Archive for April, 2018

People a few moves ahead of everyone else in humanity’s chess game against reality

April 29, 2018

Computer Scientist Scott Aaronson:

There’s plenty of mathematics that strikes me as boutique scholasticism [produced by a small, narrow-minded clique]. But there’s mathematics that looks to me like boutique scholasticism, until [mathematicians] Greg Kuperberg or Ketan Mulmuley explains it to me, and I say: “Ah, so that’s why [mathematicians] David Mumford, Alain Connes, and Edward Witten cared so much about this. Now that I understand it, it seems … almost like an ordinary applied engineering question, albeit one from the year 2030, being studied by people a few moves ahead of everyone else in humanity’s chess game against reality. It will be pretty sweet once the rest of the world catches up to this.”

Perfect practice makes perfect

April 22, 2018

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Practice makes perfect.” However, that is not quite true. If one practices using sloppy form or practice is done mindlessly, then perfection will never be achieved. It is perfect practice that makes perfect.

Look longer and see more

April 14, 2018

Artist David Hockney:

“Most people don’t look much. They scan the ground in front of them so they can move around. I’ve spent my life looking.”

Talking about his portraits: “I’m trying to get the personality. I’m trying to capture something of them.”

The subjects sit in a chair on a raised platform in Hockney’s studio. The sittings last 20 hours over 3 days. “For most people it’s a strange experience to have someone looking, peering at you for such a long time.”  One of his subjects (Stephanie Barron) is interviewed and says this: “I found that it was exhausting. To be the subject of an artist who is concentrating so intently on you can be a bit daunting.”

Comparing the work to photographs, Hockney calls his portraits “20-hour exposures”.

“Photographs have a fraction of a second in them. Drawings and paintings, of course, have more time because it takes time to do it.”

The interviewer asked: “A lot of people think this is an old-fashion idea. Painting is old fashion. Portrait painting is even more old fashion.” Hockney responded: “It’s not really, I know the argument about painting is dead. But painting can’t die because photography is not good enough actually. It’s just a snap. Why not look longer at something? Look longer and maybe see more.