We are less than a year into neural network technology, and Google’s Deep Dream software is already yielding impressive results beyond the dog-slugs of its first videos.[...]
Even beyond developing the phonograph, the motion picture camera, light bulb, and the creepy talking doll, Thomas Edison got a lot done in life. With his even greater knack for enterprise than for invention, he might, had he lived in the 21st century, traded on his reputation for productivity and industry by selling us his personal “life hacks.[...]
We’ve all had the experience, punctuated by interminable waiting, of circling over and over again through some enormous company’s automatic telephone answering system.[...]
When I first saw what was then the height of motion capture in 1999—The Matrix’s “bullet time” and kung fu sequences—I was suitably impressed, and yet… the extreme manipulation of the real (which couldn’t have happened in a more appropriate film, granted) also seemed a little like a cheat.[...]
On October 23, 2001, almost exactly 15 years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPod–an mp3 player, capable of “putting 1,000 songs in your pocket” and playing cd-quality music. A novel concept back then. A product we take for granted today.
Above, you can watch Jobs make the first iPod pitch.
Philip K. Dick, titling the 1968 novel that would provide the basis for Blade Runner, asked whether androids dream of electric sheep.[...]
You don’t just listen to “Bohemian Rhapsody“; you experience it. Anyone who’s ever heard Queen’s signature progressive rock epic knows it, and anyone who’s ever performed all six minutes of it at a karaoke bar understands it more deeply still.[...]
The Russian Revolution not only radically reshaped social and political institutions in the soon-to-be Soviet Union, but it also radicalized the arts. “The Romanovs, who ruled Russia for 300 years,” comments Glenn Altschuler at The Boston Globe, used “culture as an instrument of political control.[...]
However you feel about electronic music, you’ll still find yourself listening to it most places you go. For better or worse, it has become mood music, soothing the jangled nerves of customers in coffee shops and lulling boutique shoppers into a pleasant sense of hip.[...]
In what is often called the “Early Modern” period, or the “Long Eighteenth Century,” Europe witnessed an explosion of satire, not only as a political and literary weapon, but as a means of reacting to a whole new way of life that arose in the cities—principally London and Paris—as a displaced rural population and expanding bo[...]