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Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Problem of Memory Knowledge

[From Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (1999): 346-57.]


by Michael Huemer

ABSTRACT: When one recalls that P, how is one justified in believing that P? The three most natural answers to this question are found inadequate: a memory belief is not justified by a belief in the reliability of memory; a memory experience does not provide a new, foundational justification for a belief; and memory does not merely preserve the same justification a belief had when first adopted. Instead, the justification of a memory belief is a product of both the initial justification for adopting it and the justification for retaining it provided by seeming memories. This view captures our intuitions about justification in several cases, while none of the alternative views can.
 
The sun is about 93 million miles away from the earth. How do I know that? Well, I learned it once. I don't know when or how I learned it, but I did, and I now remember it. I couldn't tell you how the distance to the sun was calculated either, but it's something that scientists have discovered. How do I know that scientists have discovered it? Well, I don't know how I learned that either, but I remember it too.

Even granting the reliability of scientists and other experts, this does not sound like a very impressive justification. Yet arguably, most of our knowledge is like that. A few more examples: there is a 3-hour time difference between Los Angeles and New York; Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States during the Civil War; the word "tree" refers in English to a certain kind of plant; the square on the hypoteneuse of a right triangle equals the sum of the squares on the other two sides; wood is a poor conductor of heat and electricity; China is in Asia. I don't know how I learned any of those facts, but however I learned them, I kept them in memory since then (doubtless I gained numerous confirmations of them since the first time I learned them, and I can't specifically remember any of those occasions either), and I have no serious doubt about any one of them.

What justifies me in believing that the sun is 93 million miles from the earth? The fact that I don't remember my original reason for adopting that belief suggests that whatever that reason was, it can not be considered a reason I now have for my belief.(1)
 
In general, when S remembers that P, what kind of justification does S have for believing P? Three possible answers to this question naturally come to mind:

Click on "read more" below to continue reading.

What does the future hold? Will Technology change who we are?

Will the predictions of today turn into the reality of tomorrow? Thinkstock
Will the predictions of today turn into the reality of tomorrow?

 

Predicting The Future

Visions of the future don't just have to come from science fiction. There's very real technology today giving us clues about how our future lives might be transformed. So what might our future look like? And what does it take for an idea about the future to become a reality? In this hour, TED speakers make some bold predictions and explain how we might live in the future.

Neurons Johann Johannsson


Eternal Future Caleb Sampson


Jumpin' In The Future Gunther Schuller

Dr. Hooch Do Make Say Think


Movie Publicity Shots (Cannes film festival with Simone Silva & Robert Mitchum,1954)


Simone Silva & Robert Mitchum at Cannes, 1954


Taking a Break at the 30th Annual Academy Awards


Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Bob Hope & David Niven laugh heartily together during a break from rehearsals for the 30th annual Academy Awards show in Los Angeles, 1958. Photograph by Leonard McCombe.

To Playboy magazine, sophistication is the new sexy


Approaching its 60th anniversary, Playboy sees its future in its past sophistication.


The job came with certain unassailable perks. When Raquel Pomplun was anointed Playboy's 2013 Playmate of the Year, the 25-year-old model knew she could expect a Playboy Mansion luncheon hosted by Hugh Hefner, a tomato-red 2014 Jaguar convertible and $100,000 in congratulations cash. Pomplun didn't anticipate a detour into contemporary art.

Hours after the ceremony, the Playmate found herself whisked from the mansion to Bungalow One at West Hollywood's louche Chateau Marmont, where Playboy staff politely asked Pomplun to strip. Not in the service of another pinup pictorial, but for chaste portraits by fine arts photographer Malerie Marder. After being interviewed (clothed) by video artist Alex Israel and mingling with a cocktail crowd of fashionistas and art-world mavens, the model disrobed again — to roll in paint and press her naked body against canvases for multimedia artist Aaron Young.

