Other Miscellany

What the Hell is Going On in the World? LINKS 01/04/18



Portland State University professor Bruce Gilley discusses how many academics and scholars reacted to his paper “The Case for Colonialism”:

…it was the intellectual vacuity of the mobs that surprised, and discouraged. The colonial encounter was huge, epochal, varied and complex. To reduce it to a bumper sticker is worse than wrong, it is dull. Any great intellectual who actually lived through that period — like Achebe — rendered it in varied hues. They understood that it was not a tweet, an act; it was a confluence of world-historical forces that no one could control. The rise of the West; the Stone Age development of much of the Rest; the impossible interactions; the bitterness; the attempt to work together; the enduring rift. To say, as I did, that colonialism was mostly good, in the economic and social sense of the word, is merely to state the obvious. The University of Edinburgh’s Neil Thin wrote that anti-colonial ideologues have lost the ability to actually learn from history — “appreciative history” as he calls it — so intent they are on whipping it into submission.



Accidentally Wes Anderson:

Pastel colours, front-on facades, hyper-stylised uncanny symmetry: director Wes Anderson has a defined aesthetic. Once you’ve got your eye in, you can see it everywhere.

That was the premise of a thread on Reddit started earlier this year, “Accidental Wes Anderson,” where users shared photographs of real-world architecture and locations that look like one of his sets – with Bill Murray or one of the Wilson brothers plausibly just out of shot.

Wally Koval, a self-described “Anderson fanboy” with a passion for travel and architectural design, was inspired to take the idea to Instagram – a natural fit for the director’s twee style.



China is using social media “credit scores” as a tool of oppression. John Robb writes:

A negative score impacts your ability to access government services. The companies you can buy products from (they don’t want to sell to people with low scores). Your friends and the people you can marry (they get a lower score if you have a low score).

China’s dictatorship needed a way to control an advanced, socially networked society.

This is it.



How sounds can be experienced as color:

…for more composers, songwriters, and listeners than you might imagine, sounds really do have colours, whether we’re talking about the orchestration or arrangement of a track, a particular combination of notes, the texture of a vocalist’s performance, or a particular rhythmic pattern. It’s what’s called synaesthesia: the activation of one sensory realm by another. If you’re a musical synaesthete, then you’ll see colours when you hear music, and wonder why everyone else doesn’t. (Synaesthesia works across all the other senses as well: for some, individual letters and words have colours, and it can work in reverse too, so that colours become sounds.) That’s the experience of musicians from the French composer Olivier Messiaen to Lady Gaga, from the Russian mystic sensualist Alexander Scriabin to Pharrell Williams.

Ultra violet is the Pantone Color Institute’s choice for the Color of 2018:

…while the shade demonstrates countercultural flair and individualism, perhaps in homage to lost pop icons Bowie and Prince — Ultra Violet has deeper connotations. The name for the color originally sprang from Latin, with ‘Ultra’ meaning beyond. Violet is the shortest wavelength of the color spectrum, and just behind it is the highest frequency of visible light ‘Ultra Violet.’ Symbolically, it demonstrates that which the naked eye cannot see or understand.



Frozen waves off the coast of Nantucket, captured by photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh:

photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh  photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh 

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