Five Centuries Of Human Identity On Little Pieces Of Card Stock

“In 15th-century China, in 17th-century Europe, name cards, visiting cards, and trade cards – the predecessors to today’s 2″ x 3.5″ business cards – gave people their first chances to construct virtual selves. … But they were always metaphorical entities, too, offering clues to their bearer’s temperament and taste, certifying a person’s value through aesthetics rather than more tangible credentials.”

Detecting Sarcasm: Now There’s An App For That

Researchers in Israel “wrote a sentiment-analysing program. They then trained this software to recognise sarcasm by feeding it sentences that had been flagged up by human reviewers as likely to contain sarcasm. … The algorithm agreed with the [human] volunteers 77 per cent of the time for product reviews and 83 per cent of the time for [randomly selected Twitter] tweets.”

Researching Dementia To Write Lion’s Face Libretto

“[A]n elderly man and an elderly woman, neither of whom use language any more, gaze at each other, shaking their simple instruments in time. My first thought is a cliche: music drawing strangers together in the depths. Then the doctor sitting next to me gives me a nudge, and shows me what he has scribbled on the margin of his notes: ‘husband & wife’.”

Remembering Jeanne-Claude

[Wrapped Reichstag] took quite literally hundreds of people, … It was, for all intents and purposes, a military operation. And I saw that the general in charge of this was not Christo, but Jeanne-Claude. Not for nothing did she grow up in a family that was closely connected to the French government. She combined the intellectual precision of Descartes with the unwavering determination of DeGaulle.”