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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Liking Books Is Not A Personality, by Hannah McGregor, Electric Literature

Do you remember, back in 2017, when reversing your books for aesthetic appeal was briefly a thing? Apartment Therapy posted a photo to Instagram of a bookshelf with the spines facing inward, and the dramatic response — dozens of users denouncing the trend as anti-intellectual, even comparing it to book-burning — felt, at the time, like the ultimate example of the bookish Internet’s capacity for outrage. Then Marie Kondo came for our books, and the bookish Internet proved me wrong.

Some Music Theorists Are Furious About The Bach Google Doodle, by Alyssa Barna, Slate

Thursday’s Google Doodle celebrated the 334th birthday of famed composer Johann Sebastian Bach, with a twist: It was the first Doodle to incorporate machine learning. Users could create a melody, then the Doodle would automatically generate custom harmonies to produce a full composition in Bach’s style. It was delightful for many Google users, but it also stepped into a controversy that has been brewing in musical circles for years.

Last Ones Left Alive By Sarah Davis-Goff Review – Post-apocalyptic Road Trip, by Sarah Ditum, The Guardian

Last Ones Left Alive doesn’t bring much new to its genre. Instead, it puts old elements to its own purpose; and, like the skrake, it runs compellingly enough to an irresistible internal logic of violence.

Why Do We Love Seeing Our World Rendered Tiny? Simon Garfield’s ‘In Miniature’ Investigates, by Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times

The world of miniatures is a gargantuan subject. There seems no end to our impulse to translate reality into something we can hold in our hands and see at a single glance. British niche historian Simon Garfield — who has written about typography (“Just My Type: A Book About Fonts”) and cartography (“On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks”) — trains an eccentric focus on all things tiny in his new book, “In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate the World.”