Archive for August, 2013

Other Ten Percent 8/30/13

Aug 30 2013 Published by under Daily Posts

Oh right, this blog. That’s a thing. How are you guys doing because I kinda….got busy this week. That’s why there wasn’t a thursday blog post and why I’m only commenting on some of these things. Hooray?
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Four MakerBot Digitizer Implications
Yeah I kinda feel like this is when history is going to look back and go “so that’s when things got suer weird.”
via Fabbaloo http://fabbaloo.com/blog/
August 28, 2013 at 10:00AM
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An imaginary city that changed the twentieth century
via io9 http://io9.com
August 28, 2013 at 09:39AM
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“A growing body of evidence indicates that while cockpit automation may be relieving pilots of…”
“We’re automating the wrong things” may well end up being the #1 mistake we discover in my lifetime. Also my futurism is fucking MORBID today. Sorry about that!
via The New Aesthetic http://new-aesthetic.tumblr.com/
August 28, 2013 at 12:00AM
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An alternate history of Michael Jackson and the black space age
Whoops. It’s not getting any better.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 29, 2013 at 12:20PM
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A Robot That Climbs Walls to Paint Graffiti on Them
Oh okay thank God this thing’s pretty rad right? I want to live in the graffiti bot future for sure.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 29, 2013 at 07:58AM
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The Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator
The most useful single serving site in history.
via The Hairpin http://thehairpin.com
August 29, 2013 at 07:30AM
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Sharing Different Heartbeats: Annie, The Knife, Robyn, Jose Gonzalez, A-Trak + Kanye, Grizzly Bear, Girls Aloud
I think we can now confirm that Grantland’s “best song of the 2000s” brackets are the greatest event in internet trolling history. Let this post serve as your antidote.
via The Hairpin http://thehairpin.com
August 29, 2013 at 06:00AM
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You could live in this NYC apartment that looks like a 1960s spaceship
14.5 million? No I could not live in that apartment io9. Thanks for rubbing it in.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 29, 2013 at 05:00PM
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Asimov’s 2014 Predictions Were Shockingly Conservative For 1964
Did I already post this? I could swear this already showed up when Sterling blogged it but I guess I missed it somehow? Anyway some of this is flat our wrong and you kinga have to squint for the rest of it but it’s pretty shocking how much it gets right.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 29, 2013 at 01:23PM
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Pay What You Want For Downloadable Standup Comedy in the First Ever Humble Comedy Bundle
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 29, 2013 at 01:17PM
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Other Ten Percent 8/28/13

Aug 28 2013 Published by under Daily Posts

And once again I’m just not feeling commentary on a few of these so I’ll be drifting in and out here.
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Today’s schizophrenics hallucinate different things than those of your grandparents’ time
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 26, 2013 at 07:04AM
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The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy
Man every time you think you’ve got a handle on a good modern day analog for this it keeps getting weirder. Communist utopia that actually acts more like a capitalist state with food as a limiting factor and functioned using compulsory labor to the state but…not constant compulsory labor? It’s weird.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 26, 2013 at 07:00AM
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1996 Electronic Dream Phone reviewed
The best bit of games journalism you’re going to read all year and that goes even for those of you that’ll be reading another piece of games journalism this year.
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 26, 2013 at 05:34AM
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kids rule while parents, in comparison, are the non-ceremonial seat of all actual power
via Dinosaur Comics http://www.qwantz.com
August 26, 2013 at 04:44AM
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The Players Club, David Carradine, And The Guy From Revenge of the Nerds: The Mystery of the Broken Window
Come for the weird David Carradine story STAY for the pictures of a 19th century social club.
via Scouting NY http://www.scoutingny.com
August 25, 2013 at 10:05PM
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Drone’s Eye View of San Francisco’s Mission District
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 26, 2013 at 12:04PM
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Must Watch: The CG Effects of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
It’s weird how expensive it was to make some of this stuff look like the cheap effect Gondry was going for and how much effort went into it.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 26, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Atlantis – “the world’s best anonymous online drug marketplace”
Man, I wish I could interview the people designing user experience for blackmarket economy websites specializing in drugs because that’s…a weird market to maximize for.
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 26, 2013 at 08:46AM
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“blink·link (noun) A link that disappears after a certain number of people have seen it.”
Well…that could be useful.
via The New Aesthetic http://new-aesthetic.tumblr.com/
August 26, 2013 at 08:01AM
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Why CNN gave Miley Cyrus top spot over Syria
Just on the off chance somebody who reads this hasn’t seen it yet.
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 26, 2013 at 03:52PM
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Other Ten Percent 8/27/13

