Author Archives: ArtsJournal

Bootleg Concert Recording Is Thriving In The 21st Century

Unlike most every other part of the music world, taping has not only thrived in the 21st century but come into its own, from advanced cell phone gadgetry (like DPA’s iPhone-ready d:vice MMA-A digital audio interface) to compact handheld recorders (like Zoom’s varied line of products), from high-speed distribution to metadata organization. Despite constant radical change, taping has never been disrupted. Rather, it has positively flowered.

Study: Does Reading Fiction Increase Your Capacity For Empathy?

Psychologists have begun to explore this question by asking whether reading fiction improves people’s sensitivity to other people’s beliefs or emotions compared to either not reading or to reading nonfiction. A paper by David Dodell-Feder and Diana Tamir in the November 2018 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General looked across 14 studies using a technique called meta-analysis to determine whether there is reason to think that reading fiction improves social abilities.

No Surprises: Survey Says People Like The Arts

“Americans Speak Out about the Arts in 2018” was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for Americans for the Arts in May 2018. It is based on a nationally representative sample of 3,023 American adults, making it one of the largest public opinion studies about the arts ever conducted.  As one might expect when hearing from the public, we find a mix of assumptions challenged and observations confirmed.

Toronto Is Building An Ambitious “Smart” Neighborhood From The Ground Up

It is not the first smart city—municipalities around the world have adopted smart infrastructure like artificial-intelligence-enabled traffic lights—but it might be the most ambitious. The project’s 200-page wish list of features is astounding. The “vision document” imagines not only the revitalization of a 12-acre plot that has sat largely vacant since its heyday as an industrial port, but its transformation into a micro-city outfitted with smart technologies that will use data to disrupt everything from traffic congestion to health care, housing, zoning regulations, and greenhouse-gas emissions. Long before flying cars, smart sensors won’t just be in our mattresses or our bidets, they’ll be embedded in the walls of our homes and the concrete beneath our feet.

How Well-Worn Idioms Shape Our Debates

Most of us don’t seek out a new form of language, and if we happen to come across arbitrary sentences or silly paragraphs, we’re less than thrilled about it. The old idioms work just fine. We know what they mean. Even if I store food in cartons in the fridge, I don’t “keep all my eggs in one basket.” Even if you never cook for yourself, you sometimes “put it on the back burner.” Does this mean that old idioms are inevitably clichéd?

Why Are There So Many Pointless Jobs?

In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by the end of the century, technology would have become so far advanced that developed economies would have a 15-hour workweek. So how did we get to our current state, almost two decades into the 21st century? It turns out that Keynes was only half right—technology has advanced spectacularly, but we are far from a 15-hour workweek.