Ensemble Staging

Every Frame a Painting:


How do you emphasize to the audience that something is important? Well, you could always cut to a close-up, but how about something subtler? Today I consider ensemble staging — a style of filmmaking that directs the audience exactly where to look, without ever seeming to do so at all.

Fantantastic movie too (Memories of Murder), this should convince you to see it.

Via kottke.org



Access Denied

First half is boring, but hits some on the head in the second half:

John Herrman in the Awl:

This “conceptual space for neutrality” follows from the idea that publications and reporters have a responsibility not just to discover and contextualize new information but to distribute it in a transparent or somehow balanced way. People demanded fairness from their local paper because it may have been their only local paper; people were sensitive to bias in network news because it was one of a few options providing a relatively scarce type of information. Their audiences afforded them powers: to talk to the powerful, to dedicate resources to investigations, to collect and summarize the news. These powers created a sense of obligation which, of course, they were free to fail to meet.

Via NextDraft



Did Carnegie Mellon Attack Tor for the FBI?

Bruce Schneier:

The behavior of the researchers is reprehensible, but the real issue is that CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) has lost its credibility as an honest broker. The researchers discovered this vulnerability and submitted it to CERT. Neither the researchers nor CERT disclosed this vulnerability to the Tor Project. Instead, the researchers apparently used this vulnerability to deanonymize a large number of hidden service visitors and provide the information to the FBI.

Does anyone still trust CERT to behave in the Internet’s best interests?



New Map Portraits by Ed Fairburn



Reuters bans submission of RAW photos

Reuters, the news and photography agency, has issued an outright ban on photographs captured and submitted in RAW format. Instead, freelance contributors must now only submit photos that were processed and stored as JPEG inside the camera.

I’d like to pass on a note of request to our freelance contributors due to a worldwide policy change. In future, please don’t send photos to Reuters that were processed from RAW or CR2 files. If you want to shoot raw images that’s fine, just take JPEGs at the same time. Only send us the photos that were originally JPEGs, with minimal processing (cropping, correcting levels, etc).



Damon Lindelof on Struggling With Depression and Why Knowing J.J. Abrams is "A Bit of a Curse"

Long interview with Damon Lindelof by Stephen Galloway, covers lots of ground, and gets to some intresting places:

LINDELOF: I had a dream in terms of what I wanted to achieve in my life, and when I got that call, it was so above and beyond anything that I had ever dreamed, that I felt I didn’t deserve it. And I was like, “I don’t deserve this, I’m not entitled to it, I haven’t earned it. What am I supposed to do with this?” And my wife and I would go out for breakfast on the weekends, even though I would go into the office afterwards, and we’d be sitting there, eating, and the people at the table next to us were talking about Lost. And I was like, this is not a normal thing that should be happening right now. And Heidi my wife was smiling, like, isn’t this the greatest thing in the world? And it was the worst thing in the world. And the fact that everybody was telling me that it should be great, made me feel like there was something wrong with me.

GALLOWAY:  Thank you for talking about that, too.  Because I think it’s important for people to know. Everybody thinks, “Oh, when I have success, my life is going to be perfect,” and that’s just not what life is.

LINDELOF:  I’ll be honest with you, and I’m glad that you said that because there was a part of me prior to this happening where whenever someone who had achieved their dream, like an actor, was complaining, saying like “This isn’t easy,” I’d be like, “Oh come on.”  You know, “Boo-hoo, Russell Crowe.”

LINDELOF:  But if I can be completely and totally precious about it for a second, we are artsy folk, you know? I mean, we all fancy ourselves artists and we are wired as artists and part of being a good artist is tapping into some sort of emotional reality and trying to communicate it to others, through our art.  And that requires a certain amount of vulnerability, and nakedness.  And that’s hard.  You know, if you’re doing it well, it’s really scary, and in order to do it well you have to make a lot of mistakes, and when you make mistakes you get scared.  And it’s very hard for me to say I’m scared right now, or I’m sad, and fear and depression can sometimes manifest themselves as anger. Anger is not a real feeling.  Every time in my life I’ve ever been angry, it’s because I was scared, or because I was sad and I didn’t know it.  Like, anger doesn’t just come out of a vacuum. 

