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Archive of posts filed under the Art category.

Quino y Mafalda

Obit by Harrison Smith, full of stories: She was a wise and idealistic young girl, a cartoon kid with a ball of black frizz for hair, a passionate hatred of soup and a name, Mafalda, inspired by a failed home appliance brand. Although her creator, a cartoonist known as Quino, drew her regularly for just […]

“Pictures represent facts, stories represent acts, and models represent concepts.”

I really like the above quote from noted aphorist Thomas Basbøll. He expands: Simplifying somewhat, pictures represent facts, stories represent acts, and models represent concepts. . . . Pictures are simplified representations of facts and to use this to draw a hard and fast line between pictures and stories and models is itself a simplified […]

Thomas Basbøll will like this post (analogy between common—indeed, inevitable—mistakes in drawing, and inevitable mistakes in statistical reasoning).

There’s a saying in art that you have to draw things the way they look, not the way they are. This reminds me of an important but rarely stated principle in statistical reasoning, the distinction between evidence and truth. The classic error of novices when drawing is to draw essences—for example, drawing a head as […]

Coding and drawing

Some people like coding and they like drawing too. What do they have in common? I like to code—I don’t looove it, but I like it ok and I do it a lot—but I find drawing to be very difficult. I can keep tinkering with my code to get it to look like whatever I […]

Come up with a logo for causal inference!

Stephen Cole, Jennifer Hill, Luke Keele, Ilya Shpitser, and Dylan Small write: We wanted to provide an update on our efforts to build the Society for Causal Inference (SCI). As you may recall, we are creating the SCI as a home for causal inference research that will increase support and knowledge sharing both within the […]

Calling all cats

Those of you familiar with this blog will have noticed that it regularly features cats. For example the majestic cat featured last week, this lover of Bayesian data analysis here and even my own cat, Jazz is featured here. Sometimes there’s not quite the right cat picture out there – Andrew has even resorted to […]

Resemblance

They’re playing My Morning Jacket on the radio. I think Off the Record sounds just like the Ramones, but nobody agrees with me. Please tell me I’m not insane.

Miscreant’s Way

We went to Peter Luger then took the train back . . . Walking through Williamsburg, everyone looked like a Daniel Clowes character.

Tony nominations mean nothing

Someone writes: I searched up *Tony nominations mean nothing* and I found nothing. So I had to write this. There are currently 41 theaters that the Tony awards accept when nominating their choices. If we are being as generous as possible, we could say that every one of those theaters will be hosting a performance […]

Works of art that are about themselves

I watched Citizen Kane (for the umpteenth time) the other day and was again struck by how it is a movie about itself. Kane is William Randolph Hearst, but he’s also Orson Welles, boy wonder, and the movie Citizen Kane is self-consciously a masterpiece. Some other examples of movies that are about themselves are La […]

The evolution of pace in popular movies

James Cutting writes: Movies have changed dramatically over the last 100 years. Several of these changes in popular English-language filmmaking practice are reflected in patterns of film style as distributed over the length of movies. In particular, arrangements of shot durations, motion, and luminance have altered and come to reflect aspects of the narrative form. […]

Columbia Data Science Institute art contest

This is a great idea! Unfortunately, only students at Columbia can submit. I encourage other institutions to do such contests too. We did something similar at Columbia, maybe 10 or 15 years ago? It went well, we just didn’t have the energy to do it again every year, as we’d initially planned. So I’m very […]

3 recent movies from the 50s and the 70s

I’ve been doing some flying, which gives me the opportunity to see various movies on that little seat-back screen. And some of these movies have been pretty good: Logan Lucky. Pure 70s. Kinda like how Stravinsky did those remakes of Tchaikovsky etc. that were cleaner than the original, so did Soderbergh in Logan Lucky, and […]

Old school

Maciej Cegłowski writes: About two years ago, the Lisp programmer and dot-com millionaire Paul Graham wrote an essay entitled Hackers and Painters, in which he argues that his approach to computer programming is better described by analogies to the visual arts than by the phrase “computer science”. When this essay came out, I was working […]

BD reviews

I read BD’s (bandes dessinées or, as we say in English, graphic literature or picture storybooks) to keep up with my French. Regular books are too difficult for me. When it comes to BDs, some of the classic kids strips and albums are charming, but the ones for adults, which are more like Hollywood movies, […]

X spotted in L’Aimant, par Lucas Harari

I have a long post in preparation with lots of B.D. reviews, but in the meantime I wanted to flag this one right now because (a) the book was excellent, with a solid story and beautiful art and design, and (b) one of the characters looks just like Christian Robert, in an appropriate mountainous setting. […]

Request for a cat picture

Could someone please send me a photo (that I’d have permission to share on this blog) that connects a cat to “heuristics and biases” or “behavioral economics”? Thanks. P.S. Javier Benítez points us to this page of free stock photos of cats. Cool! Still, if anyone has anything particularly appropriate to the topic above, just […]

Hey, could somebody please send me a photo of a cat reading a Raymond Carver story?

Thanks in advance! P.S. Jaime Ashander sent in a photo. Thanks, Jaime!

I’m with Errol: On flypaper, photography, science, and storytelling

[image of a cat going after an insect] I’ve been reading this amazing book, Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography, by Errol Morris, who, like John Waters, is a pathbreaking filmmaker who is also an excellent writer. I recommend this book, but what I want to talk about here is one particular […]

Scammed by spammers

I received an unsolicited email awhile ago claiming to come from some company, but I went back to it and looked more carefully and realized the links were all to some SEO scam. I’d unfairly criticized this company for spamming me, and it was rally some third party spammer that had been spoofing that company. […]