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January 31 2014

Four short links: 31 January 2014

  1. Bolts — Facebook’s library of small, low-level utility classes in iOS and Android.
  2. Python Idioms (PDF) — useful cheatsheet.
  3. Michael Abrash’s Graphics Programming Black Book — Markdown source in github. Notable for elegance and instructive for those learning to optimise. Coder soul food.
  4. About Link Bait (Anil Dash) — excellent consideration of Upworthy’s distinctive click-provoking headlines, but my eye was caught by we often don’t sound like 2012 Upworthy anymore. Because those tricks are starting to dilute click rates. from Upworthy’s editor-at-large. Attention is a scarce resource, and our brains are very good at filtering.

December 13 2013

Four short links: 13 December 2013

  1. Bunnie Huang Live (YouTube) — talk given at the Make:Live Stage at Maker Faire NYC, covering his experiences and advice for getting hardware made. (via Makezine)
  2. Bill Gates’s Best Books of 2013 — interesting list!
  3. The Robots are Here (Tyler Cowan) — a bleak view of the future in which jobs that can be done by robots are done by robots, and concomitant power spiral towards the rich. I let this one sit for a while before posting, and I still think it’s wildly important.
  4. Philips Hue Lightbulb — awesome widely-available commercial ambient display.

December 06 2013

Four short links: 6 December 2013

  1. Society of Mind — Marvin Minsky’s book now Creative-Commons licensed.
  2. Collaboration, Stars, and the Changing Organization of Science: Evidence from Evolutionary BiologyThe concentration of research output is declining at the department level but increasing at the individual level. [...] We speculate that this may be due to changing patterns of collaboration, perhaps caused by the rising burden of knowledge and the falling cost of communication, both of which increase the returns to collaboration. Indeed, we report evidence that the propensity to collaborate is rising over time. (via Sciblogs)
  3. As Engineers, We Must Consider the Ethical Implications of our Work (The Guardian) — applies to coders and designers as well.
  4. Eyewire — a game to crowdsource the mapping of 3D structure of neurons.

September 08 2013

Le non-art contemporain en 6 dogmes - Bibliobs avec Le Nouvel Observateur

Le non-art contemporain en 6 dogmes - Bibliobs avec Le Nouvel Observateur
http://bibliobs.nouvelobs.com/en-partenariat-avec-books/20130906.OBS5922/le-non-art-contemporain-en-6-dogmes.html?xtor=RSS-15

http://referentiel.nouvelobs.com/file/6323581-le-non-art-contemporain-en-6-dogmes.jpg

Dans leur numéro de rentrée, consacré au « grand bluff de l’art contemporain », nos confrères du magazine « BoOks » présente un article de la très estimée revue littéraire colombienne « El Malpensante ». Avelina Lesper, critique d’art du grand quotidien national « Excelsior », y analyse la façon dogmatique et autoritaire dont les critiques et commissaires d’exposition décident de ce qui doit être considéré comme de l’art. Extraits féroces.

On accueille aujourd’hui dans les musées des objets dénués de valeur esthétique, présentés comme étant de l’art, au nom du dogmatisme : par soumission totale aux principes imposés par une autorité. En théologie, un dogme est une vérité ou une révélation divine que l’on impose aux fidèles pour qu’ils y croient. Kant opposait philosophie dogmatique et philosophie critique, ainsi que l’usage dogmatique de la raison à l’usage critique de la raison. Le dogme ne tolère aucune réplique ni aucun questionnement, il existe a priori.

Le dogme est une croyance, car sans l’intervention de la foi, il ne peut être assimilé par la connaissance. Le théoricien de l’art Arthur Danto (1) compare à la foi chrétienne celle qui permet de transformer un objet de la vie courante en objet d’art ; pour lui, c’est dans cette transfiguration que se trouve la signification de l’œuvre. Ce n’est pas un hasard si Danto utilise un terme religieux. C’est parfaitement intentionnel, une manière de dire que le critique n’est plus là pour juger l’œuvre, mais pour croire en sa signification.

