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Judging Philosophy Books By Their Covers

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 11/09/2021 - 1:27am in

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Do, however, judge the cover.


[assorted philosophy book covers from bookworship]

Relatedly, but not the main point: don’t judge the author by the cover of their books, as book design is often not up to the author; do judge the publisher. (Sorry/you’re welcome publisher friends.)

Philosophers are people, too, and beauty and design are among the many things we should care about, particularly in regard to activities (like work) which take up so much of our time.

Recently, there was a request to open up a space here for people to post philosophy book covers they really like. Maybe the cover captures the ideas or questions of the book in a particularly interesting or creative way, maybe its just a beautiful image or a striking piece of design work, maybe it’s humorous (intentionally or not), maybe you don’t need me to suggest reasons.

We did this 7 years ago, just a few months into DN’s existence (here). The readership of the site is larger now, and comment functionality has improved, so let’s do it again (feel free to repeat your earlier suggestions on this post, if you’d like, but you’re welcome to add new ones, too).

Please honor these few requests:

  • one book cover per comment, and please don’t submit more than three comments on this post in a single day
  • include an image of the cover; to do this, click the little image icon in the bottom right corner of the comment box
  • include the title and author, and if you know it, the publisher and year

You’re of course welcome to explain what you like about the cover.

Posting your own book’s cover is allowed, but that doesn’t stop it from being tacky. Better to do that on your own social media when you share this post. (Was that tacky?)

OK, let’s see ’em!

click to learn more

Making Haiku and Art from the SEP

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 31/08/2021 - 6:30pm in

Tags 

art, philosophy, poetry

Maximilian Noichl (University of Vienna), whose visualizations and data analysis has been featured before on Daily Nous (see here), has taken up a new project: using computers to find haiku in the text of the Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy (SEP) and make art to accompany them.

He writes:

Recently, I’ve been looking for accidental ‘haiku’ in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The idea is easy enough: you just let the computer search for sentences with seventeen syllables, and then check whether the line-breaks fall correctly. When applied to the SEP, this produces quite a lot of results: you can read 187 pages of them here. Many of them are quite nonsensical, but I think some of them do work as poems. In a sense they are quite profound—after all, they are from an encyclopedia of philosophy—but in another, they are just random splinters.

I then selected some haiku that I particularly liked, and ran them through vqgan+clip. This is a computer program that tries to find images that closely match texts, with variable success and often entertaining misunderstandings. It has been put together by @RiversHaveWings@advadnoun, and @jbusted1. They all produce very exiting work, so I can only recommend giving them a look. If you want to try something like this yourself, here is a good starting-point. It’s surprisingly easy! I then did some postprocessing on the resulting images, going for an effect somewhere between stippling and silk-screen printing.

Some of the results are below. Other examples are posted on his twitter-feed: @MaxNoichl.

(from “Relations” by Fraser McBride)

 

(from “Biological Altruism” by Samir Okasha)

 

(from “Binarium Famosissimum” by Paul Vincent Spade)

 

(from “Imre Lakatos” by Alan Musgrave and Charles Pidgen)

 

(from “Qualia” by Michael Tye)

 

#1529; In which Strings are pulled

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 29/08/2021 - 3:01pm in

Tags 

comic, art, Craft, Music

Glassblowing? Hot harpmaking. Piano playing? Sideways harpmaking (testing phase). Performing an opera? Meaty harpmaking (the tiny harp in your throat).


On Art, Integrity, And Crowdfunded Creativity

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 31/07/2021 - 11:12am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/01103f9f285031b197165d93073ba0d7/href

Regular readers may have noticed I’ve been posting a bit more often than my usual once per day. I’ve been experiencing an influx in creativity lately and I remembered that I’m my own boss so I can post as often as I like, and I just wanted to bang out some thoughts for the hell of it about my and Tim’s thing here to share with any readers who are interested.

I don’t think I talk enough about how cool our setup is here. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to be able to write and make anything we want without an editor, but, more importantly I’m coming to see, without the extrinsic motivation of money.