Aug 27 2013 Published by under Daily Posts

So we just got back from seeing World’s End and…I’m not sure what to say about it. It’s kind of the best directed but messiest movie Edgar Wright has ever made and without getting into specifics I’m not quite sure what to say about it. It’s an Edgar Wright movie so it’s kind of auto-magically worth seeing but it may actually be…and I didn’t think this was humanly possible, but it might be too clever by half even for me at a few points. I ummmmm….God this post is really pathetic. I’m sorry guys I need to figure out what to do with these entries in the future. I’ll get around to that when I don’t feel like OTP is a way to distract myself from getting real work done on Mondays and Wednesdays which is kinda how I’ve felt for about a month now. Anyway, go see movies. Bye.

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Other Ten Percent 8/26/13

Aug 25 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Ivan’s moving to L.A. so I spent the evening at his place and had quite a bit to drink. Let’s see what I feel like commenting on here.
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Fast Company at the drone convention
via Beyond The Beyond http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond
August 23, 2013 at 06:04AM
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Lightning Farm
Another in our continuing series “stupid ideas I had when I was 11 that probably won’t ever happen but I’m glad somebody kinda thought through and did cool drawings for.”
via BLDGBLOG http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/
August 23, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Now you too can have permanent duckface surgery
I hope this becomes the canonical answer for how Heath Ledger’s Joker got those scars.
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 23, 2013 at 08:10AM
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Nerd Vandals, Eric and Winston Vandalize a Car With a Math Equation
On one level I shouldn’t reward people for making a joke this easy but on another level I’m so angry I didn’t think of this.
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 23, 2013 at 08:35AM
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Cheer up with a music video about space- and time-traveling cats
via io9 http://io9.com
August 25, 2013 at 11:30AM
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“A glitch in the Nasdaq stock market resulted in an unprecedented shutdown of trading of over 2,000…”
The Nasqaq lacks such basic protections against random bugs/attacks that it’s basically insane to me. This shit happens once a year or so which in the grand scheme of things isn’t so bad until you realize that millions of dollars are being thrown back and forth here EVERY SECOND.
via The New Aesthetic http://new-aesthetic.tumblr.com/
August 25, 2013 at 12:00AM
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Archer’s Dr. Krieger builds a clone army. It doesn’t go well.
I feel like more shows should just toss out plotlines that they couldn’t quite work into the script as between season social media campaigns.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 24, 2013 at 03:00PM
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Anna Gunn’s Just Trying To Understand Why People Want To Kill Her
I…guys I’ve never made it past the middle of Breaking Bad’s second season. I still find Skyler hate pretty fascinating though.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 24, 2013 at 11:30AM
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LOVEINT: NSA spooks illegally stalking their romantic interests
Somebosdy should make a movie of this. It should like, star Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon or something.
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 24, 2013 at 08:36AM
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Breaking BAUD
via The Non-Adventures of Wonderella http://nonadventures.com
August 24, 2013 at 08:29AM
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Other Ten Percent 8/23/13

