Newsletter: Instagram’s clash of sameness

Tools shape our thoughts. (pic via the Doug Engelbart Institute)

Each week I surf the net to find interesting links, from videos to books to new music. Here’s the latest collection I think you may like:

Instagram ‘homogenized our creativity’. Not only are we drowning in photos, the conformity of images is ruining the art of photography by simplifying them into cliches. Give everyone a camera and the stage, and they’ll exploit it just like everybody else. The upshot is a mass experience that mostly dulls expression: the same travel pics, coffee cup shots, and innumerable selfies. Scratch it up, discolor the frame; dare to be different.

Tomorrow’s World: Children in 1966 predict what the world will be like in the year 2000. Well-spoken, cynical, and eerily accurate, in 1966 these kids predicted what life would be like in the year 2000. Their predictions include the rise of robots and job loss due to automation, the threat of nuclear war, the backlash against globalization, sea levels rises, etc.

How To Become A Centaur. We are living together with machines in a symbiotic relationship, just as the pencil or the bike augment our minds and bodies. Contrary to the popular opinion that AI will replace mankind, the relationship with robots could be a non-zero-sum game. “AIs are best at choosing answers. Humans are best at choosing questions.”


Book I’m reading

Proust Was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer“Scientists describe our brain in terms of its physical details; they say we are nothing but a loom of electrical cells and synaptic spaces. What science forgets is that this isn’t how we experience the world. (We feel like the ghost, not like the machine.) It is ironic but true: the one reality science cannot reduce is the only reality we will ever know. This is why we need art. By expressing our actual experience, the artist reminds us that our science is incomplete, that no map of matter will ever explain the immateriality of our consciousness.”

Video I’m watching

Bob Marley would’ve been 73 years old today. To celebrate the reggae legend, watch teenage cellist and 2016’s BBC Young Musician of the Year winner Sheku Kanneh-Mason perform a cello version of Marley’s “No Woman No Cry.”

Song I’m digging

Johnny Jewel “Mirror Image”

Thought of the week

“Everything we see hides another thing; we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”

René Magritte


Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!
Wells Baum (@bombtune)

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4 thoughts on “Newsletter: Instagram’s clash of sameness

  1. If I see one more white flat-lay with pink roses and a cup of coffee on IG- arrgh! I’m all for being your self and not trying to fit into some “popular” visual trend.

    And I LOVE the Bob Marley Cello video. (listened again while typing this comment) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Definitely, don’t let the tyranny of popular suck you in. The cello kid is very talented; one to watch!

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