Books, music, etc. from June 2016

Books

  • Mukherjee, The Gene [meh]
  • Balcombe, What a Fish Knows [meh]

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • Haigh, 45 Years (2015)
  • Strong & Lyn, Broadchurch Season 1 (2013)
  • Eggers, The Witch (2015)
  • Haynes, Carol (2015)
  • Nichols, Midnight Special (2016)
  • Various, Game of Thrones, Season 6 (2016)
  • Nemes, Son of Saul (2015)

Media I’m looking forward to, July 2016 edition

Books

* = added this round

Movies

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

  • Liu, Batman: The Killing Joke (Jul 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)
  • 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)

Books, music, etc. from May 2016

Books

  • Christian & Griffiths, Algorithms to Live By
  • Dennett & LaScola, Caught in the Pulpit
  • Carroll, The Big Picture [my comments]
  • de Waal, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
  • Dreger, Galileo’s Middle Finger [a quoted passage]

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • Lanthimos, The Lobster (2015)
  • Jones, The Homesman (2014)
  • Sciamma, Girlhood (2014)
  • Dumont, Li’l Quinquin (2014)
  • Aubier & Patar, Ernest & Celestine (2012)

Media I’m looking forward to, June 2016 edition

Books

* = added this round

Movies

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

  • Stanton, Finding Dory (Jun 2016)
  • Liu, Batman: The Killing Joke (Jul 2016)
  • Cianfrance, The Light Between Oceans (Sep 2016)
  • Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (Nov 2016)
  • Nichols, Loving (Nov 2016)
  • Scorcese, Silence (Nov 2016)
  • Edwards, Rogue One (Dec 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)

Books, music, etc. from April 2016

Books

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

Media I’m looking forward to, May 2016 edition

Books

* = added this round

Movies

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

  • Russo & Russo, Captain America: Civil War (May 2016)
  • Stanton, Finding Dory (Jun 2016)
  • Liu, Batman: The Killing Joke (Jul 2016)
  • Cianfrance, The Light Between Oceans (Sep 2016)
  • Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (Nov 2016)
  • Nichols, Loving (Nov 2016)
  • Scorcese, Silence (Nov 2016)
  • Edwards, Rogue One (Dec 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)
  • Unkrich, Coco (Nov 2017)
  • Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII (Dec 2017)
  • Payne, Downsizing (Dec 2017)

Books, music, etc. from March 2016

Books

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • [none this month]

Some books I’m looking forward to, April 2016 edition

* = added this round

Some books I’m looking forward to, March 2016 edition

* = added this round

Books, music, etc. from February 2016

Books

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

If you want to write about intelligence explosion…

Toby Walsh has published a short new paper on the likelihood of intelligence explosion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t engage with three of the most detailed and thoughtful previous analyses on the topic.

If you want to write about the likelihood and nature of intelligence explosion, I consider the following sources required reading, in descending order of value per page (Walsh’s paper misses 2, 3, and 5):

  1. Bostrom (2014), chapter 4
  2. Yudkowsky (2013)
  3. AI Impacts‘ posts on intelligence explosion: one, two (both 2015)
  4. Chalmers (2010)
  5. Hanson & Yudkowsky (2013)

There are many other sources worth reading, e.g. Hutter (2012), but they don’t make my cut as “required reading.”

(Note that although I work as a GiveWell research analyst, my focus at GiveWell is not AI risks, and my views on this topic are not necessarily GiveWell’s views.)

Books, music, etc. from January 2016

Books

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

Some books I’m looking forward to, February 2016 edition

* = added this round

The most-acclaimed new classical music of 2015

Barney Sherman’s 2015 classical music mega-meta-list is now up (part 1part 2), pulling together the results of 64 different “best of the 2015” lists from classical music critics.

Most of the selections are new performances of older works. Here, I want to highlight the contemporary classical pieces that were recorded for the first time in 2015 (and usually composed in the last few years), and that were included in 6 or more of the lists in Sherman’s analysis:

  1. Anna Thorvaldsdottir: In the Light of Air
  2. Andrew Norman: Play / Try
  3. Julia Wolfe: Anthracite Fields
  4. Various composers: Render
  5. Various composers: Clockworking
  6. John Luther Adams: The Wind in High Places
  7. John Adams: Absolute Jest

The links go to Spotify. If you’re relatively new to contemporary classical music, my guess is that Absolute Jest is the most widely accessible selection here, followed by Render.

