In his 1795 essay On the Aesthetic Education of Man, the poet and philosopher of art Friedrich Schiller complains that “utility is the great idol of the age”. He was concerned that society had begun to focus exclusively on those pursuits that are quantifiable at the expense of those which are less so — like art. Over the course of the essay, which is really a book-sized collection of letters addressed to his new patron who will be funding his artistic work, he makes a heartfelt and convincing case for the importance of art in society.This …

If you can copy+paste and follow easier-than-Ikea instructions, you can analyze the secret song data Spotify keeps about you.

Image for post
Image for post

A few years ago, I wrote this kind of dramatic Medium post. Back then, I was trying to fulfill an exceedingly difficult dream: to make it in music. Since then, I found a new (and only slightly more attainable) dream: make it as a journalist!

I love journalism just as much as making music, and in my past year as a graduate student at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism, I’ve learned a ton of fun things — like how…

Caprice (n): a sudden and unaccountable change of mood or behavior

Caprice is a funny word I only discovered in my final semester studying philosophy, a semester in which I happened to be reading a lot of things written in the 18th century. This, it turns out, is no coincidence. Google’s convenient chart of the word’s usage shows a massive ballooning of its popularity in the late 1700s (when English speaking philosophers presumably anglicized the Italian and French word “capriccio”), followed by a sharp decline in the subsequent century. …

Nostalgia is as personal and tender an emotion as any. It pops up within us in direct reference to the most cherished moments from our past. Moments that we feel define the stories of our lives. What can be more intimate than that?

A couple of weeks ago Spotify tried its hand at triggering this soft spot when it delivered to its members a personalized “Time Capsule” playlist. Spotify has long been using AI to recommend music to its customers, but this recent offering is the most impressive and disturbing display of algorithmic personalized music curation we’ve seen thus far…

Image for post
Image for post

It is a cliche: we humans are complex creatures. Our rich, conscious experience of life is the result of the most powerful and multifaceted brains on the planet. We absorb and react to the stimuli of our environment with a powerful ability to understand and an unavoidable tendency to feel. We are constantly scanning, interpreting, and emotionally reacting; it’s what we do, it’s how we work. It is the source of all beauty, pain, fascination, and fear that make up life.

There is a famous case in neuroscience that involves a standup family man named Elliot who developed a brain…

Anthony Wallace

I am a journalist and music maker from Phoenix, AZ who is interested in everything. My writing is on art, philosophy, love, Lyme disease and local news.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store