Oh, Jebus, the Facebook argument again.
Last night at an art opening. Bear in mind there's only one person having this argument because there is only one person not on Facebook.
That person is The Atheist in an America where everyone believes in God or says they do because they might run for office someday.
Believer: By not being on Facebook you are missing out on the richness of The Social Graph [Divine Grace].
Atheist: Zuckerberg is not a benevolent God, he is a gnostic demon who has snared you in a false, simulated world of "rich social connection."
Believer: I respect that you have not Joined Us, I really do [look on face says "you are certifiably fucking insane not to be on Facebook in 2013"].
Atheist: My blog is driving traffic to my twitter and it would be no different if I were on Facebook.
Believer: You built your blog audience when that was still doable and now you're grandfathered in to traffic via RSS, past exposure and links, etc. No creative person could do that today. You HAVE to join a social media enclave or you're dead.
Atheist: Have you tried it - just posting on your own site and letting people find you through search engines, "word of mouth," etc?
Believer: No, but [look on face says "you are certifiably fucking insane not to be on Facebook in 2013"].
An essential and successful element of [idiot billionaire Pete Peterson's] strategy [of cutting Social Security] is to create an environment where it is widely if not universally believed that there is no alternative to his vision. In this view, it’s "not realistic" to believe the country can afford the same programs it once did. Those who are prepared to be "adults" will look at these "hard truths" without flinching and recognize that it is time to take citizens-have-to-do-with-less medicine.
The conceit is that those with "courage" will see past narrow, partisan concerns and embrace an ideal: a bipartisan consensus that has the strength to demand "shared sacrifice" from a childish and selfish populace.
A review of the proceedings of the [Peterson-sponsored] Fiscal Summits of the last three years makes agonizingly clear that most of the journalists who conducted interviews or moderated panel discussions both reflected and amplified the Peterson worldview — entirely unselfconsciously, it would seem.
So, for example, Lesley Stahl, the CBS 60 Minutes reporter, was fully a part of the Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson deficit-cutting team during her interview with both men: "You are going to have to raise taxes and cut things, big things, put restrictions on Social Security. Everybody knows that."
Virtually none of the reporters thought to ask about or suggest an alternative path, such as preserving Social Security benefits and bolstering the system’s reserve by raising the cap of wages subject to Social Security taxes (currently annual wages above approximately $110,000 are not subject to any Social Security tax).
Pretzel found his old Rio player digging through boxes after a move and "cammed" it. He was surprised to remember it had a parallel cable that attached to the computer, for transferring these new mp3 things to and from the player. He found a website from the late '90s showing how to keep your transfer software up to date after the whole world moved on.
Not nearly as old but just as archaic is this Samsung mp3 player that I was half-seriously thinking about using as a retail package for my entire musical production (about 200 songs in late 2006). A friend joked that it would be like the dedicated U2 iPod. Nowadays if you search for "Samsung mp3 player" they are selling something that looks like a phone, with a display screen instead of this large speaker grille (and no folding design). Presumably this is because speaker technology has improved and little phones now make big booms. Also because everything needs to look like a phone.
Read and unread - but mostly read
Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmeg, 56+10 Broken Kindle Screens
C. J. Cherryh, Deliverer
Doris Piserchia, Doomtime, Earth in Twilight, The Dimensioneers, Earthchild, The Spinner, Spaceling
Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed
Michael Swanwick, Stations of the Tide, The Dragons of Babel
A.A. Attanasio, The Dragon and the Unicorn
Jack Womack, Heathern, Random Acts of Senseless Violence, Terraplane
Charles Fort, Lo!
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train, Ripley Underground, Ripley's Game
Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons
imaginary self-portrait - based almost entirely on Michael Manning's "An Imagined Portrait of Tom Moody as A Young Painter in The 80s," posted on Computers Club Drawing Society.
Manning nailed the zeitgeist-shifting moment, ha ha (the buckyballs showed up about '92, which was still the '80s) but couldn't have known his subject was male model handsome, in a blue-green kind of way. So I tweaked his work.
He looked sort of like Michael Caine but was taller and more gaunt.
The dream began with a climactic scene where the tall man somehow duplicated himself and skinned the head of the clone, peeling back flesh from the bone of the skull. This was at night on the side of a road, possibly in or near a cemetery.
Both the tall man and the clone continued to live, in various guises and states of connection between themselves and others.
