Christian existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ Sun, 02 Jan 2022 21:37:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://willtoexist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-6-120x120.png Christian existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ 32 32 Headlines: The Hess Fashion Specialist | The titles of the story https://willtoexist.com/headlines-the-hess-fashion-specialist-the-titles-of-the-story/ Sat, 01 Jan 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/headlines-the-hess-fashion-specialist-the-titles-of-the-story/ It would be difficult to say what has been the highlight of the career of Hess’ fashion director, Gerard “Gerry” Golden. There were many of them. But March 3, 1967 was to be close. That morning, New York Times readers had plenty of news to choose from that day. The Vietnam War was at its […]]]>

It would be difficult to say what has been the highlight of the career of Hess’ fashion director, Gerard “Gerry” Golden. There were many of them. But March 3, 1967 was to be close.

That morning, New York Times readers had plenty of news to choose from that day. The Vietnam War was at its height, and it seemed like former Attorney General Senator Robert F. Kennedy was posing as a tough White House suitor with incumbent President Lyndon Johnson. Returning to page 29, the entertainment section, Hello Dolly was going strong with Martha Raye leading the way and there was a box with oversized letters that said “WHAT! HAVE YOU NOT EVEN SEEN THE MAN FROM LA MANCHA ONCE?






Gérard “Gerry” Doré


But Golden’s attention must have been riveted on the article on page 30. “Hess of Allentown Shows Imports,” read the headline. Under the signature of Times fashion writer Bernadine Morris was an account of the latest fashions Golden had brought back from Europe.

“Prices are dropping in the latest importation of sewing assembled in Europe by Hess department store in Allentown, Pa.,” The article began. “An Antonio del Castillo crystal beaded evening dress costs $ 7,500 to $ 1,500 less than last season’s more expensive style, also a Castillo. But the reduction is not significant according to Gerard (Gerry) Golden, fashion director of the store. “Summer clothes are always a little cheaper”, he observed yesterday before presenting the first presentation of the latest European import fashions in New York at the Americana Hotel “, which hosted many celebrities of the time during that decade, including the Beatles.

Morris went on to note that this was Golden’s 48th fashion trip to Europe. The day before, the dresses had been previewed in Pennsauken, New Jersey, at a dinner for 2,500 women. Over the next four months, Golden will host another 250 shows for women’s groups in civic organizations in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They would also be showcased daily at Hess’s Patio restaurant and displayed in the store’s floor-to-ceiling windows, artistically staged by Hess VP Design Wolfgang Otto. “The average housewife has been influenced by television. She’s not interested in daytime wear or if an outfit has welt seams or baggage seams, she wants the excitement, ”Golden added. About 75 percent of the collection was Italian and much of the rest French. But, according to Morris, Golden had also included designer clothing from Africa and the Near East.

Bringing fashions from other often overlooked countries had been Golden’s hallmark. He had been doing this since his beginnings as a fashion director for Hess’s. They were more affordable than Couture from Europe and so introduced it to Americans who might never see it otherwise. This Times article was exactly the sort of thing Max Hess liked to see promoting his store. Glamor and elegance and a touch of the world outside of Lehigh Valley made his store unique. This is what Golden has managed to bring to his 24 years with Hess. The fact that a fashion director plays an important role in today’s emerging world of European fashion has revived the store’s image both in Lehigh Valley and abroad. According to a source, Hess insisted the store be listed as having outposts in London, Paris and Rome. They might have been nothing more than a phone on a desk, but they were there.






Hess Fashion Show Newspaper Ad

Hess Fashion Show Newspaper Ad


Looking at Gerard “Gerry” Golden’s youth, one would not have guessed that he would have had an interest in fashion. Born in Pittston, Luzerne County, he was the son of Martin A. Golden III and Florence Golden. He had a brother, Martin. After attending Bucknell University, where he trained as an engineer, he was employed as treasurer and sales manager for the Lenox Manufacturing Company of Catasauqua. During World War II, he served with Army engineers in the Pacific as a first lieutenant, receiving several citations for his service.

In 1947 Golden went to work for Hess as a fashion headwear buyer. According to the recollection of a long-time former Hess employee, the story was that Max Hess had seen Golden buying women’s hats for the store. Something about his technique impressed Hess, or so it is rumored, and he instantly decided to give Golden a chance by sending him on a shopping trip to Japan. Hess had a reputation for making decisions on the spot, and the trip to Japan was apparently Golden’s big break. Even though this country was just beginning to emerge from WWII, it was a success. “He became the first American buyer to introduce a high fashion collection of designer originals in the East,” the New York Times noted. This was followed by trips to Greece and Turkey to return, according to the Times, “with the first collection by designers from these countries to be shown in the United States.”






Hess' caravan

Hess’ caravan


Golden and Hess were both fortunate enough to have come during this time in postwar America. According to art and culture writer Louis Menand in his recent book “The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War”, the years 1945 to 1973 were a unique period during which the culture has crossed the transatlantic world. From the existentialism of philosophers in Paris to the abstract expressionism of artists in New York, ideas have flourished. Not everyone was comfortable with it. At the time, Time magazine called abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollack “Jack the Dripper” for his famous drip paintings. Couture was also influenced by the new style of the “free world”. Even Hollywood has entered the scene with movies set in the fashion world like “Fancy Free” from 1955 with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire and “Designing Woman” from 1957 with Lauren Bacall and Gregory Peck. Hess and Golden in their own way took advantage of bringing that international fashion sense to the Lehigh Valley.

It was in 1952 that Golden made its first major foray into the world of European fashion by bringing Elsa Schiaparelli to Hess to exhibit her newly created lingerie garments. In truth, Schiaparelli had passed her prime as a fashion designer. Originally from Rome, she had lived in America after fleeing her aristocratic family. She returned to Paris and made a name for herself in the 1920s and 1930s with perhaps her most famous client being Wallace Warfield Simpson, aka the Duchess of Windsor. Others included movie stars Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Vivien Leigh and Ginger Rogers, among others. At the same time, Schiaparelli also followed American department stores, bringing dresses to the upper middle class market.

