Discover more from techno musing
💫 The Value of Art
vol. 5 // rehoboam // amused to death
This week I attended a writing workshop by a popular indie-writer influencer (if that’s even a thing). It was a rather staged affair, making me feel like I was in a scammy infomercial session, something meant to convince me to buy a time-share or something off a TV. I learned a bit and was half-paying attention until I couldn’t get past something he had said:"That is not good writing. This is.”
It got me thinking about who even decides what is “good”. If you asked Shakespeare if this writer’s work was quality, it would likely be a hard no. Writing for eyeballs on the Internet is vastly different than writing long-form pieces of art. Is one style objectively better? Do they both have equal value?
In a capitalist system, value is monetary. The dollar value outcome of an article on the internet is easier to measure than the dollar value of the inspiration we get after reading “Hamlet”. So, which is more valuable to humanity overall? I don’t believe there is an objective right answer here, but it’s interesting to consider why people might choose one over the other.
There is a constant struggle between capitalist values and human values, and whoever has control will get to dictate the rules of the fight. I personally tend to veer towards the side of art, and today’s newsletter touches on a few different spheres in the art world: sci-fi, culture, illustration, and the means of its distribution.
💫 Life updates
Updates on recent work :
Had a lot of fun writing an article on Building Rehoboam. Rehoboam is a supercomputer from the last season of the show Westworld, and it controlled everything in the show’s world. I explored how the future of computing in our world may reach a Rehoboam, and unfortunately we may already be close.
Finished reading Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. Wow. I would highly recommend it. Postman covers the history of media and how the medium shapes the culture around it. The catch is that the book was written in the age of television, well before the Internet. Check out the article below for my reflection on it.
Published a reflection on “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, here. Turns out that misinformation and the attention economy aren’t as new as we thought. The same concerns emerged with the advent of television, and in my reflection I compare my favorite ideas in the book with the state of communication media today. Even if you don’t read the whole thing, I highly recommend reading the bolded quotes from the book.
💫 Digital serendipity
Curiosity provoking content from the last few weeks:
Video on the popular tech-y illustration style of flat, warped, minimalist people. Although I don’t necessarily agree with the criticisms of it, it was interesting to learn about the artists that laid the groundwork for this form of illustration today.
Article on Sophrosyne: the Art of Mindful Moderation, by Anne-Laure Le Cunff from Ness Labs. There is a lot of history behind the value of living in moderation, something I believe has been lost in today’s society. This 5 minute article covers mythology, philosophy, and actionable takeaways on the practice of “sophrosyne”.
That’s all for this issue! If you got this far, thanks for joining. I’m looking to revamp the structure of the newsletter to be more cohesive, so be on the lookout for changes in the future. As always, feedback or thoughts are always welcome :)