Other Ten Percent 3/14/12

Mar 14 2012

Well I’ve managed to actually write things for work today so that’s a step up but I’m still kinda cramming to hit 3,000 words a day lately and the result actually hasn’t been me writing much fiction thus far. It’s a bit quick to reassess my goals but I’m wondering if I need to break down my targets into like 1000 words of freelance, 1000 words of blogging for OTP and MVW and 1000 words of fiction or something. Anyway this is a topic that is NOT INTERESTING TO YOU. Instead lets discuss what’s really important to all of our lives: links on the internet.

Put This On Season Two, Episode 1: The Melting Pot
Hey guys, Put This On is back! And this time it’s…cultural? Actually that’s totally fine with me because I’m increasingly disinterested in what the rules of fashion are (Shoes match my belt. Got it. Bored.) and increasingly interested in WHY they are. So this discussion of how the hell Ralph Lauren got hooked up with street culture is definitely the kind of thing I’m interesting in seeing explored. As an added bonus I think it’s maybe the kind of thing that you guys will actually enjoy as well even if you don’t like fashion?

Video: “Express Yourself” (Diplo ft. Nicky Da B)
Speaking of Street Culture here is a video for a new Diplo single that’s filmed entirely on the streets of New Orleans I’m not totally sold on the video (and I kinda can’t watch it without thinking of how my mother will hate literally every frame of it.) but it’s interesting to contrast it with the new MIA video that lives over here on this part of the internet. It’s kind of impossible to not see the two videos as being in opposition to each other (unless you’re some kind of FREAK that doesn’t intelectualize mediocre music feuds) considering that they’re pretty much polar opposites in how they manage the tricky act of borrowing somebody else’s authenticity. In this corner is Diplo, heel of the DJ scene, attempting to tie himself to the vibrant artistic and cultural scene of post-Katrina New Orleans. This apprach has some legs mostly because nobody actually knows much about the artistic and cultural scene of post-Katrina New Orleans so they kinda can’t say anything about if it’s exploitative or not. In the opposite corner is MIA, previous undefeated champ of cultural co-opting who lost the title last year after an embarrassing truffle fry incident. MIA has to work ten times as hard to pull off her global consciousness aesthetic now that everybody suddenly remembered that she’s rich (which is why I’m still mystified that she won’t abandon it and get a new schtick but she didn’t and maybe she’ll actually make that work for a whole album this time?). Unable to borrow somebody’s authenticity she has to create a bizarre amalgamation of a whole bunch of cultural signifiers until there isn’t really a culture left to attack her for co-opting. I’m not sure I was actually going anywhere with this besides that it’s weird that the white dude is the one that can just be like “yes, youth culture” and roll with that.

Architecture Fiction: Airborne nomadic infrastructure — Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today
Today in terrifying and amazing speculative uses for drones: stealing internet off of military communication networks by piggybacking off of UAVs. I have no idea how technically feasible this is (best guess: hard enough that it isn’t worth it but easy enough that somebody will do it at a hacker con for shits and giggles.) but the idea of it feels, as Sterling says, very twenty teens.

Lynchnet Ads [via io9]
I believe that I have never posted this before but I have an odd feeling of deja vu about the whole thing. Regardless here is an entire site filled with David Lynch’s advertising work. Why, you might ask, would anyone give DAVID LYNCH money to do an advertisement. Well because when money’s on the line Lynch can really pull it together and make a perfectly sensible advertisement that has his traditional lynchian serial numbers filed off the work. I’m kidding of course he can’t. People give him money to make an ad for them because they are apparently incurably insane but then these insane people are out a lot of money and we have an awesomely strange David Lynch ad so everybody wins.