If the American women of Lehigh Valley and Allentown knew anything about European fashion, Schiaparelli was the name they knew. When she came to Allentown, it drew a lot of people to Hess, bringing with it the romanticism of Parisian fashion. But Golden was not only keeping an eye on the past but also looking to the present. In 1947, Parisian designer Christian Dior released the longer “New Look” dresses that raised eyebrows and even hems. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some GIs returning from WWII preferred their wife and girlfriend’s shorter skirt length to where she was. But Paris had spoken. Dresses reflecting this “New Look” style were quickly available from Hess.






Hess Department Store in Allentown

Hess Department Store in Allentown


Apparently the most important thing for Golden in the 1950s was to encourage emerging Italian fashion designers. Since the 19th century, the fashion was Paris. But there were a lot of talents in Italy whose work he wanted to encourage. Among those he first contacted – although not Italian, but based in Rome – was Irene Galitzine. From the Galitzines, a Russian noble family at the time of the Revolution, they fled to Rome. After studying fashion with the Italian designer Sorelle Fontana in 1946, she opened her workshop in Rome.

Golden met Galitzine in 1955 and suggested that she come to Allentown, which she did that year to show off her designer originals. Her most popular item was her so-called “palazzo pajamas,” a type of evening wear in silky lounge pants that takes its name from the Palazzo Pitti in Florence where they were first introduced. Later, in the words of the New York Times, “his living room on Via Venato was where DuPonts and Fords clashed for the first crack at his creations.” Galitzine did not forget Hess and returned there several times, notably in 1963. She then counted Jacqueline Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor among her clients.

In the 1960s, Golden appeared on seasonal local television specials. Obviously, expensive designer fashion items were not within the reach of most Hess customers. But that was apparently Golden’s and by extension Hess’ point of view. They would take the shoppers into the store and once there they would buy something.

The sale of the store in 1968 and the death of Max Hess, 57, the same year, ended the goals he and Golden shared.

On February 16, 1971, the Morning Call announced the death of Gerry Golden at his brother’s home in Catasauqua after an illness of several months. He was 55 years old.


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Bob Moses: a civil rights leader with a second act https://willtoexist.com/bob-moses-a-civil-rights-leader-with-a-second-act/ Mon, 27 Dec 2021 10:01:56 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/bob-moses-a-civil-rights-leader-with-a-second-act/ Ironically, Moses didn’t even take part in the historic 1960’s meal-bar sit-ins that led to the creation of the SNCC. He read about them in the newspaper in his Harlem apartment. But he was inspired by the courage and eagerness shown by the students, barely a few years younger than him, putting their bodies in […]]]>

Ironically, Moses didn’t even take part in the historic 1960’s meal-bar sit-ins that led to the creation of the SNCC. He read about them in the newspaper in his Harlem apartment. But he was inspired by the courage and eagerness shown by the students, barely a few years younger than him, putting their bodies in danger. He quit his job as a math teacher at an elite prep school in New York City and headed south to join the movement. In the summer of 1960 he showed up in Atlanta, where the newly formed SNCC was housed in the offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization of Martin Luther King Jr. is put to work without any clear assignment. “I was licking envelopes, one at a time, and I was talking about Niebuhr and Tillich with Jane Stembridge,” he said in an initial interview, referring to a student at Union Theological Seminary who had just been hired as temporary director of the new group.

Despite all his intellectual inclinations and airs, Moses quickly left Atlanta to become one of the first SNCC organizers in the field. Under the tutelage of an older Mississippi activist named Amzie Moore, he ventured into rural Mississippi, where the white supremacist order resisted change more fiercely than anywhere else in the country. In slow and very personal work, he teamed up with local African Americans to help them gain the right to vote. Over the next several years, SNCC activism would spread widely across the South, but the Mississippi campaign would become the biggest and most difficult. Friends and colleagues of Moses were often beaten, brutalized and even murdered. In 1961, Billy Jack Caston, a white supremacist and cousin of the local sheriff, attacked Moses himself on the steps of the courthouse in a town called Liberty, opening a bloody gash in his skull that would require eight stitches. On another occasion, Moses was hit and nearly killed as bullets shot through his head.

The Mississippi Project, as it was called, which culminated in the Freedom Summer of 1964, was ultimately a mixed success. On the one hand, SNCC activists saw it as a cruel defeat when, at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, the party refused to sit on a delegation from their Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party instead of the traditional all-white segregationist representatives. of State. But if the SNCC lost the battle, it won the war. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Democrats backed the fight for national voting rights legislation, and the voting rights law became law the following summer. The organization in Mississippi by Moses and others also galvanized a generation of activists, for whom it will remain a formative and inspiring experience.

After the mid-1960s, the civil rights movement fractured. After the adoption of civil rights and voting rights laws, the spotlight turned to intractable economic and social issues around which no clear political consensus existed and which could not be resolved by an act of Congress or a government. Supreme Court decision. The SNCC itself is divided over politics, non-violence and black power. The Vietnam War increasingly absorbed the energies of the young demonstrators.

Always of independent spirit, Moses found himself a little alone during this period of realignments. Along with integrationist leaders like Lewis and Bond, he left the SNCC when it switched to activism. But for a time he also embraced black separatism, even dropping his last name (he went by “Robert Parris” for a while) and settling in Tanzania. He finally gave up his flirtation with separatism, seeing it as a phase of his intellectual development that he could leave behind.

The challenge for many veterans of the movement – who accomplished so much in their twenties and thirties – was figuring out what to do next. Some have never found a vocation. Others flourished in academia, journalism or social policy work, continuing to keep activism in their lives. A few, like Lewis and Bond, had important careers in politics. The path Moses chose for his last four decades was more unusual and perhaps in some ways more difficult: an effort to expand and improve the teaching of mathematics, especially for underprivileged students, called The Algebra Project.

Just as Moses saw his civil rights work as an outgrowth of his study of philosophy, he saw his commitment to what he called “math literacy” as an extension of his involvement in the struggle for freedom. 1960s. The low level of math education in urban neighborhoods and rural communities, he liked to say, was as urgent as the inability of black Mississippians to get the vote in the early 1960s. problem, it took a similar type of community organization. Moses then built staff, trained teachers in innovative teaching methods, and created an organization whose staff interacted closely with students, parents, teachers and community leaders in cities across the country. According to a 2002 Mother Jones Moses’ profile, research into the effectiveness of the Algebra project found that it helped students improve their math skills, as measured by standardized tests, and likely boosted college enrollment among its graduates.

