Cultural past of the digital age

[As ever you can read this on the BBC News Website, and I get a good critical kicking from The Black Project for being old, nostalgic and feeble…]

Last weekend I had the enormous privilege of seeing the 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick’s film of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ at the Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge.

Watching ‘2001’ on a small screen diminishes its artistry and the film can sometimes seen boring and even dull, but on the big screen with proper sound and an audience it remains a challenging, stimulating experience.

Continue reading “Cultural past of the digital age”

I saw this…

Here’s what I’ve tagged on on June 28th:

A good read…

A couple of weeks ago I recorded an edition of ‘A Good Read’, a programme on BBC Radio 4 in which host Sue MacGregor and two guests discuss three books, one chose by each of them.   It was a lot of fun, and worked well despite the fact that I’d chosen the hardcore cyberpunk of Neuromancer while Sue picked an Anne Tyler novel and Jean Seaton, the third member of the group, had gone for Penelope Lively.

You can hear the result on the BBC website (at least for a few days) and I’ll grab an MP3 of the programme for longer-term reference.

I saw this…

Here’s what I’ve tagged on on June 24th:

Watching the China Watchers

Excellent, if disturbing, view of China and the lack of any real possibility of democratic reform by Rick Perlstein in The Nation, focusing particularly on the reality of US foreign policy and its inability to confront the reality of Chinese ambition:

..their strange rationales followed a logic that helps explain our determinately myopic China watchers today. The explanation is, fundamentally, materialist. Its raw materials are the secret words sent by diplomatic cable and NSC strategic assessments. As George Kennan wrote in 1948: “We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population…. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern for relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming…. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction.”

Found via Arts & Letters Daily 

Venice: the Biennale

I’m just back from Venice, where we’ve been reporting on the interplay between technology and art at the Biennale, the contemporary art festival that colonises the city every two years. There’s a lot to be said, and the programme (available on iTunes – search for Digital Planet – or  look on the BBC site) tries to convey something of the sense of this massive collection of installations, pavilions and events to anyone with an interest in technology.

My bookmarks for June 5th through June 17th

Here’s what I tagged on between June 5th and June 17th: