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Co-founder of Elgg and Known; former investor at Matter;
CTO at The 19th.

benwerd

benwerd

benwerd

19thnews.org

 

Artist receives first known US copyright registration for latent diffusion AI art

“In what might be a first, a New York-based artist named Kris Kashtanova has received US copyright registration on their graphic novel that features AI-generated artwork created by latent diffusion AI.”

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Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools

“Some groups appear to feed off work to promote diverse books, contorting those efforts to further their own censorious ends. They have inverted the purpose of lists compiled for teachers and librarians interested in introducing a more diverse set of reading materials into the classroom or library.” Despicable.

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How ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ Finally, After 43 Years, Got Completed

“The problem with the theatrical cut was, simply, it wasn’t done. It feels long and slow because the movie hadn’t been edited properly. Scenes that may only last two or three seconds too long, or literally one frame, add up over the course of a movie to make it feel long. Now, after 1500 or so edits, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a film that finally feels properly paced, looks stunning, and, after long last, no longer keeps the viewer at arm’s length.”

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Human Capital

“TED was for bearing hearts, not souls.” A fun short story from the world of Reap3r.

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Food Means Home

A recipe book collated by 30 unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. Just completely lovely.

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The Reactionary Geeks Are Mad About 'Rings of Power'

“The refrain “Go woke, go broke” offers a tidy summary of this argument, wokeness gone mad being a useful euphemism for a demand like “resegregate popular entertainment,” which might turn people off.”

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Queer YA books are selling in record numbers despite bans targeting them

“Of the close to 5 million units of LGBTQ+ books sold in 2021, the biggest absolute gains in this market came from LGBTQ+ YA books, which saw an increase in sales of 1.3 million units from the previous year. Queer YA is more popular than ever — no longer a niche category, but redefining what is mainstream for teen readers.”

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As list of banned books in schools grows, ‘soft’ censorship is spreading

“Free speech advocates say these practices are as troubling as bans — particularly when the books singled out overwhelmingly have themes related to race, gender and sexuality and are written by authors who are women, LGBTQ+ and/or people of color.”

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Billy Bragg on the difference between the backlashes to Salman Rushdie and Jerry Sadowitz

“Over the past decade or so, Rushdie has sought to return to some sort of a normal life, despite the threat hanging over him. The fact that he continued to take the stage at literary events is a tribute to his belief in freedom of expression and he has been rightly commended for his bravery.”

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Doctor Who casting director: "We’re casting more disabled actors"

“It’s more interesting. Also, if you can’t cast diversely on Doctor Who, what show can you do it on? It goes everywhere, on this planet and others, and you don’t want to see the same kind of people all the time. You don’t want it to be exclusively middle-class white people speaking with RP accents.”

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on leading a purposeless life

“Maybe it is okay to not pursue potential and just be okay with being. Why must there be a reason for everything?” Beautiful.

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Author Salman Rushdie attacked on lecture stage in New York

“He has said he is proud of his fight for freedom of expression, saying in a 2012 talk in New York that terrorism is really the art of fear.”

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Interview: Jake Novak on His Infamous SNL TikTok Video

“Honestly, as horrible as the internet has been to me in the past six weeks, I have really enjoyed this hiatus. I’m getting to see my friends more and just have more meaningful experiences in real life.”

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Aboard the World's First Hot-Air Balloon Restaurant

“During the flight, Schmeinck serves wine and gives more information about her dishes. Standing-room only encourages interactions between the chef, pilot, and other diners as the balloon sails above the countryside, taking in the view from a cruising altitude that ranges 500 to 2,500 feet. “Sometimes when the clouds are low, we can go right through them,” says Schmeinck. “It’s a little bit misty. Then we’re above the clouds and see the sun shining. That moment is unforgettable. It’s amazing for me, after all these years.”” Bucket list.

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For Centuries, English Bakers' Biggest Customers Were Horses

“But in pre-industrial England, horse bread carried the taste of shame. The dark bran bread sat at the bottom of a hierarchy that gave brown bread to farmers and servants and reserved white bread for the elite. Indeed, Englishpeople turned to horse bread during times of strife, and the abject poor likely ate it year round. And since horse bread was fed to laboring animals, humans who ate it were looked upon with disdain.”

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After 37 Years, the Sunny World of ‘Neighbours’ Comes to an End

“At that time, the world of “Neighbours” offered an antidote to the contentious impact of conservative, Thatcherite legislation in Britain, Carr said, which supported “do it yourself” economic policies that its opponents said widened inequality. “Neighbours” offered “a different, wildly positive vision of what a community could be,” Carr said. “Everyone tends to work together rather than be adversarial.”” As a kid, I loved it.

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Announcing the Shortlist for the Inaugural Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction

“The nine shortlisted books will be considered by a panel of five jurors—adrienne maree brown, Becky Chambers, Molly Gloss, David Mitchell, and Luis Alberto Urrea. The winner will be announced later this year on October 21st, 2022, Ursula K. Le Guin’s birthday.”

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Erotica Author Chuck Tingle Has Some of the Best Writing Advice

“Having spent the last few days with Tingle’s voice in my head, the only way I can describe the experience is that it feels like the sun has come out after days of rain. To have a voice that is relentlessly upbeat and positive, telling me I can do anything I try to, and that my best efforts will be enough? It’s like my brain was just, I don’t know, pressure washed?”

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All [White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy] is Local

Words of warning from Librarian Shipwreck: “What about books banned for depicting people of color and queers in a positive light, providing accurate information about health and sexuality, or for acknowledging the truth about American history? Bills (that thankfully didn’t pass) to fine and jail librarians for “obscene” (read: queer, comprehensive sex education, anatomy) books? Or librarians being told they can’t help patrons find information about abortion, or even say the word?”

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