It wasn’t glamorous work, but Moses knew that building on the achievements of the civil rights movement in the decades after its heyday meant a shift in focus. While there would always be a role for protests and marches, tackling inequalities in areas like education required a different kind of solution – one that got to the heart of the matter of how people lived, worked and learned. Robert Moses not only led a long and productive life but, through his second act, ensured that the civil rights movement did the same.


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“Le muguet” by Soren Kierkegaard appears in Persian https://willtoexist.com/le-muguet-by-soren-kierkegaard-appears-in-persian/ Wed, 22 Dec 2021 14:58:41 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/le-muguet-by-soren-kierkegaard-appears-in-persian/ TEHRAN – Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard’s book “Field Lily of the Valley and the Bird of the Air: Three Divine Speeches” has been published in Persian. Published by Shabgir, the book has been translated into Persian by Elham Delavar. The book was first published in 1849. An English version of the book was published in […]]]>

TEHRAN – Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard’s book “Field Lily of the Valley and the Bird of the Air: Three Divine Speeches” has been published in Persian.

Published by Shabgir, the book has been translated into Persian by Elham Delavar. The book was first published in 1849.

An English version of the book was published in 2016 by Princeton University Press.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his disciples to let go of earthly concerns by considering the lilies of the field and the birds of the air. Soren Kierkegaard’s short masterpiece on this famous gospel passage draws vital lessons for readers in a rapidly modernizing and secularizing world.

Sharp, brilliant, and written in surprisingly lucid prose, “Lily of the Valley and the Air Bird” is one of Kierkegaard’s most important books.

This profound but accessible work serves as the ideal entry point for an essential modern thinker.

“Lily of the Valley and the Air Bird” reveals a less familiar but deeply appealing side to the father of existentialism, devoid of its complexity and subtlety, yet supremely accessible.

As Kierkegaard later wrote of the book, “Without fighting with anyone and without talking about myself, I said a lot of what needs to be said, but in a moving, lightly, uplifting way. . “

Kierkegaard was a prolific 19th century philosopher and theologian. Kierkegaard sharply criticized both the Hegelianism of his day and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Church of Denmark.

Much of his work deals with religious themes such as faith in God, the institution of the Christian Church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices.

His early works were written under various pseudonyms, which present their own distinctive views in a complex dialogue.

Photo: Cover of the Persian translation of Soren Kierkegaard’s book “Lily of the valley and the air bird”.

MMS / YAW


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Subjectivity is Truth: Back to Kierkegaard https://willtoexist.com/subjectivity-is-truth-back-to-kierkegaard/ Wed, 15 Dec 2021 13:59:34 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/subjectivity-is-truth-back-to-kierkegaard/ “Subjectivity is the truth.” This is the famous and notoriously cryptic phrase at the heart of Soren Kierkegaard’s highly philosophical theology. It’s been back in my consciousness lately, even though it’s been a few years since I spent time with the elusive Dane. I have read essays by Paul DeHart, the theologian at Vanderbilt, and […]]]>

“Subjectivity is the truth.” This is the famous and notoriously cryptic phrase at the heart of Soren Kierkegaard’s highly philosophical theology. It’s been back in my consciousness lately, even though it’s been a few years since I spent time with the elusive Dane. I have read essays by Paul DeHart, the theologian at Vanderbilt, and Kierkegaard is one of the thinkers he often returns to.

Kierkegaard and me

It’s like that for a lot of us, it seems. Kierkegaard doesn’t like to let go. My journey with him started at university, and I remember it as a moment of intense and exciting discovery. It was my final year at Olivet Nazarene University, and our teacher Craig Keen was leading a group of enthusiastic young evangelicals through most of the texts. My classmates and I spent late nights in the library or in each other’s apartment, debating strange vignettes of Whether or and the surprising movements of Unscientific Conclusion Postscript. We tried to get into Kierkegaard’s lifelong wrestling match with the Christian philosophy of the great GWF Hegel. We discovered the key terms, trying to weave a cohesive path through everything we learned. Faith, immediacy, moment, repetition, paradox, contradiction. What did this playful and pugnacious writer mean by all of this?

In and around all of these stimulating ideas, there is, by philosophers’ standards, a lot of biographical intrigue. His sad love story, a public argument with a pastor. His somewhat too credible parables of a seducer. There was enough to keep the interest of the 21 year old holy children.

DeHart finds the center of Kierkegaard’s life and thought in “the restless will to be yourself”. I think that’s a pretty good way to put it. Moreover, it is in this restless will that his philosophy reveals a theological belly. “Subjectivity is the truth” doesn’t mean “individualism is the way” or anything like that from Ayn Rand. It means, on the contrary, that there is no discovery of the truth of the universe for humans without an inward turn. Without, that is, a courageous resolution to confront myself. This confrontation, in turn, becomes the surprising place where God reveals himself beyond my own will.

Stages on the path of life

A motif repeated in Kierkegaard’s writings describes this revelation through the stages of life. They go something like this:

  • In search of pleasure and immediate gratification, I do not reflect on my life. I guess I’m living my life to the fullest.
  • As I start to think, I suspect that I am not living my life, but my life is living me. I decide to live with moral intentionality, regardless of the lack of pleasure or reward that such a life brings.
  • I encounter God as a shine of grace in my relentless struggle to live a good life. In an instant, or in a series of instants repeated differently more likely, I discover that my moral resolve was itself only a preparation for the gift of life that God has for me. My turn inside opened me to the God beyond. I am not my own truth, but my subjective resolution has led me to the truth.

Kierkegaard is sometimes called the father of existentialism. I think that’s not wrong, as long as you don’t make him a mid-twentieth-century Frenchman with a cigarette and no sense of humor. For him, withdrawal is what emerges when we pay attention to our existence, to our way of existing in the world. You could say that there is a deep asceticism in Kierkegaard, although it is not the asceticism of the fathers and mothers of the desert. He is the father of the desert one would meet in modern Copenhagen, going to the opera and sitting in a cafe reading the newspaper.