"At first I was like, 'Why did I say yes to this?'" Pomplun says. "But if you look back to the '60s, Playboy has always been a big supporter of art and abstract artists. They told me, 'We want to bring that back.' To try to make the brand what it was with what we have nowadays. I thought, 'Why not?'"
  •  Turns out that as Playboy approaches its 60th anniversary, the magazine is drawing upon that past to try to return to the cultural forefront. After decades of ebbing influence, declining circulation (from a 1972 peak of more than 7 million issues distributed monthly to 1.25 million today) and, worse still, a lowering in August by Standard & Poor's of Playboy Enterprises Inc.'s corporate credit rating from a B-minus to CCC-plus — junk bond status — Pomplun's dynamic collision of eroticism and fine art represents a key piece of Playboy's game-changing efforts.
In an era when many Playboy readers have grown up viewing online pornography and a monthly title featuring nude women can seem downright antiquated, the men's lifestyle magazine is in the midst of an editorial reboot.

"You could tell by looking at it, the carpets had gotten a little bit musty," says Playboy's editorial director, Jimmy Jellinek. "We made a conscious decision two years ago that we needed to make some profound changes to the aesthetic and construction of the magazine."
Playboy's DNA as a handbook for the urban male is still intact, Jellinek insists. "That became obfuscated," he says, "within layers of outmoded design, photography that had become passé and covers that had become cluttered."

ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll
Spurred by a global brand tracking study that benchmarked Playboy's most valuable assets — Playmates, the bunny logo, the mansion and, not least, its founder Hefner — the company made sweeping changes to the flagship U.S. edition. It now functions as the "brand ambassador" for Playboy Enterprises, whose holdings include a TV station, digital network, online division, radio station and an apparel and collectibles group as well as nearly 30 international editions of the magazine that combine to bring in an annual revenue of $135 million.

The most immediately apparent change is referred to as the "three Gs": God Given Gorgeous. That is, nude models notably absent the kind of double-D surgical enhancements that came to be associated with the magazine over the last two decades.

"What we heard repeatedly is, our audience is much more female than we thought," Playboy Chief Executive Scott Flanders says at a time when approximately 1.1 million of the magazine's 5.6 million monthly readers are now women. "[They] wanted us to move away from obvious artificiality."

Since hiring art director Mac Lewis from fashion heavyweight V magazine in late 2012, adding a batch of new staff photographers and replacing long-tenured editors with fresh recruits, the magazine boasts a more sophisticated look and tone. The course change is literally and figuratively intended to catapult Playboy out from under the mattress and onto the coffee table. It's a deliberate pivot away from the scandal mavens, reality TV stars and pro wrestlers Playboy put on its covers until recently.

PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times

To wit: the July/August 2013 issue cover features 25 synchronized swimmers forming the rabbit head logo, a conscious throwback to the kind of concept-driven, art-directed aesthetic of Playboy's 1960s-'70s golden age.

"Taking a step back and being more art than porn is a very smart move," says Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi. "Just making the magazine less obnoxious makes it easier to pick up and buy."

"You cannot stay static," says Hefner, 87, who abides as Playboy's editor in chief and has personally blessed the title's revamp.

Seated in his wood-paneled study at the mansion in signature smoking jacket and pajamas, Hef quietly contemplated the magazine's continuing evolution.

"You have to change. At the same time," he adds, "if one were going to find a touchstone in terms of what's happening now, one would have to go back to the very beginning of the publication."

In June, along a stretch of Highway 90 outside Marfa, Texas, a neon bunny logo went up atop a 40-foot pole flanked by a '72 Dodge Charger. The installation, by Richard Phillips and commissioned by Playboy's creative director for special projects, Neville Wakefield, is the magazine's highest-profile art tie-in to date. According to Phillips, who shows with the powerhouse Gagosian Gallery, the muscle car represents American power and idealism; its vintage, a nod to the zenith of Playboy's readership. Marfa stands as a far-flung art destination, put on the map by Minimalist artist Donald Judd.

Taken together, the signifiers provide a handy metaphor for Playboy's "everything old is new again" approach.

"When Playboy was at its strongest, politics, literature and eroticism were working together — that made the magazine powerful," Phillips explains. The installation "is about looking at these elemental and fundamental qualities, then setting up an off-site focal point to generate a starting point for new energy."

Wakefield, an influential writer-curator who became involved with Playboy after hosting an extravaganza for the magazine in 2010 at Art Basel Miami Beach, acknowledges that Playboy and the niche contemporary art world make strange bedfellows. But as far back as 1967, the title was commissioning works by pioneering modern artists including Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha.

"Although it seems like a weird thing to connect Playboy with this esoteric audience, it's really continuous with its original mission," Wakefield says. "It was always a bit of a Trojan horse, offering nudity but providing in-depth writing. I think it can do something similar with these radically different audiences and generations as well."