J’analyse dans ce qui suit chacun des dogmes qui fondent ce qu’on ne peut qu’appeler l’idéologie de l’art contemporain, dans sa quête de la transfiguration dont parle Danto.

Transsubstantiation

Voici d’abord la transsubstantiation. Selon ce dogme, la substance d’un objet est transformée par magie, grâce à un acte de prestidigitation ou à un miracle. Ce que nous voyons n’est plus ce que nous croyons voir, c’est autre chose, une chose dont la présence physique ou matérielle n’a rien d’évident, puisque sa substance a changé. Celle-ci est invisible à l’œil nu. Pour la faire exister, il est nécessaire de croire en sa transformation.

La transsubstantiation repose sur deux dogmes secondaires : celui du concept et celui de l’infaillibilité. D’abord la doctrine du concept. Quand Marcel Duchamp revendiqua l’urinoir en tant qu’œuvre d’art, en 1917, dans son texte signé R. Mutt, il dit mot pour mot :

Que Richard Mutt ait fabriqué cette fontaine avec ses propres mains, cela n’a aucune importance, il l’a choisie. Il a pris un article ordinaire de la vie, il l’a placé de manière à ce que sa signification d’usage disparaisse sous le nouveau titre et le nouveau point de vue, il a créé une nouvelle pensée pour cet objet. »

C’est cette nouvelle pensée, ce concept, qui a transfiguré l’urinoir en fontaine, et par là même en œuvre d’art. L’urinoir en tant que tel n’a pas bougé d’un pouce, il a toujours le même aspect ; il est ce qu’il est, un objet préfabriqué d’usage courant ; mais le caprice de Duchamp a donné lieu à sa métamorphose magico-religieuse. Le discours joue ici un rôle fondamental : alors qu’il n’est pas visible, le changement est énoncé. Il ne s’agit plus d’un urinoir mais d’un objet d’art ; nommer cette transformation est indispensable à sa réalisation effective.

Le dogme agit dans la mesure où on lui obéit sans le remettre en question, uniquement parce que les idéologues de l’art affirment : « Ceci est de l’art. » Celui-ci est devenu une forme de superstition qui nie les faits ; y croire suffit à accomplir la transformation. Le ready-made nous ramène à la part la plus élémentaire et irrationnelle de la pensée humaine : la pensée magique. Tout ce que l’artiste choisit et désigne se mue en œuvre. L’art en est réduit à une croyance fantaisiste et sa présence à une signification. Danto écrit : « Il n’y a aucune différence visible entre un objet d’art et un objet ordinaire, et c’est précisément ce qui doit aujourd’hui retenir l’attention des critiques et des spectateurs. »

 
Dans « Books » ce mois-ci
Le flâneur épris d’art passant devant un kiosque à journaux reconnaîtra en une de « BoOks » le cochon baroque de l’artiste belge Wim Deloye, tatoué aux armes de Vuitton. C’est qu’avec une série d’articles glanés dans la presse anglo-saxonne et latino-américaine, nos confrères consacrent leur dossier de rentrée au grand bazar de l’art contemporain. Jamais il n’y a eu autant de foires, de biennales, d’expositions, de galeries, de « performances ». « Quoi qu’on pense de leurs œuvres, les artistes savent que la seule chose qui définisse "l’art" est : "trouvé dans le monde de l’art" », écrit Mark Kingwell dans une analyse détaillée parue dans le « Harper’s »…

Dans la rubrique internationale, une enquête de Richard Lloyd Parry de la « London Review of Books » intitulé « Tartuffe en Corée » offre une synthèse époustouflante de ce qui se trame dans ce pays fermé. L’auteur y expose les raisons pour lesquelles il n’y aura pas de changement de régime. Et si le monde avait intérêt à ce que se maintienne un statu quo, quelque mortifère soit-il pour la population ? Une incursion poussée dans les bas fonds de la diplomatie américaine achève de convaincre que la situation est dramatiquement bloquée. Un article de 7 pages si passionnant qu’il se laisse lire à toute allure. 

A. C. 

« BoOks », n° 46, 106 pages, 9,80 euros. En kiosque tout le mois de septembre.