Aug 23 2013 Published by under Daily Posts

Oh hey they changed the Evernote interface again. All files you open are automatically in edit mode. That’s probably a good change. Of course they’ve made linking things much harder so that’s…less fun. Anyway, here’s my life the comic. Here’s some other links.
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Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, & Branding in the Social Media Age, A Book by Alice E. Marwick
Here’s a book I’d be interested to read.
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 20, 2013 at 01:59PM
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Gotham Ruins, Photos of New York City Taken From Unique Perspectives
Aaaaand here are some cool pictures of New York.
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 21, 2013 at 10:16AM
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Mike Tyson Plays ‘Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!’ on Nintendo For the Very First Time
…How did nobody ever think to do this? Like I know that can be a default “haha this is great!” thing but like, seriously how did we get to 2013 without somebody making Mike Tyson play Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 21, 2013 at 08:26AM
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Pug’s Guide to Dating, An Illustrated Book About Young Pugs & Their Quest For Love by Gemma Correll
Okay this is quite possibly the greatest book of all time. SORRY BIBLE.
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 22, 2013 at 08:48AM
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What It’s Like to Audition for Saturday Night Live
I think this is a splitsider thing that Hairpin reposts but it’s still really good.
via The Hairpin http://thehairpin.com
August 22, 2013 at 06:45AM
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shouts out to the approximation of me living somewhere, somewhen, who is one inch taller than I am. I respect you, friend.
The last line of this dinosaur comic is a thing I’m fairly certain I’ve actually said.
via Dinosaur Comics http://www.qwantz.com
August 22, 2013 at 04:36AM
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Epic profile of Kubrick
Okay this is the new shortest guaranteed OTP link phrase. Let’s see how short we can get that.
via kottke.org http://kottke.org/
August 21, 2013 at 07:32PM
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Tiny pistols built into jailers’ keys
If I were in jail in the past this would be a pretty cool way to die at least which is probably the best you could hope for in past jail.
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 21, 2013 at 04:54PM
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The Weirdest-Looking Time Machines in All Science Fiction
The one that’s the image header for this article is one of my favorite time machine designs…of all time.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 21, 2013 at 03:06PM
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Swedish seventies neoretrofuturism: the paintings of Simon Stålenhag
I should make one of these my desktop backgrounds because they’re just uncanny enough to be really enjoyable every time.
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 21, 2013 at 03:20PM
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Other Ten Percent 8/22/13

Aug 22 2013 Published by under Daily Posts

So I don’t really have a full Thursday entry for you because trying to do creative writing and non-fiction writing and meet with game devs for stories for OTHER non-fiction writing and write Other Ten Percent is, as it turns out, ambitious. I would like to note for the record though that even A.A. Dowd, who seems to hate fun professionally, likes the new Edgar Wright movie coming out this weekend and its reviews are absurdly good. See it before the next Edgar Wright movie comes out and everybody explains how much better the last one was. Can’t wait for the critical reapraisal of Scott Pilgrim in the coming weeks.