The endgame is to create an aspirational extreme.

"At the top of the pyramid is the super influencer crowd," Jellinek says. "The hybrid between fashion, art and celebrity, Russian hedge fund oligarchs, supermodels — we want those people engaged with the Playboy brand because they are the living, breathing manifestation of the Playboy dream. Then it can start to trickle down."

Bettina Korek, who produces public art initiatives and helps create cultural partnerships under the auspices of her Los Angeles-based company ForYourArt, credits Wakefield — who enlisted such A-list art stars as Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince to reinterpret the centerfold for a recent feature — with persuading the art community to rally around the magazine's efforts to embrace higher culture.

"What's great about the way Playboy approaches commissioning work is, they're taking the role as a patron rather than creating one-offs, projects that have authentic connections to what is happening in the art world," Korek says. "It provides an opportunity to rub up against the outer layer of popular culture that's very compelling for artists."

Playboy is hardly the first global brand to draft in the art world's cultural wake. Louis Vuitton extensively collaborated with Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami. Levi's is helping bankroll artist Doug Aitken's "Station to Station" art train. But will Playboy's shift from trashy to classy pay off in new readers and revenue?

Melissa Reekers, newsstand buyer for West Hollywood's taste-making Book Soup, notices that Playboy's conceptual covers so far aren't as popular as the quasi-celebrities showcased until recently.

"When they used to put people like Jenny McCarthy or Lindsay Lohan on the cover, they would fly out of here," Reekers says. "But now, sales have kind of died down."

It should be pointed out that 95% of Playboy's readers are subscribers, not newsstand buyers. Still, the magazine's page count shrunk by more than 11% from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of this year, while ad revenue declined by 13.5%, according to Publishers Information Bureau.

And the Standard & Poor's debt downgrade arrives just four months after Playboy Enterprises took on $185 million in loans — on the heels of licensing deals that didn't close in the first half of this year. The CCC-plus rating can indicate that a company is at elevated risk of violating its debt agreements because of decreased earnings.

But Playboy executives insist the company is in good financial health. Company spokesman Jeff Majtyka says in a statement, "While the timing of closing new licensing deals in our pipeline is prone to shift and can affect our results quarter to quarter, we remain in full compliance with our covenants."

Flanders, who followed Christie Hefner, the founder's daughter, as CEO in 2009, when Playboy was losing about $12 million a year, took the company private in 2011. Since then, Playboy has consolidated its editorial operations from Chicago, London and New York under the roof of its sprawling Beverly Hills offices, and shed 75% of its employees over the last four years. The porn-skewing Spice Channel and other digital properties were sold along with more than 70 apparel licenses that were, as Flanders puts it, "appealing to the lowest demographic."

In addition, the magazine reduced its annual issues from 12 to 10 and outsourced advertising, marketing, circulation and other key operations.

"We are tracking toward breaking even with the U.S. magazine for 2014," says Flanders. And ad sales for upscale fashion designers and cars are on the uptick.

Playboy is reaching out to readers via such zeitgeist-y online platforms as Vine, Tumblr and Instagram. But its CEO remains bullish on Playboy's old-media foundation. "We'll stop publishing the U.S. magazine in print over my dead and buried body," Flanders says.
The 60th anniversary issue appears set to capture the buzzy overlap of art, celebrity and sexytime while emphasizing Playboy's upmarket tilt. Ending months of speculation in the fashion press, Jellinek confirmed to The Times that British supermodel Kate Moss is set to appear on the magazine's January/February double issue cover, appearing nude in a pictorial by fashion photography tandem Mert and Marcus.

"You're talking about the most important supermodel of the past 20 years," Jellinek says. "This creates a heat for the brand globally. It started with Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Playboy 60 years ago, an icon for her time. Now we've got Kate Moss!"


chris.lee@latimes.com

The Power of Color

Read The Rainbow: 'Roy G. Biv' Puts New Spin On Color Wheel

Click here for audio of this story from NPR.
Roy G. Biv
An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color
by
Hardcover, pages cm
There are a lot of fascinating details hiding below the surface in the world of color. For instance, scientists once thought the average color of the entire universe was turquoise — until they recalculated and realized it was beige.

In Japan, you wait at a stoplight until it turns from red to blue, even though it's the same green color as American stoplights.