In one vignette, the tall man, still on that roadside, sat and talked to a young hitchhiker or itinerant. The tall man lectured or proselytized but wasn't communicating to the hitchhiker directly. Instead his speech was transmitted by means of a long rectangular plank of wood, painted like a native totem-object with a checkerboard of solid colors. The individual squares morphed from one shade to another in liquid, wave-like movements. The hitchhiker had no difficulty understanding this visual speech.
Later the tall man had a confrontation with another tall man on a train. This was not the clone, this was a rival tall man who began hectoring "our" tall man from a seat at the rear of the train car. Our tall man got up and walked to the back of the train, arguing with his rival as he approached him.
It was a political argument involving revolution. It seems our tall man is mixed up in politics or is some kind of messiah-figure.
In another scene our tall man was apprehended by the authorities and taken on a plane to a place of interrogation. All the passengers were being strapped into the reclining airplane seats with harnesses around their necks. Just as an attendant was attaching the tall man's harness, a shot was fired and the attendant slumped dead over the tall man. A group of revolutionaries took the tall man off the plane and ran up a steep hill, firing machine guns behind them as they climbed. The point of view was the tall man's as he strained with the physical exertion of the climb.
They reached the top of a mountain (in the desert) and then everyone ran down the other side to the safety of a vast, unpopulated wilderness.
Lauren Weinstein annotates a particularly boneheaded speech where Newt ponders what to call this new computer-in-a-cellphone thingy.
Gingrich may not know what to call it but he has no qualms about suggesting it's an all-in-one device that could alter the way you live, work, and shop.
For any serious detailed work, though, whether it's art, music, video editing or spreadsheets, the "pros" are going to continue to use a large screen (or two), a keyboard, and a mouse (or stylus/tablet), supplemented with a phone for traveling around. This idea that your whole life is going to happen in a phone is a consumer fantasy being sold to the rubes.
It's not inconceivable that ten years from now every workplace will be re-tooled so that a new stockbroker, travel agent, bank employee, etc will be handed a phone or pad on the first day of work and shown to a cubicle half the size of present ones, to go quietly mad in eyestrain hell. Or that the same employees will "work from home" using these devices and go quietly mad there. Downsizing equipment would certainly benefit the ownership class and it's possible the present phone-for-everything bandwagon is taking us to this future. More likely big hardware will stick around longer than this time frame, however.
by Homer, posted on dump.fm
A few words about this. (Don't want to trowel on the recent-SAIC-grad theory blather but at the same time hate just reblogging "cool pics" without comment.)
Marlboro is an enduring symbol of machismo cool coupled with toxicity and rotting flesh.
The brand is so successful you can literally paint it with a few broad strokes. I like that this image is also a collection of "imaging program" tics and jokes. Ephemeral and cheesy "papyrus" font in place of the manly serif, the brushed grey background that looks like a class picture matte board, the 360 degree drop shadow that flattens the cardboard package to credit card thickness; the gratuitous black border, the white horizontal rule where the fliptop box opens. A love-hate rendering in the best Pop tradition.
Have been describing animated GIFs as "ubiquitous mini-cinema" since before they were ubiquitous and now here's a post on whether they are "a type of cinema," written from a filmcrit POV.
You kind of have to laugh at the scholarly attention lavished on the "Picard vs Chunk" GIF but it's useful to apply film terminology such as the "180-degree rule" to GIFs (if for no other reason than it's a good way to learn about that concept):
Both [Bruce Conner's] A MOVIE and these animated gifs employ some common cinematic principles. The cuts create an eyeline match, which make it appear as though the characters are looking at one another, and obey the 180-degree rule (meaning that if you draw a straight line between their eyes, our perspective stays to one side of it).
Also considered is whether animated GIFs are video or photos:
In her recent Salon article, “Better Than Actual Porn!“, Tracy Clark-Flory ponders whether pornographic animated gifs are more like short videos or longer photographs. I’d argue that they exist on a spectrum between those two forms, capable of moving more toward one side or the other. The above Picard gifs are more like short videos. But the NYC subway gif and the dancing baby gif are arguably more like enhanced photos.
That's all fairly obvious but it's nice someone's trying to think beyond GIFs as throwaway culture and/or lifestyle trends. Around here we're mostly interested in the relation of GIFs to painting (abstract and otherwise), collage (surrealist and otherwise), and text (conceptual and otherwise) and also in taking GIFs beyond their ordinarily understood meaning as a vehicle for "Picard vs Chunk" jokes. Which is not to say those "meme" GIFs don't show up here occasionally.