September 2009 represents the two year anniversary of this blog’s creation. There have been 126 posts. Although the blog initially focused on issues relating to arts law, it quickly moved into the economics of the art world. Nowadays, especially with “book club” series of posts on The Art Instinct, the blog is branching out into language and the arts as well.

Some highlights of the past:

  • “The Death of Angels” and “The Angels Within” discussed the role of fiction in modern times by looking at the literary criticism of Frank Kermode, the insights of Tom Wolfe, and the wit of Czeslaw Milosz.
  • Book Reviews of The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa and If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Anne Carson. And of course a gargantuan 10,000 word review of The Art Instinct by Denis Dutton.
  • “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in Language” parts I and II looked at the difficulty of translating poetry and sketched the implications for natural language processing.
  • The self-explanatory “Discussion with Arnold Mesches.”
  • In “Copyright Kills Fashion” and “Infringement and Fair Use” I assess a law review article on the economic effects of intellectual property in the arts and my take on how copyright law, in particular the Fair Use statute, should be interpreted. I also summarize a series of controversial and virtually inalienable rights in parts 1 and 2 of “Artist Moral Rights.”
  • “Efficient Markets in Art” parts 1 and 2 are relatively short discussions about the movement of art in wide, open markets, how prices are established, how Sotheby’s works, etc.

Here is what I am planning for the future:

  • Elaboration of the consequences of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle which pertain to natural language processing, which include all facets of translation, web search algorithms, voice recognition, etc. It may be somewhat high-level math intensive.
  • Explanation of how economics can help inform the old Sapir thesis behind color words in languages and the anthropological studies that have followed it. This, in turn, may have implications for The Art Instinct.
  • The consequences of language death and the incentives for language creation, such as creoles.
  • Using rudimentary auction theory and comparisons to the wide and varied art auction market in the world, to explain why humanity is always better off with more choices.
  • Theorizing the fundamental importance of paradox and discussing its role in the most powerful works of arts.

I hope you will find a four year anniversary post here two years from now.