Weekly round-up [3/05/10]: the science of art, old media interactivity,

By | March 5, 2010

I should probably acknowledge that my weekly round-ups aren’t so much weekly as they are “periodically,” but it’s a little too late to change now.

  • So in honor of the approaching Oscars, the NYT recently released a piece on how shot pacing in films matches our brain rhythms. Interesting observations, but it begs the question: what does this tell us that we didn’t already know? That films written, shot, and edited by human beings have an increasing tendency to suit the pace of how humans think? How is this news to anyone? In the same vein, have some mathematical descriptions of movie composition.
  • Moving on: CMS colleague Nick Seaver has a great piece on interactivity of player pianos. He makes great points about mediation and reproduction and other issues that are central to new media concerns, illuminated in a new way. We can only learn so much about new media by looking at it in isolation — it’s by connecting it to the once new technologies that the larger social patterns emerge.
  • Oh, and speaking of thought to be obsolete, there may be life for Google Wave yet.
  • Clay Shirky entreats us to stop talking about information overload. The problem, he points out, is not too much information or too little attention. Too much information is an old media problem, existing since after the Dark Ages. The issue is that we haven’t mastered the systematic filtering and sorting of this information.
  • This Open Net Initiative piece on keyword filtering by Microsoft Bing in ‘Arabian Countries’ reminds us too that solutions for “information overload” in one context can quickly resemble censorship in another.
  • And sort of related: insights from a mobile Q&A rising star. Frost & Sullivan has a piece on youth market insights from an analysis of ChaCha. Full disclosure, stuck without a smart phone, if not for ChaCha I may still be lost somewhere in West Texas.
  • And what’s with all this bzzzzzzz — AT&T has a new service Buzz.com that some think will actually supplant Google’s offering due to its facebook integration.

And on a last note:

  • “You came in with dreams and now you stand with spreadsheets”: Rishad Tobaccowala cuts right to the point at his 4A Transformations talk on incentivizing talent. The three types of wealth — experience, education, and economic — resonated because his emphasis was on wealth as a diversity of these things, not a sheer quantity. I had been spoiled for the first two at MIT — and range of experiences you could have, things you could create was matched only by the immense generosity of the minds around you. In the current economic climate, I’ve yet to see media and advertising industries match that kind of intellectual ambition or reciprocity, though my hope is that speeches like this mean there’s a thaw — not just economically — around the corner.
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