The Arty Semite

Minsky and Machover at the World Science Festival

By Benjamin Ivry

  • Print
  • Share Share

The much-hyped World Science Festival kicks off June 2 at Lincoln Center, and it’s still not too late to snap up a “Titanium Package,” which includes “tickets for 20 guests to VIP Reception, Performance (with exceptional seating), and Gala Reception” for the modest sum of only $100,000. Yes, $100,000, to see some Broadway-style performers, like the married couple Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker, who should never have been made the object of such frenzied fundraising. Stephen Hawking and Alan Alda will also be present, among others, but really!

For those with shallower pockets, a June 3 event at the Hayden Planetarium Theater, costing only $30 and $15 for students, will likely be the highlight of the five-day festival: a chat between composer Tod Machover and the MIT pioneer of Artificial Intelligence, Marvin Minsky.

To some, Machover’s music may be an acquired taste. As the son of a Juilliard-trained pianist and a pioneering computer scientist, Machover has the proper genes to be a memorable composer of computer music, if genetics decided such matters. Often, Machover’s music seems to reflect a flood of ideas, some of which may be better suited to extra-musical goals. Indeed, two former Machover students realized as much, developing one of his compositional techniques into the “Guitar Hero” series of video games.

By contrast, Minsky attains the realm of authentic metaphysical speculation on such essential questions as how the mind works, especially in his bestselling titles like 2007’s “The Emotion Machine” from Simon & Schuster and 1988’s now-classic “Society Of Mind.” For those who do not often get to Massachusetts, the opportunity to hear the always-lucid Minsky, now 82, is not to be missed, so we must be grateful to the World Science Festival, despite its frenetic publicity and some of its ticket prices.

Watch Marvin Minsky discourse on consciousness:


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Marvin Minsky, Tod Machover, World Science Festival

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.