05.14.18

Mumbling Isn’t Sloppy Or Careless Speaking – It’s Data Compression (Science Says So!)

"[Data-compression] algorithms trim down the space needed to digitally store sounds and images by throwing out information that is redundant or doesn't add much to our perceptual experience — for example, tossing out data at sound frequencies we can't hear, or not bothering to encode slight gradations of color that are hard to see. The idea is to keep only the information that has the greatest impact. Mumbling — or phonetic reduction, as language scientists prefer to call it — appears to follow a similar strategy."

Germany To Boost Arts Funding By $353 Million

Saying that the move would send "a strong signal that culture is the foundation for our open and democratic society," culture minister Monika Grütters announced that Angela Merkel's government plans to increase the arts budget by 23%. In the five years that Grütters has been in office, the national culture budget has grown by 38%, roughly $548 million.

‘What Makes Internet Writing Uniquely Internetty’

"Because I hate myself, and because I want my future robots to remember my contributions to this wild weird world before it all dissipates into the ether, or becomes a wasteland of Russian bots and Incels, I spoke with writers, journalists, novelists, and normal people to come up with a definitive list of essential internet reading. ... It comes as no surprise that finding and creating a cohesive understanding of internet writing is just as dubious, problematic, and maddening as the internet itself." Even so, Lyz Lenz has given it a try - and found some very funny pieces which would probably never have made it into dead-tree print.

Remembering A Golden Age Of Child Prodigies

Factors including the invention of movies, a decreasing child mortality rate, and the rise of broadcast radio in the 1920s had led to an astonishing realization for society: Children had personalities. They weren’t just imperfect adults who needed to be ignored until they could behave properly, and they were becoming increasingly less likely to just drop dead, which meant it was safer to like them. They had qualities that were appealing in their own way, the most important of which was cuteness.

James Baldwin’s Nearly Forgotten Final Book (Whose Time May Now Have Come)

"Arguably no single work by Baldwin is as connected to the issues animating Black Lives Matter as his final nonfiction book, The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985), but the work was written long after Baldwin had lost the public's affection. ... Written in response to what came to be known as the Atlanta child murders, Baldwin's book is a piercing examination of anti-black violence in the United States, why it persisted after the 'gains' of the civil rights era, and why it would likely continue unless deep-rooted structural and psychic changes occurred."

Could This Invention Make Art Galleries Obselete?

General Public aims to transform the art market as we know it. In essence, General Public produces three-dimensional reproductions of works of art, a mix between original painting and print using a special process invented by the actress working with Fujifilm. For Portia de Rossi, allowing artists to distribute high-quality replicas of their work directly to an audience is all about democratizing art and putting value in the hands of the creators. The company’s motto is “Support artists, not art.”