ANATOLY IVANOV / PROSE / CATEGORIES / SOCIETY

DO YOU LIKE TO WATCH OTHERS DIE IN THE SAND DUNES?

CINEMA / POLITICS / RELIGION / SOCIETY / ESSAYS / 2024-05-22

Dune — the book, the films… especially the latest ones — are about violence as the only virtue. On a real planet with a real war in a real Europe, killing and maiming real people as you read this, dismembering civilians and mercenaries alike in the most horrific ways… People watch  + 

THERE IS NO TRUTH

JOURNALISM / PHILOSOPHY / SOCIETY / ESSAYS / 2024-05-01

We acknowledge there are many different truths. I’m certain that the truth exists for you and probably for the person sitting next to you. But this may not be the same truth. This is because many people merge facts about the world with our beliefs  + 

WHERE ARE ALL THE SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE?

ECONOMICS / ENVIRONMENT / POLITICS / ESSAYS / 2024-04-18

Our current economic system does not serve humans well. As a community (fighting cruel wars in XXI centuries) or as the individual (born to compete against others, running through kindergarten to nursing home on SSRIs, painkillers and Ritalin)  + 

IS IT OK FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND TO ELBOW-KICK YOU IN THE PLEXUS?

CINEMA / SOCIETY / REVIEWS / 2024-04-01

Have I missed something? Is it now normal for white, post-doc women to elbow-kick their love interest and colleague in the solar plexus? And a black male one at that? In a jaw-dropping scene of a Netflix series viewed worldwide? And the man passively folds in half, choking,  + 

THE CONSTELLATION SERIES IS A CONSTERNATION

CINEMA / EDUCATION / PHYSICS / SOCIETY / REVIEWS / 2024-03-31

Hats off to the colleagues at Haut et Court for pooling in an impressive amount of resources and talent to shoot the “Constellation” series for Apple+. However, the end result turned out as a pseudo sci-fi light-horror semi-drama that toys with quantum mechanics in low Earth orbit  + 

DOES ANYONE CARE HOW YOU LOOK, DAY-TO-DAY?

GADGETS / PSYCHOLOGY / SOCIETY / ESSAYS / 2024-03-19

Wear the same outfit for a month to notice that no one notices. If it’s clean — no one cares. Even if your jeans got holes. Even if you’re a woman, certain that you need a new dress and a matching handbag every day. People  + 

STRUGGLING ARTIST? GIVE AWAY YOUR WORK FOR FREE.

ART THEORY / ECONOMICS / SOCIETY / OUTSIDE NEWS / 2024-01-02

Yann Le Cunn, a Chief AI Scientist at Meta, writes that only a few book authors make significant money from book sales, so most books should be freely available for download. The lost revenue for authors would be small, and the benefits to society large by comparison.  + 

STUDY BIOLOGY OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES

BIOLOGY / ECONOMICS / JOURNALISM / ESSAYS / 2023-12-30

We’ve had opposite extremes — capitalists & communists, Adam Smithians & Karl Marxists — completely miss the obvious. Humans are not rational, deterministic “utility functions” optimizing for individual or collective “good”. Free markets’ invisible hand will correct?  + 

CALLING ELVIS, ANYBODY HOME?

ENVIRONMENT / POLITICS / SOCIETY / OUTSIDE NEWS / 2023-12-16

Have you received “the call” from COP28′s final plenary assembly to “transition away from fossil fuels in a just, orderly and equitable manner”? No? Why not? By the way, the UNFCC gives us a 67% chance of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C, if global  + 

I’M A CONSUMER, WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?

ECONOMICS / SOCIAL MEDIA / SOCIETY / ESSAYS / 2023-10-25

“I’m a consumer, what’s wrong with that?” The way you consume? The quantity? The fact that luck gave you an opportunity to NOT be an animal, to use that neocortex to create a better world, maybe?  + 

ODESSA’S DESTRUCTION OF UNESCO HERITAGE SITES

ARCHITECTURE / POLITICS / ESSAYS / OUTSIDE NEWS / 2023-09-27

As of 13 September 2023, UNESCO has verified damage to 289 cultural sites in Ukraine: 120 religious buildings, 27 museums, 109 buildings of historical and/or artistic interest, 19 monuments, 13 libraries… In Odessa alone, a city near and dear to me from childhood  + 

ART VS LIMITLESS’ MONEY, SEX & POWER… WHO’D WIN?

