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…

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…

Post truth and fake news

The Canary links to a story in the Daily Express of 19 January. The Canary headline is “This story went viral, yet the German Chancellor’s office confirms The Express fabricated the whole thing”. In effect the Express sub-editors have taken a fairly anodyne report and headed it: “UK and USA are WEAK: Angela Merkel calls…