These days, I often feel like I’m using Big Data to figure out the history of Big Data so I can better understand how Big Data is making me obsessed with Big Data. There are a few things I know for sure about this often perplexing pattern:1. The history of Big Data and the rise of the Internet appeals to me in part because I know it is inextricably tied to the history of American National Security and the rise of the military-industrial complex, 1950-1990, which also feels super consequential. 2. The plethora of data-driven archival databases and the precise search methods within them make it possible—in ways unimaginable even fifteen years ago—to pin down the corporations, figures, and products that made possible both the incomprehensible vastness of our government’s worldwide surveillance state and the incomprehensible vastness of the Internet.
What do you make of a forefinger (both hands) much larger in circumference than the other fingers –– really about the same proportion to circumference of fingers that my thumb is –– I had never noticed until yesterday.The rest of the letter can be found in the Special Collections of Houghton Library.
Gabrielle Smith wants you to consider ginger. Smith, the producer; writer; singer and all-round artistic force of Eskimeaux takes a moment to pause on 21 South Street. Smith is known for the quiet intimacy of songs that grow to a growl; her projects “O.K” and the 2016 “Year of the Rabbit” cross from tender revelations “i admit i'm scared” into accusation: “I say, "i love you" just to get you to say anything.”On April 14th, Smith brings her lyrical, gritty sound to the Sinclair. By the time she comes to Boston, Eskimeaux will have completed a cross-country odyssey in the company of alt-rock band WHY? Today she talks with the blog about spices, guitar strings, and sonic inspiration.You’re touring with “Why?”; you’ve worked with “Japanese Breakfast;” “Slutever” and others; what’s it like to work with different artists?It’s great! Working with different artists always gives me new perspective on how something can be played, how a song can be structured, what kinds of sounds I like but have never used for some reason, etc.
1. Our favorite artists are human. I’ve always questioned the accessibility of Romantic poets. I’ve always been hesitant in the faces of vast catalogues, of established names, of Enlightenment reactionaries, the free-roaming, the supernaturally-inclined, the metaphysical, the intensely personal. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Blake— skimming the tops of these collections in my AP Literature course had always had the adverse effect of revealing just how much there was left to know. When it comes down to it, William Wordsworth owned a copy of Paradise Lost bound in the skin of his pet dog, Pepper. No one is perfect.2. We don’t walk nearly enough. According to hosts of concerned locals, Wordsworth often composed his poems while pacing back and forth over the high mountain trails and lovely cobblestone streets of Cumbria.
AwashAkdeniz: Turkish for the Mediterranean. Translates to the “White Sea.” Imagine: you are 8 years-old. Innocence means nothing yet. You swim bare-bottomed; you are afraid of girls. You want to grow up to be just like dad, and your favourite colour is just red. Last week your father, hoarse, defeated, spoke of leaving, at last, for good. Whispered sickly in mother’s ear – her hair, waves of sand, softer than the look in her eyes, the look you can’t recognise; softer than her torn, work-worn hands. Murmured a word more giant than you could ever have fathomed. Deep down you knew it meant time here was up. Pale, it rose in your belly, then, the feeling that you’d be missing, somehow, the rubble and the blaze of home. Recall: you wake up in the middle of the night to leave for the dock.
Known for mixing elements of First Nations music with EDM, Canadian DJs A Tribe Called Red explore a range of genres on their third album, We Are the Halluci Nation. Pitchfork praises the release as “some of the heaviest and most infectious sounds around,” going as far as to say, “This album is critical listening for everyone.” A Tribe Called Red will be performing at The Sinclair on Saturday, March 18.JK: I’d love to start by talking about the intersection of art and politics. Do you see yourself primarily as an activist? As an artist? Do you think the two are fundamentally tied together?BW: They can be for sure. In my case personally, I don’t really see myself as an activist. I see myself as indigenous. The activism isn’t really a choice for an indigenous person. It’s a part of life.JK: Is it irritating that the public perception of your art can be connected to your heritage and political causes that you haven’t necessarily chosen? Or does it feel like an honor to be part of that tradition?BW: It’s a responsibility really.