Via NextDraft.



Miami is sinking beneath the sea—but not without a fight

Stan Cox and Paul Cox in the New Republic:

Few people we talked with in Miami believed that the city they all know and love would remain intact into the deep future. The question was not whether people will have to leave but when. When people ask Stoddard, “When should I think about selling my house?” he said he tells them, “It depends on whether or not you can afford to lose the capital in it. What happens to you? Are you ruined financially? It’s a question of risk tolerance. If you can afford to lose the capital in your house, keep it. Enjoy yourself! But if you’re counting on that house for retirement, or if you’ll end up destitute if you lose it, I say now would be a good time to sell your place.”

Via Next Draft.



IPFS

Another take on content centric networking, see also Van Jacobson on CCN and Named Data Networking

Here is the blurb from their website ipfs.io, but the best intro is the video included below …

IPFS is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files. In some ways, IPFS is similar to the Web, but IPFS could be seen as a single BitTorrent swarm, exchanging objects within one Git repository. In other words, IPFS provides a high throughput content-addressed block storage model, with content-addressed hyperlinks. This forms a generalized Merkle DAG, a data structure upon which one can build versioned file systems, blockchains, and even a Permanent Web. IPFS combines a distributed hashtable, an incentivized block exchange, and a self-certifying namespace. IPFS has no single point of failure, and nodes do not need to trust each other.


At first glance this is an attempt to get CCN working, in the absolutely simplest way by patching together existing tech. I respect this, and it’s not a diss to say so. Having a working stack to play with will be valuable. However I think the hackyness of this approach will prove to be too much to actually implement, and it will fall back to a complete ground up stack like the NDN folks to get something that is performant and has features like mobile nodes built in.



What the Dust in Your House Says About You

Emily Anthes in The New Yorker:

Each bit of dust is a microhistory of your life,” Rob Dunn, a biologist at North Carolina State University, told me recently. For the past four years, Dunn and two of his colleagues—Noah Fierer, a microbial ecologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Holly Menninger, the director of public science at N.C. State—have been deciphering these histories, investigating the microorganisms in our dust and how their lives are intertwined with our own.

Most of our microscopic roommates are unlikely to present a real threat; many species of bacteria, scientists now know, are crucial partners in maintaining our health. “We’re surrounded by microbes all the time, and that’s not a bad thing,” Fierer said. In the next phase of their research, he and Dunn hope to identify connections between a home’s microscopic inhabitants and the health of its human ones. And there are likely to be more findings lurking in the dust that the volunteers already collected. How does the use of antimicrobial cleaning products alter a home’s profile? Is there a link between our genomes and the species that occupy our homes? There’s far more data than the scientists can analyze themselves, so they have posted it all online; members of the public can download the complete data set and hunt for new correlations and patterns.



Lee Kuan Yew’s Death Has Already Taken Place

Jeremy Fernando at berfrois:

There is a famous maxim that one must always kill your idols. That the only way to become your own person, as it were, is to free yourself from the shadow of the one you admire, look up to. Singapore has clearly taken this to heart: and has murdered its founding father. Not in the banal sense of attempting to erase his memory, an erasure by censorship, omission, but in a far more sophisticated way: by cementing a version of him, memorialising him — archiving him.

Via Isabella



What Are a Hospital’s Costs? Utah System Is Trying to Learn

Gina Kolata in the NYT:

Only in the world of medicine would Dr. Vivian Lee’s question have seemed radical. She wanted to know: What do the goods and services provided by the hospital system where she is chief executive actually cost?

Most businesses know the cost of everything that goes into producing what they sell — essential information for setting prices. Medicine is different. Hospitals know what they are paid by insurers, but it bears little relationship to their costs.

No one on Dr. Lee’s staff at the University of Utah Health Care could say what a minute in an M.R.I. machine or an hour in the operating room actually costs. They chuckled when she asked.



