Other Ten Percent 3/28/12

Mar 28 2012

So here we are on Wednesday and things are getting CRAAAAAZY up in here this week. Okay not really it’s actually getting kind of boring as the rain sets in for another wet, boring week in San Francisco but I can still dream that something interesting will happen one of these days can’t I? Something interesting is happening on the internet so there’s that. Yes. Let’s start there with some internet links.

The rules of Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons
I was so excited to have a definitive answer to the age old question of who I’m supposed to be rooting for in a Road Runner cartoon. But then it turned out that these rules are totally made up and I still have no definitive ruling on if Wile E. Coyote is a tragic hero or a justifiably destroyed villain. This question honestly haunts me more often than you would think imaginable.

Everest climbing tech then and now
Am I the only person that thinks about how it was technologically impossible to climb everest for most of human history? Like it’s always framed as like “oh my these manly men did the impossible” and NOPE.AVI historians because while Edmund Hilary was undoubtedly more bad-ass than I will ever be he was not the first dude in history bad-ass enough to climb everest. He was the first dude in history crazy enough to try dragging a bunch of breathing tech up a fucking mountain while being bad-ass enough to actually pull it off. I’m not sure why that never gets brought up since it’s actually MORE impressive.

When a Parking Lot Is So Much More
On the one hand I think there is a lot of shit in this world that could use fixing before we got around to the parking lot…cars for instance. On the other hand I’m intrigued by any effort to really rethink some incredibly mundane part of existence into something quasi-useful for society and so I think I’m on board with this actually.

Architecture Fiction: Soviet ‘paper architecture’ of the 1980s
Come for the architecture; stay for the subtle intimation that our generational obsession with alternate and augmented realities of the fantastic may be a sign of a stagnant empire on the edge of collapse. I’ve long felt that signs that we’re all doomed were going to be kinda weird and subtle and not like “we are like the roman empire because rome did x y and z things and now so do we and we are fucked.” In that sense I think “our architecture is starting to look a lot like russia before it collapsed” has a bit more sway than “we are a decadent empire that doesn’t care enough about serious things herp derp.” Of course I’m not sure we’re collapsing so much as reaching the point where the nation-state just doesn’t have that much to do while we figure out what the hell our useful political construct for the 21st century is but…functionally that’s basically the same thing.

Liminal States: tour-de-force horror novel is also a bleak western, a noir detective story, and a dystopian sf story
If you were curious about what literature looks like in the year 2012 it’s a multi-genre sci-fi/western/noir horror story by a guy who ran a comedy website that turned into an internet forum and comes with its own pre-written ARG content. There are mornings where I look at my RSS reader and think life would actually be LESS weird if I just had the internet downloaded into a chip in my head.

Possible art for the High Line: a hanging train
Jesus Christ New York I get it, I should live off the high line. UGH. STOP RUBBING IT IN MY FACE. I’m poor! …Jerks.

Explore Your Dual World
So I was of course going to post this because we’re projection mapping people and actually doing a really fantastic job of it. Can’t wait until we start being able to map this stuff in real time so we can just project shit on anybody passing by who happens to be wearing a white shirt. On a second note though, I don’t know how I feel about living in a world where the two main sources of funding for tech art are Kickstarter and cell phone commercials.

Flying and Floating
Man, I wish I was the guy that first thought of recontextualizing weird camera problems in 3D games as an art phenomenon. “It’s not a bug it’s a commentary on the virtual/emphemeral state of the infrastructure of the modern world.” Some of the art boilerplate BS graphs on this stuff is more compelling than others (yes yes there’s a semiotic interplay between the real and virtual thanks to MEMORIES. Thanks art!) but I like that games are not only a form of art now but actually just a place where people can make art.

On the Fake Geek Girl
Man if you want a quick summary on why I’ve stopped trying to get my female friends to be comic book nerds this is a pretty good quick primer on how nerd culture is terrible to women. It’s something I’ve become more and more aware of As I’ve sort of gotten a career writing about it and some days it kind of just makes me want to curl up in a corner and like, quit trying to make nerd culture happen. We had a good run guys but we’ve been so terrible that we’re shutting the whole thing down.

Webcomics Roundup
Today in the web comics I read a whole bunch of A Softer World comics and in between descents into self-parody there were some pretty awesome comics including this one that should cheer up feminists in the audience after that last post…or depress them more. I forget how that works really.

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