This Crappy, Virus-Infected Laptop Just Sold for $1.3 Million

Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 11.16.40 PM.png“The piece emphasizes that [the] Internet and IRL are the same place,” Guo tells artnet News. “Placing these pieces of malware—which we ordinarily think of as remote processes happening somewhere on [a] network, but surely not to us—into this one crappy old laptop concretizes them.”

https://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/web/a27615547/virus-infected-computer-art-project/

 

Debating the history of the Stonewall Riots

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the famous New York riot that is credited with having given birth to the modern LGBT rights movement in the US, much has been written about the popular history of the event and how it is remembered. In addition, there was a 2015 movie about Stonewall that drew a lot of criticism because of its portrayal of the event. This issue raises a lot of interesting questions about history, how it is written and how it is remembered. It also raises interesting questions about the historical accuracy of movies and what responsibility artists have to being historically accurate.

Who Threw the First Brick at Stonewall? Let’s Argue About It

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the internet can spread misinformation, but why had this particular fantasy of Stonewall taken on such importance in the queer imagination?

To find out, I interviewed people who participated in the Stonewall uprising, historians who had devoted years to studying L.G.B.T.Q. history and contemporary queer writers. It turns out that it wasn’t just the question of who threw the first brick: Apparently no one can agree on almost anything about Stonewall.

Gay rights activists give their verdict on Stonewall: ‘This film is no credit to the history it purports to portray’

Roland Emmerich’s film about the 1969 riots has been labelled an offensive whitewash by many critics and campaigners. So what do some of those who were actually there at the time make of it?

Promoting the film, Emmerich defended both his narrative decisions and choice of lead, saying that he’d made the movie for as wide an audience as possible, and that “straight-acting” Danny was an “easy in” for heterosexual viewers.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/sep/25/stonewall-film-gay-rights-activists-give-their-verdict

I was at the Stonewall riots. The movie ‘Stonewall’ gets everything wrong

But “Stonewall” is uninterested in any history that doesn’t revolve around its white, male, stereotypically attractive protagonist. It almost entirely leaves out the women who participated in the riots and helped create the Gay Liberation Front, which included youth, trans people, lesbian separatists and people from all other parts of the spectrum of our community.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/stonewall-movie

Can silence be music? “The Story Behind John Cage’s 4’33″”

Knowledge Questions: What is art? What is the role of the artist’s intentions when interpreting art?

Discovering uncharted sounds became Cage’s trademark. Where other composers heard noise, he heard potential. Pots. Drum brakes. Rubber duckies. It wasn’t provocation; it was necessity. The world was brimming with sounds musicians had never used before—it was as if all the world’s painters had agreed to restrict themselves to only a few colors. Cage heard every squeak and honk as a possible ingredient for music…

People thought 4’33” was a joke or some kind of avant-garde nose-thumbing. During a post-concert discussion, as Cage biographer David Revill notes, one local artist stood up and suggested, “Good people of Woodstock, let’s drive these people out of town.”

https://mentalfloss.com/article/59902/101-masterpieces-john-cages-433

In the Maverick that night, one could likely hear the sound of the breeze in the trees, rain pattering lightly on the rooftop, the chirping of crickets, a dog barking aimlessly somewhere in the distance, the sound of bodies shifting their weight on creaky pine benches, the sound of breath being drawn and being expired.

This was music for John Cage. And unlike compositions designed to make the outside world fall away, here was a music that, when it engaged you, made the present world open up like a lotus blossoming in stop-motion photography. It was all very much in keeping with Cage’s Zen world view, which emphasized the power of unmediated experience and direct perception of what Cage called the “isness” of life.

https://www.npr.org/2000/05/08/1073885/4-33

What Science Can Learn From Religion

Hostility toward spiritual traditions may be hampering empirical inquiry.

Just as ancient doesn’t always mean wise, it doesn’t always mean foolish. The only way to determine which is the case is to put an idea — a hypothesis — to an empirical test. In my own work, I have repeatedly done so. I have found that religious ideas about human behavior and how to influence it, though never worthy of blind embrace, are sometimes vindicated by scientific examination.

Debating the legacy of Winston Churchill

The first story is what led to a lot of interesting pieces being written about Churchill and offers some interesting insights about the nature of history.

Winston Churchill was a villain, says John McDonnell

There has been renewed debate recently over the legacy of Churchill, who in 2002 was named the greatest Briton ever in a BBC poll. The Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan rebuked the Green party MSP Ross Greer on live TV last month after the politician called Churchill a “white supremacist mass murderer” in a tweet.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/13/winston-churchill-was-more-villain-than-hero-says-john-mcdonnell

The Rest of Us Always Knew Churchill Was a Villain

His record in Britain’s former colonies more closely resembles that of a war criminal than a defender of democracy and freedom.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-16/churchill-was-more-villain-than-hero-in-britain-s-colonies

The Churchill row is part of the glib approach to history that gave us Brexit

The idea of history as composed of heroes and villains is infantile. Inside every hero lurks an opposite. The best answer to a stupid question is no answer, as McDonnell said when asked his favourite Tory. Fake history may be a clever way to engage the empathy of the young with otherwise difficult material. But if the purpose of history is to offer lessons for the future, distorting it is fraught with danger.

The current cult of identity politics is to rifle through the past careers of great men and women, not to ascertain accuracy but to sort them into friends or foes. Churchill has been accused of racism. He undoubtedly expressed racist views but they were uttered in very different times, in which such ideas were deemed acceptable by many.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/14/winston-churchill-history-brexit-john-mcdonnell