Journal 115 — football meets politics, artistic forgeries, debating the dangers of AI, a huge pearl and behind the scenes at Netflix

Elon Musk inspects a robotic arm

This week — football meets politics, the ever-increasing quality of artistic forgeries, Silicon Valley debates the dangers of AI, and the story of a huge pearl. 
If you only read one thing — Vulture on Netflix is worth the time.


Inside the Binge Factory | Vulture | Culture

A behind the scenes look at how Netflix went from “a digital warehouse for other conglomerates’ intellectual property”, to producing “more television than any network in history”. A de-centralised commissioning structure, data, and a relentless focus on growth are three of the key ingredients.

How to spot a perfect fake: the world’s top art forgery detective | The Guardian | Culture

As the prices commanded by landmark works and artists rise ever higher, so too does the sophistication of forgeries being produced to dupe collectors and institutions. A tip — it’s apparently far easier to copy a Modigliani than a Leonardo — at a recent exhibition of his work, 20 out of the 21 works on display were found to be counterfeits. This piece profiles the man said to be the very best in the field of science-led authentication.

Chasing the Pearl of Lao Tzu | The Atlantic | Life

The dizzying, multi-layered story of a huge pearl that has been at the centre of elaborate hoaxes, claims and counter-claims, and havoc in the lives of those connected to it for over 80 years.

Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and the Feud Over Killer Robots | The New York Times | Technology

A look at the debates raging amongst Silicon Valley leaders about the potential dangers of AI.

The Last World Cup | The London Review of Books | Society

A look at the inevitable intermingling of geo-politics and technology with football and the World Cup. The piece’s thrust is perhaps best exemplified by the anecdote it contains recounting Sepp Blatter’s genuine ambition to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.


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