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In the News 29.09.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 29.09.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 29.09.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 29.09.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

“Music Confounds the Machines”

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I have come here today first to bring you love. I have come here to express my deep gratitude to you for your love of music and of each other. And, I have come here to talk about the value of the artist, and the value of art.

When Michaelangelo was painting the great fresco The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, he came under intense criticism from various members of the church, particularly the Pope’s Master of Ceremonies — a man named Cesena — who accused him of obscenity. Michaelangelo’s response was to paint Cesena into the fresco in the lowest circle of hell with donkey ears and a serpent coiled around him devouring, and covering, his nether regions, so to speak.

Read the rest of this article at No Depression

Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet

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I’ve spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases whenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking is an official bias but I can’t recall the name or details. It’s been an invaluable reference for helping me identify the hidden flaws in my own thinking. Nothing else I’ve come across seems to be both as comprehensive and as succinct.

However, honestly, the Wikipedia page is a bit of a tangled mess. Despite trying to absorb the information of this page many times over the years, very little of it seems to stick. I often scan it and feel like I’m not able to find the bias I’m looking for, and then quickly forget what I’ve learned. I think this has to do with how the page has organically evolved over the years. Today, it groups 175 biases into vague categories (decision-making biases, social biases, memory errors, etc) that don’t really feel mutually exclusive to me, and then lists them alphabetically within categories. There are duplicates a-plenty, and many similar biases with different names, scattered willy-nilly.

I’ve taken some time over the last four weeks (I’m on paternity leave) to try to more deeply absorb and understand this list, and to try to come up with a simpler, clearer organizing structure to hang these biases off of. Reading deeply about various biases has given my brain something to chew on while I bounce little Louie to sleep.

Read the rest of this article at Better Humans

What The Cleaner Saw: Dirty Secrets of the Upper Crust

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I heard about the cleaning company from a friend’s boyfriend, a musician who had supported himself by cleaning houses for years. I was living in an apartment in Brooklyn, sharing a windowless bedroom with a friend. She worked at a health food store on Sixth Avenue, ringing up sandwiches – she brought home the ones that didn’t sell and we ate them for dinner. I had an internship at a dance company, which I loved because I could take the dance classes at the studio for free.

The cleaning company was a boutique, environmentally friendly “deep clean” service owned by a woman who usually paid in cash. The company specialised in expensive one-time detoxes, rather than routine cleanings: she’d send you to a different apartment almost every time. You never knew what you’d find when you walked through the door, but most clients considered the service to be a special occasion, like a nice haircut or a spa day, and so were polite and often tipped.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

Is Uber the next big thing that goes kaput? This guy thinks so.

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Steven Hill thinks Uber has shaken up the taxi industry — or Big Taxi, as Hill calls it – in a way that’s been beneficial to many consumers.

And that’s about the nicest thing Hill has to say about the San Francisco-based ride-sharing company.

Otherwise, Hill  — who has worked at the think tank New America Foundation and written a book about the so-called sharing economy — sees Uber as a rule-breaking, tax-dodging, labor-exploiting, market-manipulating, law-unto-itself capitalist behemoth.

Uber began as a tech firm using smartphones to connect people who needed a ride with other people willing to use their own cars to take them there, for a price. Since its founding in 2009, Uber has become a verb and one of the most prominent companies to rely almost exclusively on an army of freelance workers instead of employees.

But to get as far as it’s gotten, Hill argues in his book, Uber has evaded livery laws that previously governed taxi service in many markets; flooded the street with nonprofessional, unregulated and under-insured drivers; misled customers on the adequacy of background checks for its drivers and battled efforts for more rigorous screening of them, such as through fingerprinting;overstated the pay that drivers could earn working for Uber; and avoided paying some of the taxes and related fees that other taxi and limousine services must pay to local governments.

Read the rest of this article at The Washington Post

REFLECTIONS AFTER 25 YEARS AT THE MOVIES

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For many years I remembered the name of the first film I ever reviewed, but now I find it has left my mind. It was a French film, I remember that much. I watched it from a center seat in the old World Playhouse, bursting with the awareness that I was reviewingit, and then I went back to the office and wrote that it was one more last gasp of the French New Wave, rolling ashore.

I was more jaded then than I am now. At the time I thought that five years would be enough time to spend on the movie beat. My master plan was to become an op-ed columnist and then eventually, of course, a great and respected novelist. My reveries ended with a deep old wingback chair pulled up close to the fire in a cottage in the middle of the woods, where the big dog snored while I sank into a volume of Dickens.

I now find that I have been a film critic for 25 years. I am not on the op-ed page, have not written the novel, do not own the dog, but do have the cottage and a complete set of Dickens. And I am still going to the movies for a living. My mother never knew how to handle that, when her friends asked her, “And what about Roger? Is he still just…going to the movies?” It didn’t seem like a real job.

There is something not natural about just…going to the movies. Man has rehearsed for hundreds of thousands of years to learn a certain sense of time. He gets up in the morning and the hours wheel in their ancient order across the sky until it grows dark again and he goes to sleep. A movie critic gets up in the morning and in two hours it is dark again, and the passage of time is fractured by editing and dissolves and flashbacks and jump cuts. Sometimes I see two or three movies a day, mostly in the screening room upstairs over the White Hen Pantry. I slip downstairs at noon for a sandwich, blinded by the sunlight, my mind still filled with chases and gun duels, yuks and big boobs, cute dogs and brainy kids, songs and dances, amazing coincidences and chance meetings and deep insights into the nature of man. Whatever was in the movies.

Read the rest of this article at Roger Ebert

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @ohhcourture, House Beautiful via @suellengregory, @belgravecrescent