In the Future You Will

I know they’re AT&T ads, but I remember watching these and being so excited for the future. Yesterday, I actually looked up how much a virtual reality headset costs. My car drives on half electricity generated when I brake. These videos make me flush with gratitude for how tech has changed our world. But I also see that really nothing big has changed. The advances demonstrated in this video are largely conveniences meant to help people consume more quickly and work during their vacations, and making face to face communications obsolete through video screens. Almost everyone in these videos is alone. The in-person interactions are incidental. (The exception is the athlete receiving medical care, which stands out as a humane and very necessary deployment of tech. Sagefully, the patient’s health is of utmost importance to a major American corporate entity – his NFL team – making his recovery not a self evident matter of good fortune for a person and his family, but because he gets back on the field, the season is saved, blah blah blah.) Commerce will self-innovate, businesses will always look for ways to improve themselves to out compete the next business or address new needs and pain points for consumers. But tech and money can’t solve problems that exist between people. They can only make the conversations more predictable and less frequent, less intimate, they insulate the richest people from the poorest people, and provide a dim […]

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Iconoclasm in Kiev

Click over to the Guardian to see protesters in Kiev pull down the statue of Lenin, and read about how statues – invisible symbols of entrenched and assumed power in our everyday lives – becoming sitting ducks during an expression of revolutionary disobedience. Since the dawn of man, in our freest moments we have torn the idols down. Some pics from RT: Direct link to video:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2013/dec/09/kiev-ukraine-protesters-statue-lenin-video

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The Absurd Man – à la 8-Bit RPG

Thanks to my very good friend Landon Zakheim – who curated the second annual “Razorblades in Your Reese’s” Halloween short film program at the Downtown Independent last Monday- I was exposed to the tender and hilarious ennui of filmmaker Emily Carmichael.  I am very happy this has happened.  Her short The Hunter and the Swan Discuss Their Meeting was an outcast among the more shocking and musically epic shorts in the program (The Legend of Beaver Dam is one of the greatest things ever, as well), but its sensibility was dry and […]

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Obama Creates Presidential Robot Army

We all knew it would happen eventually.  Last night, New York Times reporter Charlie Savage broke the news that President Obama rejected the opinion of Justice Department lawyers that continuing the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization was a violation of the War Powers Resolution.  The President and his close staff (and presumably, the military and CIA) decided that the use of American air assets, logistical capabilities and remote drone attacks to blow away the President of another country didn’t rise to the level of ‘war’, and they said so in a letter to lawmakers and Speaker John Boehner.

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We’ll Miss You, Rick Sanchez

I have to send my deep regrets and a fond farewell to CNN’s everyman and resident old-guy-who-knows-the-internet, Rick Sanchez.  Watching Rick misread the news, mangle impromptu interviews, and generally make social media seem at once lame and revolutionary was a staple of my unemployed life.  It was like discussing current events with the guy at the office who, despite knowing absolutely nothing about the subject at hand, will go on and on about some garbage some stranger sent him on the internet.  He’ll eventually pull other people into the conversation awkwardly, and he’ll always draw a strange and contradictory moral from even the most straightforward snippet or event. For two hours a day Rick made you feel like the smartest guy in the room.  That his book is titled Conventional Idiocy is too precious for me to handle.  His way of making weird references to gender, race, and religion got him more than one “Woah, ok Rick.”  His obsession with being recognized as a legitimate anchor led to his eventual dismissal (also it’s not nice to point out that a secret cult of Jews run certain companies/industries and keep the rest of us down, EVEN IF THEY DO jk)  but he was truly on the forefront of guys with real media jobs who took Twitter seriously and saw the promise it has for citizen journalism.  If only he didn’t come off as a total doofus. Where will the big Sanchez […]

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