Sunday, July 04, 2021

Summer Sydney Soul of Whales: Dragon Man Emerges

Sunday’s focaccia with J and F: Walking at Centemial Park and Tamarama beach 🏝 whale watching

Whales invade Sydney’s seas 

'Independence Day' At 25: Four Things You May Have Forgotten About 1996's Highest-Grossing Movie

By The Bay, Bhangra Meets Bollywood And Struts It On YouTube

“Today, artists like [Northern California girl Manpreet]Toor, 31, are changing the way that bhangra and other Indian dance genres are seen, creating dances meant to be consumed online in productions that resemble professional music videos. … [This] reflects a new wave of Indian diaspora dance, a wave that has been enabled by platforms like YouTube and TikTok, and intensified during the pandemic with live performance on pause.” – The New York Time

Dragon Man Emerges Patrick Wyman, Perspectives


Fewer than half of older Australians retiring after 65

Only 49% of Australians 65 and older are retired in 2021, in a marked decrease from 2018 when 60% of people in the age group were in retirement.

Photographer Captures the Magic of New Zealand in 8K Time-Lapse

Shainblum's skill and experience shine through in this latest piece, with him expertly guiding viewers through different environments. This includes sweeping aerial views of mountains, beams of light streaming through the clouds, and the sun setting over placid waters.


The Hazards of a “Nice” Company Culture

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.
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Carl Sagan

American astronomer Carl Sagan was known and much beloved for his research on extraterrestrial life and the cosmos, which he shared with the public in his earnest, enthusiastic manner on his 1980 TV show “Cosmos,” the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. In his book "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark," Sagan noted that even the simplest scientific concept, fully grasped, can elicit a spiritual experience. “The very act of understanding is a celebration of joining, merging, even if on a modest scale, with the magnificence of the cosmos,” he wrote. “When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.”

Summer of Soul

Jason Kottke   Jun 22, 2021

Stevie Wonder. Mahalia Jackson. Nina Simone. Gladys Knight & the Pips. B.B. King. Sly and the Family Stone. Over six weeks in the summer of 1969, all of these legendary artists (and more!) performed at the Harlem Cultural Festival in NYC, drawing an estimated 300,000 people. The festival was filmed and broadcast on a local TV station, but the footage was never commercially released and so unlike that other 1969 festival, this event largely slipped from public memory.

Now, the Harlem Cultural Festival finally gets its due in the form of Summer of Soul, a forthcoming documentary directed by Questlove that uses that old footage to great effect. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this movie — it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Summer of Soul is out in theaters and on Hulu July 2.

YouTube: “Read Sara’s article about the privacy settings on your smart speaker…In fact, over one-third of U.S. adults has a smart speaker. In 2014, Amazon debuted a simple but industry-changing product: the smart speaker. Technically the Amazon Echo was just a microphone attached to the internet that you installed in your home. But it let users ask a digital assistant, Alexa, thousands of questions and commands, and it was a hit. Before long, Google and Apple followed with their own smart speakers, and today, a device that began as a curiosity has become commonplace…Smart speakers offer convenience; much of their popularity can simply be chalked up to that. But tech companies are also clearly pushing the technology onto consumers hard, sometimes selling smart speakers at rock-bottom prices, and building the “listening” technology that drives them into all sorts of other products, from headphones to doorbells. And a big reason for that is all the data that they produce. Just like our web searches, online purchases, and social networks, every command you give to a smart speaker is a new piece of data that tech companies own. Most likely, your voice recordings are already being used for improving those companies’ listening algorithms and ad targeting, but there’s very little transparency and no way to know exactly how they use human voice data. Open Sourced is a year-long reporting project from Recode by Vox that goes deep into the closed ecosystems of data, privacy, algorithms, and artificial intelligence Watch all episodes of Open Sourced right here on YouTube.”

Physics explains why there is no information on social media

ZDNet – Physics dictates machines should minimize entropy, and humans are complying on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms…Social media is…trying to recover a signal from noise in a communications channel. But what kind of communications channel is social media?  It’s not a communications channel between people, for the problem of how to send a message has already been solved in the seventy years in which Shannon’s coding techniques were applied. You do it all the time when you send a text message on your phone. And Web pages mean anyone can tell people what they think and thereby communicate information. Person-to-person communication was solved long before social media showed up.  Instead, social media is a communications channel to recover the signal of the messages in aggregate, the totality of messages people send. If all two hundred million active users on Twitter are tweeting all day, or the nearly two billion active users on Facebook are posting, what is the signal that is supposed to come out of all of that? All the many messages form signals, the prevalence of themes, the amplification of gestures. The total signal could be progressive politics in some cases, conservative politics in another, or football, or computer programming styles — just about anything..

The content is not important, what’s important is that it amounts to an increasingly clear signal. Whatever the signal is, it is the totality, not the individual messages. Social media is the next-order derivative, if you will, of human communication — the emergent signal of mass behavior…”