Kierkegaard on the diagonal track

For me, all of this makes him a diagonal traveling companion. Careful attention to how I live in the world is the only trustworthy path to God. “Interiority,” he sometimes calls it. Kierkegaard never lets us rest on the easy assumption that God is lying to the world while waiting to be discovered. Kierkegaard is not kind to the idea that a person, church, or culture can assume that God is on their side. It brings out some of his funniest or (and!) Most vitriolic prose.

God is not “out there” to find, for divinity appears in the world in the paradox of a God-human. Truth appears in the world as a treasure hidden in a field. Without the courage and determination to go digging, we will only see the field. Just as Jesus’ contemporaries had to sit down with harsh or confusing teachings if they ever hoped to hear the divine voice speak. The heart of the gospel, for Kierkegaard, is that the truth of God enters the world and makes it difficult.

Subjectivity is the truth

Prayer is difficult. Moral resolution is difficult. Faithfulness in marriage and family life is difficult. Loving your neighbor is difficult, even before coming to the question of strangers and enemies. But the biggest paradox of all, and the mysterious trick that delights and frustrates its readers, is that this difficult path is only a step on the path of life. The dancer must train and retrain her steps, but all this is in the service of the majestic leap of the dance floor. The Christian learns and relearns the habits of discipleship, but all of this is at the service of the moment of immediacy, the moment when the eternal gift of God bursts into our consciousness.

And yet, avoiding ourselves, our habits, our unique paths of existence, is the surest way to avoid this surprise of the divine presence. For Kierkegaard, the courage to face yourself is the beginning of the courage to meet God. Our irreplaceable subjectivity is the truth.


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Readers’ Forum, December 6, 2021: Mutual aid and sharing accompany Christmas | Letters to the Editor https://willtoexist.com/readers-forum-december-6-2021-mutual-aid-and-sharing-accompany-christmas-letters-to-the-editor/ Sat, 04 Dec 2021 04:15:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/readers-forum-december-6-2021-mutual-aid-and-sharing-accompany-christmas-letters-to-the-editor/ Take care, share with Christmas The Christmas season is approaching. It’s a time when so many things seem to get bigger. Some, like our appetite and our waistline, are a never-ending battle. Others, like our hearts, are more important and really the reason for the season. We are a nation of immigrants and of various […]]]>

Take care, share with Christmas

The Christmas season is approaching. It’s a time when so many things seem to get bigger. Some, like our appetite and our waistline, are a never-ending battle. Others, like our hearts, are more important and really the reason for the season.

We are a nation of immigrants and of various religions from around the world. Christmas is a Christian tradition. At the same time, it is a holiday that goes beyond strict religious lines. About three quarters of the population are Christians. However, around 90% of the people in this country celebrate Christmas.

Each family has its traditions. Perhaps it is a matter of hanging the handmade 50s ornament on the tree in a place of honor. It could be the four little angels spelling out CHRISTMAS who have adorned a mantle for generations. There are other traditions which have fallen into disuse or are quite recent.

Coca-Cola popularized the modern image of Santa’s grandfather. Before a 1938 advertisement, the portrayal of Santa Claus was very varied, but generally that of an elf or a gnome.

Christmas trees became popular in the mid-19th century. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were shown in an illustration published in 1848 standing next to a decorated tree. Soon the practice became popular over Christmas. Previously, it was only a German tradition.

Ghost stories were popular in the Victorian era. This held true even at Christmas. So it’s no surprise that Charles Dickens built “A Christmas Carol” around a ghost story.

Caroling looked a lot more like a modern trick-or-treat. He was supposed to provide food or drink for the singers, otherwise your garden might be in trouble.

In the 17th century, it was common for a single person to throw a shoe into a tree during Christmas time. If he was hanging there, you’d be married next year.

Christmas is really all about the birth of Christ. From there we have the message of faith and love.

From this message, we all become a little more generous, caring and sharing. This helps bring the Christmas spirit to this time of year. Let us each keep this spirit alive throughout the year as we keep Christ alive in our hearts.

– Dwayne Owens, Terre-Haute

Search for meaning

In 1946, Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) wrote “From Death Camp to Existentialism” about his years in four Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust of World War II.

His memoir was republished in 1959 under the title “Man’s Search For Meaning”. Frankl was born in Vienna, Austria, and also earned a doctorate in psychiatry and a doctorate. He has published over 30 books and has been a visiting professor and lecturer at Harvard and Stanford.

His theory of logotherapy (finding meaning in life) centers on the fact that we cannot always avoid suffering, but we can choose how to deal with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with a renewed purpose. Forces beyond our control can take away all we have except one thing, our freedom to choose how we will react to the situation. We can’t always control what happens to us in life, but we can always control how we feel and do about what happens to us.

He explains that during his three years in the concentration camps, he kept himself alive and kept hope by thinking about his wife and the prospect of seeing her again, and dreaming of lecturing after the war on the lessons. psychological to be drawn from the experience in the concentration camp.

What a reading this is. This writer recommends it to anyone who is still looking for meaning in their life.

– William Greenwell, Terre Haute


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Obituary of Alvin Lucier: a visionary composer and passionate teacher https://willtoexist.com/obituary-of-alvin-lucier-a-visionary-composer-and-passionate-teacher/ Fri, 03 Dec 2021 17:17:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/obituary-of-alvin-lucier-a-visionary-composer-and-passionate-teacher/ Few composers have understood the value of a good accident like Alvin Lucier did. Of course, any good artist, in any discipline, should be attentive to the revelations and possibilities that present themselves in the unguarded moments. But Lucier, the influential visionary of experimental music who died this week at the age of 90, created […]]]>

Few composers have understood the value of a good accident like Alvin Lucier did. Of course, any good artist, in any discipline, should be attentive to the revelations and possibilities that present themselves in the unguarded moments. But Lucier, the influential visionary of experimental music who died this week at the age of 90, created a work that seemed to exist in the sound space between shot and chance, between entropy and control. Over the course of a 60-year career, Lucier was a visionary who constantly pushed the boundaries of what music could be and how it could be created.

He was not a musical prodigy, but rather a conceptual artist who approached sound with a deep well of curiosity and eccentricity. Some composers deal with notes and scales; Lucier communicated directly with the physics and acoustic phenomena of sound itself, embracing unpredictability and instability. If the simplest definition of music is “organized sound,” then Lucier was determined to tip the scales from the organized side of the equation towards pure sonic processes – with an attentive ear to the properties of the space in which this sound could be heard.

