from the world's big
What is Art? Join the Floating University at the New York Public Library Tomorrow Night
It is one of the most debated subjects of all time: What is art? Some might think it doesn't much matter whether or not consensus is achieved on this highly subjective topic, but the definition of art has an enormous impact upon how the arts are — or aren't — funded. The question of what constitutes art spills over into debates about art's value to society — whether access to the arts is right as basic as education or health care. In this live event from The Floating University, Bard College President Leon Botstein explains why it is essential to ask these questions and offers a sturdy basis for evaluating them. He goes so far as to suggest that engaging with art can give our lives meaning and purpose.
Please join us tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 6 - 8 p.m at the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building for a screening of "Art Now," followed by a Q&A with President Botstein led by Big Think President Peter Hopkins. Attendees will also be treated to opening remarks by Tony Marx, President of the New York Public Library, and Arezoo Moseni, the Senior Art Librarian.
So what is art, and why is it so important? President Botstein offers this thoughtful response to the question in an interview with the NYPL on the Huffington Post:
Botstein called art "the cultivation of the imagination beyond the practical and utilitarian," and said, "The most important thing about art is it is the most powerful protection against a sense of boredom. And boredom, ultimately, is the most terrifying and most dangerous human experience because boredom creates a sense of meaningless, pointlessness. It destroys our sense of the power of time. Of the finite character of mortality. It creates anger and resentment. And it's unnecessary. The finding or creating of beauty in the world is enormous protection against a sense of meaningless and resentment and pointlessness."
Stave off boredom tomorrow night and join the dialogue. Check out the first two minutes of the video lecture below for a taste of Bostein's FU lecture:
Emotional intelligence is a skill sought by many employers. Here's how to raise yours.
- Daniel Goleman's 1995 book Emotional Intelligence catapulted the term into widespread use in the business world.
- One study found that EQ (emotional intelligence) is the top predictor of performance and accounts for 58% of success across all job types.
- EQ has been found to increase annual pay by around $29,000 and be present in 90% of top performers.
The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC.
The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC. Until you look at the title to the land. The federal government owns large tracts of the western states: from a low of 29.9% in Montana, already more than the national average, up to a whopping 84.5% in Nevada.
Researchers are using technology to make visual the complex concepts of racism, as well as its political and social consequences.
- Often thought of first as gaming tech, virtual reality has been increasingly used in research as a tool for mimicking real-life scenarios and experiences in a safe and controlled environment.
- Focusing on issues of oppression and the ripple affect it has throughout America's political, educational, and social systems, Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn of Columbia University School of Social Work and her team developed a VR experience that gives users the opportunity to "walk a mile" in the shoes of a black man as he faces racism at three stages in his life: as a child, during adolescence, and as an adult.
- Cogburn says that the goal is to show how these "interwoven oppressions" continue to shape the world beyond our individual experiences. "I think the most important and powerful human superpower is critical consciousness," she says. "And that is the ability to think, be aware and think critically about the world and people around you...it's not so much about the interpersonal 'Do I feel bad, do I like you?'—it's more 'Do I see the world as it is? Am I thinking critically about it and engaging it?'"
President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.
A new coronavirus vaccine on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP
Medical workers draw blood from volunteers participating in a trial of a coronavirus vaccine at the Budenko Main Military Hospital outside Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
A report from the New York Times raises questions over how the teletherapy startup Talkspace handles user data.