And in World War II, the British painted a whole flotilla of warships pinkish-purple so they'd blend in with the sky at dusk and confuse the Germans. That's right — pink warships.
Design writer Jude Stewart's new book, Roy G. Biv, is full of facts like these. She tells NPR's Rachel Martin about the relationship between language and color, and what it's like to live with synesthesia.


Interview Highlights

On why she wanted to write about color
I'd always been fascinated by color. When I was really little, I was fascinated with this book called Color Me Beautiful and it was basically a guide to help choosing the best colors for your skin tone.

... Well I remember just paging through that book and it was just magical. They would show pictures of someone draped in their "right color" for their skin tone and they would just look dewy and glowing and suffused with light, and then they'd put them in the wrong color and they would look like they'd just shrunk.

The point is that, you know, color is affecting us a lot more than we realize. It's so ubiquitous that it's basically invisible until the moments where you notice it again.

On what "Roy G. Biv" stands for
"Roy g biv" is a mnemonic that helps you remember the order of the colors of the rainbow. So it's red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

On the number of colors in the rainbow
There aren't actually, strictly speaking, seven colors in the rainbow. But when [Isaac] Newton came out with his observation about the rainbow, there was some pressure for him to make it be seven colors so that it would match the musical scale, so he had to kind of come up with indigo on the fly.

On the surprisingly universal relationship between language and color
In 1969 these two linguists, Brent Berlin and Paul Kay, did a survey of 20 different languages that were completely unrelated to each other. And they found that as languages develop differing names for colors, those names always enter the language in the same order. So that order is black, white, red, green and yellow, blue, and then brown.

Jude Stewart has written about design for Slate, The Believer and Fast Company.
Jude Stewart has written about design for Slate, The Believer and Fast Company.
Andrew Stewart/Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA
 
So, if they're going to have only three words for colors, those words will almost always be black, white and red.

On why red is always the third color
I have my own little theory which is as I was doing the red chapter I found that red is just this primal color that, you know, unsurprisingly means blood to many cultures. And so I think probably it's just that brightness, that vitality, that sort of absolutely necessary quality to that color that makes it assert itself.

On how pink wasn't always considered a color for girls
It's an interesting question because we tend to feel that that's a really immutable rule that must have been true forever, but in fact it's a very relatively recent thing that that has become ironclad — actually in the '70s.

But, earlier, it was a question simply of what goes with the child's complexion. So the rule of thumb was often if you have brown eyes a baby looks good in pink no matter what their gender is. Blue eyes — blue.

Sometimes there were other rules. So for example, in Catholic parts of Germany it was the fashion to dress your little girl in blue, because it was an homage to the Virgin Mary. And then the boys would be in pink, because that was a watered-down version of a sort of traditionally masculine color, red.

On living with synesthesia
Synesthesia is, as I describe it, a harmless brain quirk in which you associate some stimulus with a color. So, for me, letters and numbers always have the same color. ... Seven is a sort of pale butter yellow and four is kind of a hay color, kind of a tan.

More From Jude Stewart:

... Synesthesia is something that runs in families. So what we discovered recently — I was visiting with my parents and my brother, we were all sitting around the pool, and my brother and my mom both did not realize that they had synesthesia. We were talking about the book and my mother just blurts out, as I was describing 74 is this color, my mom says, "No, it's this color!" And then my brother had another, he's like, "No, I always thought of it as this color!" And to both of their surprises it seemed they did have synesthesia.
My father, meanwhile, has no idea what we're talking about.

http://www.npr.org/2013/09/15/222075589/read-the-rainbow-roy-g-biv-puts-new-spin-on-color-wheel