One of the qualities of Lucier’s work was the guiding feeling that the instability of a performance environment could be seen as essential to the work itself. Consider his most famous composition, “I Am Sitting in a Room,” which is as iconic and oddly quotable as avant-garde sound art. He embodies Lucier’s genius for process-based music. Its conceptual basis is explained in the work itself: the composer recorded the sound of his own voice describing the piece, then re-recorded the sound of this recording being played in the room, then re-recorded the sound of this recording, and so on, until the frequencies in the room exceed any semblance of intelligible words. “What you will hear then are the room’s natural resonant frequencies articulated by speech,” explains Lucier. For those who are patient enough to sit with the coin for 45 minutes, it is mesmerizing to hear Lucier’s soothing voice dissolve into a distant alien roar, like a photograph of a photograph of a photograph.

The piece has become a classic work of American minimalism, its influence echoing half a century of experimental and ambient music. You can feel Lucier’s influence in so many different areas of boundary-pushing musical creation: by William Basinski Decay loops and their use of degradation and deterioration of bands to Flaming Lips’ Zaireka and her willingness to embrace the inherent instability of reading equipment in Laurie Anderson’s blurring of the line between music and the art of performance. Yo La Tengo is also known to be huge Lucier fans – the trio performed with Lucier in 2016, swapping their usual deafening guitar noise for an eccentric piece performed with whispered vocals channeled through balloons.

Like many of Lucier’s greatest pieces, “I Am Sitting in a Room” was conceived as a result of a happy accident. Lucier got the idea after someone told him about a sound engineer named Amar Bose, who had tested his own speakers using them to play back the sounds produced by the speakers themselves. This was a primarily practical endeavor that Lucier reinvented as an artistic concept, which feeds on the singular properties of the piece in which the piece is performed.

After studying composition at Brandeis and the Tanglewood Music Festival (where his mentors included Aaron Copland) and beginning his career as a neoclassical composer, Lucier began to drift into the American avant-garde after attending performances by John Cage and David Tudor in the early 1960s. Cage’s emphasis in his compositions on random and random operations, such as raffles, had made “non-intention” fashionable in avant-garde circles. Lucier gradually embraced Cage’s belief, famously expressed in “4’33”, that any sound could be musical, and he found new and inventive ways to advance Cage’s investigation of random processes.

His first pivotal piece, “Music for Solo Performer” (1965), arose from an encounter with physicist Edmond Dewan, who provided Lucier with the use of a brain wave amplifier. Lucier soon imagines a play in which a musician sits on stage, doing nothing, with electrodes attached to his head; the musician’s own alpha waves are amplified, vibrating 16 percussion instruments.

Another piece, “Vespers” (1968), was inspired by a chance encounter with a person whose company produced portable pulse oscillators, known as Sondols, which are commonly used by blind people. These gadgets also became improbable musical instruments: Lucier had blindfolded performers move around a space containing the oscillators, which emit frenzied clicking as they approach walls or furniture. The result was a sort of crackling percussive symphony that also served as a “sound photograph” of the space in which the piece was performed.

In 1970, after establishing himself with such major works as “Music for Solo Performer” and “I Am Sitting in a Room”, Lucier began teaching at Wesleyan University, where he has remained a staple in the department of music for over 40 years. His unique approach to teaching has broadened the minds of thousands of students, both trained musicians and inspired amateurs, who have studied under his direction.

I would know: I was one of them. In 2009, as an impressionable first year at Wesleyan, I was fortunate enough to take Lucier’s “Introduction to Experimental Music” course. Every Tuesday and Thursday we would sit in a basement classroom, trying to soak up everything while Lucier presented us with major works by experimental composers like Robert Ashley, David Behrman or Gordon Mumma (three artists with whom Lucier formed the Sonic Arts Union in 1966), or regaled us with a live performance of “4’33”.

Lucier had a sweet and excitable way of speaking (in a soft voice you might recognize in “I am sitting in a room”), and he seemed endlessly curious about the sound and the myriad ways to handle and fuck it. . It never seemed arrogant when he included several of his own pieces in the program, or when his name appeared in the manual he had assigned. It made sense. Of course, his work should be on the agenda. Studying experimental music with Alvin Lucier was like studying existentialism with Jean-Paul Sartre, or studying feminist history with Mary Wollstonecraft. It was a strange privilege.

Every day was a revelation. Lucier was delighted to play classical works by great minimalist composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass, introducing us to methods of musical creation by repetition or tape loops or manipulations of the human voice. (I remember being blown away by Reich’s “Come Out,” a looping experience with an urgent social message, and suddenly realized I recognized the loop because it had been sampled by Madvillain.)

One day Lucier asked us to bring a comb and two stones each to class so that we could perform “Comb Music” by George Brecht and “Stones” by Christian Wolff. Another day he hypnotized us with the vocal blasts of “Turtle Dreams” by Meredith Monk. Lucier also seemed to have an unusually vivid memory; he lit up when he told us long stories about conversations he had with John Cage in the 1960s.

Lucier didn’t make the kind of music you listen to while driving down the highway with the windows open, and to his detractors his work may seem clinical or distant; “I Am Sitting in a Room” is, of course, a scientific experiment as much as a song. But anyone who spent time in Lucier’s class could tell that this man took a strange joy in manipulating the sound. Some of his works even revealed a mischievous and mischievous side: “Nothing Is Real” from the 1990s, for example, consisted of distorted fragments of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” emitted from a loudspeaker placed inside. a tea-pot.

This sly spirit of rebellion permeated the classroom. There was a subtle feeling that we were being taught the kind of music that would have horrified our high school orchestra teachers. Rightly so, many of Lucier’s alumni have embarked on an important musical career. A brief and non-exhaustive list of musicians who studied under Lucier would include Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser of MGMT, Amanda Palmer and rapper Heems, formerly of Das Racist, who tweeted wednesday that Lucier’s class “informed my approach to rap music.