Musical shiver moments, 2015 edition

Back in 2004, I wrote a list of (what I now call) “musical shiver moments.” A musical shiver moment is a moment in a musical track that hits you with special emotional force (perhaps sending a shiver down your spine). It can be the climax of a pop song, or the beginning of a catchy riff, or a particularly well-conceived mood shift, etc.

A classic example is the moment the drums finally enter in Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” Another is the chord shift for the final performance of the chorus in Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

(Note that for most of these shiver moments to have their impact, you need to listen to all or most of the track up to that point, first. You can’t just jump right to the shiver moment.)

It’s been over a decade since I made my original list. Here are a few more I’ve discovered since then:

  • “Solo begins” – Carla Bley – Escalator Over the Hill: Hotel Overture – 7:45
  • “The world crumbles” – Arvo Pärt – Tabula Rasa: Ludus – 7:20
  • “I knew nothing of the horses” – Scott Walker – Tilt: Farmer in the City – 5:22
  • “The riff enters” – Justice – Cross: Genesis – 0:38
  • “Desperate cry” – Osvaldo Golijov – The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind: Agitato – 7:00
  • “Sudden slices” – Klaus Schulze – Irrlicht: Satz Ebene – 9:30
  • “The theme enters” – John Adams – Grand Pianola Music: On the Great Divide – 2:20
  • “Swelling” – M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming: My Tears Are Becoming a Sea – 1:11
  • “The sweet” – Anna von Hausswolff – Ceremony: Red Sun – 2:10
  • “Drums enter” – The Shining – In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster: Goretex Weather Report – 1:05
  • “Entrance” – Ryan Power – Identity Picks: Sweetheart – 0:05
  • “Tone added” – Jon Hopkins – Immunity: We Disappear – 2:20
  • “Verse 2 begins” – The Fiery Furnaces – EP: Here Comes the Summer – 1:30
  • “Tonight” – Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE: Pyramids – 5:22
  • “Electronic instruments solo” – James Blake – James Blake: I Never Learnt to Share – 3:40
  • “Guitar solo peaks” – Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid: Cold War – 2:11
  • “Surprising transition” – Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: Lost in the World – 0:59
  • “Soprano rising” – Henryk Górecki – Symphony No. 3: 1st movement – 15:57
  • “New instrument enters” – Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport: Surf Solar – 5:18
  • “Into the final stretch” – Lindstrøm – Where You Go I Go Too: Where You Go I Go Too – 22:46
  • “New instrument” – Modeselektor – Happy Birthday!: Sucker Pin – 3:10
  • “Rising” – Glasvegas – Glasvegas: Ice Cream Van – 3:30
  • “Quiet after the storm” – Howard Shore – The Fellowship of the Ring: The Bridge of Khazad Dum – 4:57
  • “Finale” – John Adams – Harmonielehre: Part I – 17:01
  • “Chorus” – Phantom Planet – Phantom Planet: Knowitall – 1:06
  • “Suddenly, a groove” – Herbie Hancock – Crossings: Sleeping Giant – 11:09
  • “You thought this track couldn’t get any more epic. You were wrong.” – Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!: We Drift Like Worried Fire – 18:48
  • “One of my favorite melodies, 2nd time” – Jean Sibelius – Symphony No. 5: 3rd movement – 1:55

(The time markings for the classical pieces will be off for some performances/recordings, naturally.)

What are some of your musical shiver moments?

added after initial publication of this post:

  • “From percussion to melody” – Nils Frahm – Spaces: For – Peter – Toilet Brushes – More – 13:49
  • “Final atmospheric passage” – Dave Douglas – Dark Territory: Loom Large – 4:57
  • “One last time” – John Murphy – Adagio in D Minor: Adagio in D Minor (2012 Remaster) – 3:04
  • “Building groove” – Tonbruket – Forevergreens: First Flight of a Newbird – 3:19
  • “Is this the climax yet?” – Blanck Mass – World Eater: Rhesus Negative – 7:44
  • [more to come]

Some books I’m looking forward to, January 2016 edition

* = added this round

Books, music, etc. from December 2015

Books

Music

Music I most enjoyed discovering this month:

Movies/TV

Ones I really liked, or loved:

  • Phoenix (2014, Christian Petzold)

Some books I’m looking forward to, December 2015 edition

* = added this round