news

In the News 11.09.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

by

In the News 11.09.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@yoshinomia
In the News 11.09.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@emily_luciano
In the News 11.09.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@emily_luciano

Personal Panopticons

Every now and then, due to some egregious blunder or blatant overreach on the part of government agencies or tech companies, concerns about surveillance and technology break out beyond the confines of academic specialists and into the public consciousness: the Snowden leaks about the NSA in 2013, the Facebook emotional manipulation study in 2014, the Cambridge Analytica scandal in the wake of the 2016 election. These moments seem to elicit a vague anxiety that ultimately dissipates as quickly as it materialized. Concerns about the NSA are now rarely heard, and while Facebook has experienced notable turbulence, it is not at all clear that meaningful regulation will follow or that a significant number of users will abandon the platform. Indeed, the chief effect of these fleeting moments of surveillance anxiety may be a gradual inoculation to them. In my experience, most people are not only untroubled by journalistic critiques of exploitative surveillance practices; they may even be prepared to defend them: There are trade-offs, yes, but privacy appears to be a reasonable price to pay for convenience or security.

Read the rest of this article at: Real Life

In the News 11.09.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

What If The Placebo Effect Isn’t A Trick?

In the News 11.09.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Chain of Office of the Dutch city of Leiden is a broad and colorful ceremonial necklace that, draped around the shoulders of Mayor Henri Lenferink, lends a magisterial air to official proceedings in this ancient university town. But whatever gravitas it provided Lenferink as he welcomed a group of researchers to his city, he was quick to undercut it. “I am just a humble historian,” he told the 300 members of the Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies who had gathered in Leiden’s ornate municipal concert hall, “so I don’t know anything about your topic.” He was being a little disingenuous. He knew enough about the topic that these psychologists and neuroscientists and physicians and anthropologists and philosophers had come to his city to talk about — the placebo effect, the phenomenon whereby suffering people get better from treatments that have no discernible reason to work — to call it “fake medicine,” and to add that it probably works because “people like to be cheated.” He took a beat. “But in the end, I believe that honesty will prevail.”

Lenferink might not have been so glib had he attended the previous day’s meeting on the other side of town, at which two dozen of the leading lights of placebo science spent a preconference day agonizing over their reputation — as purveyors of sham medicine who prey on the desperate and, if they are lucky, fool people into feeling better — and strategizing about how to improve it. It’s an urgent subject for them, and only in part because, like all apostate professionals, they crave mainstream acceptance. More important, they are motivated by a conviction that the placebo is a powerful medical treatment that is ignored by doctors only at their patients’ expense.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent & shop.thisisglamorous.com

The American Grandmaster Who
Could Become World Champion

If you ask the people who know Fabiano Caruana what Fabiano Caruana is like, they will tell you that Fabiano Caruana is, you know, just a normal guy.

He likes movies. He likes music. He likes to eat. He works out. He goes on dates.

Just a normal guy.

Just a normal guy who is ranked second in the world in chess. A normal guy who was pulled out of school after seventh grade to do nothing but play the ancient and intricate game. A normal guy who is a hairbreadth away from prying the No. 1 position loose from probably the best player ever to play the game. A normal guy who, beginning Friday, will sit down at a table in London with this probably-the-best-ever player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, in a grueling, weeks-long battle for the world championship of chess. A normal guy who could be the first American to win the title since Bobby Fischer in 1972. Real 99.99999999th percentile stuff.

Just a normal guy.

If you search the archives for Caruana, one of his earliest mentions you’ll find is a television news segment from early 2001, when he was 8 years old and living in Brooklyn. “Here’s the story of a boy who could be the next Bobby Fischer,” the host says. Caruana’s mother, Santina, describes her son’s play as art (“I just — I can’t take my eyes off him”); his coach describes him as “mentally quite tough;” and a chess club manager says he’s sure to become a grandmaster and possibly world champion.

The 8-year-old Caruana: “I just think it’s a fun game.”

Read the rest of this article at: FiveThirtyEight

In the News 11.09.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Price Is Wrong

In the News 11.09.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER NATHANIEL KAHN would like you to believe that there are two kinds of artists in the world: those who sell and those who do not. And those who do sell, like Jeff Koons, can sell for upwards of $58 million (as Koons did in 2013 with Balloon Dog [Orange]).

In his latest film The Price of Everything, Kahn traces the notoriously inflated state of the contemporary art market back to 1973, when the infamous Robert Scull sale began to tip the scales. Scull, who made his fortune in the taxi business, collected work from relatively unknown living artists who were part of both the Abstract Expressionist and Pop Art movements, including Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, often for the low cost of $1,000–$2,000 (still a good chunk of change for a starving Soho artist). Then, in the early seventies, he turned around and sold their work at auction for thousands more, making  $2.2 million in total from the sale, equivalent to $12 million today. This legendary auction established the rubric for contemporary art flipping, and the bubble inflated from there. With the globalization of the art market, a golden age was born. And as curator Paul Schimmel says, “there is no golden age without gold.”

Kahn’s documentary poses the question “What is the relationship of art to money?” to a handful of prominent figures in the contemporary art world, including richer-than-god Koons, Sotheby’s chairman Amy Cappellazzo, self-styled populist critic Jerry Saltz, and the painter Larry Poons. Their answers, while often brazen, land ambivalently, creating an incomplete portrait of an art world that seems completely resigned to the status quo.

Read the rest of this article at: The Baffler

Haunted Village

In the News 11.09.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In 1898, the Village for Epileptics at Skillman opened in central New Jersey, the third such institution in the U.S. When I was a teenager, I took a quick drive with some friends through the remnants of it. None of us knew anything about it at the time; it was just a mysterious, spooky ruin of old, boarded-up buildings surrounded by tall grass, seen off in the distance from the road. As we passed through, we feigned fear over its creepy vibe. I think I just saw a man standing in the grass!

Most of the village was demolished in 2007, when Street View launched, but one can still see traces in a capture from 2011. The Maplewood Farmhouse, which hosted the institution’s first seven patients before the surrounding village proper was built, is still partly visible beyond a wall of trees. It eventually became the superintendent’s residence. On Street View, it can be seen only via a handful of nodes along Burnt Hill Road, materializing in and out of view like a specter as you click through the area on the map.

Today, the house is gone, having burned down the same year the capture was taken. On Street View, though, the boarded-up house retains a tantalizing inaccessibility. The unpaved, trodden path leading up through the trees toward the home taunts us with the possibility of a way in, but it can’t be zoomed in on or clicked through. This apparent arrival at a place since lost to time turns out to be another ghost.

Toward the end of the 19th century, medical science viewed epileptics as straddling the line between sanity and insanity. The etiology of the disease was not understood, and seizures were seen as uncontrollable and dangerous periods of insanity that could launch an epileptic into a murderous rage, no matter the nature of their ordinary behavior. The perceived danger of these fits led to the forced institutionalization of epileptics, but asylums across the U.S. were already crowded. In 1902, it was estimated that more than 2,500 epileptics were in the state of New Jersey alone. One idea, held to be progressive at the time, was to take epileptics out of “lunatic asylums” and place them in their own institutions — not because they were seen as requiring less supervision so much as their seizures distressed other patients.

Largely forgotten now, these institutions for epileptics were designed to be self-sufficient, village-like communes in which patients could experience a sense of usefulness through work and socialization — as much normalcy as could be allowed for a community in quarantine. Writing in 1910, J.D. Munson, the resident pathologist at the second such U.S. colony, in Sonyea, New York, blueprinted “the ideal institution for the epileptic.” After noting that an epileptic’s seizures meant their presence “cannot be endured beyond a certain point by his family or associates,” he recommends that in such villages, “the buildings must be such as to withdraw the suggestion of institutionalism and there must be plentiful opportunity for work … there must be provision for education, amusement and religious instruction — in every respect a complete village.”

Read the rest of this article at: Real Life

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

Follow us on Instagram @thisisglamorous