It would also include songwriter and guitarist Ben Seretan, who this week posted a nice souvenir of Lucier in his newsletter. “He’s taught me a lot – and countless others – to listen, to steer us in fascination and wonder,” Seretan wrote. “As the sound moves the air and the radio waves pass through me, I want to laugh easily, I want to hold everything up to the light.”

Lucier’s mission seemed to be to convince us that anyone could design and create works of experimental music. There was no final exam. Instead, the final project was to prepare and perform an original, strangest and most inventive composition possible. A student created a mini-symphony of “Walk! Signals he had recorded at the downtown crosswalk. Seretan turned his guitar to maximum amplification, then simply huffed on it. Another friend of mine created a “symphony for three or more computers,” a cacophony of arbitrary motherboard beeps between multiple computers.

As for me, I turned my electric guitar into a percussion instrument, lightly hitting the body with the loudest possible volume and amp gain. It made excruciating feedback noises (which scared my roommates when I rehearsed), but Lucier seemed to like it and I got an A-.

Lucier remained creative until the end. Last spring, when a location in Brooklyn hosted a 26-hour “I’m Sitting in a Room” marathon in honor of Lucier’s 90th birthday, he was interviewed in the New York Times. He then mentioned that he was executing “crazy ideas” that had long existed in his mind, such as “a duet with a bat that lives in the belfry of the Wesleyan Memorial Chapel”.

When news of the composer’s death spread on Wednesday, my Facebook and Twitter feeds filled with tributes to Lucier. While some of my former classmates published articles on specific pieces they loved from Lucier, I found it strangely moving when others recalled their own bizarre experimental compositions that they had created under instructions. by Lucier. It was part of Lucier’s life’s work: to convince ourselves that any of us could be an experimental composer and that anything could be music.


Zach Schonfeld is a New York-based freelance writer and journalist. It regularly contributes to Dough, fork, Vulture and other publications. Previously he was senior writer for News week. His first book was published in November 2020.



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WVU student releases video game with music album https://willtoexist.com/wvu-student-releases-video-game-with-music-album/ Mon, 29 Nov 2021 20:54:05 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/wvu-student-releases-video-game-with-music-album/ MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Conner Rush, a computer science student at West Virginia University (WVU), combined the worlds of computer science with music for his latest creation, a video game experience called The Colossus Is Coming: The Interactive Experience. The game is a backing piece to accompany his second full music album, The Colossus Is Coming. […]]]>

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Conner Rush, a computer science student at West Virginia University (WVU), combined the worlds of computer science with music for his latest creation, a video game experience called The Colossus Is Coming: The Interactive Experience.

The game is a backing piece to accompany his second full music album, The Colossus Is Coming.

Conner Rush, creator of The Colossus Is Coming and Summerland (WVU Photo)

In the game, the player will walk through a strange forest from the perspective of a silent protagonist. They will explore and assemble bands that play the music from the album, telling the story of a person being hunted down by a mysterious and all-knowing being.

The album was not a solo project however; Other WVU students like Jonah Henthorne and Phillip Keefover helped with many musical elements during the creation of the album.

“It’s more of a work of art than a game in the traditional sense,” Rush said. “I made the album primarily as an exploration of ideas around religion, existentialism, anxiety, relationships, neuroticism …

In 2020, Rush released the Summerland game, a more narrative mystery novel about morality and the afterlife.

The Colossus Is Coming: The Interactive Experience was developed by Fairmont Youths Reinventing Entertainment (FYRE) Games. Rush started FYRE Games at the age of 12, which only recently became a legally recognized LLC in 2020.

Screenshot of the game The Colossus Is Coming: The Interactive Experience (now on Steam)

“The game is meant to evoke feelings of anxiety and entrapment expressed by music,” Rush said. “The Colossus Is Coming: The Interactive Experience delves more into the story told through the album in a more visual and tactile way.”

The album was released on all streaming platforms, and the game can be played for free on the online game distribution platform, Steam. The game trailer is available here.


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It’s the best sci-fi movie of all time – 24/7 Wall St. https://willtoexist.com/its-the-best-sci-fi-movie-of-all-time-24-7-wall-st/ Sun, 28 Nov 2021 17:00:38 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/its-the-best-sci-fi-movie-of-all-time-24-7-wall-st/ No one really knows what the earliest works of science fiction are. Of course, it depends on the definitions. One of the often noted pioneering works is Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels,” released in 1726, while Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, released in 1818, is perhaps the most famous science fiction work. from before the 20th century. Frankenstein […]]]>

No one really knows what the earliest works of science fiction are. Of course, it depends on the definitions. One of the often noted pioneering works is Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels,” released in 1726, while Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, released in 1818, is perhaps the most famous science fiction work. from before the 20th century.

Frankenstein is now part of the pantheon of older science fiction characters, including “Dracula”, which first appeared in 1897 in Bram Stoker’s book of the same name. These stories and characters also appear in many science fiction films, including some of the best. But the best science fiction film of all time is “Alien” (1979). (These are the 50 greatest heroes in cinema.)

To determine the best sci-fi movie of all time, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes in October 2021. The Big Science -fiction doesn’t just entertain. It criticizes the present and warns us (or excites us) of the future. It makes us think. It gives us a feeling of wonder. Most importantly, it can be pretty darn entertaining. (These are the 100 greatest movies ever made.)

“Alien” is a fine example of science fiction that makes us think. Despite director Ridley Scott’s claim that his only intention with the film was terror, according to Slate, “Alien” spawned a lot of academic analysis, remaining relevant to this day.

The film (spoilers ahead) tells the story of the crew of a commercial space tug named Nostromo, who are awakened from stasis on their way back to Earth to investigate a transmission from an alien moon. neighbor. All hell breaks loose after they land, and soon after, there’s a horrific rogue alien – brilliantly designed by HR Giger – terrorizing them (and springing from poor John Hurt’s chest).

With its fast-paced storyline on the edge of your seat, “Alien” was a smash hit that captured audiences and inspired countless movies and TV shows, and it kicked off a franchise that’s still going strong.

Click here to see the 50 best sci-fi movies of all time

Methodology

To determine the best sci-fi movie of all time, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using the average ratings from the Internet Movie Database, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of ratings from audience and Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes, an aggregator of film and TV reviews, in October 2021. All ratings have been weighted equally. Only films with at least 15,000 audience votes on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes were taken into account. The countless “Star Wars” movies and superhero fantasies based on Marvel Comics or DC Comics characters have been excluded from consideration. Director credits and actor information are sourced from IMDb.