Hiroshima

John Hersey in the August 1946 The New Yorker:

At exactly fifteen minutes past eight in the morning, on August 6, 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Miss Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning her head to speak to the girl at the next desk. At that same moment, Dr. Masakazu Fujii was settling down cross-legged to read the Osaka Asahi on the porch of his private hospital, overhanging one of the seven deltaic rivers which divide Hiroshima; Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura, a tailor’s widow, stood by the window of her kitchen, watching a neighbor tearing down his house because it lay in the path of an air-raid-defense fire lane; Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, a German priest of the Society of Jesus, reclined in his underwear on a cot on the top floor of his order’s three-story mission house, reading a Jesuit magazine, Stimmen der Zeit; Dr. Terufumi Sasaki, a young member of the surgical staff of the city’s large, modern Red Cross Hospital, walked along one of the hospital corridors with a blood specimen for a Wassermann test in his hand; and the Reverend Mr. Kiyoshi Tanimoto, pastor of the Hiroshima Methodist Church, paused at the door of a rich man’s house in Koi, the city’s western suburb, and prepared to unload a handcart full of things he had evacuated from town in fear of the massive B-29 raid which everyone expected Hiroshima to suffer. A hundred thousand people were killed by the atomic bomb, and these six were among the survivors. They still wonder why they lived when so many others died. Each of them counts many small items of chance or volition—a step taken in time, a decision to go indoors, catching one streetcar instead of the next—that spared him. And now each knows that in the act of survival he lived a dozen lives and saw more death than he ever thought he would see. At the time, none of them knew anything.

As always, use the archive.is link below to avoid the paywall if that is an issue for you.



History of Cartography free online

The first volume of the History of Cartography was published in 1987 and the three books that constitute Volume Two appeared over the following eleven years. In 1987 the worldwide web did not exist, and since 1998 book publishing has gone through a revolution in the production and dissemination of work. Although the large format and high quality image reproduction of the printed books (see right column) are still well-suited to the requirements for the publishing of maps, the online availability of material is a boon to scholars and map enthusiasts.

On this site the University of Chicago Press is pleased to present the first three volumes of the History of Cartography in PDF format.



Are the millions spent on wildlife rehab a waste?

Emily Sohn in Aeon:

Single animals sometimes get care that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars – money that could be spent instead on protecting habitats and other conservation efforts that save far more animals at a time. Could wildlife rehab be a massive waste of time and money?

Duh.



When does your religion legally excuse you from doing part of your job?

Eugene Volokh in The Volokh Conspiracy:

Yet besides her losing claim in the federal lawsuit, it seems to me that Davis has a much stronger claim under state law for a much more limited exemption. Davis’s objection, it appears (see pp. 40, 133, and 139 of her stay application and attachments), is not to issuing same-sex marriage licenses as such. Rather, she objects to issuing such licenses with her name on them, because she believes (rightly or wrongly) that having her name on them is an endorsement of same-sex marriage. Indeed, she says that she would be content with

Modifying the prescribed Kentucky marriage license form to remove the multiple references to Davis’ name, and thus to remove the personal nature of the authorization that Davis must provide on the current form.

Now this would be a cheap accommodation that, it seems to me, a state could quite easily provide. It’s true that state law requires the County Clerk’s name on the marriage license and the marriage certificate. But the point of RFRAs, such as the Kentucky RFRA, is precisely to provide religious objectors with exemptions even from such generally applicable laws, so long as the exemptions don’t necessarily and materially undermine a compelling government interest.

And allowing all marriage licenses and certificates — for opposite-sex marriages or same-sex ones — to include a deputy clerk’s name, or just the notation “Rowan County Clerk,” wouldn’t jeopardize any compelling government interest.

