Other Ten Percent 5/30/12

May 30 2012

Two productive days in a row! Though the addition of dinner and TV club to my schedule means that I still haven’t found the time to code up the new version of OTP just yet. Short term I’m just planning to make the front page of the site a really easy/obvious place to send people if you want them to sign up but longer term I’m hoping to code up a better editing solution that’ll auto-format OTP links for me if I just send a link its way from my RSS reader. Then I can just spend my time writing up commentary for the links. Anyway I’ve also got some links I think you might enjoy today instead of in the theoretical future.

THE NEW AESTHETIC – A VISUAL DISCUSSION
So if you’re wondering why I kinda dropped the New Aesthetic thing it’s because it seems to have somehow taken Bruce Sterling’s call for some concrete axes for aesthetic judgement in the computer-vision world as an opportunity to get stuck up its own ass with how special it is. Historically speaking this is sort of a phase that most movements have to go through before the trough of disillusionment MAKES THEM actually ask some hard questions but it’s even more dangerous for the New Aesthetic since the new anything doesn’t tend to last that long anymore. Hopefully when people stop being able to do low effort high reward bullshit like this designers and artists won’t just abandon the whole project en masse.

How to: Experience Manhattanhenge
I may have said this last year as well but I am legitimately sad that watching Manhattanhenge wasn’t really a thing until I moved out to San Francisco where we have these things called hills that stop you from seeing the sunset. Anyway, you crazy kids have fun with this. I suggest 23rd street personally but that’s probably just me.

“Original Is Almost Not a Thing”
I like that the Hairpin uses branded content as an excuse to just write stuff that’s so off message it doesn’t even make sense for The Hairpin to be publishing it without a sponsor and then they just tie a terrible pun to the product and call it a day. Anyway here is a shockingly interesting article about knock-offs and intelectual property in the furniture world that claims to somehow be branded content for Milk.

How I Helped L. Ron Hubbard to ‘Take Over the Planet’
The weirdest thing to me about Scientology is that every story I hear about L. Ron Hubbard makes it seem like he’s a shockingly terrible leader of a religious organization for a guy who’s started the most successful one in the last hundred years. I mean it’s sort of amazing how basic the thing he screws up here turns out to be.

Anthony Burgess on the message of A Clockwork Orange
Most of the stuff I’ve seen leading up to the New Yorker Science Fiction issue has made it seem like a fairly boring gimmick that is about 10 years too late to make the point that cover is showing (gasp, science fiction is now a part of literary fiction no matter how much lit-fic wishes it wasn’t so.) However the New Yorker giving the New Yorker treatment to great works of sci-fi seems like it’s probably worth shelling out some money for.

World of Warcraft’s “Leeroy Jenkins” meme, reimagined as a heist film
Sooooooo we’ve got a viral machinima video being remade as a live action short film in an entirely different genre for no apparent reason. Like I get that the actual reason is that it’s weird and wacky and will get posted around for being such an odd duck but that doesn’t really change the fact that it’s a perfect example of how fucking bizarre the future of video is going to be.

Safecracking
Everything you ever wanted to know about the life of a professional safecracker. There’s basically enough funfacts for a screenplay treatment in here. Basically the safecracking equivalent of Drive or something where you elevate the day to day professionalism of the form into its own form of cinematic excess. I can just see the scene where he leaves the client to open their own possibly booby-trapped safe now.

Shrouding and Information Suppression
Nobody but nobody tears apart a thesis like Bruce Sterling. This is probably the most artful form the “nice work discovering something everybody already knew academics” argument has ever taken.

Pictures and vision
I’m not certain we have the right nouns attached to this idea at the moment but man this sentence “This isn’t about sharing pictures. This is about sharing your vision.” Yeah this sentence is going to fuck some shit up in the next 10 or so years. Because when I talk about the weird effects of having cameras everywhere that’s actually what I’m talking about, a fundamentally different way of intellectualizing photos and video and Google goggles (or whatever AR glasses prototype eventually ends up making a dent in the public’s pocketbooks) are just the begining. Seeing like your friend is one thing but seeing like the family pet, or your baby, or your refrigerator is another thing entirely. That’s why we need a new aesthetic that doesn’t suck because that’s a fundamentally different way of seeing that needs a fundamentally different way of evaluating what is seen. Okay I’m done and I’m going to go write some fiction now.

Webcomics Roundup
Seriously, T-Rex needs to get the fuck out of my head and stop having conversations that are increasingly word for word a conversation that I have had. Especially ones about TV.

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