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Category Archives: Recommended Books

Nature and Artifice: A Portrait of Vincent van Gogh Not Seen Before

Yale University Press – Yale Books: “David Ebony interviews Michael Lobel, author of Van Gogh and the End of Nature In his latest book, Van Gogh and the End of Nature, author Michael Lobel situates Vincent van Gogh in the midst of the industrial era in 19th-century Europe, and explores the artist’s often fraught relationship to that period. For most art lovers, Van Gogh, the myth, is the guru of nature worship, reflecting in his famous paintings and drawings an emotional and passionate homage to nature in its purest form. Without sacrificing any reverence for the unparalleled achievement of this beloved artist, Lobel examines the life and work of Van Gogh from the viewpoint of our own times, and especially, in terms of our present preoccupation with climate change and the precarious state of the environment. Recently, I met Lobel via Zoom to explore his revelatory pragmatic study of this most spiritual of artists…The book is an attempt to point out to people that Van Gogh often plays nature off against industry in his work. That’s a basic premise of this project…I think that to portray Vincent van Gogh as someone who was living amidst nature while somehow completely sidestepping industrialization is to misrepresent his actual historical circumstances. One of the goals of the book is to place him within the context of the industrial era in which he was living. My proposal for the “Van Gogh: Smokestacks” exhibition seems kind of tongue-in-cheek, but I was absolutely sincere about it. You could easily put together an exhibition of something like 35 to 45 Van Gogh works featuring smokestacks. One of my biggest hopes for the book is to make Van Gogh more relevant for a contemporary audience…”

The race to build a better internet before it’s too late

NBC News Analysis: A new book proposes a framework for the internet that would give consumers more control over their own personal data. One of the worst attributes of our society at times is the search for someone to blame. Sometimes we prioritize figuring out who is at fault rather than focusing on how to… Continue Reading

It’s time to admit that genes are not the blueprint for life

Nature: The view of biology often presented to the public is oversimplified and out of date. Scientists must set the record straight, argues a new book. How Life Works: A User’s Guide to the New Biology Philip Ball Pan Macmillan (2024) For too long, scientists have been content in espousing the lazy metaphor of living… Continue Reading

Book Review: Transformative Negotiation Strategies for Everyday Change and Equitable Futures

Via LLRX – Book Review: Transformative Negotiation Strategies for Everyday Change and Equitable Futures – Jerry Lawson writes – So you think you know how to negotiate? You’ve done some deals, maybe a lot, maybe some for big bucks. Maybe attended some classes. Maybe read some books. Surely you can’t have all that much left to… Continue Reading

LLRX November 2023

The November 2023 issue of LLRX has 9 new articles and 6 new columns: AI in Banking and Finance, November 30, 2023 ; AI in Banking and Finance – November 16, 2023 – This semi-monthly column by Sabrina I. Pacifici highlights news, government reports, industry white papers, academic papers and speeches on the subject of AI’s… Continue Reading

A History of Bookmaking, From Scrolls to Scrolling

HyperAllergic: “If you’re shopping for the bibliophile on your list this holiday season (or you are said bibliophile), look no further! The Book by Design: The Remarkable Story of the World’s Greatest Invention (2023, University of Chicago Press) is an ambitious compendium that seeks to catalog and analyze the history of the book in myriad… Continue Reading

Hitting the Books: How the ‘Godfather of Cybercrime’ got his start on eBay

Engadget – “From bunk Beanie Babies to signal-stealing cable boxes, Brett Johnson has scammed them all. The internet has connected nearly everybody on the planet to a global network of information and influence, enabling humanity’s best and brightest minds unparalleled collaborative capabilities. At least that was the idea, more often than not these days, it… Continue Reading

This Is Why You Feel Existential Dread When You Open Instagram and TikTok

Gizmodo: “In Meganets: How Digital Forces Beyond Our Control Commandeer Our Daily Lives and Inner Realities, David Auerbach argues the the distinctly modern feeling of a loss of control over our lives is the result of these new online forces. The vast influence of Facebook, Google, TikTok, and other tech giants is neither in the… Continue Reading