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In the News 09.02.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 09.02.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 09.02.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 09.02.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

In Defence of Pretentiousness

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Pretentiousness is always someone else’s crime. It’s never a felony in the first person. You might cop to the odd personality flaw; the occasional pirouette of self-deprecation is nothing if not good manners. Most likely one of those imperfections nobody minds owning up to, something that looks charming in the right circumstances. Being absent-minded. A bad dancer. Partial to a large gin after work. But being pretentious? That’s premier-league obnoxious, the team-mate of arrogance, condescension, careerism and pomposity. Pretension brunches with fraudulence and snobbery, and shops for baubles with the pseudo and the vacuous.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

The Epic Uncool of Philip Seymour Hoffman

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When Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an accidental drug overdose on February 2, 2014 at age 46, it felt like a huge part of the past two decades of cinema had disappeared as well, as if all the wonderful characters he created were on some level buried with the man who played them. A shocked public experienced a profound double loss. They were mourning the Hoffman who took up such formidable real estate in many modern classics. But they were also mourning all the brilliant Hoffman performances to come, which were extinguished with Hoffman’s death.

It was shocking because of his private nature. He wasn’t a tabloid fixture or subject of gossip. He was an artist who lent the often ridiculous and ephemeral act of pretending to be other people an innate dignity. He wasn’t averse to big paychecks—he appeared in Mission: Impossible III and the Hunger Games films, and was Ben Stiller’s wacky sidekick in the radiantly mediocre Along Came Polly—but he seemed to approach every role with an utmost seriousness that seldom veered into pretension.

Hoffman made a big impression in small roles in small movies early in his career, using his unique physicality—that shocking red hair, translucent skin, and giant-toddler body—to upstage the other actors around him, especially when the material he was in didn’t match his extraordinary talent. That happened often during the early years. Hoffman made his big-screen debut in 1991’s little-seen Triple Bogey On A Par Five Hole as an unsavory sort known only as “Klutch.” He doesn’t have much screen time, but he makes his present felt with his fingerless motorcycle gloves, sleeveless T-shirt, bandanna, and demonic cackle. Hoffman briefly livens up the proceedings; then Amos Poe’s pretentious riff on Citizen Kane and the ennui of the idle rich goes back to being deeply boring. In Stacy Cochran’s sly, largely forgotten comedy My New Gun, Hoffman, looking a little like Ralph Malph gone to seed, laughs with seemingly drug-induced glee at how much he loves an epic fucking rainstorm. He talks about vomiting blood, shows off a neck tattoo, then lurches offscreen in the rain, never to be seen again. Hoffman logs maybe a minute of screen time, but even in a movie as offbeat and clever as My New Gun, it’s hard not to wonder, “Who is that man, and why isn’t the movie just about him?”

Read the rest of this article at The Dissolve

SHOP

Shop Update: The Return of The Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Seacliff

The Saint-Germaine-Des-Prés is available for pre-order at Belgrave Crescent & This Is Glamorous – The Shop

Adam Grant, a Workplace Magician, Reveals His Secrets

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Before becoming the youngest tenured professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, when he was 29, Adam Grant was a professional magician.

These days, his magic involves making arcane topics like organizational change, motivation at work and groupthink interesting and accessible to a popular audience. His first book, “Give and Take,” examined how generosity and selfishness could contribute to successful careers. His new book is “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.” This interview has been edited and condensed.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

How to Fix the Fashion System

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LONDON, United Kingdom — On a balmy Friday in the salubrious, stucco-fronted district of South Kensington, BoF’s editor at large Tim Blanks gathered together four individuals from fashion in the newly opened South Kensington Club to discuss the latest developments in fashion. They included: the designer Erdem Moragliou, who after 10 years in business with his independent label, Erdem, opened his first bricks and mortar store in Mayfair this year; one of the original fashion bloggers, Susie Lau, who launched Style Bubble a decade ago and now boasts 247,000 followers on Instagram; Daniel Marks, director of The Communications Store, which he joined 14 years ago. His clients include Net-a-Porter and Versace. And the editor at large of Wallpaper*, JJ Martin, who runs her own vintage fashion site LaDoubleJ and is a consultant.

Read the rest of this article at Business Of Fashion

The Hunt for the Algorithms That Drive Life on Earth

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TO THE COMPUTER scientist Leslie Valiant, “machine learning” is redundant. In his opinion, a toddler fumbling with a rubber ball and a deep-learning network classifying cat photos are both learning; calling the latter system a “machine” is a distinction without a difference.

Valiant, a computer scientist at Harvard University, is hardly the only scientist to assume a fundamental equivalence between the capabilities of brains and computers. But he was one of the first to formalize what that relationship might look like in practice: In 1984, his “probably approximately correct” (PAC) model mathematically defined the conditions under which a mechanistic system could be said to “learn” information. Valiant won the A.M. Turing Award—often called the Nobel Prize of computing—for this contribution, which helped spawn the field of computational learning theory.

Valiant’s conceptual leaps didn’t stop there. In a 2013 book, also entitled “Probably Approximately Correct,” Valiant generalized his PAC learning framework to encompass biological evolution as well.

He broadened the concept of an algorithm into an “ecorithm,” which is a learning algorithm that “runs” on any system capable of interacting with its physical environment. Algorithms apply to computational systems, but ecorithms can apply to biological organisms or entire species. The concept draws a computational equivalence between the way that individuals learn and the way that entire ecosystems evolve. In both cases, ecorithms describe adaptive behavior in a mechanistic way.

Those who turned out to support Abloh also reflected the unique position that he occupies within his field. His bow at the end was hijacked by Ian Connor – the stylist and creative director of A$AP Rocky who embodies the brash youthfulness of streetwear. Meanwhile,Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing watched on, embracing the designer at the end of the show. It was an unusual coming together of seemingly disparate fashion worlds, but then again, Off-White has always made a point of occupying a hard-to-define middle ground between high and low brow.

Reclining in a black leather office chair, Abloh considers his wayward path into the industry. “I never made the conscious decision to be a designer,” the 35-year-old Chicagoan admits (in fact, he formally trained in Engineering before earning a master’s degree in Architecture). “I just had an exorbitant amount of ideas; fashion design is a place for people like that because there are a lot of decisions to make.”

Read the rest of this article at Wired

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.