If Davis sues in state court, seeking a declaration that she can issue licenses and certificates without her name — as a Kentucky RFRA-based exemption from the Kentucky statutory requirements for what must go on her license — I think she’d have a good case. The federal district court rejected her Kentucky RFRA argument on the grounds that the requirement doesn’t much burden her beliefs:

The record in this case suggests that the burden [on Davis] is more slight. As the Court has already pointed out, Davis is simply being asked to signify that couples meet the legal requirements to marry. The State is not asking her to condone same-sex unions on moral or religious grounds, nor is it restricting her from engaging in a variety of religious activities. Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs. She may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible Study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County Jail. She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk. The Court therefore concludes that Davis is unlikely to suffer a violation of her free exercise rights under Kentucky Constitution § 5.

But though I agree that her religious convictions can’t excuse her from issuing marriage licenses altogether, I think the judge erred in the rest of the analysis in this paragraph. If Davis believes that it’s religiously wrong for her to issue licenses with her name on them, ordering her to do that indeed burdens her religious beliefs, enough to trigger the Kentucky RFRA. And giving her the more modest exemption from the include-the-court-clerk’s-name requirement might therefore indeed be required by the Kentucky RFRA.

So if Kim Davis does indeed go through the state courts, and ask for a modest exemption under the state RFRA — simply to allow her to issue marriage licenses (opposite-sex or same-sex) without her name on them — she might indeed prevail. Rightly or wrongly, under the logic of Title VII’s religious accommodation regime and the RFRA religious accommodation regime, she probably should prevail.

There’s a lot of appeal to the “you take the job, you follow the rules — if you have a religious objection to the rules, quit the job” approach may be. But it’s not the approach that modern American federal employment law has taken, or the approach that the state religious exemption law in Kentucky and many other states has taken.

Muslim truck drivers who don’t want to transport alcohol, Jehovah’s Witnesses who don’t want to raise flags, Sabbatarians (Jewish or Christian) who don’t want to work Saturdays, and philosophical vegetarians who don’t want to hand out hamburger coupons can take advantage of this law. Conservative Christian county clerks who don’t want to have their names listed on marriage certificates and licenses likely can, too.



Bucking a Trend, Some Millennials Are Seeking a Nun’s Life

Penelope Green in the NYT:

While the number of women entering religious life has been in a steep decline since the mid-1960s, it is notable and even startling that a contemplative order like the Dominican Nuns of Summit — where the sisters live in cloister and practice a life of prayer — would be able to attract young, college-educated millennials.

Amazing photos from Toni Greaves:




Germans Welcome Migrants After Long Journey Through Hungary and Austria

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has been praised for her moral leadership for saying that all Syrian migrants would be allowed to come to Germany and apply for asylum. But some have argued, like Mr. Orban and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, that simply opening the European door will cause many more thousands of migrants and asylum seekers to abandon refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and embark on the hazardous and expensive journey to Europe, promoting more people smuggling, and not less.



The Life and Death of Amazon Is the Life and Death of Seattle

Charles Mudede in the Stranger:

All that we see happening around us today (the growth, the rise in home values, the increasing flows of foreign capital) was present in and pressed hard upon our city’s past. What has changed is just the scale. There has been no structural transformation that’s dislocated the past from the present. And without a profound transformation at the level of the base, which would mean a radical experiment with a kind of city we have never known or lived in, we are stuck with either a dying Dayton or a thriving 206.



Why boring cities make for stressed citizens

A little slow and obvious, but something I have noticed myself about cities I like …

Colin Ellard in Aeon:

Why would anyone think it a good idea to build a large, featureless building at ground level? What motivates a developer to erect an endless stretch of suburban housing where each individual unit is identical and, in the language of information theory, low in entropy?



YouTube-taught javelin thrower Julius Yego wins gold at world championships

The Guardian was breathless in its description of Yego’s winning heave on its live blog:

An astonishing throw by Julius Yego! He literally launches himself into his third attempt, straining every sinew as he releases the javelin and falling face down onto the floor. His nipples will have taken a hell of a scraping there. It’s ungainly. Unorthodox. And my goodness it’s worth it, the spear flying way past the 90-metre mark! It’s a throw of 92.72, a season’s best! And the Commonwealth record, previously held by Steve Backley.


And here is the actual throw: