Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. How do you create suspense? I’m asked that question often, and it seems that every writers’ symposium has a class with that title. It’s an important technical issue, and not just for so-called suspense novels. A Simple Way to Create Suspense - NYTimes.com - Nightly
For much of his adult life, painter and scholar Harold Cohen has been working in collaboration with a computer to make visual art. Cohen has worked almost continuously on this creative artificial intelligence (AI) system since the 1970s, which he affectionately calls AARON. In essence, AARON is a piece of computer software that, when connected to a painting machine – a large-scale inkjet printer these days – can create artworks based on instructions given by Cohen. Over the years AARON’s artistic style has matured, much like that of a human artist. Pablo eCasso? In search of the first computer masterpiece - Nightly
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” This season has been ripe with Kurt Vonnegut releases, from the highly anticipated collection of his letters to his first and last works introduced by his daughter, shedding new light on the beloved author both as a complex character and a masterful storyteller. All the recent excitement reminded me of an old favorite, in which Vonnegut maps out the shapes of stories, with equal parts irreverence and perceptive insight, along the “G-I axis” of Good Fortune and Ill Fortune and the “B-E axis” of Beginning and Entropy. The below footage is an excerpt from a longer talk, the transcript of which was published in its entirety in Vonnegut’s almost-memoir A Man Without a Country (public library) under a section titled “Here is a lesson in creative writing,” featuring Vonnegut’s hand-drawn diagrams.
In 1965, Irving John ‘Jack’ Good sat down and wrote a paper for New Scientist called Speculations concerning the first ultra-intelligent machine. Good, a Cambridge-trained mathematician, Bletchley Park cryptographer, pioneering computer scientist and friend of Alan Turing, wrote that in the near future an ultra-intelligent machine would be built. This machine, he continued, would be the “last invention” that mankind will ever make, leading to an “intelligence explosion” - an exponential increase in self-generating machine intelligence. For Good, who went on to advise Stanley Kubrick on 2001: a Space Odyssey, the “survival of man” depended on the construction of this ultra-intelligent machine. Fast forward almost 50 years and the world looks very different. Humanity’s last invention and our uncertain future - Research - University of Cambridge - Nightly
Electronic Music Interfaces - Nightly © Portions copyright March 1998 by Joseph A. Paradiso Electronic Music Interfaces Joseph Paradiso MIT Media Laboratory20 Ames St.
American Innovations in Electronic Musical Instruments - Nightly The desire for musical expression runs deeply across human culture; although specific styles can vary, music is generally considered a universal language. It is tempting to surmise that one of the earliest applications of human toolmaking, after hunting, shelter, defense, and general survival, was probably to create expressive sound, developing into what we know and love as music. As toolmaking evolved into technology over the last centuries, inventors and musicians have been driven to apply new concepts and ideas into improving musical instruments or creating entirely new means of controlling and generating musical sounds.
How To Approach A Poem - Nightly Here, The Muse Of Literature offers a method, a practical example, and a few suggestions for how to get the most from reading or hearing a poem. About this feature The aim of this feature is to provide a few pointers to people who want to better understand and experience a poem when they approach it.
The Long, Weird History of Photo Manipulation | creativebits™ - Nightly While "to Photoshop" is now synonymous with altering a photograph with intent to deceive, this not only pre-dates our digital era but can be traced back to the early years of photography itself. Having a product become closely associated with dubious practices might be seen as a negative thing but Adobe would seem to have adopted Mae West's famous adage, who once said: "Honey, there ain't no such thing as bad publicity." At least, that's one interpretation of its sponsoring role in a current exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Running until January 27, 2013, Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop covers a lot of ground, both historically and in terms of content, with photos arranged in such categories as Politics and Persuasion, and, somewhat self-servingly, Photoshop.
Fanfare for the Comma Man - NYTimes.com - Nightly Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. Is it safe to talk about punctuation again? Eight years ago, Lynne Truss’s best-selling “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” took, in the words of her subtitle, a “Zero Tolerance Approach” to the subject. Although Truss’s focus on errors drew the ire, if not the fire, of grammarians, linguists and other “descriptivists,” her book was, for the most part, harmless and legitimate. Still, it overlooked a lot. Maybe more than any other element of writing, punctuation combines rules with issues of sound, preference and personal style.
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Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. Diagramming sentences: what, after all, is it good for? Well, for one thing, it’s obvious that it’s good for stirring up controversy. The more than 300 comments (and close to 100 personal e-mails) in response to my last post, “A Picture of Language,” ran the glorious gamut from “love it/taught me to write/thank you, Mrs. Wengler!” What Can We Learn From Diagramming Sentences? - NYTimes.com - Nightly
Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. There are lots of ways that writers use dictionaries, from the expected (checking spelling) to the unconventional (bibliomancy) to the ill advised (starting an article with some variation of the hackneyed “As my trusty desk dictionary tells me, term X is defined as …”). But perhaps the primary use of dictionaries by writers is as a malapropism preventer, in order to avoid what should be called the “Princess Bride” problem: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Using Words Not Found in the Dictionary - NYTimes.com - Nightly
Talking With Your Fingers - NYTimes.com - Nightly Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. The latest word on the street about English in America – always bad, it seems – is that the shaggy construction of texting and e-mail spells the death of formal writing. Yet the truth about English in America – always sunnier, in fact – is that the looseness and creativity of these new ways of writing are a sign of a new sophistication in our society. This becomes clear when we understand that in the proper sense, e-mail and texting are not writing at all.
Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. This is the fourth in a series of writing lessons by the author, starting with the basics and leading to more advanced techniques. The word passive gets a bad rap. We throw it around to vent about friends who can’t stand up for themselves, and we combine it with aggressive to describe those who express anger indirectly rather than just blurting it out. When it comes to writing, many of us are haunted by this word. Maybe a high school teacher forbade “passive constructions.” The Pleasures and Perils of the Passive - NYTimes.com - Nightly
Turning a Phrase - NYTimes.com - Nightly Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. This is the fifth in a series of writing lessons by the author, starting with the basics and leading to more advanced techniques. Writers dream of sentences that sail through the waters of thought. We try to control their shape and size, and we struggle to let them glide, rather than thrash at sea. As I suggested in an earlier post, I think of the subject of a sentence, crafted mainly from nouns, as the hull of a boat.
Grammar: A Matter of Fashion - NYTimes.com - Nightly Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. “Much was said, and much was ate, and all went well.” Clearly this sentence was written by a fourth grader – or at best someone not ushered into acquaintance with “proper” grammar.
Which Language and Grammar Rules to Flout - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com - Nightly
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