Books, music, etc. from March 2017

Books

  • Dormehl, Thinking Machines. This “history” of AI is mostly a quick survey of news stories about AI progress from the past three years.
  • Wood, The Way of the Strangers. Quite good, afaict.
  • Barrett, How Emotions Are Made. The book is a mixed bag, but fwiw I find this general approach more promising than Ekman/Panksepp/etc. Best Cliffs Notes is maybe this interview.

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I “really liked” (no star), or “loved” (star):

  • Birbiglia & Barrish, Sleepwalk with Me (2012)
  • Carloni & Nelson, Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
  • Blair, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)
  • Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation (2015) ★
  • Audiard, Dheepan (2015)
  • Ferreras, Wrinkles (2011)

Books, music, etc. from February 2017

Books

  • Dennett, From Bacteria to Bach and Back. Generally good, though it’s mostly a “tools for thinking” book like Dennett (2013) or Yudkowsky (2015), not a detailed argument for a specific theory of consciousness like Prinz (2012), Dehaene (2014), or even Dennett (1991).
  • Kranish & Fisher, Trump Revealed. Meh, you know most of it already if you followed the campaign.
  • Harari, Homo Deus. Fun to read, not much else. Surprisingly little of it is about the future.

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I “really liked” (no star), or “loved” (star):

  • Larraín, Jackie (2016)
  • Craig, The Edge of Seventeen (2016) ★
  • Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (2016) ★
  • Davis, Lion (2016)
  • Jenkins, Moonlight (2016)
  • Washington, Fences (2016)
  • Scorsese, Silence (2016)
  • Ford, Nocturnal Animals (2016) ★
  • Cresciman, Sun Choke (2016)
  • Bujalski, Results (2015) ★
  • Ergüven, Mustang (2015) ★

Media I’m looking forward to, March 2017 edition

Books

* = added this round
bold = especially excited

[Read more…]

Books, music, etc. from January 2017

Books

  • Lewis, The Undoing Project. Fine, I guess. Knowing the studies already, I found the late-chapter parts about Kahneman & Tversky’s “breakup” most interesting.
  • Gazzaniga, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain. Mostly interesting.
  • Mayer, Dark Money. The American poor are doomed.

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • Soderbergh, Behind the Candelabra (2013)
  • Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
  • Egoyan, Remember (2015)

Media I’m looking forward to, February 2017 edition

Books

* = added this round
bold = especially excited

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Books, music, etc. from December 2016

Books

  • Goodale & Milner, Sight Unseen, 2e. Pretty thrilling if you’re unfamiliar with the subject matter (as I was). Unfortunately, its presentation of the evidence is very one-sided.
  • Bloom, Against Empathy. Probably one of the best not-explicitly-EA books to give someone if you want to nudge them toward EA.

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • Mackenzie, Hell or High Water (2016)
  • Stanton & MacLane, Finding Dory (2016)
  • Yates, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
  • Chazelle, La La Land (2016)

Media I’m looking forward to, January 2017 edition

Books

* = added this round
bold = especially excited

[Read more…]

Favorite podcasts of 2016

(Unordered.)

* = added after original publication of this list

Top favorites

  • Vox’s The Weeds (policy analysis)
  • Crimetown (true crime)
  • Planet Money (economics)
  • Homecoming (drama)
  • StartUp Podcast (stories about startups)
  • In the Dark (true crime)
  • More Perfect (stories about the Supreme Court)
  • Radiolab (stories about science-ish stuff)
  • Casefile (true crime)
  • Reply All (stories about the internet)
  • Serial, Season 2 (story of Bowe Bergdahl)
  • This American Life (stories about all kinds of stuff)

[Read more…]

Books, music, etc. from November 2016

Books

  • Tye, Tense Bees and Shell-Shocked Crabs: Pretty good. I probably disagree with it in >100 places, but that’s to be expected for any book-length treatment on something as difficult to study as consciousness.
  • Haffner, Defying Hitler: Good. I wish it had been continued past 1933.
  • Pistorius, Ghost Boy: Scary but inspiring.