In Los Angeles, Showcasing A City That Might Have Been


NPR News
Click here for the full audio and video of this story


  • Pereira and Luckman, Los Angeles International Airport Original Plan, 1952 — The original design for LAX had a single, centralized terminal under a glass dome, a plan which was nixed by both the airlines and city engineers.
    Pereira and Luckman, Los Angeles International Airport Original Plan, 1952The original design for LAX had a single, centralized terminal under a glass dome, a plan which was nixed by both the airlines and city engineers.
    LAWA Flight Path Learning Center
  • William H. Evans, Tower of Civilization, 1939. At 150 feet in diameter and soaring 1,290 feet, the tower would have been the tallest structure in the world at the time.
    William H. Evans, Tower of Civilization, 1939. At 150 feet in diameter and soaring 1,290 feet, the tower would have been the tallest structure in the world at the time.
    Huntington Library
  • Frank Lloyd Wright, Huntington Hartford Sports Club, 1947. The planned 130-acre hotel development would have been a few blocks off Hollywood Boulevard.
    Frank Lloyd Wright, Huntington Hartford Sports Club, 1947. The planned 130-acre hotel development would have been a few blocks off Hollywood Boulevard.
    Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
  • Goodell Monorail, 1963 — The coaches on the proposed monorail took design cues from the Cadillacs of the time.
    Goodell Monorail, 1963 — The coaches on the proposed monorail took design cues from the Cadillacs of the time.
    Los Angeles County Metropolitan
  • B+U, Firestone Mixed-Use Office Building, 2009 — A mix of offices, retail shops, a cafe and a plaza, this building would have been covered by braided fabric at different levels of transparency. The project went down with the economy.
    B+U, Firestone Mixed-Use Office Building, 2009 — A mix of offices, retail shops, a cafe and a plaza, this building would have been covered by braided fabric at different levels of transparency. The project went down with the economy.
    B+U Architects
  • DMJM, Pacific Ocean Park Redevelopment, 1969 — The designer proposed a 30-story hotel situated 300 feet offshore. It would have had a glass-enclosed bridge to connect it to land; alas, it fell victim to real estate negotiations.
    DMJM, Pacific Ocean Park Redevelopment, 1969 — The designer proposed a 30-story hotel situated 300 feet offshore. It would have had a glass-enclosed bridge to connect it to land; alas, it fell victim to real estate negotiations.
    Edward Cella Gallery/Carlos Diniz Archive
  • John Lautner, Griffith Park Nature Center, 1972-1974 — In this painting of the proposed center, Lautner was at pains to how the building was inspired by land and sky.
    John Lautner, Griffith Park Nature Center, 1972-1974 — In this painting of the proposed center, Lautner was at pains to how the building was inspired by land and sky.
    1996-2001 AccuSoft Co., All righ/John Lautner Archive, Getty Research Institute
  • Lloyd Wright, Civic Center Plan, 1925. Lloyd Wright's competition entry for the Los Angeles Civic Center put rapid-transit throughways under the city and gave pedestrians right-of-ways on broad terraces.
    Lloyd Wright, Civic Center Plan, 1925. Lloyd Wright's competition entry for the Los Angeles Civic Center put rapid-transit throughways under the city and gave pedestrians right-of-ways on broad terraces.
    Eric Lloyd Wright

A museum exhibit about buildings that don't exist might not sound all that exciting. But the Architecture & Design Museum in Los Angeles has had its crowds grow to 10 times their normal level for a show called. It's on through Oct. 13 – and it's all about projects that were imagined for the city but never constructed.Let's start with one of the most high-profile: a 1968 proposal that would've dramatically altered the profile of Mount Hollywood.
"The pinnacle of Mount Hollywood would've been shaved down by about 30 feet," says exhibit curator Greg Goldin. "They would've flattened this natural peak, and on top of that would've been a star-shaped museum. And then of course a revolving restaurant, because revolving restaurants were the big thing, and an aerial tram to get you up to this Hollywood museum."

Also in the L.A. exhibit: a Bible theme park in the shape of a heart. (What is it with architects and weird shapes?)

A 'Steel Cloud' That Evaporated, Complete With The Fish
Don't think La La Land is the only place where such imaginative projects have been conceived but never brought to birth. In fact, various museums have staged other "Unbuilt" exhibits in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Berlin. And another such show just opened in San Francisco.

"When we look at unbuilt projects, we see so many ideas, so many alternatives," says architecture critic Martha Thorne, a Pritzker Prize jurist who brought together the projects featured in the Chicago show back in 2004. "It helps us realize that there's not just one path that a city follows; there's not just one path that architecture follows."


The "Steel Cloud," which won a design competition aimed at creating a monumental Los Angeles answer to structures like St. Louis' iconic arch and the Eiffel Tower, was designed by Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture.