CINEMA / ECONOMICS / FINANCE / SOCIETY / REVIEWS / 2023-09-18

Fascinating how the film “Limitless” by Neil Burger starring Bradley Cooper paints a dreamy picture of a struggling artist with an external solution to everything — a pill, stolen by the artist — to be used by the artist to pursue: 1) money 2) sex 3) power… and his art?  + 

IF ALEXEI MEDVEDEV REACTIVATES THEIR ACCOUNT, YOU’LL STILL BE FRIENDS

CINEMA / POLITICS / SOCIAL MEDIA / OUTSIDE NEWS / 2023-08-19

When I saw a “person missing” announcement in my Facebook feed, I somehow didn’t quite understand… “What’s going on? How so?” The usual, the so commonly trivial was going on — the death of an interesting person who did so much for Russian culture.  + 

RUSSIANS DON’T CARE

ECONOMICS / LINGUISTICS / POLITICS / ESSAYS / 2023-06-13

You know what? Russians still living in Russia, the remaining 140 million of them, don’t care about the war. Nor do they care about their rulers or the Western sanctions. Or the Western companies having left or banned. Russia is stuck in yet another historical  + 

SAM ALTMAN – EVERYBODY THOUGHT: FIRST AI WOULD DO PHYSICAL LABOR

ART THEORY / COMPUTERS / MUSIC / SOCIETY / ESSAYS / 2023-06-04

Everybody thought: first AI would do physical labor, then some cognitive labor, then the really hard cognitive labor, like programming… And then, last of all, but maybe never, because it’s magical and human… was creativity  + 

ИСКУССТВО КИНО – THE LAST ISSUE TO PRINT

CINEMA / JOURNALISM / ESSAYS / OUTSIDE NEWS / 2023-05-24

Искусство Кино — published since 1931 and thus, together with “Sight & Sound” and “Cahiers du Cinéma” one of the earliest magazines to cover the film industry, art and theory — has printed its last issue. Yes, my work has been featured in it. But  + 

ELON MUSK: IF AI COULD REPLACE ME, SHOULD I BE DOING THIS?

HEALTH / PSYCHOLOGY / SOCIETY / ESSAYS / 2023-05-17

Elon Musk just said on CNBC something I’d been thinking about a lot: “If we do get to this sort of magic genie situation, where you can ask the AI for anything. And let’s say, even if it’s a benign scenario… How do we actually  + 

HOW TO BE HAPPY? MY 5 MINUTES DIALOGUE WITH CHATGPT

COMPUTERS / HEALTH / LINGUISTICS / ESSAYS / 2023-05-16

My conversation about human happiness with ChatGPT took 5 minutes. Question: According to what is currently known to science, what 50 factors, listed from most influential to least, influence a human (male, with an IQ above 100) self-reported feeling of happiness  + 

THE GLOBAL HARMONIZED STANDARD OF WOMEN

HEALTH / INDUSTRIAL DESIGN / SOCIETY / ESSAYS / 2023-05-08

Social media, especially Instagram, has succeeded to complete the Global Harmonized Standard of Women™, an industrialized process started by the female magazines (Vogue, ELLE…) It’s all pretty… scary. We now have a draft proposal for ISO review.  + 

NO MORE TINDER FOR RUSSIANS

POLITICS / SOCIAL MEDIA / OUTSIDE NEWS / 2023-05-06

The Match Group withdraws from Russia. Tinder, OKcupid, Hinge… will all vanish from Russian social space by June 30. Meanwhile, The Russian Government™ is planning — finally, again, for real this time — to launch RuTube… and close access to YouTube.  + 

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