06.10.18

Netflix Strategy: Hire Everyone In Hollywood

Netflix now makes more television than any network in history. It plans to spend $8 billion on content this year.  TV has gone through major transformations in the past — cable and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox toppled the hegemony of the Big Three broadcast networks in the 1980s, for instance — but this leap dwarfs all others. Netflix doesn’t want to be a streaming, supersized clone of HBO or FX or NBC. It’s trying to change the way we watch television.

What It’s Like To Auction Off A $157 Million Modigliani

"Helena [Newman] is the chairman of Sotheby's Europe and co-head of Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide and also happens to be the auctioneer who recently sold the firm's most expensive painting to date: a 1917 Modigliani that went for $157.2 million. Helena tells us how she finds and sells some of the most expensive art in the world and what it takes to command a room full of people bidding millions of dollars on masterpieces." (podcast)

How Vice Media’s Shane Smith BSed His Way Into A Media Empire (That He’s Now Stuck With)

Over 25 years, "Vice had grown from a free magazine to a company with 3,000 employees spread across a cable network, more than a dozen websites, two shows on HBO, an ad agency, a film studio, a record label, and a bar in London. Vice had become the tenth-highest-valued private company in America" - largely thanks to co-founder Shane Smith's gift - using persuasion, exaggeration, and sometimes outright deception - for convincing investors to hand over millions of dollars. Turns out, though, that Smith had expected to cash out well before now. Reeves Wiedeman reports how it went down.

George Orwell Predicted The Difficulty Of Writing When Truth Has Been Undermined

Orwell was right. The totalitarian regime rests on lies because they are lies. The subject of the totalitarian regime must accept them not as truth—must not, in fact, believe them—but accept them both as lies and as the only available reality. She must believe nothing. Just as Orwell predicted, over time the totalitarian regime destroys the very concept, the very possibility of truth. Hannah Arendt identified this as one of the effects of totalitarian propaganda: it makes everything conceivable because “nothing is true.”

Marc Spiegler Talks About Art Fairs, Galleries And Business Viability

"The difference between an art-fair business and a gallery business is our costs are fixed way ahead of time, and our revenue is also predictable because we’re not taking a percentage of the sales. We have a very stable business in terms of forecasting six months out. So by definition, we’re going to come in between the most successful and the least successful galleries. We have to maintain a fair model that allows us to stay in business and allows galleries to do business at the shows. For us to cut costs drastically would make our business precarious, which wouldn’t be in anyone’s interest."

A Theory Of How Early Humans Developed Language

Somewhere on the timeline between the long run of the Oldowan and the more rapid rise of Acheulean technologies, language (or what’s often called protolanguage) likely made its first appearance. Oren Kolodny and his co-author, Shimon Edelman, a professor of psychology at Cornell University, say the overlap is not a coincidence. Rather, they theorize, the emergence of language was predicated on our ancestors’ ability to perform sequence-dependent processes, including the production of complex tools.

That Instantly Iconic G7 Image: Renaissance Painting Or Internet Meme?

Some have described the image by Jesco Denzel, an award-winning photographer with many stunning compositions, as a Renaissance painting or the work of a Dutch master. Indeed, its composition resembles famous artistic portrayals of contention, from Caravaggio’s The Calling of Saint Matthew to Edward Degas’s Rehearsal Hall at the Opera. Its ambient quality speaks to the work of Johannes Vermeer, who so skillfully blended light and color to tell a story. Indeed, the image is otherworldly and surreal, in many ways more like a painting in a museum than a photograph from a geopolitical summit. But the photo reminded me of something more mundane: Yanny vs. Laurel, a debate spurred by an audio clip that was shared widely online last month.