Other Ten Percent 1/25/11

Jan 25 2011

Today’s theme is things falling apart and how that can actually be kinda fun in a weird sort of way. Bruce Sterling gave a talk way back in the day when I was first starting to do OTP where he came up with the idea of apocalyptic eurphoria, where things are falling apart and we’re all so excited because we never liked those structures anyway that we don’t notice the value of what’s being lost and today I’d like to discuss things falling apart that I don’t think have a whole lot of value lost…or at least I hope they don’t.

*Drug Laws Dying* *Buying in Bulk*
Wal-Mart of weed
So what I find fascinating here isn’t these guys who are clearly like pathetic wanna be stoner Sean Parkers looking for any press outlet that will cover them. But instead it’s how openly and fragrantly they’re flaunting the law It’s one thing to be a sort of prohibition era open secret where everybody knows and nobody talks about it, it’s another thing entirely to just be on the cover of like Fast Company selling pot. It speaks to something culturally about our ability to create any sense of cultural cohesion more than it speaks to any successful pot business. I have no doubt that this venture will be shut down and fall apart in the next ten years but I don’t think I could name five companies that I don’t think will be shut down and will fall apart in the next ten years.

*Death of Hollywood* *Kevin Smith*
Smith’s RED STATE tour dates announced + “Red Statement” on why he’s leaving studio system behind
So here’s a thing not enough people realize is important. If there’s anything that keeps movies alive it’s that people are idiots and would rather watch Ashton Kutcher in a fuck buddy comedy than Scott Pilgrim..wait I got off topic. I meant to say that what’s keeping them alive is the distribution system. So long as a relatively small number of players controlling the distribution of films then competition can’t really take place. So what’s important here is not so much that Kevin Smith is trying to create an alternative channel in that system since I’m not entirely confident he’ll succeed and it may not even matter if he does, it’s more that creators are realizing that once they have any sort of name recognition then the studio system really doesn’t have a whole hell of a lot to offer them anymore. Once enough people realize that the whole system is kinda unnecessary then they’re fucked.

*DIY Medicine* *What the Hell is Happening?*
Engineer Designs His Own Heart Impant
Hey so here’s a future I don’t think anybody really thought that they were going to be living in: the one with the bespoke heart implants.

*Fast Moving World* *Philanthropy*
The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance
There’s something charmingly 1980’s about the idea of a small group of well meaning smart people fixing the constantly shifting bizarre power dynamics of the 21st century just by being smart enough. It’s like trying to halt the creation of the nation state by having ENOUGH feudal lords. It sorta accidentally hits on the point by way of missing it entirely. To be fair it’s not like I have a much BETTER idea for how to deal with all of the ideas presented in this thing but the whole thing just seems charmingly science-fictional for an action plan about the state of the world today. It’s like an Isaac Asimov solution for a Cory Doctorow problem which is pretty much the problem with most long term planning in the public sector today now that I think about it.

*Death of Hollywood Again* *Ebert*
Ebert: 3D movies suck
Hey look you guys it’s a wholly accurate assessment of why 3D cinema sucks. What’s the over under of the 3D craze dying off by the end of the year by the way? I mean obviously I’m going to be stuck watching people put out 3D films for another 10 years at least but it seems like people giving a fuck about it is already dying off.

Webcomics Roundup
Kate Beaton finally kills the mystique of Batman and damned if I don’t love her for it.

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