Other Ten Percent 3/22/12

Mar 22 2012

I feel better everybody! So now I just need to be creeped out by the fact that I’ve got no idea why I felt so bad yesterday…so that’s comforting. Anyway today was far more productive but tragically not nearly as interesting so I don’t actually have a ton to say. Let’s just go to the links and see what happens down there.

The White Savior Industrial Complex
Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn that title is a cold ice burn. I’m not sure why it works so well for me considering that I always thought that basically any use of the _______ Industrial Complex formulation just makes you sound stupid. I mean the prison industrial complex is a 100% legit thing and I always feel stupid saying it. Anyway I figure I should finally post SOMETHING about all the Kony bullshit and this seemed like the most insightful discussion of the issue I’ve seen thus far around the net.

A science fictional map of San Francisco as an archipelago city
At first I just thought that this was the coolest science fictional future that I could imagine for SF and then I realized that noooooooooooo I’m underwater. As is Nikki, as are my parents and everyone I know from PCWorld and everyone I know in San Francisco….except Jane. Congratulations Jane you survive the climate apocalypse with a sweet view from your new island home. Apocalypse party at your place ASAP.

Deep design analysis of Walt Disney World’s lighting fixtures
As always any blog post that makes even a cursory reference to the WEDway people mover in Tommorowland will be posted on OTP. This time you guys lucked out though because it also references a whole big mess of other junk. BoingBoing (and it’s Doctorow, duh) points out the best fixture in the piece because it talks about how weird it is to have to design lighting fixtures for the transitional areas of Disney world. I always thought the transitional area between Tomorrowland and Fantasy Land was kinda bullshit and I realize it’s because it doesn’t actually have those transitional elements it just kinda has a long path between the two of them so you don’t get stuck trying to be in both places at once…which kinda sucks because futuristic fantasy land lighting would be awesome.

Cinemetrics, Visual Fingerprints for Movies
I want to live in a world where this is how we archive film. Actually, more accurately, I want to live in a world where mankind is actually able to identify films just from their Cinemetric fingerprints. I’m kind of becoming obsessed with the idea of people just processing information differently in the future and so when I see new aesthetic stuff like this that’s resolutely not functionally designed for humans I like to imagine the kind of humans who could just use it with no problem.

Tech Art: CERN Artist in Residence
Is it just me or is the “artist in residence” at decidedly not artistic institutions the new black or something? It seems like every time I turn around some new tech company or research house is announcing their new artist in residence. Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally pretty psyched by the projects these guys will be churning out it just strikes me as a decidedly weird, 21st century sort of patronage. Feel free to tell me I’m an idiot and that like the Manhattan Project had an artist in residence or something though. Actually PLEASE PLEASE tell me they did because I’d love to see the crazy bullshit that dude came up with.

The fabulous Mimic Octopus
Okay I used to think the Octopus was like 10 minutes away from taking over the world but I’m now pretty much convinced that they could have killed us all years ago but they’ve decided to let us go about our business for undisclosed reasons.

Golden Tiger, A Running Tiger Projected on the Streets of Paris
Oh projected AR, you’re the only AR for me. I think me absolute favorite part about this one is that the fact that they’re out in the middle of the night (for totally practical reasons. It’s dark enough to project and you are less likely to get nabbed by the cops for projecting all over everybody’s business.) totally ends up working with the “magic” of the whole thing. It’s like there’s a totally different town that comes alive at night and the AR just plays into that. What I’m saying is that I’m making Midnight City the official song of all projected AR.

In economically devastated Greece, internet-enabled barter economy rises
Man I really hope if we don’t stabilize the economy everybody starts doing weird shit like this. I mean money seems like a positively ancient piece of tech at this point and the fact that we haven’t hacked together a superior alternative is pretty insane to me given the crazy number of problems with using money in the first place. I want to go on the record that I think any sort of viable cobbled together Internet of Things is what’s going to kill money because why bother with an exchange medium when you’ve already got a perfectly good database of all the stuff you’ll be exchanging anyway? Spend a little time hacking together ways to automate the transactions and BAM you don’t need money anymore. I can say confidently as somebody who has completed 3 coding tutorials online that this should be EASY.

Design Fiction: Sony Futurescapes 2025
What I love about these futurescapes is that the more they address the actual problems we’re going to have to deal with in the next 13 years (climate change and economic crisis) the more they just go batshit off the rails. I mean I think a future with a huge carbon shortage is at least moderately likely but I think a future where anybody says “carbon creds” with a straight face is pretty much out of the question. It’s a weird sort of futurism that works better the more you handwave away the actual issues. The weirdest part is that I don’t even think the broad strokes of this are what sets me off I think it’s the fact that the interfaces are all so ridiculous. Like I can get behind a glass display future but the one where we’re all chilling with our 3D AR holograms that help us do Thai Chi through a totally convoluted process that could be done way cheaper and better with a Kinect and a free weekend? My favorite part is that that’s the ascetic, makerspace future where we evolve beyond the need for physical possessions…beyond our Sony Smartphones of course.

David: Still Writing After All These Years
So I didn’t see a ton of stuff get published today but I did have a few things. One was a quick story on a 3D printer that’s running a kickstarter to get off the ground. The second was an even quicker story called Bonus Round where I grab some gaming links from around the web I think you might find interesting and aggregate them. Yo dawg I heard you liked OTP so I put some OTP in your OTP etc…

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