[…]

#art
#religion
#polémique
#art_contemporain
#books
#Arthur_Danto

August 18 2013

Is Caryl Férey's novel “Zulu” any good ?

Is Caryl Férey’s novel “#Zulu” any good?
http://africasacountry.com/zulu

Caryl Férey’s 2008 crime novel Zulu won the French Grand Prix prize for best crime novel. The #FILM version, starring Forrest Whittaker and Orlando Bloom, closed the Cannes Film Festival. (Originally, there was talk Djimon Hounsou would star. Sean talked about it here.) The French-South African production received less than stellar reviews post-Cannes. The film is not yet out in the U.S., France, #South_Africa (...)

#BOOKS #Forest_Whitaker #Inkatha

August 14 2013

August 12 2013

Four short links: 14 August 2013

  1. bookcision — bookmarklet to download your Kindle highlights. (via Nelson Minar)
  2. Algorithm for a Perfectly Balanced Photo Gallery — remember this when it comes time to lay out your 2013 “Happy Holidays!” card.
  3. Long Stories (Fast Company Labs) — Our strategy was to still produce feature stories as discrete articles, but then to tie them back to the stub article with lots of prominent links, again taking advantage of the storyline and context we had built up there, making our feature stories sharper and less full of catch-up material.
  4. Massachusetts Software Tax (Fast Company Labs) — breakdown of why this crappily-written law is bad news for online companies. Laws are the IEDs of the Internet: it’s easy to make massively value-destroying regulation and hard to get it fixed.

When Jean-Michel_Basquiat went to Africa

When #Jean-Michel_Basquiat went to Africa
http://africasacountry.com/when-jean-michel-basquiat-went-to-africa

Jean-Michel Basquiat, the first American artist of African descent to achieve international stardom, often referenced Africa or the African diaspora in his work. Take, for example, 1983′s “The Nile” (a painting that featured nods to Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Nile and the Nuba in Sudan) and “Gold Griot” (1984). So recently when I found a copy […]

#ART #Abidjan #BOOKS #Brooklyn #Cote_d'Ivoire #Gerard_Basquiat #Haiti #Puerto_Rico

July 29 2013

On African Fiction(s)

On African Fiction(s)
http://africasacountry.com/on-african-fictions

I’ll admit to a certain amount of nervousness when the debate about who is and who is not an African – and in this version a “real African” writer – begins. As a South African, it seems a wagging finger waits reflexively to adjudicate on matters determined centuries before; where dogma overrides history and geography [...]

#BOOKS #Caine_Prize #Kwani #Literature #Tope_Folarin

July 17 2013

Four short links: 17 July 2013

  1. Hideout — augmented reality books. (via Hacker News)
  2. Patterns and Practices for Open Source Software Success (Stephen Walli) — Successful FOSS projects grow their communities outward to drive contribution to the core project. To build that community, a project needs to develop three onramps for software users, developers, and contributors, and ultimately commercial contributors.
  3. How to Act on LKML — Linus’s tantrums are called out by one of the kernel developers in a clear and positive way.
  4. Beyond the Coming Age of Networked Matter (BoingBoing) — Bruce Sterling’s speculative short story, written for the Institute For The Future. “Stephen Wolfram was right about everything. Wolfram is the greatest physicist since Isaac Newton. Since Plato, even. Our meager, blind physics is just a subset of Wolfram’s new-kind-of- science metaphysics. He deserves fifty Nobels.” “How many people have read that Wolfram book?” I asked him. “I hear that his book is, like, huge, cranky, occult, and it drives readers mad.” “I read the forbidden book,” said Crawferd.