Of course, I could try to make things to please more people, and that would make more money, but that has never ever been my goal. My goal has always been to do my part in healing myself so I can see more clearly and speak with more clarity and consciousness about what’s happening in our world, how we can fix it, and what possibilities lie beyond this vale of tears.

I also realized very early on that having integrity meant also being all of myself, and not keeping all the various parts of me that don’t conform to people’s idea about what a journalist is out of the picture. That was embarrassing at the start. People would spit out “soccer mom” at me like a smear.

I’m pretty kooky, I get painfully shy, I am virtually skinless when it comes to my emotions, I’m probably on the spectrum, and yes, I spend a lot of time in the car driving my kids around. I’m also fat, I’m on the wrong side of 40, I have every kind of stretchmark from carrying kids, and also sex is a huge part of my life.

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Also, my setup is weird. I am not one writer, I am two. The articles and art are the product of the ongoing conversation between me and my American husband Tim Foley. I need to talk about that regularly or else people get the idea that I’m some kind of superwoman, and other aspiring indie media workers could get discouraged about not being able to be as prolific.

So in business terms I’ve made integrity my brand. I’ve made my primary goal to not be needed anymore because the world will be so conscious that my efforts to bring consciousness will be redundant. I have switched all extrinsic motivators off. I give away my stuff so I can’t just rest on my laurels; I have to keep returning to my own healing so I can find fresh inspiration. And, because of the two-handed author set-up, I don’t even really feel like any of this is “mine”. People say such lovely things to me about this work, but the ego candy is minimized because it doesn’t feel like it’s directed at me personally.

Being crowdfunded, my income source is very diffuse and I would go nuts trying to keep all my patrons and supporters happy; that was clear from the start. So blocking out the badgering of others is something I had to learn. What it means, though, is that my only boss is my gut.

All these decisions have meant that trying to make more money by gaming or competing wouldn’t work, and would most likely be to my financial detriment if anything. If you shape your business model around your integrity, then ditching your integrity is going to fuck up your business model.

A side benefit of that though is that making art has become healing to me again. After years of doing graphic design for others, I’d lost that long ago. My inner critic was very noisy with the ideas of other people, and I lost what it was to sit down and amuse myself just to amuse myself. But because I’ve been free to make what I want for quite a while now, I remembered how to use art like a kid does — to explain things to myself, to explore my emotions, to re-visit the scenes of old wounds, and to have fun with myself.

https://medium.com/media/f4da2c05d42341e7ea0557f00029de79/href

For example, that “Joelene Versus The Landlord” piece was incredibly healing for me. It got me thinking about some of the more traumatic events in my life, and let me resolve some of my grief around those times. I would never ever have been able to make that if I was stuck at an outlet answering to some asshole named Greg who spends more time looking at my boobs than looking at my copy and “well, actually”ing every single novel idea I have.

Fuck Greg. Fuck the gatekeepers. Fuck capitalism for taking the most potent healing tool we have — art — and making it into just another hustle. What’s happening for me now is really amazing and I want it for everyone. Everyone should have this freedom.

Thank you all so much for making this possible.

__________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Maternity (Andor Mészáros

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/07/2021 - 9:56am in

Tags 

art

Maternity (Andor Mészáros, 1944). One of the most peculiar larger-than-life Sydney Sandstone public statues in the Inner West. Standing outside the former King George V Memorial Hospital for Mothers and Babies (1941); now serves as the general administrative offices for the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (1882) across the road, where more than 5,500 babies are born every year. Camperdown.

The Story Of Rocket Man

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/07/2021 - 12:21am in

Tags 

Space, art, Music

I made a mixed media piece about Jeff Bezos and his little rocket:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx59n7B6Upk

__________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

The Sounds of Healing

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/07/2021 - 6:00pm in

What Washington musician Yoko Sen describes as the “soundtrack of her life” is not one of the songs she wrote for the band Dust Galaxy, but the alarm of the heart monitor at her hospital bedside. “The constant rhythm of a cardiac monitor ticking like a time bomb reminded me every second that my life is finite,” she says. 