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • Tiernan & Vernon, Sausage Party (2016)
  • Various, Adventure Time, Season 7 (2015-2016)
  • Allen, Café Society (2016)
  • Various, Atlanta: Season 1 (2016)
  • Villeneuve, Arrival (2016)
  • Gray, Straight Outta Compton (2015)
  • Various, You’re the Worst, Season 3 (2016)
  • Katis, Kilo Two Bravo (2014)
  • Coimbra, A Wolf at the Door (2013)

Media I’m looking forward to, December 2016 edition

Books

* = added this round
bold = especially excited

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15 classical music traditions, compared

Other Classical Musics argues that there are at least 15 musical traditions around the world worthy of the title “classical music”:

According to our rule-of-thumb, a classical music will have evolved… where a wealthy class of connoisseurs has stimulated its creation by a quasi-priesthood of professionals; it will have enjoyed high social esteem. It will also have had the time and space to develop rules of composition and performance, and to allow the evolution of a canon of works, or forms… our definition does imply acceptance of a ‘classical/ folk-popular’ divide. That distinction is made on the assumption that these categories simply occupy opposite ends of a spectrum, because almost all classical music has vernacular roots, and periodically renews itself from them…

In one of the earliest known [Western] definitions, classique is translated as ‘classical, formall, orderlie, in due or fit ranke; also, approved, authenticall, chiefe, principall’. The implication there was: authority, formal discipline, models of excellence. A century later ‘classical’ came to stand also for a canon of works in performance. Yet almost every non-Western culture has its own concept of ‘classical’ and many employ criteria similar to the European ones, though usually with the additional function of symbolizing national culture…

By definition, the conditions required for the evolution of a classical music don’t exist in newly-formed societies: hence the absence of a representative tradition from South America.

I don’t understand the book’s criteria. E.g. jazz is included despite not having been created by “a quasi-priesthood of professionals” funded by “a wealthy class of connoisseurs,” and despite having been invented relatively recently, in the early 20th century.

[Read more…]

Books, music, etc. from October 2016

Books

  • Dennett, Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking [good]
  • Lieberman, Social [a mixed bag; insufficiently skeptical]

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • Hood, Eye in the Sky (2015)
  • Poekel, Christmas Again (2014)
  • Corbett, The Childhood of a Leader (2015)
  • Black, The Nice Guys (2016)
  • Various, Black Mirror: Season 3 (2016)

Media I’m looking forward to, November 2016 edition

Books

* = added this round
bold = especially excited

Movies & TV

(only including movies and TV series or miniseries which AFAIK have at least started principal photography)

  • Villeneuve, Arrival (Nov 2016)
  • BBC Natural History Unit, Planet Earth II (Nov 2016)
  • Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (Nov 2016)
  • Daldry & Caron, The Crown, S1 (Nov 2016)
  • Nichols, Loving (Nov 2016)
  • Scorcese, Silence (Nov 2016)
  • Edwards, Rogue One (Dec 2016)
  • Swanberg, Win It All (TBD 2016)
  • Farhadi, The Salesman (TBD 2016)
  • Reeves, War for the Planet of the Apes (Jul 2017)
  • Nolan, Dunkirk (Jul 2017)
  • Villeneuve, Blade Runner sequel (Oct 2017)
  • Unkrich, Coco (Nov 2017)
  • Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII (Dec 2017)
  • Payne, Downsizing (Dec 2017)
  • Aronofsky, [Untitled] (Dec 2017)
  • Simon & Pelecanos, The Deuce (TBD)

Books, music, etc. from September 2016

Books

  • Hanson, The Age of Em [dense; interesting; a worthy project even if very speculative]
  • Ehrenreich, Bright-Sided [fun]

