Snow Day Links / by Chris Foley

As yet another winter storm heads across southern Ontario, here are some links to keep you occupied:

1. Are we in the midst of an Alban Berg renaissance? Two recent TSO performances showcasing Berg works got me thinking that there might be something in the air. A quick look at the Universal Editions Alban Berg schedule shows that this may indeed be the case, with 38 orchestral performances of his works between now and the end of June. This anecdote by Greg Sandow shows how Alban Berg’s music might be a viable entry point into classical music for younger audiences.

2. Sean Dorrance Kelly writes about how an AI can’t become a genuine artist, arguing that artistic achievement is a much larger idea than mere artificial intelligence:

We count Schoenberg as a creative innovator not just because he managed to create a new way of composing music but because people could see in it a vision of what the world should be. Schoenberg’s vision involved the spare, clean, efficient minimalism of modernity. His innovation was not just to find a new algorithm for composing music; it was to find a way of thinking about what music is that allows it to speak to what is needed now.

3. I really like the way that Penelope Trunk illustrates the Doppelgänger of authenticity and being true to yourself: negativity and mental health.

4. Tyler Cowen on the problem of social media:

My tentative conclusion from all this: Online life is inducing us to invest less in our memories and long-term sense of satisfaction. It is pretty obvious from human behavior that, right now, the internet is doing more to boost short-term pleasures.

The more negative take would be that online life is obscuring our understanding of our own lives. I do not go that far. After all, humans make analogous choices about balancing short- and long-term happiness when they have one child rather than four, or when they sit on an exercise bike rather than get on a plane to Paris. Those aren’t the wrong decisions for everybody.

5. Carl Pullein and Nicholas Bate both offer wise advice: say “no” more often. Your quality of work will improve.

6. From a conversation initiated by Shane Parrish on Twitter: sources of personal competitive advantage.

Finally, the Imani Winds play the second movement of Elliott Carter’s Woodwind Quintet:

(Image courtesy of Aaron Burden)