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16 July 2014

Emulation and Invention

Disruption and the Can(n)on

A bit of filler blog until I have some art to post…

From The New Yorker recently, which, like a stopped clock, is occasionally correct:

Doctors have obligations to their patients, teachers to their students, pastors to their congregations, curators to the public, and journalists to their readers—obligations that lie outside the realm of earnings, and are fundamentally different from the obligations that a business executive has to employees, partners, and investors.

Forget rules, obligations, your conscience, loyalty, a sense of the commonweal. If you start a business and it succeeds, Linkner advises, sell it and take the cash. Don’t look back. Never pause. Disrupt or be disrupted.

“The Disruption Machine
What The Gospel Of Innovation Gets Wrong.”
by Jill Lepore
The New Yorker
June 23, 2014

Here's Harper’s, less recently, and slightly less often wrong:

In a word, Marcus and Sollors are wrong. “Literary” does not refer to “what is expressed, what is invented, in whatever form,” and literature does not encompass every book that comes down the pike, however smart or well-made. At the risk of waxing metaphysical, one might argue that literature, like any artifact, has both a Platonic form and an Aristotelian concreteness. Although examples of imaginative writing arrive in all sizes and degrees of proficiency, literature with a capital L, even as its meaning swims in and out of focus, is absolutist in the sense that all serious writers aspire to it. Although writers may be good or bad, literature itself is always good, if not necessarily perfect. Bad literature is, in effect, a contradiction. One can have flawed literature but not bad literature; one can have something “like literature” or even “literature on a humble but not ignoble level,” as Edmund Wilson characterized the Sherlock Holmes stories, but one can’t have dumb or mediocre literature.

“What Is Literature?
In Defense Of The Canon”
By Arthur Krystal
Harper’s Magazine
from the March 2014 issue

And from The Atlantic, some wrong-headed analysis of truisms about the modern mind:

When Joseph Schildkraut, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, studied a group of 15 abstract-expressionist painters in the mid-20th century, he found that half of them had some form of mental illness, mostly depression or bipolar disorder; nearly half of these artists failed to live past age 60.

“Secrets of the Creative Brain”
Nancy Andreasen
The Atlantic
June 25, 2014

To put it in perspective, how many artists committed suicide before the nineteenth century?

Finally, did you know that Leonardo was a loser? Never mind that the filmmakers use Michelangelo’s Last Judgment to illustrate a piece on Leonardo:

Allora, tutto chiaro?

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