NYC considers a pneumatic subway for trash
Okay so let’s get this out of the way before we get too excited: this will never happen. New York City is no longer a town that loves huge infrastructure projects with one high visibility exception (FORESHADOWING? …Yes) and it’s now a town that likes talking about doing cool things for publicity. That being said: good work New York because it totally worked and I totally want this to happen. I wanted New York to be criss-crossed with a giant web of pneumatic tubes even BEFORE Futurama did it. Ask anybody, I’m basically the king of Pneumatic hipsters I was totally into that shit before it was cool. Only not really because it was ALWAYS COOL.

THREE PANELS OPEN: Esquivel Godlewski Cody
Okay so I’m obviously posting this because the three panel comic that makes up the lion’s share of this Warren Ellis post is pretty amazing and is a great little one page story. I’m WRITING ABOUT this however for one reason and one reason only: I am insanely sad that I never thought of the title Thor: Unkillable Thunder Christ. Let that one roll off your tongue for a while and see how long it takes you to be upset you weren’t the first person to think of the phrase “unkillable thunder christ.” If it’s more than 5 seconds you’re a better person than I am!

Notes on videophones in film
Here’s a 6 minute video of hilariously out-dated video phones. It’s weird how much the video phone is basically the exact opposte of the flying car. It’s an idea we’ve been able to technically implement basically as long as I’ve been alive but it turns out that nobody actually wants the damn thing. Which would be all fine and dandy and normal except we seem to keep forgetting we don’t want it whenever it shows up in fiction. Somebody on TV has a video communicator which I have RIGHT NOW, IN MY POCKET, and people are still thrilled about how cool it is because we all forget how little we want somebody else to actually look at us. (I kinda thought the bit in Infinite Jest about how everybody hated videophones in practice was some pretty mediocre speculative fiction until I realized that bending over backwards for 30 pages to avoid the obvious solution is sort of how David Foster Wallace rolls. Either way it did get at the core of the problem: we all hate how we look and would rather not have to think about other people looking at us.) We seem to have finally gotten bored with straight video phones now though and so we’re all thrilled with holographic communicators. I’ve had like 30 holographic conversations so far about 8 hours into Mass Effect 3 and every time one happens I can’t stop thinking about what a bitch it must be for this admiral that keeps talking to me to get fully dressed and start standing at attention in some holo-room somewhere every time he wants me to give him a routine debriefing about some random mission I just went on. Keep in mind he is doing this IN THE MIDDLE OF A GALAXY SCALE APOCALYPTIC WAR where literally all sentient is in danger of being wiped out. It makes absolutely no sense but we have to do something because people in the future can’t just talk on phones.

Final Section Design Plans Revealed for New York City’s High Line Park
I could complain that this isn’t really as batshit insane as I was hoping it would be (what is?) and that it also has the magic dead-eyed people from these sorts of plans that are running around and having fun in a bizarre artificial way that gives no sense of how the space will really be interacted in. But I’m too busy being psyched for more high line. YAY! High line park! Yay the most futuristic space in New York. Yay what looks like a performance space at the end of it.

Lawblawg commemorates My Cousin Vinny
Now, just in case you legitimately think I need to shut up more often, here are a ton of articles that are each individually longer than this OTP about the movie My Cousin Vinny. I kind of haven’t watched this movie since I was a reasoning adult so I shouldn’t talk shit about it too much but I do find it utterly bizarre that My Cousin Vinny is the movie we get that’s written by a judge and actually reasonably accurate about the legal profession.

A podcast? Yes a podcast. Me and some of the other guys from PCWorld got together and talked about GDC. A lot of the things we talk about are going to be covered in an article I just finished on emergent gameplay that should be published some time this week if you just can’t stand to listen to a Podcast. That’s especially true if you want to hear me rant about Johann Sebastian Joust, maybe the most addictive game I’ve played in years and the subject of that Verge article I posted a few weeks ago. Still, lets pretend for a moment that the exact opposite is true and you can no longer do without the dulcet tones of my voice. Well here’s a chance to here me and some friends talk about the current state of game development and why I find that exciting even when I can’t find the time to play a lot of games lately.

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