The New French Hacker-Artist Underground
Tags: Urbanity, hacking the city, preservation, activism
Interesting article on a group of French urban hackers-cum-preservationists who prowl Paris’ underground and fix clocks. Go figure.
Did The Sopranos do more harm than good?: HBO and the decline of the episode
Tags: TV, series, storytelling, content
Thoughtful article on the state and evolution of storytelling in an on-demand world. Good read for any series geek (and aren’t we all?)
Africa’s Dirty Wars
Tags: Africa, Kony, war, colonialism, superpowers
This month we saw the rise and demise of Kony 2012. This is a nice background read about how Africa’s wars are changing after the breakdown of ideology and the conquest of capitalism in a post-Cold War world.
A Code of Conduct for Content Aggregators & Stop calling it curation
Tags: curation, sharing, web, webiquette
“Discovery of information is a form of intellectual labor,” she said. “When we don’t honor discovery, we are robbing somebody’s time and labor. The Curator’s Code is an attempt to solve some of that.” This is the daftest thing I have heard in a long time. Other people agree with me, which is nice (See the Stop Calling it Curation reply). But in the end it Matt Langer sums it up quite well when he says “since by calling the activity of people who traffic in links “curation” instead of “sharing” we imbue it with all sorts of hollow importance and circumscribe it as something wholly apart from the selfless and benevolent sharing of knowledge.”
Why I left Google
Tags: google, social, ads, privacy
I love Google. I remember when they came out with the whole Do No Evil thing and I thought “Finally. Here’s someone who gets it”. However, in the past couple of years, the rumblings from the machine room have grown louder. This article might be pointing to some of the things that need a loving hand to get right (again). Also, it deals with the great Ads and Privacy conundrum which, in my line of work, is always interesting.
Tags: zazzle, computer generated design
If you only read one thing – this should be it. Hilarious hijinx ensue as people seek to automate product design, as seen in non-sensical t-shirt designs on Zazzle. Especially relevant with all this talk of the New Aesthetic going on (see below).
Bank of America – Too Crooked to Fail
Tags: banks, bailouts, #fail, snafu
Ahh bankers and banking. This choice quote from the article kind of sums the whole thing up: “Worst of all, they completely suck at banking”. But if you, like me, can’t get enough outrage against a system that really should fail, but for some reason doesn’t - this article is a good read.
You will never kill piracy, and piracy will never kill you and the follow up Lies, damn lies and Piracy
Tags: piracy, Hollywood, business models, copyright
Good though hardly revolutionary article about piracy and Hollywood. Much might be old hat to people who follow the debate closely. However, Paul Tassi does have an intersting point when he says in his follow up: “I would argue that releasing crappy movies has a far greater effect on the film industry bottom line than piracy ever could.”, where he describes the massive losses Hollywood has incurred over movies that basically, suck (and we all know it).
Reacting to the New Aesthetic; Trains, Spiderwebs And Ship Minds
Tags: new aesthetic, visual culture
The New Aesthetic is terribly exciting if not just because it is New! and a bourgeoning aesthetic movement. Will people look back and treat the New Aesthetic like they do Modernism? And will I be able to say, Yes! I was alive and in London when it all kicked off!? In any case, this article might not make the most succinct attempt at nailing down what the hell it actually is, but it contains enough links and for anyone interested in having a good poke around in this new-fangled field.
Tags: London, social issues
China Mieville describes a London always on the brink of collapse, yet somehow weirdly functional nonetheless. Good post-riots, post-banking scandal read.
Developing World: Beyond the frontiers of Science Fiction
Tags: sciecne fiction, Africa, technology
I am a science fiction geek, no doubt. I also grew up in Mozambique and Tanzania, which to most in the West are about as un-science fictiony as it it gets. The idea of a science fiction not born out of the fervid techno-monopolies of the West is fascinating and this article is enough to flood my brain with images of shantytown circuitry and low-fi, high-tech bio-tech black markets. Jonathan Dotse sums it up beautifully here; “It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the future will not be a monopoly of the current superpowers, but lies in the hands of tech-savvy youth from around the world, trying desperately to survive at all costs in an increasingly asymmetrical world.”
Legos: How One Vulgar, Ambidextrous Toy Opened the Door for Gay “Marriage” in Denmark
Christwire is hillarious. The debate on gay marriage is ridiculous. This marries the two and throws in some LEGO to boot.