The "Steel Cloud," which won a design competition aimed at creating a monumental Los Angeles answer to structures like St. Louis' iconic arch and the Eiffel Tower, was designed by Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture.
Asymptote Architecture New York
 
One path Los Angeles did follow – along with many other major cities — was to put a gaping freeway trench right through the heart of downtown. That urban scar would've been the site of another project called Steel Cloud. It was to have been a monster of a structure that covered the 101 Freeway and extended 10 stories up, completely transforming the area.

"I think the Steel Cloud would've been great," says Goldin. "It would've had an aquarium. Two aquariums. Its scale was monumental. What was it called, a grasshopper?"
It was called that, and probably worse. Designed in 1988 by , the Steel Cloud was envisioned as a massive, 1,600-foot-long tangle of girders and struts spanning the highway, an with not just aquariums built in and on it but parks and libraries and cinemas, with "LED screens flashing messages to motorists and a 'Musical Forest' synthesizing the rushing sounds of cars," according to exhibit text in .

"There are all kinds of pejoratives that were used to describe the Steel Cloud. And yeah, it was messy — but frankly it would've been amusing, you know, to have an aquarium hovering over a freeway in downtown," Goldin says. "Great, why not?"

Taking The 'Never' Out Of 'Never Built' The Next Time
Exhibit co-curator Sam Lubell says lots of folks who've visited the museum have asked him what they themselves could do to make sure cool projects get built.

"There has to be pressure to not let the powers that be shrug [these things] off as sort of ridiculous," he says. "If we can encourage people to not give up on projects that they believe are going to change the city for the better, that's important."

Lubell mentions a proposal floating around right now to transform the concrete-lined L.A. River into a vibrant waterfront. He hopes those plans don't end up in a future exhibit about what could've been.

Predicting Touch Screens And Tablets, In 1984


NPR
Click here for the full audio and video
of this story


From the TED Radio Hour, MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte shares prescient technology predictions he made in a 1984 TED talk.
Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Time now for an idea worth spreading from the TED Radio Hour. The future, writer William Gibson once remarked, is not Google-able. But that doesn't make it unknowable. Here's host Guy Raz.

GUY RAZ, BYLINE: At the first ever TED Conference way back in 1984, Nicholas Negroponte, who would go on to found the MIT Media lab the following year, made some predictions about the Future.

NICHOLAS NEGROPONTE: I'm very interested in touch-sensitive displays. And a lot of people think fingers are very low resolution sort of stylus, in fact they're not. You have to just do it sort of twice. You have to sort of touch the screen and then rotate your finger slightly and you can move a cursor with great accuracy.

RAZ: Again, this was 1984. Fingers on a screen.

NEGROPONTE: The one advantage is you don't have to pick them up. People don't realize how important that is - not having to pick up your fingers to use them. The...
RAZ: OK. So, fast-forward more than 20 years - 2007. The best smartphones still needed a stylus to operate their touch screens. Until...

STEVE JOBS: Oh, a stylus, right? We're going to use a stylus? No.

(LAUGHTER)

JOBS: No. Who wants a stylus? You have get and put them away and you lose them. Yuck.
RAZ: Steve Jobs, introducing the iPhone.

NEGROPONTE: And another advantage, of course, of using fingers is you have 10 of them, and...

RAZ: It's almost as if Steve Jobs had been there with Nicholas Negroponte in that auditorium that day in 1984.

JOBS: We're going to use the best pointing device in the world. We're going to use a pointing device that we're all born with - we're born with 10 of them - we're going to use our fingers.

RAZ: Nicholas made an astounding number of predictions in that 1984 TED talk - predictions that all came true.

NEGROPONTE: Where we're trying to use computer and video disc technology now to come up with a new kind of book. A teleconferencing system where you had five people in teleconference such that each one was utterly convinced that the other four were physically present. A very recent experiment that we've been doing, in this case in Senegal, we have tried to use computers as a pedagogical medium...

RAZ: Computers in classrooms, Skype video calls, the Kindle - the question is how? How did he know?

NEGROPONTE: One of the few advantages of age when you talk about the future is that you've been there so many times. So, when people tell me things like, well, paper books will exist forever: rubbish. I know that. And, you know, these things do come back again.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Nicholas Negroponte, speaking to NPR's Guy Raz. More predictions this weekend on the TED Radio Hour. This is NPR News.

