Sunday, May 07, 2017

Links of Note

* Every Noise at Once attempts to map the space of musical genres, with samples. As noted in the description, northward tends more mechanical/technical, southward more organic, while westward tends more layered and eastward tends more 'spiky'. Click the genre name, you get a typical sample; click the little arrows, you go to a submap of the genre, some of which you can also sample.

Sampling around, I'm very much a far westerner, with the music naturally to my taste peaking from gothic symphonic metal to djent, which does not surprise me in the least. (I tend often to prefer the westward side of the submaps, too, although the deeper south you go, the more eastward I range, both on the main map and on the submaps.) The things I like most outside that gothish-metalish range tend to be scattered farther south in the map, in folk music territory (again preferring the western side). And on the eastern side, traditional ska is about as northerly as I generally get. The interesting cases are the little islands -- I like christelijk quite a bit, but find most that's around it only OK, and the same with liedermacher; and (the sharpest contrast I was able to find) I like baile funk reasonably well despite liking almost nothing else around it very much at all. You also, of course, get little nostalgia islands -- there's a little eastern island from classic rock to traditional rock'n roll and chicago soul that has a very disproportionate amount of music that I grew up on, and thus is probably the biggest eastern chunk that I like.

* Daniel Mahoney's Dialogues in Scrutopia briefly surveys Roger Scruton's recent career.

* Jonathan Meades sharply criticizes church architecture after Vatican II:

I have not voluntarily attended a religious service since the age of seven. My reaction to communicants is to pity them: those wafers! That ‘wine’! The twee cannibalism! The sheer credulity! But the fate of those buildings where they submit to and share their folkloric rites and supernatural delusions is important. Brutalism, too, was pretty much a faith. In its ecclesiastical form it usurped the faith it was meant to serve. A concrete cuckoo. It was an emphatically physical form of architectural sublimity, an expression of man’s imperiousness and of the conviction that technology would enable us to prevail.

* Nathaniel Bulthuis on late medieval logic.

* Cheryl Misak discusses pramatism at 3AM.

* Margaret St. Clare's "The Bird" (PDF -- click 'Readable PDF' for the full tale rather than single pages), a short SF classic from 1951, tells the story of Dwight Thompson, a man who sees a phoenix immolate itself and is never the same again because of it. The description of the phoenix's immolation is quite striking.

* Shelley Tremain on the famous Phineas Gage example, and the problems with using it as an example.

* A good discussion of the Scorsese's recent film, Silence, based on the novel by Shusaku Endo.

* Life in the Swiss Guard.

* Georgios Scholarios investigates the origin of the quotation, "Teleology is a lady without whom no biologist can live. Yet he is ashamed to show himself with her in public."


* Kelly Oliver discusses the Tuvel incident.

* Barbara Gail Montero criticizes the 'myth of flow', i.e., the idea that for an expert performance just unfolds on its own, effortlessly.

* It turns out that the U.S. Air Force has an unmanned space shuttle, which just completed its fourth (and otherwise top secret) mission.

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