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Other Ten Percent 8/21/13

Aug 21 2013 Published by under Daily Posts

Sorry for the lack of a Tuesday update. I kicked a lot of things around but I basically just found I didn’t really care about anything I was writing. I found like 4 things to be angry about on the internet and then slowly realized I’d been spending way too much time lately explaining why stuff online sucks so other people can share in the boredom I’ve developed from looking at my RSS reader for too long. Let’s try enjoying things instead.
Incredible 20-Second Tetris Game Must Be Seen To Be Believed
I really really like watching people who are absurdly good at Tetris. I…don’t really know why. I’m not really enthusiastic about the odds of e-sports ever really being an actual thing that actual humans care about but just watching somebody be that good at Tetris feels like maybe we’ve got a shot when the robots try and take over I guess?
via io9 http://io9.com
August 19, 2013 at 12:50PM
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“Florida prison officials say a computer “glitch” may be to blame for opening all of the doors at a…”
Speaking of robots taking over…Actually though I just find this fascinating because a big part of me thinks this is totally made up and “it was probably some weird computer glitch” is the new “a dog ate my homework.”
via The New Aesthetic http://new-aesthetic.tumblr.com/
August 19, 2013 at 08:00AM
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“At what other moment in history would it have been plausible for a serial killer to identify middle-aged white men as his most vulnerable targets?”
Yeah this article is really really good. The Atlantic’s longform stuff is just killing it lately.
via The Hairpin http://thehairpin.com
August 19, 2013 at 07:30AM
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The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed
Basically just a note to myself that I ought to be reading this if I’m writing a sci-fi show about law enforcement in the ubiquitous digital surveillance future.
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 19, 2013 at 05:48AM
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Ewan Morrison: “Fiction in 2043, Peace After the Digital Revolution”
I’m pretty sure they’re still friends IRL but Sterling and Doctorow really seem to have figured out the other one is basically the avatar of everything endangering their way of life lately.
via Wired: Beyond the Beyond http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond
August 19, 2013 at 05:55AM
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Is This Times Square Grate A Portal To Another Dimension?
I…how did I not know about this? Did everybody else know about this? How often does the fact that I wear headphones whenever I’m walking around prevent me from noticing an uncanny public art project? It’s…it’s not every time I go out is it?
via Scouting NY http://www.scoutingny.com
August 18, 2013 at 09:23PM
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History of film and broadcasting search engine
Man, I could see this being useful for the Dance Party at the End of the World.
via kottke.org http://kottke.org/
August 20, 2013 at 07:46AM
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did i start with “damn it, this database gets results” and build an entire comic around that? who can say, who can say
Another Dinosaur Comic in our continuing series: Sometimes Ryan North Basically Just Takes an AIM Chatlog From His Life and Makes it a Comic.
via Dinosaur Comics http://www.qwantz.com
August 20, 2013 at 05:02AM
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Takeshi Oga
And now, pretty drawings of weird alternate universes because I haven’t done that in a while.
via Lines and Colors: a blog about drawing, painting, illustration, comics, concept art and other visual arts http://linesandcolors.com
August 19, 2013 at 08:16PM
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Aaaaaaand that’s only nine because I totally forgot to mention last week that Hood Internet released a new mixtape called Trillwave 3 and the first mashup on it is my new favorite thing.

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Other Ten Percent 8/19/13

Aug 19 2013 Published by under Daily Posts

Man, some days I come out of my RSS reader thinking I liked so much stuff and only have 6 entries and some days I think “did I get enough stuff?” and there are 18 entries here. Weird.
Hamster Navigates Through a Tiny Ninja Mansion Full of Trap Doors & Secret Passages
It’s legends of the hidden temple…but for hamsters!
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 17, 2013 at 10:37AM
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“A whole new aesthetic is emerging, mirroring the unfinished,…
New aesthetic fashion!
via The New Aesthetic http://new-aesthetic.tumblr.com/
August 17, 2013 at 12:00AM
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Hackers of the Renaissance
Okay, the Omni reboot’s getting it together really quickly. Apologies for earlier criticism.
via Boing Boing http://boingboing.net
August 16, 2013 at 05:49PM
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The very best storytelling games to light your imagination on fire
I have played the Fiasco one and it’s pretty awesome.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 16, 2013 at 02:30PM
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The Killing Machines
Probably the best/most balanced look at the actual realities of drones in warfare I’ve seen. Which is pretty surprising from the Atlantic whose coverage of the issue usually lies somewhere between “hysteria” and “actually just yelling random things like a crazy person.”
via kottke.org http://kottke.org/
August 16, 2013 at 01:48PM
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Grant Morrison claims Alan Moore secretly killed the Joker in 1988
What I….oh….oh. Oh, yeah obviously now that I think about it.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 16, 2013 at 01:23PM
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Friday Mixtape: The Catchiest Pop Songs about the Apocalypse
It’s kinda 101 level until you really dig around in the comments but it’s one of my favorite topics so hooray!
via io9 http://io9.com
August 16, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Morning of Owl B-Boys Perform a Crazy Breakdance Routine
This proceeds from “oh right, weren’t these guys in the Step-Up movies?” to “Wait, holy shit, what just happened?” with startling speed.
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 16, 2013 at 05:53AM
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The Get Lucky Desktop
People used to tell me they got their desktops from OTP quite often. Maybe I should go back to more random pretty artwork posts?
via Lifehacker http://lifehacker.com
August 16, 2013 at 05:00AM
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Snowden leaks: the real take-home
I think it’s kinda silly that Stross thinks nobody’s been mentioning this but it’s probably the best explanation of how demographic shifts are a big part of the NSA’s problems that I’ve seen.
via Charlie’s Diary http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/
August 16, 2013 at 03:06AM
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Other Ten Percent 8/16/13

