and interpret imagery without analysis or concern for who might be victimized by the image.”
Atlantic: Modafinil Really Is a ‘Smart Drug,’ Study Says.
Where’ve you been? Prozac started the ‘work-doping’ trend. The perceived ‘mood brightener’ became a must-take for salespeople in the 90’s.
99U: Escaping the Time-Scarcity Trap.
WTKR: Roanoke reporter, photographer killed by shooter during live news interview.
Horrible. The perpetrator shot them down with no more consideration than a worker in an abbatoir. The frequency of shootings seems to be increasing.
New Republic: The Politics of the Curation Craze.
“One simple explanation is prestige appropriation.” I had to look that one up on Google ... prestige appropriation ... nope, not a thing. I think you’ve just witnessed the birth of a new online buzzphrase. I visualize a young, secretly-destitute toy-boy dating the rich older widow ...
NY Times: Where Clicks Reign, Audience Is King.
“Undigested comments that people might have made to colleagues or friends but later thought better of are now written down as journalism, and ‘get indexed and archived in the same way as a serious news story.’” Important read o’ the day. Don’t miss it. Muchos gracias, All About George on FB.
The Atlantic: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus.
“During the 2014–15 school year, for instance, the deans and department chairs at the 10 University of California system schools were presented by administrators at faculty leader-training sessions with examples of microaggressions. The list of offensive statements included: ‘America is the land of opportunity’ and ‘I believe the most qualified person should get the job.’” Sounds psychotic.
Later: There’s even a website for microaggressions; what one might playfully call a ‘niggardly* view of microaggression’. Then again, even Christopher Hitchens dropped the term ‘niggardly’ because of widespread misunderstanding of the term. It interfered with comprehension by raising too many hackles - even though it was used legitimately.
I have to laugh, Wikipedia on ‘microaggression theory’: Psychologist and Columbia University professor Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.” I assume that word was pointedly chosen? The term ‘denigrating’ is, of course, built upon ‘niger’, Latin for ‘blacken’. Followup on how others perceive ‘denigrate’ in StackExchange.
I have a difficult time disassociating intent from aggression. Every definition I come across implies intentional harm of another. Yet microaggression is trying to divorce itself from intent, in order to throw a wider net. If we are all microaggressors, as current theory seems to indicate ... do we all just shut up? Institutionalized victimhood and guilt, at the same time? The history that we read, the classical canon, everything is filled with what would be termed ‘microaggressions’ today. Do we close down schools? Do we stop reading the past? All this seems to be doing is guaranteeing ‘microaggression detectives’ employment into perpetuity. Realistic, pragmatic bars must be set. Because someone says something, doesn’t confirm that they mean it. Four years of liberal arts school used to inoculate against this kind of thing, once upon a time.
When my stuttering returns, as it occasionally does, microaggression (as I understand it) occurs. People get impatient and put words in my mouth, I can see some think ‘handicapped’ or ‘mentally challenged’, etc. etc. There were times in the past where I found those microaggressions depressing. I don’t anymore, because without direct experience in being a stutterer, a non-stutterer will never understand the malady. Never. So microaggression for me, is something I will have to live with. And for the most part, I just ignore it. Because someone behaves ‘microaggressively’, it doesn’t preclude empathy. So when my stutter returns, I can be frustrated with myself, but I’m almost never offended by others. I do my best to help them help me communicate clearly. Basically, I grew up and refused the self-definition of ‘victim’ that so many others seem to want to press around my ears. I’m a survivor, and damned proud of it.
*‘Niggard’ is from Old Norse, meaning ‘excessively concerned over small matters’, and has no racial or color connotations, though many find it offensive because it sounds similar to the common epithet. Given that, be careful who’s around when you’re trying to restore data on a dying drive, muttering ‘miserable bits’ under your breath.
NPR: Are Americans Indifferent To Art?
Comparing the audience of ‘Tut’ to ‘Motorcycle’ is a bit lame. I would posit very different audiences.
The ‘experience’ observation is a true one, I deem. Folks come to Santa Fe in droves for the periodic special markets (Folk Art Market, Spanish Market, Indian Market), and remain a steady stream for the ‘regular’ tourist sights and sounds. We are a Southwestern Disneyworld, with no rides and a background of colorful and expensive artworks ... but history and differing cultures come to life during our markets. Those are the real ‘experience’ times, and prove to be increasingly popular.
I’ve told the story about ‘art appreciation’ before; affluent retirees come here in their huge RVs, pull on the walking shorts, knee-high socks, official Reebok ‘walking sneakers’ ... and set out to ‘do Canyon Road.’ They then proceed to walk through every gallery as fast as they possibly can, looking at every piece of art for a couple of seconds. This is not ‘doing’ Canyon, nor is this taking in any art, except by osmosis. There are so many styles, so many eras ... this osmosis cannot do more than color one’s grey matter for a day, or at most a week, and then it is gone. All that is left is the memory of the slog up one-way Canyon, in the heat of the day, looking for public bathrooms the City should have provided decades ago.
Then there are the affluent retirees who have second homes here, who are merely looking for something to color-coordinate with their other furnishings, and impress summer or winter guests with. The ladies dig in the shops, the men stand outside and fiddle with their smartphones. You see men in gaggles all over town, bored spitless. Or hunchback with camera in hand, pack containing tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, taking the same shots a million others have taken ... with their Nikon D810’s set on “Program Auto”.