(Arthur Sze’s ninth book of poetry, Compass Rose (Copper Canyon, 2014), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A new collection, Sight Lines, will be published by Copper Canyon in February 2019. His poem "Dawn Redwood" is included in the Harvard Advocate's upcoming Cell issue.)EE— First of all — thank you so much for taking the time to meet! We at the Advocate are huge fans of your work and incredibly excited to be publishing “Dawn Redwood” in Cell. In reading your poems, something that’s really struck me is their sort of contemplative traveling energy — reading them we transit through their images, say, from a landscape into the cells of a tree into the cosmic scale of stars. Are your poems driven by memory, by research, by invention — what would you say is the driving thread connecting the images of your poems?AS— That’s one of the mysteries of art, and I’m not sure I can be the best articulator of it! But I can say that my work has to do with braiding, and with exploring what’s happening in different spaces, allowing the imagination to jump or move, in a way that isn’t linear but still convergent, so that the disparate worlds going on are braiding different narratives or lines of exploration, influencing and affecting each other.
In a 2011 article for GQ, John Jeremiah Sullivan opens with one of those long, self-referential ledes about the story he was assigned (the future of the human race), the story he ‘thought he had’ (a look into the Future of Humanity Institute at Oord University in England), and the story he ultimately found (a fundamental change in the nature animal aggression toward humans) –– the kind of delightful decoy lede that seems to take you away from the story but actually crystallizes its central theme. When Sullivan finally gets to his nugget –– the idea that takes him from ‘the future of the human race’ to animal attacks––– it seems simultaneously obvious and unbelievable: “no one knows what’s going to happen in the future.”A minute of reflection will prove this claim true. No one is a fortune teller.
The air of urgency came as little surprise. It read in the face of the woman who closed her parchment store early for a front row seat. It read in the wringing hands of the man who wore a Hillary campaign hat and a fixed scowl in upper left corner of the auditorium. It read in the feet of a pack of book-toting poetry students rushing over late from their Monday night workshop. The silence that sits before speech had never felt so fitting.A poetry reading was held in the basement of the Cambridge Public Library this past Monday, the 30th of January, to premiere a deceptively small and unassuming chapbook of thirty-five different poets titled "Poems for Political Disaster." It was jointly hosted by the library staff and Boston Review, with Review poetry editor B.K. Fisher making the opening remarks.
We have run out of cinematic heroes. All we have left are entrepreneurs. Tired of watching movies about Steve Jobs? This time you can see one about Ray Kroc. Who is Ray Kroc? Ray Kroc is nobody. He’s an idea. A Placeholder. How do we know this? His character is plastic. He has misgivings, but they are only intimations. He drinks too much, he tramples his fellow man, he estranges his wife. Does he lament these qualities? We do not know. Does he desire like a man desires? Surely not. His are the desires of capital: expansion, accumulation, domination – never demonstrated within the experience of his person, but only suggested in the rabidity of Keaton’s eyes, the frenetics of his motion: skewed bites of burger, zigzagging approaches to golf partners, quasi-humping of the hood of the McDonald brothers’ car.
The following are digital flyers using text hidden in the background of spam emails. Spammers use the scrambled pedestrian language to trick Bayesian spam filters into categorizing the messages as non-commercial, thereby sending the emails to an inbox rather than a junk folder. The text is scraped from Christian romance novelist Judith Bronte, whose works are available free online and appears unaware of what her words have been up to. The colors palettes are taken from font colors in the original emails. All of the emails were received at a single gmail address, which a virus renamed “HOLIDAYS IN THE UNITED STATES.” No one of the emails successfully fooled the filter. 1. LAY YOUR LIFE INTO OUR HANDS AND WE WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY.2. WHY BE AVERAGE WHEN YOU CAN BE THE ELITE?!!3. WE'RE MORE THAN JUST YOUR LOCAL DRUG MAIL, WE'RE YOUR FRIENDS4.
It’s Friday last week and I’m accompanying my mother on one of those annual visits to the doctor. I’m thinking about how it used to be the other way round when I was younger - accompaniment was a grown-up enterprise entirely, and the idea of going anywhere at all by myself would mean tumbling into the jaws of the world of strangers and their lairs for lost children. Emerging from my thoughts, I check my wristwatch: we have been sitting in the waiting room for just over an hour, and I, all too rapidly, seem to be running out of patience. It’s not that I’m not used to waiting, or that there’s some environmental quality to the beige-grey waiting room that makes me physically uncomfortable; rather, I have never been in the presence of so many pregnant women all at once. Bellies bulging like those of malnourished children – nature has a mind of its own – the women have more than simply the obvious in common.