Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “technology”

Art and the Human Spirit: Olivia Laing on What the Lives of Great Artists Reveal About Vulnerability, Love, Loneliness, Resistance, and Our Search for Meaning
Art and the Human Spirit: Olivia Laing on What the Lives of Great Artists Reveal About Vulnerability, Love, Loneliness, Resistance, and Our Search for Meaning

“We’re so often told that art can’t really change anything. But… it shapes our ethical landscapes; it opens us to the interior lives of others. It is a training ground for possibility. It makes plain inequalities, and it offers other ways of living.”

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The First Surviving Photograph of the Moon: John Adams Whipple and How the Birth of Astrophotography Married Immortality and Impermanence
The First Surviving Photograph of the Moon: John Adams Whipple and How the Birth of Astrophotography Married Immortality and Impermanence

A dual serenade to being and non-being, composed in glass, metal, and stardust.

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Amanda Palmer’s Haunting Reading of Adrienne Rich’s Poem About Love, Perspective, and the Hubble Space Telescope
Amanda Palmer’s Haunting Reading of Adrienne Rich’s Poem About Love, Perspective, and the Hubble Space Telescope

“…equations letting sight pierce through time into liberations, lacerations of light and dust…”

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The Source of Self-Regard: Toni Morrison on Wisdom in the Age of Information
The Source of Self-Regard: Toni Morrison on Wisdom in the Age of Information

“We move from data to information to knowledge to wisdom. And separating one from the other… knowing the limitations and the danger of exercising one without the others, while respecting each category of intelligence, is generally what serious education is about.”

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The Psychology of Code-Breaking: 100-Year-Old Insight from Cryptography Pioneers William and Elizebeth Friedman
The Psychology of Code-Breaking: 100-Year-Old Insight from Cryptography Pioneers William and Elizebeth Friedman

“Deciphering is both a science and an art… In no other science are the rules and principles so little followed and so often broken; and in no other art is the part played by reasoning and logic so great.”

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Bicycling for Ladies: An Illustrated 1896 Manifesto for the Universal Splendors of the Bicycle as an Instrument of Self-Reliance, a Training Machine for Living with Uncertainty, and a Portal to Joy
Bicycling for Ladies: An Illustrated 1896 Manifesto for the Universal Splendors of the Bicycle as an Instrument of Self-Reliance, a Training Machine for Living with Uncertainty, and a Portal to Joy

“You are at all times independent. This absolute freedom of the cyclist can be known only to the initiated.”

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Moral Wisdom in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Cybernetics Pioneer Norbert Wiener’s Prophetic Admonition About Technology and Ethics
Moral Wisdom in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Cybernetics Pioneer Norbert Wiener’s Prophetic Admonition About Technology and Ethics

“The world of the future will be an ever more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot slaves.”

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Killed by Kindness: Virginia Woolf, the Art of Letters, the Birth and Death of Photography, and the Fate of Every Technology
Killed by Kindness: Virginia Woolf, the Art of Letters, the Birth and Death of Photography, and the Fate of Every Technology

An elegy for the triumph of commodity over creativity.

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Music, Feeling, and Transcendence: Nick Cave on AI, Awe, and the Splendor of Our Human Limitations
Music, Feeling, and Transcendence: Nick Cave on AI, Awe, and the Splendor of Our Human Limitations

“What a great song makes us feel is a sense of awe… A sense of awe is almost exclusively predicated on our limitations as human beings. It is entirely to do with our audacity as humans to reach beyond our potential.”

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Cybernetics Pioneer Norbert Wiener on the Malady of “Content” and How to Save Creative Culture from the Syphoning of Substance
Cybernetics Pioneer Norbert Wiener on the Malady of “Content” and How to Save Creative Culture from the Syphoning of Substance

“When there is communication without need for communication, merely so that someone may earn the social and intellectual prestige of becoming a priest of communication, the quality and communicative value of the message drop like a plummet.”

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