When the U.S.-based Japanese artist fell ill in 2012 and had to spend weeks in hospitals, she found the jarring sounds there detrimental to her healing. “I thought it was torture, the cacophony of alarms, beeps, doors slamming, the squeaking of carts, people screaming, yellow alarm, red alarm, Code Blue.” At the time, it wasn’t clear if Sen would make a full recovery. She was connected to four different machines, and each emitted a different sound. Her sensitive ears were especially bothered by the constant beeping of her heart monitor. “It was a C note, and in the distance I heard high-pitched beeps when somebody fell out of bed — an F sharp, and I felt as if the sounds amplified my fear and feelings of helplessness.” 

Sen recognized the so-called tritone. “In medieval times, it was known as the devil’s interval,” an unsettling tonal dissonance that used to be banned in churches. Jimi Hendrix wrote it into his intro to “Purple Haze,” Wagner into his Götterdämmerung, and film composers often use it to announce impending doom. Our bodies involuntarily respond to the dissonance with tension and unease. So why use such sounds in a place of healing?

Florence Nightingale, who is often called the founder of modern nursing, said, “Unnecessary noise is the cruelest absence of care.” Photo courtesy Yoko Sen

When Sen asked her nurse why the heart monitor kept beeping, the nurse reassured her it was just a routine sound, nothing to worry about. “Sound is largely ignored in healthcare even though the aesthetics of it could have a great impact on our sense of wellbeing and dignity,” Sen realized. “We have made amazing progress in medicine, can operate on brains, but why do hospital patients still have to live with these medieval sounds?” As she started to question nurses, doctors and other patients about making changes, she found openness: “The most common reaction was, why haven’t we thought of this?” 

When Sen recovered, she was determined to follow her new mission: to “humanize” hospital sounds. How does healing sound? Or love? Are there tunes that foster recovery? She founded SenSound in 2015, a social enterprise to reimagine the acoustic environment in hospitals, and she is about to announce a breakthrough. While the pandemic has interrupted some of her projects, including a long planned sound exhibition in Europe, she and her team used the last year to quietly work with four manufacturers of medical devices. One participant, Philips, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical equipment. Roughly 80 percent of sounds in the ER come from patient monitoring, according to Sen, and Philips invited her to change the sounds of their most popular patient monitor. “Several months of further testing will be necessary,” Sen says. “I can’t reveal any details yet, but I can say that this will be a major step toward improving the hospital soundscape.”

Yoko Sen creates soundscapes that the patient can tailor with simple hand gestures. Movement sensors translate a wave of a hand into the sounds of ocean waves or a short symphony.  Photo courtesy Yoko Sen

From the stillness of her home 20 minutes outside of Washington, D.C., and surrounded by nature, 41-year-old Sen is addressing a massive, often overlooked problem. On average, a patient endures 135 different alarms each day, hospitals are often louder than a highway during rush hour and sleep deprivation is a common complaint. 

The cacophony is not only bothersome but can endanger lives. Many caretakers and doctors suffer from “alarm fatigue” — they hear so many abrasive sounds that they simply ignore up to ten percent of important, lifesaving alarms. The effect of the clamor can be numbing, the exact opposite of an alarm’s intent.

At the beginning of her research, Sen first did what a musician does best: listen. “How about we ask the people who have to listen to these sounds every day?” she said. She and her husband, Avery Sen, an innovation researcher, interviewed hundreds of patients, nurses and doctors. “We first tried to understand, because you don’t just show up with a solution,” Sen says about the ensuing dialog between what she calls “the beepers and the beeped.” One doctor told Sen, “I never knew I could admit that I hate these sounds.” Sen’s goal: The sounds should be functional and safe but also gentle and respectful.

“Sound should be a public good, like hygiene or safety,” she says. Over the last five years, Sen and her husband have worked with renowned researchers at the Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub in Washington, D.C., Stanford University and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She was also an artist-in-residence at Kaiser Permanente and a fellow at the Kennedy Center. 

