Newsletter 64: Radiohead, Chinese Jazz, Being an Outsider, Keeping a ‘Spark File’, and More

Arts & Culture Twenty five years in Chinese jazz Jazz is about improvisation, changing to be in constant motion. It can’t be reversed, much like a Chinese calligrapher must continue to draw one continuous line without stopping. But Jazz is also a Western product, something that only the Chinese intelligentsia admit to appreciating. Some Chinese […]

Digital Graffiti

“Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. […]

Newsletter #57: Why Little Kids in Japan Are So Independent, 2015 with Brian Eno, Walking Paris, and more

Arts & Culture Why Little Kids in Japan Are So Independent Independence. Competition. Guns. There’s more than a few reasons why American parents don’t let their 9-year-old kid take the subway by themselves. But Japanese culture has a tighter sense of community trust. A child out in public knows he can rely on the group […]

Ai Weiwei on Beijing surveillance

One of the key traits of any artist is to protect against and take advantage of the contradictions. It goes back to what F. Scott Fitzgerald said about intelligence: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to […]

Pattern recognition

Dictation Wallpaper Clothing Patterns are everywhere, just as they are in the nooks and crannies of alleyways or in the cords behind your TV and computer. Humans think in patterns but some people are better off at discovering them. Seeing patterns takes practice. The eye tends to glaze over things that look messy. But there’s […]