Aug 16 2013 Published by under Daily Posts

Another day of it being super difficult to get 10 entries together for no real reason. Anyway, the links I found are pretty great.
A new scientific explanation for near-death experiences
Science!
via io9 http://io9.com
August 13, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Hyperloop Could Totally Work. But Will It Ever Happen?
Gizmodo’s backing me up on the Hyperloop thing.
via io9 http://io9.com
August 15, 2013 at 09:18AM
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Nicki Minaj Murdered You On Your Own Shit: The Guest Verse as Social Justice
A lot of words about Nicki Minaj being awesome. Are all of them good words? Ummmmmmmmm most of them are?
via The Hairpin http://thehairpin.com
August 14, 2013 at 01:40PM
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First Flight of the Phantom, Aerial Footage of NYC Captured With a Quadcopter
Somebody is going to make a shit ton of money with the ” first movie shot entirely with a quadcopter” Kickstarter.
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 15, 2013 at 07:48AM
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Augmented Reality: Pepper’s Ghost with LeapMotion and a laptop
Stupid AR tricks.
via Beyond The Beyond http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond
August 14, 2013 at 10:56PM
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Grand Theft Auto Online, Rockstar Games’ Upcoming Online Multiplayer Open World Video Game
Huh that’s a really exciting way to format GTA.
via Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com
August 15, 2013 at 01:13PM
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This Is What a Swamp Booger Looks Like
I did not know this was a thing. I kinda wish I still didn’t. Now you must share my pain.
via The Hairpin http://thehairpin.com
August 15, 2013 at 02:20PM
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Video games for all
Oh I covered a lot of these back when I was doing that free game article for PCWorld but they’re worth a look if you didn’t actually read those.
via kottke.org http://kottke.org/
August 15, 2013 at 01:41PM
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MakerBot 3D Scanner Going Live
Ooooooooooooooh. If I had any need for this thing I would TOTALLY get one.
via MAKE http://makezine.com
August 15, 2013 at 05:21PM
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Welp, we’re still one short so here’s an amazing article about One Direction fans not knowing who The Who are.

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Other Ten Percent 8/15/13

Aug 15 2013 Published by under Daily Posts

You know, the weird thing about the schedule we’re on for OTP right now is that I’m not actually overwhelmed by the ammount of work I’ve got to put in to make it work but it seems like it’s slightly time-shifted from whatever my brain would find satisfying. I keep thinking up fairly good ideas for tuesday/thursday articles ON tuesday and thursday and then when it comes time to actually write them I’ve already started to get bored with them.

Here’s the idea I liked yesterday that’s boring me now: when did futurism get obsessed with the apocalypse? Like did we just never shake that off from the millennium or what? Because I can’t tell you how bored I am with views of the future that seem to divide the future into a binary where we solve global warming or we all die as a cautionary tail for aliens who, presumably, will come along and nod sagely that the environmentalists were right all along.

I mean let’s start with the fact that we’re not going to fix global warming. We missed that boat by like TONS of scientific estimates and even the ones that don’t think so are like “we’ve still got six years!” and…yeah that’s not going to happen. There’s some evidence that Obama’s got like a Xanatos Gambit of a plan for the EPA that might keep us from making shit even worse but the climate’s kinda fucked and its likely to stay that way for as long as I’m alive unless we figure out how to upload me into a robot body. (Still holding out hope that mind uploading is SUPER easy and we just forgot to carry a seven somewhere or something.)

