(Un)read in the ledger

Weekly reading list: Monday 25–Sunday 31 March 2024

Elliott Bledsoe
5 min readMar 31, 2024

Things I have been reading, stuff I have come back to for a re-read and things that I want to read but haven’t got to yet.

A pile of different sized books stacked on top of each other. The books have bright yellow, pink and aqua covers. They are on an orange background.


What I’ve been reading the week:

  • Song lyrics getting simpler, more repetitive, angry and self-obsessed– study
    According to research from Europe, song lyrics are becoming simpler and more repetitive over the last 40 years. They have also become angrier and more self-obsessed. The findings come from an analysis of the words in more than 12,000 English-language songs across rap, country, pop, R&B and rock from 1980 to 2020.
    Agence France-Presse – Friday 29 March 2024
    The Guardian
  • Algorithms can aid price collusion, even if no humans actually talk to each other, US enforcers say
    The US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have waded into a class action against a number of Atlantic City hotels claiming they engaged in an illegal price-fixing by intentionally using the same pricing algorithm. The DOJ and FTC aren’t wrong that the outcome of this and similar cases will have significant practical importance – not to mention legal importance too!
    Lauren Feiner – Friday 29 March 2024
    The Verge
  • More than a building: Carriageworks makes new pitch to music fans and families
    Carriageworks is repositioning itself as a pre-eminent live performance venue for Sydney. The arts venue will increase music, theatre and dance presented on-site while decreasing their visual arts programming. The 5000-seat venue Bay 22–24 will regularly host music and the venue will add a summer music festival season. Carriageworks will show productions by Opera Australia and the Sydney Chamber Opera, Griffin Theatre Company and Belvoir St Theatre, with plans to change Bay 17 into a new 800-seat theatre. But not everyone is happy with the refocus.
    Linda Morris – Wednesday 27 March 2024
    The Sydney Morning Herald
  • Adobe’s GenStudio brings brand-safe generative AI to marketers
    Certainly there is lots of potential for generative AI to help marketing communicators get stuff done, but AI outputs don’t currently stick to Brand Guidelines. Adobe’s GenStudio aims to create brand-safe AI, allowing brand managers to utilise generative AI to generate new content while enforcing their brand rules. If it works, it could be a game changer for marketing.
    Frederic Lardinois – Wednesday 27 March 2024
  • Women-only exhibit sued by man – artist fires back in the best way in court
    I have seen a few articles about the male audience member who has lodged a complaint with the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner claiming that the women-only exhibit Ladies Lounge at MONA breaches Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act. The matter made its way before the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal where artist Kirsha Kaechele and a troupe of ladies in navy blue blazers and bright red lipstick put on a choreographed performance art piece. What’s interesting about the matter is the amount of international mainstream media attention it has received, including on The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and this article on the New York Post. {Oh, and I DO NOT recommend reading the comments!}
    Adriana Diaz – Tuesday 26 March 2024
    New York Post
  • Data centre power use ‘to surge six-fold in 10 years’
    It is no surprise that the CEO of UK energy company National Grid is saying there will be a six-fold increase in power needed for data centres over the next decade. There is a lot to read on the environmental cost of data centres in terms of energy, cooling and water (but I recommend this by Steven Gonzalez Monserrate). And AI is increasing the demand for computation.
    Tuesday 26 March 2024
  • The Financial Times is ready for its AI to answer your questions (well, some of them)
    The Financial Times is beta testing a chat-based AI tool as part of FT Professional. It uses decades of the media organisation’s reportage as its training data, rather than the good, the bad and the ugly of the open internet. Joshua Benton asks some important questions about AI tools built on narrower training data, specifically about how an archive-driven tool will increase the accuracy of what-just-happened real-time queries.
    Joshua Benton – Monday 25 March 2024
    NiemanLab (Nieman Journalism Lab), Nieman Foundation (Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard)

Of course, there’s lots of other stuff I have been reading that doesn’t make it into the weekly round up. (If you have a Google Account you can even share links with me.)