Was "Worst Twerk Fail EVER" A Betrayal of All That is Good In the World? And more "On the Media"


 
The week's over! The radio show'll be up on the site in a couple hours. Here're a bunch of things that I wanted to tell you about this week but didn't have time to:

"At the same time that the Twin Towers were falling, there were people having toothaches."

I’m not sure how I found it in the first place, but the image that I most often think about when I think about September 11th was shot by a photographer named Melanie Einzig on the morning of the attacks.

Twitter's going public. Now what?

Twitter announced its IPO this evening. Like Google or Facebook before it, the company spent a long time proving itself indispensable before it worried about proving itself profitable. Bob spoke to Twitter co-founder Evan Williams awhile back about how you make money off the world's favorite microblog.

Tragedy + Time = Advertising

AT&T tweeted a 9/11 themed ad today designed to celebrate the majesty of a recovered New York while subtly reminding social media users about AT&T's elegant,affordable smartphones.

Apple's New iPhone Has a Fingerprint Sensor

The iPhone 5S will ship with a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home key.

Partying Like It's 1986

In Guelph, Ontario, a family has committed themselves to not using any technology invented after 1986.

Goodbye Voyager

After thirty-six years, NASA's Voyager spacecraft has finally left our solar system. It's the furthest a man-made object has ever been from space. And it's sending us back the sound of interstellar space. So what's that sound like, anyway?

If You Own an iPhone, the NSA is Snickering at You

Just in time for Apple's big press conference this week, Der Spiegel's reporting on slides from an internal NSA powerpoint presentation that show the agency making fun of Apple users for voluntarily participating in their own surveillance.

"40 Days of Dating" is Over, Thank God

Earlier this year, two friends who were tired of the grind of trying to date as twenty-somethings in New York City came up with an experiment.

You Can't Adopt a Child on Yahoo Anymore, But You Still Can on Facebook

This morning Reuters has a very sad story about online underground markets for adopted children.

The Hilarious Face of Canadian Propaganda

Sixty-one years ago today, the nation of Canada launched their first TV station. Which means today is as good a day as any to talk about Canadian Heritage minutes.

Why is Syria flummoxing American Satirists?

It's hard to talk about the ideas or politics behind comedy news, because while we all know that they're important and influential, we also know that because they're entertainment, you can't talk seriously about them without sounding like a dummy. So let's sound like dummies for a moment!

The Voice Of Rocky And Natasha Earns An Emmy

Foray, in the day: a 1952 publicity photo
Foray, in the day: a 1952 publicity photo
Wikimedia Commons
Voice actress June Foray, here receiving an award UCLA Animation Workshop Festival in 2011, will receive the Governor's Award at the Grammys.
Voice actress June Foray, here receiving an award UCLA Animation Workshop Festival in 2011, will receive the Governor's Award at the Grammys.

Amanda Edwards/UCLA/Getty Images
 
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show featured a fearless flying squirrel and his slow-witted moose sidekick. They did battle with two scheming but incompetent Soviet spies named Boris and Natasha.

The cartoon is an American classic, beloved for a wry sense of humor that appealed to kids and their parents. It originally aired from 1959 until 1964, but has been in syndication ever since, most recently on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

June Foray was the voice behind Rocky the Squirrel, and the evil Natasha. Now 95, she's receiving the prestigious Governor's Award today at the Creative Arts Emmys.

Foray is not just known for her Bullwinkle characters. She also played Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Jokey Smurf on The Smurfs and Granny, the overprotective owner of Tweety and Sylvester. She even provided the voice for the Chatty Cathy doll.

Foray tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin that she never expected the Bullwinkle characters would become so iconic. "All I wanted to do was work," she says.
Foray also reveals that femme fatale Natasha — who rolled her Rs with captivating Slavic flair — is not actually Russian.


Interview Highlights

How do you come up with the voices? Do you get guidance or is it all your imagination?
No, they would just call me. I didn't have to audition, for which I was most grateful. I'd say is she heavy, is she nice, is she meek, what kind of character? And I'd read along and they'd say, Oh, that's just fine.

How did you come up with Natasha's sound?
Well, I thought with Boris and Natasha, it was Russian, and [Bullwinkle producer] Jay Ward said, no no no, they're from Pottsylvania. Don't make them from Russia, because we had enough problems as it was. So I made her sort of continental.

