Required Reading

This week, Ovid and pickup artists, photojournalism and #MeToo, sales in the music industry, pampered princelings, why you can’t stop looking at other people’s screens, and more.

PES Architects unveiled the new Strait Culture and Art Centre in Fuzhou, China. The studio arranged the five swooping buildings that make up the centre to unfurl like the overlapping petals of a jasmine flower – the symbol of the city. The opera hall itself is covered with mosaic tiles in the shape of tiny flowers. More images at Dezeen (via Dezeen)

Jansari said there was a misguided impression that the British Museum did not know – or care – about how artefacts entered its collections, whereas a lot of people were actually researching the provenance of items.

She said the talks were an attempt to make that research public and demonstrate “there is a range of contexts in which this material is collected”.

When an industry is so dominated by men at every level and at nearly every major institution, a toxic culture toward women is the inevitable result. Thus, it’s disappointing but not surprising that many in the photojournalist community — whose job, ironically, is to bear witness to injustice in the world — want very much to look away.

What did subjects see, on other people’s screens? Nearly half the time the answer was text. Then pictures, then games, then — in the shoulder surfing tradition — “credentials,” or passwords, more specifically. More specifically, in order of frequency, other people’s phones revealed: instant messaging, Facebook, email and news.

What did subjects “observe,” on other people’s screens? “Relationships / third persons,” most of all, but then interests and hobbies and “plans.” Why did they look at other people’s screens? “Curiosity” and “boredom” tied for first, with nothing else coming close.

Nobody really likes the idea that other people are looking at their screens. When they imagined being observed, survey participants reported negative feelings — that they felt they had been spied on, harassed, or that they were angry — in 37 cases, with just one respondent reporting “positive feelings.” (And “amused” that someone was watching.)

But it’s not just pickup artists who appropriate the great texts of classical literature to justify their own beliefs. Zuckerberg (the younger sister of the Facebook CEO Mark) characterizes the “Red Pill” online community as the corner of the internet dominated by men’s-rights activists, the alt-right, pickup artists, and the sex-eschewing communities known as Men Going Their Own Way. According to Zuckerberg, virtually all these subgroups appropriate classical literature for their own purposes.

MESA’s narrative is simplistic and short-sighted and unjustly implies that the Times engaged in criminal activity. There have been no “legally designated representatives” of state entities in the field to authorize or reject the collection of ISIS documents by journalists. In Northern Iraq, the de facto authority was the Iraqi security forces with whom the Times’s reporter was embedded. On occasion those forces granted permission to take papers simply because they did not deem them vital for intelligence efforts. Documents listing names of ISIS personnel, for instance, are of far more interest to security forces than those outlining the structure of a dismantled ISIS bureaucracy in a liberated area. Furthermore, some documents would have been destroyed had there been no third-party interest in collecting them. In other instances, documents were recovered from locales and buildings that had otherwise been overlooked. Were it not for the New York Times’s efforts, those documents would likely have been lost forever.

Since Warhol’s death in 1987, the tiny village in Slovakia has — more or less — embraced its role as a place of pilgrimage for his fans. They come seeking to understand how Warhol’s family origins may have played a role in his rise into a global art star who grabbed so much more than just 15 minutes of fame.

Rather than bothering to deny any of this, Trump and his surrogates have simply spun a new creation myth. No longer the scrappy, self-made man, Trump is being reincarnated in real time as the chosen son, with he and his father acting as partners in wealth creation. “One thing the article did get right,” Sanders said, clearly reading from notes, “is it showed that the president’s father actually had a great deal of confidence in him. In fact, the president brought his father into a lot of deals and made a lot of money together. So much so that his father went on to say that ‘everything [Trump] touched turned to gold.’”

Many of the statements are not only untrue but are repeated from event to event, despite the industry of real-time Trump fact-checking and truth-squadding that now exists. This summer, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker looked at all the statements in one rally and determined that seventy-six per cent of the ninety-eight factual assertions Trump made were untrue, misleading, or baseless. Since then, Trump seems not only undeterred but to be stepping up his pace. He claimed that Justice Kavanaugh was No. 1 in his class at Yale and Yale Law School in at least three of his events over the past week, despite Yale not even calculating class rankings. On Wednesday, Trump repeated several of his greatest-hits fallacies, such as asserting that fifty-two per cent of women supported him in 2016 (that number was forty-two per cent), and that numerous new steel-manufacturing plants are being opened (none are), and that “clean, beautiful coal” is coming back (it isn’t).

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning ET, and is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth a second look.

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