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“The sexual revolution has left a deep mark of destruction” | Catholic National Register https://willtoexist.com/the-sexual-revolution-has-left-a-deep-mark-of-destruction-catholic-national-register/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 18:39:16 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/the-sexual-revolution-has-left-a-deep-mark-of-destruction-catholic-national-register/ The eleventh edition of the Ratzinger Prize was won by German philosopher Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz and Old Testament theologian Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger. Established by the Ratzinger Foundation in 2011, this prize is intended to encourage research in theology and any other academic research inspired by the Gospel, in the tradition of the teachings of Pope Benedict. The […]]]>

The eleventh edition of the Ratzinger Prize was won by German philosopher Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz and Old Testament theologian Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger.

Established by the Ratzinger Foundation in 2011, this prize is intended to encourage research in theology and any other academic research inspired by the Gospel, in the tradition of the teachings of Pope Benedict.

The award ceremony took place on November 13 in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, in the presence of Pope Francis. The 2020 Ratzinger Prize winners, French philosopher Jean-Luc Marion and Australian theologian Tracey Rowland, were also on hand to receive their awards after the 2020 awards ceremony was canceled due to coronavirus restrictions.

The four scholars then met Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican on November 15. The registry interviewed Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz following this meeting to ask him his point of view on the excesses caused by the ideologies resulting from the sexual revolution of 1968, in particular the ideology of gender and other postmodern questions.

Born in 1945, she is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy of Religion and Comparative Religious Studies at TU Dresden. Her research focuses on the philosophy of religion of the 19th and 20th centuries, and she specializes in the Catholic philosopher Edith Stein and the theologian Romano Guardini, to whom she has dedicated numerous writings.

She currently heads the European Institute of Philosophy and Religion at the Pope Benedict XVI University of Philosophy and Theology in Heiligenkreuz, Austria.

You have just met Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, after receiving the Ratzinger Prize at the Vatican. Can you tell us what your discussions were about?

These were moments of great humanism and erudition. We, four laureates, presented our work to the Pope Emeritus, and he commented on our four themes in a low voice, but clear and careful and sympathetic.

As a senior professor at Pope Benedict XVI’s Philosophical and Theological Hochschule, how would you describe his greatest contribution to the philosophical world of his time?

I would say his understanding of Logos explicitly shows the contribution of Greek reason to Christian dogmatics and teaching; and he interpreted the wonderful tension and complement of Greek and Hebrew wisdom as the two sources of Christianity.

How has it influenced your thinking?

Pope Benedict spoke of the “court of the Gentiles” in the temple in Jerusalem, where non-Jews listened to the revelations of the prophets. My duty in an agnostic society in East Germany from 1993 to 2011 was therefore to open such a tribunal. Also, I am deeply convinced that Logos is the instrument to empty the mind before entering the faith [debate, discussion enables people to enter the faith with a clear mind]. “Omnia nostra, ”Said Saint Augustine -“ everything belongs to us ”- when we are able to integrate the wisdom of other cultures into Christianity as well. It is not a question of melting, but of integrating and leading all wisdom into the eternal Sophie [from Greek, “wisdom”].

In a maintenance with L’Osservatore Romano a few years ago, you said that you had become a believer by studying philosophy, especially that of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which nevertheless proclaimed the “death of God”. How can you explain this?

The theology of the 1960s, when I was studying in Munich, did not appeal to me: too much historical criticism, also in methodology, too much existentialism (for example, the death of God in the Protestant theology of Dorothee Sölle), etc.

In philosophy, I learned to see the objective structures and orders of thought and the world, the contradictions of atheism, the absurdity of denying the truth. Also, the deep meaning of the objective world, which is much more than a construction of the human mind.

In his time, Romano Guardini, whose thoughts you have explored, saw nihilism as the greatest danger for post-war youth. How do you think he would view society today?

He always tried to see both sides of a cultural phenomenon. Moreover, in his time he saw great peril and great opportunity in the technical world of uprising.

Today he would certainly criticize the loss of the human personality constructed by the Creator, for example the desperate self-destruction of even his own body (all aspects of “trans-” including transhumanism, the alluring theories of autonomy). But he believed in the strength of the rules of creation, of the rules of redemption; he believed in the Church as an indestructible instrument of the Spirit.

By analyzing the process of secularization in the West in a item published on Vita and Pensiero, you have noticed a return of the sacred. What form does it take?

Unfortunately, one type of return of the sacred is that of esoteric practices, in all their strange helplessness. The other phenomenon that arises among the young generation: they rediscover the adoration, the adoration of the Eucharist, of Jesus, the veneration of the Virgin Mary (also under the influence of Medjugorje). All of this is happening beyond denominational boundaries.

I know young priests who had to study hypercritical theology. They formed groups to “survive” in the faith and decided to take a new path of prayer and dogma.

You have also studied feminist theology and women’s history extensively during your career, which naturally led you to take an interest in gender theory, towards which you have never hidden your hostility. What danger does this ideology represent for you?

It represents, in a word: decarnation. It represents contempt for his own body, his language, his divine gift.

In the same vein, how do you approach the question of the ordination of women, which many are calling for today, in the name of equality, and to put an end to the “excesses of clericalism”?

Man and woman are equal in dignity and different in their duties or their charisms. This is the charm of creation: no neutral person. The domain of the Christian woman is the whole world – especially the next generation [of women], in its vulnerable state.

The priest must serve – nourish, console, strengthen – men and women in their endless duties. The masculinity of Jesus obviously has meaning, as does the femininity of Mary. Both concepts are fundamental; we need a new theology to open our blind eyes for it.

While some today dispute the relevance of some of the teachings of Humanae Vitae, you reaffirmed its relevance, half a century after the sexual revolution of 1968. How can this encyclical inspire today’s society?

It is obvious that the sexual revolution has left behind a deep trace of destruction: broken relationships, short and unreliable relationships, pornography, autoerotic and polymorphic sexuality, “production” of children in another woman’s womb, and so on. The encyclical speaks of the physical nature and psychic desires of man and woman, of their amorous dialogue, of their confidence in life, or, better, in God, of their desire for children – without techniques, without pills, without manipulation. It may be an ideal, but how to proceed in these complicated subjects, without ideal? Even though many people think that they cannot follow this path, they can understand the beauty of it.