Finally, the 1%. The true art collectors and art lovers. They pass through the schools of tourists like sharks, finding that one piece, and then suddenly biting hard to get the best price.
What of the young? They’re struggling to find a foothold in this town. Our new mayor has made them a marketing target, but Santa Fe has some issues. Little nightlife; most of our sidewalks roll up at 9PM, even on weekends. Our Catholic Hispanic population is deeply uneasy over the hedonistic practices of the modern young. Our outdoors pursuits require above-average physical fitness (we’re at 7500 feet, most trails start at 9,000, even young visitors need a couple of days to acclimate). Young families find very few things for small children to do [try selling history and fine art to an 8-year-old], and restaurants tend to be child-unfriendly. Kids need to run around.
New Mexico has been pushing outdoor beauties hard, but the fitness thing is the biggest hurdle. I remember a young couple on the Aspen Vista trail, not more than a half-mile from the trailhead, lying on a bank with two rental MTBs, panting, emptying their [only] water bottles, worn out from altitude and lack of fitness. I think Angel Fire’s done the best. They’ve put in various summer downhill sports on their ski slopes, and run the ski lift (so visitors don’t have to hike uphill). But again, that approaches Disneyworld/Amusement Park sort of lengths.
Much as I don’t want the quaint nature of town to change, if we want more tourism, if we want our amazing selection of art to be appreciated (and purchased), we need to address our ‘experience’ deficit. A little mud on the walls is no longer enough. For children, for the 20-somethings, for the grossly obese who are becoming more and more common (we are a town of very narrow sidewalks and doorways).
Santa Fe, throughout history, has always been a bit slow at adapting, but eventually arrives in style. We’ll manage these new challenges later than sooner ... successfully.
Buffer Blog: Why Facebook Is Blue - The Science of Colors in Marketing.
Oh gawd, I hate this crap. For good reason - back in the 00’s, I had more than one client come to me and ask for all-magenta sites (the go-to color for having visitors shell out cash, supposedly). I think my magenta rods (or cones) are shot as a result.
PS Mag: Read—Don’t Just Talk—to Your Kids.
VF: Hookup-Culture Promotion.
Tinder is tender over this article. Man, dating from my day looks even more passé than Victorian. Today’s internet version, sex is mere hydraulics. [You may quote me, with attribution.]
The Atlantic: Story of My Life - How Narrative Creates Personality.
Scotsman.UK: Art knows no boundaries, only influences.
“Culture – high, low, and the everyday – has always been mongrel; it’s always been hybrid. It bears the imprint of other times and people, crosses history and geography, and contributes to the creation of something new. We should say no to self-imposed cultural immigration controls. Culture should know no borders.” Well-argued. Yet I can’t feel ‘pro-culture’ about the use of Native American symbols as fashion accessories at raves. Now that I know how Picasso found his influences, I’m not sure about that either. The context of how some arts have been transmitted - via conquest, enslavement - surely such context matters? How the arts are used - with respect, or as throwaway objects - matters?
I don’t know. Just voicing my uneasiness with such a simple, no-commitment answer. If culture had no border, it would be like the rainbow of color without distinction ... we’ll all be a runny greenish-brown goo.
Luminous Landscape: The Perfect Photograph.
Wonderful, the story within. Not that you don’t already know the answer, but it’s beautifully expressed here.
Photoshelter Blog: Bruce Gilden & the Absence of Empathy.
Watch the video, too. See, this I don’t get. This style of ‘street photography’ is intrusive. And the attitude - my subjects are never just pieces of meat. It’s like a kid poking a frog with a stick. What do you think?
[Speaking of empathy, I put up a longer post about Humans of New York’s latest image[s] from Pakistan over on Facebook. Those who are connected, go take a look and share your view.]
Almost forgot ... something else to look forward to ...
Over the next few days, reminiscent of the ‘mandate’ psychosis, the Repub debaters will be declaring “I won the debate.”
LRB: Owen Bennett-Jones reviews ‘‘We Love Death as You Love Life’.
Sociological Images: White American Male with a Weapon White American Male with a Weapon ...
Interesting way to parse it all.
DesignYouTrust: How to Be Productive During Daily Commute.
This! This is what’s wrong with America. I listened to music and SLEPT on my morning and evening commute. I put everything into my workday. If I slept the hour and a half back to P-town, I might have some energy to go out for a drink.
Here’s to the unproductive commute. Firewall work from home, if it works for you. No guilt.
Guardian.UK: Picky eaters may grow into depressed and anxious kids, research suggests.
“To pathologize something that’s not pathological.” Still, I don’t know how far “If you eat your broccoli, you’ll be happier when your older” will take a parent.
Psychology Today: Anti-Intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America.
“Famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said: ‘There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” My italic emphasis.
Vox: Most Americans think miscarriage is rare. Most Americans are wrong.
Yes, but will Americans hear, understand and start to empathize?
SciAm: How the Brain Purges Bad Memories.
“Drugs that alter the cannabinoid system could provide a way to modify the fear circuit, thereby—possibly—alleviating anxiety. Neurostimulation technologies, including transcranial magnetic stimulation and even optogenetics, could also potentially be used therapeutically to augment standard anxiety treatments.” A lot of people could see relief.
New Criterion: Dying art.
Sounds like a fun read. Tie culture down and poke it with a judgmental finger.