Best Male Solo Marketer

There’s an intrigu­ing con­test devel­op­ing this year for best male solo mar­keter in the pop world. Both con­tenders are known not just for their musi­cal out­put, but also their instinc­tive grasp of image and per­sonal myth-making. While they won’t fea­ture in any awards schemes, they may be the two out­stand­ing exam­ples of cre­ative mar­ket­ing this year.

The Electronic Holy War

No large com­pany has invested yet in com­puter Go the way that I.B.M. did with chess. Peter Norvig, a direc­tor at Google Research and one of the founders of mod­ern A.I., told me that, even if Google or I.B.M. hired a cadre of experts, invested “one hun­dred times more hard­ware than any­one else had ever applied to the prob­lem,” and was “very clever about the system-design archi­tec­ture, the exact machine learn­ing algo­rithms, and the insights from neu­ro­science,” he doesn’t know if this would be enough to make the equiv­a­lent of Deep Blue for Go.

The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Proust’s madeleine was quite dry. It demanded not just a quick dunk, but immer­sion to “soften” it (accord­ing to the new trans­la­tion by Lydia Davis, said to be the most accu­rate). And, you’ll note, Mar­cel never bites the cookie. The mem­ory surge is trig­gered by crumbs.