Dr Axel Weber on risk and uncertainty

Very good lecture at LSE by Dr Axel Weber on uncertainty – well actually on ‘The interplay of markets and politics’, though his argument was that these equal uncertainty. Some points: – traditionally the distinguishing sign of mature as opposed to developing markets was that in mature markets you focussed on economic issues and did…

Quantifying natural beauty

An intriguing article by Serensinhe at al reports an experiment in ‘using deep learning to quantify the beauty of outdoor places’. This struck a chord, because of Kant’s assertion that aesthetic judgements are a philosophical hybrid. When I like a view, my aesthetic judgement is purely subjective (there is no ‘objective’ reason for it) –…

On the materiality of learning

For some reason, I have spent the last couple of weeks studying Petrarch. Petrarch was of course one of the first humanists. He was one of the first of them to seek out old manuscripts of Greek and Latin authors, to translate them. and to prepare improved editions by comparing multiple sources. Trying to find…

Work behind the scenes

On Saturday morning I read two articles by Tommaso Venturini: one co-written with Bruno Latour. The co-written one, Fill in the gap, argues that, for the social sciences, “the advent of digital data poses a … challenge … ¬†Micro-macro models have run their course. The time is now to develop the formal techniques necessary to…

Serendipity

The AISB held a conference on Serendipity at Strawberry Hill House in May. (Owing to pressure of work with The Portrait Machine, I have only just got round to blogging this.) Horace Walpole, who built the house and filled it with art objects, also introduced the term serendipity into the language. I went largely to…

Criticisms of generative and database art.

A very interesting talk at EVA 2017 from Jon McCormack. He discussed three criticisms of generative art: 1. ‘algorithmic genericism’: ‘works made with similar generative procedures – even by different artists – possess a certain generic and repetitive character.’ He used the Voronoi algorithm as an example of a technique which is becoming too familiar.…