Weekend links 183


La table qui tourne (1943) by Robert Doisneau.

In [Gödel, Escher, Bach], Hofstadter was calling for an approach to AI concerned less with solving human problems intelligently than with understanding human intelligence—at precisely the moment that such an approach, having borne so little fruit, was being abandoned. His star faded quickly. He would increasingly find himself out of a mainstream that had embraced a new imperative: to make machines perform in any way possible, with little regard for psychological plausibility.

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think by James Somers.

Whenever the latest pronouncements about the imminent arrival of artificial intelligence are being trotted out I wonder what Douglas Hofstadter would have to say on the matter. You don’t hear much about Hofstadter despite his having been involved for decades in artificial intelligence research. One reason is that he’s always been concerned with the deep and difficult problems posed by intelligence and consciousness, subjects which don’t make for sensational, Kurzweilian headlines. Hofstadter’s essays on AI (and many other topics) in Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern (1985) are essential reading. James Somers’ lengthy profile for The Atlantic is a welcome reappraisal.

• The end of October brings the spooky links: When Edward Gorey illustrated Dracula | Paula Marantz Cohen on Edgar Allan Poe | Yasmeen Khan revisits Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu | Roger Luckhurst on horror from the Gothics to the present day, and Michael Newton on Gothic cinema.

•  Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore is a biography of the Northampton magus by Lance Parkin. The author talks about his book here, and also here where if you look carefully you can see my Lovecraft book on his shelf.

• A crop of Halloween mixes: Boo, Forever by Jescie | Samhain Seance 2: Hex with a Daemon by The Ephemeral Man | Wizards Tell Lies & The Temple of Doom by The Curiosity Pipe | Radio Belbury’s Programme 11.

The Book of the Lost is an album by Emily Jones & The Rowan Amber Mill presenting music from imaginary British horror films. Release is set for Halloween. More details here.

Laura Allsop on Derek Jarman’s sketchbooks. Jarman’s Black Paintings are currently showing at the Wilkinson Gallery, London.

Magick is Freedom! Existence Is Unhappiness: Barney Bubbles vs. Graham Wood.

• Soho Dives, Soho Divas: Rian Hughes on sketching London’s burlesque artists.

Jenny Diski on the perennial problem of owning too many books.

Equus through the years by Clive Hicks-Jenkins.

Virgin Records: 40 Years of Disruptions

• At BibliOdyssey: Chromatic Wood Type

Witches at Pinterest

The Witch (1964) by The Sonics | My Girlfriend Is A Witch (1968) by October Country | You Must Be A Witch (1968) by The Lollipop Shoppe

3 thoughts on “Weekend links 183”

  1. I was wondering if I’d see any Halloween music lists this year. I stumbled upon this video while trying to sift through all the white noise they post on CvltNation, an artistic lecture given by Stephen O’Malley http://vimeo.com/65684720 .

    Actually, given your taste for more abstract-sounding music, if you are willing to peruse through an absurd overabundance of entries, much of it political, which you may be able to appreciate more than me, not because I agree with the right-wingers they disagree with (which I don’t), I am simply uninterested in politics, they ‘do’ post quite a bit of sludge and extreme doom which you may find to your liking, I’ve certainly found some hidden jewels there.


  2. Thanks, I do feel a need to look at the metal world now and then since most of my filters (and some of the work I do) is concentrated at the electronic end of things.

  3. Actually, what you say reminds me of something. Kind of recently, I discovered a very impressive label through a few bands who are, while not necessarily metal, but very metallic and intense. However, the vast majority of the bands present therein are electronic, more than one being influenced by David Lynch, one in particular would give that away by their name alone. Unless you’re familiar already of course, then I present to you Denovali records.


    Seriously, there is something special about these guys. There is not one band I’ve heard on this label that I haven’t liked or loved. While sadness and intensity are very prevalent themes going on with the artists, the sounds they create are mostly of a very elegant, ethereal, and traditionally beautiful nature, whereas most labels I tend to follow are more akin to HolyTerror or Black Twilight.

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