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Sen learned that manufacturers of medical devices don’t coordinate their soundscapes, and rather design the alerts louder and sharper than necessary for fear of being sued if someone misses an alarm. “They prioritize the safety and functionality of the devices, and they compete against each other, which is fine, but the manufacturers don’t take into account how these sounds affect the emotions of the patients, and whether the alarm for the heart monitor creates a dissonance with the beeping of the IV drip.” Sen quotes Florence Nightingale, who is often called the founder of modern nursing: “Unnecessary noise is the cruelest absence of care.” 

Sen, who speaks with a very gentle, soft voice, seems to have been born with an uncanny sensitivity for music. She begged her mother for piano lessons when she was only three years old. The piano teacher told her mother to bring her daughter back when she was five, but Sen kept insisting. A picture shows the little girl on the stool in front of a grand piano, her feet far above the pedals. After moving from Japan to the U.S. in 1999, she continued her career as a professional ambient electronic musician, toured with her electro band Dust Galaxy and published solo albums.

Sen begged her mother for piano lessons when she was only three years old. Photo courtesy Yoko Sen

For her mission to create a more soothing hospital environment, Sen found like-minded researchers in Elif Ozcan who leads the Critical Alarms Lab at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and Joel Schlesinger, an anesthetist at Vanderbilt University who also happens to be an accomplished jazz pianist. “We work together with experts from various disciplines because people could die if we make mistakes,” Sen acknowledges. 

She also learned that everybody experiences sound differently. “One man was bothered by the nurses’ chat in the hallway, while his wife loved it because it made her feel less alone. Some prefer utter stillness; others experience stillness as overwhelmingly oppressive. It’s not just about the volume.” So, for Kaiser Permanente, Sen transformed a space in Colorado into an interactive area where people could try different sounds at the push of a button and report how it affected them. There was a common denominator: Almost all people found sounds of nature soothing. 

Especially for hospice patients, Sen creates soundscapes that the patient can tailor with simple hand gestures. Movement sensors translate a wave of a hand into the sounds of ocean waves or a short symphony. Her gentle compositions remind the listener of waterfalls or rain drops, chimes or a rainforest in the wind. 

One company, Medtronic, hired Sen to design new sounds for its homecare heart monitor, which is now available and used by more than 150,000 patients. “There were technical constraints within the project such that we were not able to change the timbre of the sounds, and it was only the melody we could help improve,” Sen says. “So the new sounds are more of an incremental improvement of the product’s functional sound, which are less harsh and more friendly to patients.”

The pandemic has increased attention for her work because during the last year, millions have died and suffered in hospital beds without the soothing presence of their loved ones. Sen shares that some researchers believe that our sense of sound is the last sense to leave us when we die. Remembering her grandmother who died surrounded by beeping machines, Sen asked people from all over the world, “What is the last sound you want to hear at the end of your life?” Many wish for the sounds of nature, the laughter of children, or the voice of a loved one, and Sen recorded their wish lists for her project “My Last Sound.” 

What’s the last sound she’d like to hear herself? Yoko Sen giggles, hesitates, but then she admits what she recorded: her husband’s farting. “He’s farting a lot, it is a familiar sound for me, and it makes me laugh. If that’s the last sound I hear and I leave life laughing, that’s a beautiful vision for me.”

The post The Sounds of Healing appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Wizard (For Julian)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/07/2021 - 12:43am in

Tags 

WikiLeaks, Music, art

Multimedia piece I made for Assange’s 50th birthday, inspired by a report that he’s been keeping his spirits up by feeding a pair of mallards nesting by his Belmarsh window:

https://medium.com/media/5c080aea2366e3d9f324fc5edb9dcab2/href

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

In the art café display window. Campsie.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 21/06/2021 - 8:21am in

Tags 

art, chicken

In the art café display window. Campsie.

Journey to the East South West: Part II

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 10/06/2021 - 3:00am in

Tags 

art


Journey to the West-South-East

UB, 27 Aug 2020

Webtoon: Follow Monkey Magic ‘s migration story as he braves a perilous journey from the Far East to a Island Continent that isn’t that welcoming…

Pages