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • Akhavan, Appropriate Behavior (2014)
  • Potrykus, Buzzard (2014)
  • Benson & Moorhead, Spring (2014)
  • Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
  • Koreeda, Like Father, Like Son (2013)

Media I’m looking forward to, October 2016 edition

Books

* = added this round
bold = especially excited

Movies & TV

(only including movies and TV series or miniseries which AFAIK have at least started principal photography)

  • Malick, Voyage of Time (Oct 2016)
  • Villeneuve, Arrival (Nov 2016)
  • Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (Nov 2016)
  • Daldry & Caron, The Crown (Nov 2016)
  • Nichols, Loving (Nov 2016)
  • Scorcese, Silence (Nov 2016)
  • Edwards, Rogue One (Dec 2016)
  • BBC Natural History Unit, Planet Earth II (TBD 2016)
  • Swanberg, Win It All (TBD 2016)
  • Farhadi, The Salesman (TBD 2016)
  • Reeves, War for the Planet of the Apes (Jul 2017)
  • Nolan, Dunkirk (Jul 2017)
  • Villeneuve, Blade Runner sequel (Oct 2017)
  • Unkrich, Coco (Nov 2017)
  • Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII (Dec 2017)
  • Payne, Downsizing (Dec 2017)
  • *Aronofsky, [Untitled] (Dec 2017)
  • Simon & Pelecanos, The Deuce (TBD)

Books, music, etc. from August 2016

Books

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • Various, BoJack Horseman, Season 3 (2016)
  • Trey Parker, South Park, Season 19 (2015)
  • Steven Zaillian, The Night Of (2016)

Media I’m looking forward to, September 2016 edition

Books

* = added this round

Movies & Miniseries

(only including movies and miniseries which AFAIK have at least started principal photography)

  • C.K. & Adlon, Better Things (Sep 2016)
  • Villeneuve, Arrival (Sep 2016)
  • Dardenne brothers, The Unknown Girl (Oct 2016)
  • Malick, Voyage of Time (Oct 2016)
  • Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (Nov 2016)
  • Nichols, Loving (Nov 2016)
  • Scorcese, Silence (Nov 2016)
  • Edwards, Rogue One (Dec 2016)
  • BBC Natural History Unit, Planet Earth II (TBD 2016)
  • Swanberg, Win It All (TBD 2016)
  • Farhadi, The Salesman (TBD 2016)
  • Reeves, War for the Planet of the Apes (Jul 2017)
  • Nolan, Dunkirk (Jul 2017)
  • Unkrich, Coco (Nov 2017)
  • Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII (Dec 2017)
  • Payne, Downsizing (Dec 2017)
  • Simon & Pelecanos, The Deuce (TBD)

Books, music, etc. from July 2016

Books

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

Media I’m looking forward to, August 2016 edition

Books

* = added this round

Movies & Miniseries

(only including movies and miniseries which AFAIK have at least started principal photography)

  • *C.K. & Adlon, Better Things (Sep 2016)
  • Cianfrance, The Light Between Oceans (Sep 2016)
  • Malick, Voyage of Time (Oct 2016)
  • Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (Nov 2016)
  • Nichols, Loving (Nov 2016)
  • Scorcese, Silence (Nov 2016)
  • Edwards, Rogue One (Dec 2016)
  • *BBC Natural History Unit, Planet Earth II (TBD 2016)
  • Villeneuve, Story of Your Life (TBD 2016)
  • Dardenne brothers, The Unknown Girl (TBD 2016)
  • Swanberg, Win It All (TBD 2016)
  • Farhadi, The Salesman (TBD 2016)
  • Reeves, War for the Planet of the Apes (Jul 2017)
  • Nolan, Dunkirk (Jul 2017)
  • Unkrich, Coco (Nov 2017)
  • Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII (Dec 2017)
  • Payne, Downsizing (Dec 2017)
  • *Simon & Pelecanos, The Deuce (TBD)