July 01 2013

May 29 2013

Four short links: 29 May 2013

  1. Quick Reads of Notable New Zealanders — notable for two reasons: (a) CC-NC-BY licensed, and (b) gorgeous gorgeous web design. Not what one normally associates with Government web sites!
  2. svg.js — Javascript library for making and munging SVG images. (via Nelson Minar)
  3. Linkbot: Create with Robots (Kickstarter) — accessible and expandable modular robot. Loaded w/ absolute encoding, accelerometer, rechargeable lithium ion battery and ZigBee. (via IEEE Spectrum)
  4. The Promise and Peril of Real-Time Corrections to Political Misperceptions (PDF) — paper presenting results of an experiment comparing the effects of real-time corrections to corrections that are presented after a short distractor task. Although real-time corrections are modestly more effective than delayed corrections overall, closer inspection reveals that this is only true among individuals predisposed to reject the false claim. In contrast, individuals whose attitudes are supported by the inaccurate information distrust the source more when corrections are presented in real time, yielding beliefs comparable to those never exposed to a correction. We find no evidence of realtime corrections encouraging counterargument. Strategies for reducing these biases are discussed. So much for the Google Glass bullshit detector transforming politics. (via Vaughan Bell)

April 17 2013

Four short links: 17 April 2013

  1. Computer Software Archive (Jason Scott) — The Internet Archive is the largest collection of historical software online in the world. Find me someone bigger. Through these terabytes (!) of software, the whole of the software landscape of the last 50 years is settling in. (And documentation and magazines and …). Wow.
  2. 7 in 10 Doctors Have a Self-Tracking Patientthe most common ways of sharing data with a doctor, according to the physicians, were writing it out by hand or giving the doctor a paper printout. (via Richard MacManus)
  3. opsmezzo — open-sourced provisioning tools from the Nodejitsu team. (via Nuno Job)
  4. Hacking Secret Ciphers with Pythonteaches complete beginners how to program in the Python programming language. The book features the source code to several ciphers and hacking programs for these ciphers. The programs include the Caesar cipher, transposition cipher, simple substitution cipher, multiplicative & affine ciphers, Vigenere cipher, and hacking programs for each of these ciphers. The final chapters cover the modern RSA cipher and public key cryptography.

March 08 2013

Four short links: 8 March 2013

  1. mlcompa free website for objectively comparing machine learning programs across various datasets for multiple problem domains.
  2. Printing Code: Programming and the Visual Arts (Vimeo) — Rune Madsen’s talk from Heroku’s Waza. (via Andrew Odewahn)
  3. What Data Brokers Know About You (ProPublica) — excellent run-down on the compilers of big data about us. Where are they getting all this info? The stores where you shop sell it to them.
  4. Subjective Impressions Do Not Mirror Online Reading Effort: Concurrent EEG-Eyetracking Evidence from the Reading of Books and Digital Media (PLOSone) — Comprehension accuracy did not differ across the three media for either group and EEG and eye fixations were the same. Yet readers stated they preferred paper. That preference, the authors conclude, isn’t because it’s less readable. From this perspective, the subjective ratings of our participants (and those in previous studies) may be viewed as attitudes within a period of cultural change.

February 05 2013

Four short links: 5 February 2013

  1. toolbar — tooltips in jQuery, cf hint.css which is tooltips in CSS.
  2. Security Engineering — 2ed now available online for free. (via /r/netsec)
  3. Economics of Netflix’s $100M New Show (The Atlantic) — Up until now, Netflix’s strategy has involved paying content makers and distributors, like Disney and Epix, for streaming rights to their movies and TV shows. It turns out, however, the company is overpaying on a lot of those deals. [...] [T]hese deals cost Netflix billions.
  4. Inceptiona FireWire physical memory manipulation and hacking tool exploiting IEEE 1394 SBP-2 DMA. The tool can unlock (any password accepted) and escalate privileges to Administrator/root on almost* any powered on machine you have physical access to. The tool can attack over FireWire, Thunderbolt, ExpressCard, PC Card and any other PCI/PCIe interfaces. (via BoingBoing)

January 17 2013

Four short links: 17 January 2013

  1. Free Book Sifter — lists all the free books on Amazon, has RSS feeds and newsletters. (via BoingBoing)
  2. Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Give Realtime Analytics — a few key reasons why truly real-time analytics can open the door to a new type of (realtime!) bad decision making. [U]ser demographics could be different day over day. Or very likely, you could see a major difference in user behavior immediately upon releasing a change, only to watch it evaporate as users learn to use new functionality. Given all of these concerns, the conservative and reasonable stance is to only consider tests that last a few days or more.
  3. Web Book Boilerplate (Github) — uses plain old markdown and generates a well structured HTML version of your written words. Since it’s sitting on top of Pandoc and Grunt, you can easily make your books available for every platform. MIT-style license.
  4. Raspberry Pi Education Manual (PDF) — from Scratch to Python and HCI all via the Raspberry Pi. Intended to be informative and a series of lessons for teachers and students learning coding with the Raspberry Pi as their first device.