If you don't mind, could you channel Natasha for me now?
(As Natasha:) Why not, darlink? I was doing Natasha for so long! She and Boris would just be together all the time. (As Foray:) So, no, I never have any problem.
When I did Granny, I started I think in 1955, and I wasn't old enough to be a granny. But now that I am, I'm still doing Granny! Isn't that funny?

The Power of Color

Read The Rainbow: 'Roy G. Biv' Puts New Spin On Color Wheel

Click here for audio of this story from NPR.
Roy G. Biv
An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color
by
Hardcover, pages cm
There are a lot of fascinating details hiding below the surface in the world of color. For instance, scientists once thought the average color of the entire universe was turquoise — until they recalculated and realized it was beige.

In Japan, you wait at a stoplight until it turns from red to blue, even though it's the same green color as American stoplights.

And in World War II, the British painted a whole flotilla of warships pinkish-purple so they'd blend in with the sky at dusk and confuse the Germans. That's right — pink warships.
Design writer Jude Stewart's new book, Roy G. Biv, is full of facts like these. She tells NPR's Rachel Martin about the relationship between language and color, and what it's like to live with synesthesia.


Interview Highlights

On why she wanted to write about color
I'd always been fascinated by color. When I was really little, I was fascinated with this book called Color Me Beautiful and it was basically a guide to help choosing the best colors for your skin tone.

... Well I remember just paging through that book and it was just magical. They would show pictures of someone draped in their "right color" for their skin tone and they would just look dewy and glowing and suffused with light, and then they'd put them in the wrong color and they would look like they'd just shrunk.

The point is that, you know, color is affecting us a lot more than we realize. It's so ubiquitous that it's basically invisible until the moments where you notice it again.

On what "Roy G. Biv" stands for
"Roy g biv" is a mnemonic that helps you remember the order of the colors of the rainbow. So it's red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

On the number of colors in the rainbow
There aren't actually, strictly speaking, seven colors in the rainbow. But when [Isaac] Newton came out with his observation about the rainbow, there was some pressure for him to make it be seven colors so that it would match the musical scale, so he had to kind of come up with indigo on the fly.

On the surprisingly universal relationship between language and color
In 1969 these two linguists, Brent Berlin and Paul Kay, did a survey of 20 different languages that were completely unrelated to each other. And they found that as languages develop differing names for colors, those names always enter the language in the same order. So that order is black, white, red, green and yellow, blue, and then brown.

Jude Stewart has written about design for Slate, The Believer and Fast Company.
Jude Stewart has written about design for Slate, The Believer and Fast Company.
Andrew Stewart/Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA
 
So, if they're going to have only three words for colors, those words will almost always be black, white and red.

On why red is always the third color
I have my own little theory which is as I was doing the red chapter I found that red is just this primal color that, you know, unsurprisingly means blood to many cultures. And so I think probably it's just that brightness, that vitality, that sort of absolutely necessary quality to that color that makes it assert itself.

On how pink wasn't always considered a color for girls
It's an interesting question because we tend to feel that that's a really immutable rule that must have been true forever, but in fact it's a very relatively recent thing that that has become ironclad — actually in the '70s.

But, earlier, it was a question simply of what goes with the child's complexion. So the rule of thumb was often if you have brown eyes a baby looks good in pink no matter what their gender is. Blue eyes — blue.

Sometimes there were other rules. So for example, in Catholic parts of Germany it was the fashion to dress your little girl in blue, because it was an homage to the Virgin Mary. And then the boys would be in pink, because that was a watered-down version of a sort of traditionally masculine color, red.

On living with synesthesia
Synesthesia is, as I describe it, a harmless brain quirk in which you associate some stimulus with a color. So, for me, letters and numbers always have the same color. ... Seven is a sort of pale butter yellow and four is kind of a hay color, kind of a tan.

More From Jude Stewart:

... Synesthesia is something that runs in families. So what we discovered recently — I was visiting with my parents and my brother, we were all sitting around the pool, and my brother and my mom both did not realize that they had synesthesia. We were talking about the book and my mother just blurts out, as I was describing 74 is this color, my mom says, "No, it's this color!" And then my brother had another, he's like, "No, I always thought of it as this color!" And to both of their surprises it seemed they did have synesthesia.
My father, meanwhile, has no idea what we're talking about.

http://www.npr.org/2013/09/15/222075589/read-the-rainbow-roy-g-biv-puts-new-spin-on-color-wheel

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