Books, music, etc. from July 2017

Books

  • [none]

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

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

  • Nichols: Loving (2016)
  • Gray: The Lost City of Z (2016)
  • Various: Transparent, season 3 (2016)
  • Mangold: Logan (2017)
  • Showalter: The Big Sick (2017)
  • Peele: Get Out (2017) ★
  • Nolan: Dunkirk (2017) ★
  • Arnold: American Honey (2016)

Books, music, etc. from June 2017

Books

  • Allison: Destined for War (2017). Decent, but very one-sided in its arguments. Scary.

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

  • [none]

Movies/TV

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

  • Various: Stranger Things, season 1 (2016)
  • Campos: Christine (2016)
  • Various: Fargo, season 3 (2017) ★
  • Various: Better Call Saul, season 3 (2017) ★
  • Various: The Handmaid’s Tale, season 1 (2017) ★

Media I’m looking forward to, July 2017 edition

Books

* = added this round
bold = especially excited

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Books, music, etc. from May 2017

Books

  • [none]

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

  • Saagara: 2 (2017)
  • Perfume Genius: No Shape (2017)

Movies/TV

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

  • Birbiglia: Don’t Think Twice (2016)
  • Various: Master of None, season 2 (2017)

Media I’m looking forward to, June 2017 edition

Books

* = added this round
bold = especially excited

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Books, music, etc. from April 2017

Books

  • Callahan, The Givers. An interesting quick portrait of contemporary mega-philanthropy. I haven’t bothered to form opinions about the recommendations in the final chapter.
  • Walters, Feminism: A Very Short Introduction. Meh.

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

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

  • Ade: Toni Erdmann (2016)
  • Guadagnino: A Bigger Splash (2016)
  • Yeon: Train to Busan (2016)

Media I’m looking forward to, May 2017 edition

Books

* = added this round
bold = especially excited

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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

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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

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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.

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