aug 6

use your illusion

 The Alphabet Synthesis Machine is an interactive software artwork which allows its users to breed and explore the abstract and evocative forms of personalized "nonsense alphabets" - coherent sets of abstract, glyphlike forms which might resemble the plausible writing systems of alien civilizations or unfamiliar human societies.

 Was Gatsby Black?

 The New Yorker has an online-only interview with Dave Eggers on his new book.

 New Arthur Miller play debuts right here in Minneapolis.

 Roundtable discussion that includes Phillip Glass and DJ Spooky.

 Oubapo is to comics what Oulipo is to literature.

 Ethan Hawke, author, interview.

 Looks like Spin has handed over its website to Yahoo. Here's Chuck's piece from last month about Morrissey-lovers. This month, Chuck practically is the magazine, with about 20 pages of his musings about heavy metal.

 It's Like a Movie, but It's Not. This is one of the most culturally-aware pieces I've ever read in the Times. Here's a paragraph about "the illusion of entertainment":

In mathematics there is something called a derivative — an expression that stands for another set of expressions. The illusion of entertainment is a kind of cultural derivative. You watch most television sitcoms and, just by the rhythm of the banter and the laugh track, you know how you are supposed to respond, whether the jokes are funny or not. Sitcom writers call this "likeajoke" because it has the form of a joke without the content. Or you go to a big commercial movie, and just by experiencing the rapid cutting and thumping music you know how you are supposed to respond, whether the action engages you or not.

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