Society

A Case For Culture

The arts can engage everyone. Most of all, surely, we want those who may not otherwise be able to join in, to find the world of art available and open to them – whether for simple enjoyment or for its life changing capacities. (read more)

Society

Headphone Def Culture

The tobacco industry was, for many years, adept at concealing the health dangers of smoking. There may well be detailed research on the long term effects of self-determined, persistent, decibel abuse, but I am not aware of anyone making a fuss about it. (read more)

News

Welfare Greed

A Danish researcher has compared two of the most different welfare systems in the western world. Despite the differences, the research shows surprising similarities in the way in which people in the USA and Denmark perceive the deservingness of welfare recipients. (read more)

Society

The Economy of Violence

The fact that Hollywood often releases certain types of movies ‘en glut’ has led to conspiracy theories that it is manipulated by our old friend ‘dark forces’, but the truth is that this hermetic industry has always had a copycat nature. It’s just that things have sped up in tinseltown. Scripts are pirated so swiftly now that if there is one Snow White movie on the way there will soon be another hot on its heels. (read more)

Society

Angry and Distracted Pt2

There exists one requisite trait needed to face evil: The knowledge of one’s own capacity for embodying the trait. Inseparable, treachery and redemption arrive together. The human heart, capable of both cruelty and kindness, provides the arena where one’s better nature might gain the upper hand against one’s destructive inclinations. (read more)

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Society

Angry, and Distracted. Pt1

Unless communal space can be reclaimed and our innate humanity re-established, to paraphrase Kafka: There is infinite hope but not for us.
Exploitative social arrangements, throughout history, carry this circumstance in common: A citizenry too beaten down, harried, and/or prideful to recognize they have been swindled by a corrupt elite. (read more)

Society

BLOCatastrophe

After what I experienced at Bloc I have to admit that I and thousands of others were completely taken in by the promise of a professionally-run event in an innovative new venue with an incredible line-up. The scale of the event did seem too good to be true and it turned out to be just that. (read more)

Society

The Island President: [DVD]

The Maldives are known to the rest of the world as an idyllic holiday spot, whereas the everyday reality is growing deadly, and director Jon Shenk does a wonderful job of capturing the islands’ vulnerability via aerial shots that show densely populated areas that appear to go right to the edge of the sea. (read more)

News

Zebra Katz unveils video for ‘Ima Read’

The song depends upon a shock impact that was spent twenty-odd years ago with The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, the video has less visual impact than Spoek Mathambo’s ‘She’s Lost Control’ (which was obviously an ‘inspiration’), and the riddim track  underlays the stultifying boredom of the vocal sounds like the floor sweepings of an evening spent smoking superskunk with SnoopDoggLion and Diplo’s personal hairdressers.

IMA READ will be released on 16th September and features remixes from Tricky, Azaelia Banks, Gangsta Boo, Mao, Ira G, Cauzeone, Moroka, I Am A Camera , Ripley, Bais Haus, Nikko and Norrit. (read more)

Computers Sing a Beautiful tune
News

Computers sing to a better tune

Now, Akio Watanabe and Hitoshi Iba have turned to evolution to help them devise a novel algorithm that compares the frequency curves from real human performances and uses them to home in on a more realistic curve to apply to the synthetic song. The team has simplified the optimization process for creating vocal frequency curves and have developed a frequency model that can emulate human expression in a synthetic vocal. (read more)