January 01 2013

Four short links: 1 January 2013

  1. Robots Will Take Our Jobs (Wired) — I agree with Kevin Kelly that (in my words) software and hardware are eating wetware, but disagree that This is not a race against the machines. If we race against them, we lose. This is a race with the machines. You’ll be paid in the future based on how well you work with robots. Ninety percent of your coworkers will be unseen machines. Most of what you do will not be possible without them. And there will be a blurry line between what you do and what they do. You might no longer think of it as a job, at least at first, because anything that seems like drudgery will be done by robots. Civilizations which depend on specialization reward work and penalize idleness. We already have more people than work for them, and if we’re not to be creating a vast disconnected former workforce then we (society) need to get a hell of a lot better at creating jobs and not destroying them.
  2. Why Workers are Losing the War Against Machines (The Atlantic) — There is no economic law that says that everyone, or even most people, automatically benefit from technological progress.
  3. Early Quora Design Notes — I love reading post-mortems and learning from what other people did. Picking a starting point is important because it will be the axis the rest of the design revolves around — but it’s tricky and not always the first page in the flow. Ideally, you should start with the page that serves the most significant goals of the product.
  4. Free Data Science BooksI don’t mean free as in some guy paid for a PDF version of an O’Reilly book and then posted it online for others to use/steal, but I mean genuine published books with a free online version sanctioned by the publisher. That is, “the publisher has graciously agreed to allow a full, free version of my book to be available on this site.” (via Stein Debrouwere)

November 22 2012

Four short links: 22 November 2012

  1. Mark Your Territory — Urine integration for Foursquare. (via Beta Knowledge)
  2. TL;DR — news summaries. Finally.
  3. Zombie Ideas and Online InstructionThe repeated return of mistaken ideas captures well my experiences with technologies in schools and what I have researched over decades. The zombie idea that is rapidly being converted into policies that in the past have been “refuted with evidence but refuse to die” is: new technologies can cure K-12 and higher education problems of teaching and learning. The most recent incarnation of this revolving-door idea is widespread access to online instruction in K-12 education cyber-charter schools, blended schools where online instruction occurs for a few hours a day, and mandated courses that children and youth have to take.
  4. Google Open Sources Their Book Scanner — hardware designs for their clever system for high-throughput non-destructive book-scanning. (via Hackaday)

November 16 2012

Four short links: 16 November 2012

  1. Under the Hood of Team Obama’s Tech Operation (Mother Jones) — The new platform allowed OFA to collect feedback from the ground on an enormous scale, and respond accordingly. In short, it made the flow of information bidirectional. “What it did was it listened, and it trickled up information.”
  2. Surprisingly Undervalued BooksI’m not necessarily talking about obscure books/authors here. I’m talking about the ratio of how good the book is to how good you expect it to be. These are the outliers, the ones that most people don’t talk about very much or haven’t heard of, and yet turn out to be profoundly brilliant.
  3. SoundSlice — Adrian Holovaty’s new tool to help transcribe music from YouTube videos.
  4. 3D Printable Copter — it’s all that. See also assembly instructions.

October 12 2012

Four short links: 12 October 2012

  1. Code Talks and Designers Don’t Speak the Language (Crystal Beasley) — Many of the bugs, however, require a deep understanding of why the product exists in the marketplace and a thorough understanding of the research that underpins the project. These strategic questions are analogous to what a software architect would do. I was on the Persona project full time for three months before I felt confident making significant choices about UX.
  2. Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials (British Medical Journal) — you don’t need to subscribe to appreciate this.
  3. html5test — see how the browsers stack up in features and compliance.
  4. Backbone FundamentalsA creative-commons book on Backbone.js for beginners and advanced users alike.
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