On the other hand, it’s looking more and more like we’re NOT all going to die from that and, instead, like most awful things humanity has done that had a reasonable chance of destroying us, it’s just going to kill lots and lots of poor people. This is still bad enough that I’d really prefer it NOT happen but it’s also not bad enough that it’s plausibly going to be the defining historical state for the next century. We’ve been doing awful shit with second order effects that kill the poor for a few centuries now and we keep finding new and interesting ways to frame history as anything BUT “awful people kill countless innocents for slightly better quality of life” so I don’t see that stopping any time soon.

So that shit got dark. Seriously. Super dark. I just went to go do some stuff and came back to read this and…sorry. This was supposed to be about how futurism should be optimistic. On some level though that’s maybe good? If I’m going to suggest that futurism cheer up I should probably acknowledge that the futurists who are obsessed with the end of mankind aren’t just like…making it up.

I’m not suggesting a self-conscious move toward optimism in sci-fi the way that Neil Stevenson and others have recently. Most of the stuff I’ve seen come from that have been huge public infrastructure projects that reek vaguely of better designed 60s retro-futurism. “Let’s get back to the can-do optimism of the space age but also say ‘Material Sciences’ a lot!”

Instead I’m suggesting looks at the future that just go ahead and assume that since we’ve thought a lot of shit was apocalyptic before that we’ve just learned to live with we’ll probably do that again. What’s life like when everything goes about as badly as we think it possibly could but we keep just improvising to make shit work?

It’s 2063. There are cameras everywhere to the point where the expectation of privacy seems quaint. Late stage capitalism or whatever we want to call the clusterfuck of huge corporations constantly battling for just inhuman amounts of profit has escalated into effectively self-perpetuating patent and copyright wars that us mere mortals don’t really have much of a part in. Democracy continues to be the worst political system except for all the others that have ever been tried from time to time. And….things are pretty much just keeping on. I see no real reason all that won’t be true in 50 years since they’re pretty much true now.

I think the thing that futurism has lost when it imagines that future isn’t the idea that that kinda sucks. I mean when you’re describing the apocalyptic future as basically the present it’s kinda hard not to notice how little you like the present. I think what futurism has lost is the realization that history rarely flows logically very often.

I have very little doubt that 2063 will feature most all of the depressing things I’ve discussed here: climate change, flawed democracy, ubiquitous surveillance. These are big structures whose inertia has already shifted. But I do think that 2063 is going to be so bizarre that most of those predictions are going to just be underlying conditions to whatever 2063 actually thinks of as the present.

It’d be like looking at the future from 1963 and predicting that in 50 years we’d still have poverty. I mean sure. You’re right. Poverty is still here. But you’ve also failed to address the intervening 50 years of history. We’ve failed to address the underlying structural problems of our society in the last half century but that’s because we’ve kinda had shit to do. History kept happening which kinda put a damper on our theoretical busy schedule of obsessing over our failures to cure the ills of the human condition. Sure we haven’t figured out inequality but we were kinda busy negotiating an end to the Cold War that was so absolutely batshit insane sci-fi authors didn’t see it coming when it was like 4 years away. Seriously, Ender’s Game thought communism was so powerful it was going to take an invasion by an alien hive-mind to take it out and that book was published IN NINETEEN EIGHTY FIVE.

How is the future NOT going to be exactly what I expect it to be? That’s what I’m interested in. Which part of the unevenly distributed future am I not living in yet? This now seems like a really long and depressing way to say that the future’s going to be weirder than we expect it to be but it IS going to be weirder and I wish futurism would lose its odd obsession with trying to tame the future and get back to trying to make sure we understood just how bizarre the future can possibly be.

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