Jazz slang, you dig?

Jazz vernacular is responsible for so much of the everyday language we use today. Below is a list of slang that the music genre help popularize:

  • hang
  • groovy
  • foxy
  • crib
  • cat
  • ‘the man'
  • bread
  • vibe
  • cool
  • gig
  • dig it!
  • put some stank on it

Fun fact: the origin of the word jazz wasn’t even music-related. The word was originally “used by baseball players and sportswriters in California as a synonym for “enthusiasm.”

 


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A surfeit of meaning

We're consuming too much and paying attention too little, especially when it comes to bits and bytes.

Consumption eviscerates meaning. How many TED talks can you watch before getting bored of the same didactic stories? Writes Eliot on his BearLamp blog:

“When you watch your first video, it's pretty new, it's unique and insightful. The second delivers the same. And the fourteenth? It doesn't matter how interesting this one is, it's probably not the same wonderful feeling as the first video. It's getting to be the same delivery of information. Despite being exciting, it's also getting old. It's losing its meaning…”

Humans starve for meaning, but it ebbs as soon as we get it. So we share it with others in an attempt to extend its relevancy and maximize our own life's compass. But the audience is too busy or too jaded to care.

“If you don't like what someone is sharing, posting – how someone is trying to get attention. You are saying, what is meaningful to you is not meaningful to me.”

Whether it's Facebook or TED, the narrative about ourselves gets lost in the shuffle of inane abundance. We grow immune to meaning because everyone's asking for it. The screen attention economy excites people and then turns them off; novelty drains with any platform.

The ludic loop numbs attention until the marketplace of ideas refreshes it once more.


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Banksy takes his art to Bethlehem

Promotional art by Banksy

Banksy opened up The Walled Off Hotel earlier this year along the wall of the occupied West Bank with the “with the worst view in the world.” More recently, he teamed up with producer Danny Boyl to put together a film called ‘The Alternativity' which features local children and their families singing Christmas carols ‘Jingle Bells‘ and ‘Silent Night' in Arabic and English.

The film drops just in time with Trump's controversial move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, which he also proclaimed Israel's capital. The intermixing of art and politics is intrinsic to Banksy's street art, but he's hoping this event will have a real-life impact:

“There aren’t many situations where a street artist is much use. Most of my politics is for display purposes only. But in Palestine there’s a slim chance the art could have something useful to add — anything that appeals to young people, specifically young Israelis, can only help.”

Banksy

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Wells Baum is creating a daily blog that collects and remixes the most interesting pieces of art, beats, life, and technology from around the web. Your support goes a long way: for every contribution, I can keep the blog running and continue to provide you interesting links.

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Newsletter: Blind spots

Happy Friday! Below are some links and recent discoveries I think you’ll find interesting. As always, listen to a new tune and old gem after the jump.

DP864605.jpg
Joseph J. Gould, Jr. (1896) via The Met

Finding My Way into a New Form: An Interview with Teju Cole. “I always have a notebook, a pen and a camera. These are my tools because the world is always giving you various phenomena.” Teju Cole's new book Blind Spot sees the photographer and acclaimed writer synthesize images and words. The work is yet another form of Cole's combinatorial exploration — he was once an innovative Tweeter — into new media spaces. “That’s exactly what I do with each of these genres. I try to find out what I can do in that space. I try to do good work there, and then without any compunction or regret I move on. And I try to find the next place to continue my exploration.”

Changing one simple habit can improve your entire life. One slight tweak to your daily habits can lead to other beneficial changes. For instance, exercise is what Charles Duhigg calls ‘keystone habit.' In his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Duhigg describes how “people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work.”

The undivided mind. Wonder sits at the intersection of science and art. Combining the two disciplines is what fueled Leonard Da Vinci’s creative genius. The imagination needs time to daydream and gather string, letting the unconscious connect the dots between disparate things.


Book I'm reading

My Inventions: Nikola Tesla. “My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get a new idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination, and make improvements and operate the device in my mind. When I have gone so far as to embody everything in my invention, every possible improvement I can think of, and when I see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form the final product of my brain.”

Video I'm watching

Army Of Spider Crabs Shed Their Shells. Watch thousands of spider crabs rally around the family to regrow their shells. Mind the hangry stingray!

Thought of the week

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.” — Neale Donald Walsch

New track on loop

Lanark Artefax – Touch Absence (2017)

Digging in the crates

Jah Stitch – Cool Down Youthman (1995)

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

Support Wellsbaum.blog

Wells Baum is creating a daily blog that collects and remixes the most interesting pieces of art, beats, life, and technology from around the web. Your support goes a long way: for every contribution, I can keep the blog running and continue to provide you interesting links.

$21.00

 


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Art requires the long look

Photo by Wells Baum

Good art requires the long look, not for a lack of comprehension but for the growing realization of what the viewer fails to see.

Art is more about the space inside rather than the form of the envelope itself.

Artists put their life’s context into their craft. A poem, painting, a sculpture all contain intricacies of the mind that is profoundly personal but meant to be shared and understood by others.

Whether radical, nuanced and complex: the intriguing work passes onto trustful eyes an extended gaze.


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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

“We control the world basically because we are the only animals that can cooperate flexibly in very large numbers. And if you examine any large-scale human cooperation, you will always find that it is based on some fiction like the nation, like money, like human rights. These are all things that do not exist objectively, but they exist only in the stories that we tell and that we spread around. This is something very unique to us, perhaps the most unique feature of our species.

You can never, for example, convince a chimpanzee to do something for you by promising that, “Look, after you die, you will go to chimpanzee heaven and there you will receive lots and lots of bananas for your good deeds here on earth, so now do what I tell you to do.”

But humans do believe such stories and this is the basic reason why we control the world whereas chimpanzees are locked up in zoos and research laboratories.”

— Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Storytelling, language, memes, all released humans from the prison of biology.


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