Links 5/15/15

Colossal cannibal great white shark would be a great name for a fake band.

On Laziness.

Effective art management.  I think the author is a little harsh here.  Refusing to pay continuous expenses from capital is usually a good plan, and if sales are going to be an influx of cash into the art world as a whole, the art will need to be sold to a private investor, otherwise it’s just a different museum struggling to raise operating costs.  The problem is that every individual following these sensible policies means that in aggregate we’ve got a lot of art locked away that no one can see.

EDIT:  Ben points out that the author was suggesting using the sales of art to fund an endowment, not fund programs directly. This is a substantially better idea.

How to respect people’s boundaries when asking for support.  This is one place crisis chat is helpful- by being a place people can always get help, they can avoid burning out their friends.

An ode to pixel art.  I rankled a bit when he said “people prefer X when Y is clearly superior” for differences that were strictly matters of taste.  But seeing how an artist compares works vs. a layperson is interesting.

The winner of this week’s “Beautiful theory killed by ugly gang of facts” award is Science, who reported that rats will save a distressed friend before getting themselves treats, without mentioning that the sample was 10 rats, total, split into two different treatment groups, and only seven or eight of those rats went for their friend first.  The natural control here would be how often the rats go for the chocolate door when there is no friend or an undistressed friend on the other side of the door, and the fact that they didn’t do that makes me suspicious.  If that experiment is published in a subsequent study, I withdraw my suspicion.

4 thoughts on “Links 5/15/15”

  1. Refusing to pay continuous expenses from capital is usually a good plan…

    Why is this? It seems to be fairly common among nonprofits (e.g. colleges).

    1. Because capital runs out eventually, and then you have to do whatever you would have done if you hadn’t touched the capital in the first place, but with less cushion and having eaten your seed corn. For something like an endowment, this makes perfect since: if you restrict yourself to what can be funded by the endowment’s revenue, you can keep going forever. The weirdness here is that stored art doesn’t generate any revenue, and that the accumulated capital is so out of whack compared to the upkeep.

      1. Oh, I interpreted him as advocating selling the art, adding the money to the endowment, and using the investment income (but not the principal!) from the endowment to pay for costs that are currently paid for by visitors. That’s why he said they could endow free admission forever.

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