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5 books that inspired Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in 2021 https://willtoexist.com/5-books-that-inspired-microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-in-2021/ Mon, 15 Nov 2021 12:00:13 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/5-books-that-inspired-microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-in-2021/ On a quiet weekend afternoon, I stopped to reread the diary my late mother left to remember her and what she meant to me. Mom was a Sanskrit teacher, and among all of her reflections on her daily life and the challenges of being an academic, wife, and mother, there were observations of a more […]]]>

On a quiet weekend afternoon, I stopped to reread the diary my late mother left to remember her and what she meant to me. Mom was a Sanskrit teacher, and among all of her reflections on her daily life and the challenges of being an academic, wife, and mother, there were observations of a more transcendent nature, on topics ranging from nuances of ancient Sanskrit drama to her reflections. on Eastern and Western philosophers.

A passage from his diary caught my attention. She invokes the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard: The goal of reflection is to achieve immediacy. It seemed to me to be the core of leadership. We are living in unprecedented times. We need to learn from the past and be inspired by what is possible in the future. Yet what we need to do now is act when inaction might be easier.

These are the types of ideas that I find while reading. The following five books, which I read over the past year, shed light on my current thinking about leadership, technology, and the future.

Philosopher of the Heart: The Troubled Life of Søren Kierkegaard, Claire Carlisle

I remembered my mother’s diary while reading the biography of Søren Kierkegaard by Clare Carlisle. In his book, we feel the poetry of Kierkegaard’s thought. Her writing explores the human experience, especially love and suffering. Considered the father of existentialism, Kierkegaard picks up where Socrates left off in wondering how to be a human being in the world. How do we live ethically? Carlisle observes that Kierkegaard didn’t find life linear: “We go back in memory and run forward in hope and fear and plans.

It’s an insightful way of grasping what leadership is: creating clarity, generating energy, and fostering success. These Kierkegaardian management attributes will continue to be valuable and valued.

Utopia or oblivion: the perspectives of humanity, R. Buckminster Fuller

The man remembered for his lattice shell structures, including the geodesic dome, was no philosopher, but his architectural and systemic theories were no less full of the Kierkegaardian heart. In the introduction to Fuller’s Utopia or Oblivion, his grandson remembers that even on a brief drive to the airport, “Bucky”, as he was nicknamed by his family, put every priority on the table. moment to focus on making the world work for 100% of humanity.

A few years ago, Fast business reported that Fuller’s ideas, focused on issues ranging from global conflicts to global climate change, are more important than ever. These ideas spurred a design revolution. In an accelerating world, how can economic and technological capabilities be harnessed by all, by design? Fuller writes that the physical resources of the earth can support an entire humanity that is multiplying to a higher standard of living than anyone has ever known or dreamed of.

In a world where we work to overcome constraints to solve complex problems, Fuller shows us how the science of design helps us do more with less. Published in 1969, Utopia or oblivion remains a well-argued and logical statement about our collective future.

The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values, Brian Christian

Artificial intelligence is the most important priority of technology, and I am encouraged and optimistic about how it is applied to empower people. For example, Microsoft’s Seeing AI is an app that turns the visual world into an audible experience for people who are blind or visually impaired. And tools like Immersive Reader help improve reading and writing for learners of all skill levels.

In The alignment problem, Christian offers a clear and compelling description of the promising and dangerous field of unsupervised learning within AI and machine learning. Courthouses, hospitals, and schools have relied on data-driven machine learning models to increase accuracy and predictive power, but what happens when the data, the model, or both contain biases? Machines that learn on their own are becoming increasingly autonomous and potentially unethical.

In his previous book with Tom Griffiths, Algorithms to follow, Christian is studying the computer science of human decisions. In his latest post, he writes that we want machine learning models that capture norms and values, but what norms and values? How to align the human training of machine models with moral considerations? How to ensure that ethical values ​​are rewarded and valued?

The book is organized into three parts: identifying how today’s systems conflict with our best intentions; create incentives for value-based reinforcement learning; and a research tour of the author’s favorite ideas for aligning complex autonomous systems with highly nuanced norms and values.

The storytelling here takes us from theory to practice while trying to answer one of our industry’s most pressing questions: How do we teach machines, and what should we teach them?

The difference: how the power of diversity creates better groups, businesses, schools and societies, Scott E. Page

When I became CEO of Microsoft, mission and culture were the most important pillars in building the future of our business. Our mission has become to empower every person and organization on the planet to do more. To be successful, we had to represent the world itself, which is why diversity and inclusion are a priority.

In The difference, Page moves the conversation forward by clearly defining diversity in terms of the differences in the way people see, categorize, understand and improve the world. As a leader and reader, I am on a journey of lifelong learning. The author offers us tools to achieve the best results for all. These tools include various perspectives, heuristics, interpretations and predictive models.

Known for his groundbreaking book and online course, The model thinker, Page has built a library of titles about diversity and complexity that are of vital importance to business and society.

Power of creative destruction, Philippe Aghion, Céline Antonin and Simon Bunel

The authors, three French researchers in economics, argue that the socio-economic problems revealed during the global pandemic – well-being, health, inequalities and many others – will not be solved by abolishing capitalism but rather by inventing a better one. capitalism through the power of creative destruction, which they define as innovations that disrupt and uplift societies.

Their approach is hardly Pollyanna. They begin with a fascinating examination of creative destruction in economic history with a focus on how we measure nation wealth, GDP, Gini coefficients, and productivity, which the authors find useful but insufficient in. today’s world of technology and data. Instead, they write, innovation and knowledge diffusion should be at the heart of growth processes and measures. Innovation is based on incentives and protections.

From where I am sitting, it must focus on inclusive economic opportunities for everyone. We need to equip everyone with the skills, the technology and the opportunities to fill the jobs in demand of a changing economy.

Creative destruction is a constant conflict between the old and the new, the old and the insurgent. Philosophical advice, yes, but also practical. It is the daily life of our industry.


Satya Nadella is the executive chairman and CEO of Microsoft. His recommendations from previous books can be read here.


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