Catalog of generalizations about black people
Yesterday evening, I came across a novel thing, indeed: a “Black people do X” statement I actually hadn’t heard before:
Who knew we didn’t like cats? Well, anyway, I’d like to compile a list of what black folks (supposedly) do and don’t do. I see it as a service project: just so those of other hues will be aware.
"A mantra of CEOs throughout the media industry these days is more data about customers, more readily available throughout the company. They don’t add, like Bloomberg, out of pride or perhaps because it’s obvious."
"It may seem odd to say we have arrived at a moment when data and creativity are bound together in the same vocation, not to mention the same person. Silver doesn’t have much of a problem with the idea, as incongruous as it might sound. ‘I think there are two types of creativity,’ he says. The first is what he calls ‘pure expression’—a phrase to describe the work of musicians, poets, actors, dancers, and the like. ‘The other kind,’ he says, ‘is finding different ways to approach and solve a problem. I’m not sure of the first kind, but I think I have a lot of the problem-solving type of creativity.’ Math, as he once put it, ‘is a different language you can use to think through problems.’"
From Fast Company’s profile of Nate Silver, whom the magazine has named the most creative person in business
“I’m an Ivy League thug”: getting your foot in the door
The OG: Jay-Z in Harlem, 1939. Well, not really, but this is pretty funny. I would also like to know who it actually is.
Was one of Brooklyn’s finest in Harlem in 1939? This Sid Grossman photo of “Harlem Loiterers” from the Prints Collection at NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture has created quite a stir since being posted to the Center’s Facebook page the other day. Why? Because the man on the right looks a heck of a lot like Jay-Z (for evidence, check out these photos of Jay-Z when he visited The New York Public Library in 2011). Cue Twilight Zone music, right? Schomburg’s Curator of Digital Collections Sylviane A. Diouf found the photo while researching an exhibition, and said, “I was immediately struck by the similarity to Jay-Z and actually laughed out loud … I still hope somebody will tell us who that you man really was.”
So is Jay-Z a time traveler? Is this someone else - anyone know who? What do you think?
An awesome audition tale from my friend Bryan, currently starring as Marvin Gaye in Motown: The Musical:
Every time I went in to play a thug, robber or general bad guy, I would be asked to read a good guy role instead. That was problematic because most of the guys reading the lawyers, cops and good guys were so much older than myself.
I realized it was because I would enter the casting office as my warm, nice, happy self, and then I would transform into the character. They didn’t want that. I had a theory that they just wanted to believe I was that person and not acting.
I had this great audition for a guest star on “CSI: NY” coming up and I wanted to test my theory, so when I got to the casting office I was already in character. Pants saggin’! Voice deep and raspy! Mean look in my eyes! Barely acknowledged anyone! After I read I slowly walked out of the room, gave the director a threatening glance, and slammed the door.
I booked it! The first day on set the director called me over and said, “Bryan, you fooled me! You are no thug! You went to Yale!” I laughed and said, “I’m an Ivy League thug.”
Adventures with Google Glass
English PEN is partnering with Sotheby’s to auction off first-edition copies of notable books annotated by their authors (or, in two cases, their illustrators). What a cool idea! I wish this could be in a museum somewhere.
"I never completely understand a character until I know what kind of shoes they wear."
Wikipedia's Sexism Toward Female Novelists
Is this another manifestation of sexism in tech?
(The community of Wikipedia editors and contributors skews heavily male, just as in tech at large.)
Stories on the Boston Marathon Bombings
Here are a few posts that I’ve found insightful (and, yes, an entry from The Onion is among them):
Why are police scanners open to the public? at The Verge
It Wasn’t Sunil Tripathi: The Anatomy of a Misinformation Disaster at The Atlantic
How Reddit Became a Hub of the Crowdsourced Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation at Fast Company
Study: Majority Of Americans Not Informed Enough To Stereotype Chechens at The Onion