If you use Netflix, you’ve probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you. Some of them just seem so specific that it’s absurd. Emotional Fight-the-System Documentaries? Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life? Foreign Satanic Stories from the 1980s?
If Netflix can show such tiny slices of cinema to any given user, and they have 40 million users, how vast did their set of “personalized genres” need to be to describe the entire Hollywood universe?
This idle wonder turned to rabid fascination when I realized that I could capture each and every microgenre that Netflix’s algorithm has ever created.
Through a combination of elbow grease and spam-level repetition, we discovered that Netflix possesses not several hundred genres, or even several thousand, but 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies.
There are so many that just loading, copying, and pasting all of them took the little script I wrote more than 20 hours.
We’ve now spent several weeks understanding, analyzing, and reverse-engineering how Netflix’s vocabulary and grammar work. We’ve broken down its most popular descriptions, and counted its most popular actors and directors.
To my (and Netflix’s) knowledge, no one outside the company has ever assembled this data before.
What emerged from the work is this conclusion: Netflix has meticulously analyzed and tagged every movie and TV show imaginable. They possess a stockpile of data about Hollywood entertainment that is absolutely unprecedented. The genres that I scraped and that we caricature above are just the surface manifestation of this deeper database.
On Christmas Eve, amidst all of this theology, I’m forced to meditate on God.
First, we start with the premise that the human mind is built to recognize patterns. These patterns become the components of all knowledge and all wisdom.
Then, we assert that religion tells us that God, or Gods, are above and beyond nature, of which all of reality is part. God is supposed to be perfection, or at least in that direction. Hence, benevolence.
So, for an Infinite God to have any meaning to us, It must at least consume our entire capacity when we try to Know It. This means It should be The Perfect Pattern, recognizable to us in all things. It must be self-evident and self-affirming.
So, someone who wishes to can see God everywhere, in all patterns. Since patterns are what constitute all of human perception, both inner and outer, Go is literally everywhere for all intents and purposes.
God in music, art, science, exploration, introspection, and all possible human endeavors. God can be observed in religious rites, meditation, all of life, all of non-life, and the pattern of reality itself. And you can make the choice to see your experience this way.
This opposes your instinctive fear of death.
This is what makes your life worth living.
P.S.: a list of patterns: narratives, music, physics, machines, birdsong, botany, anything. Some patterns are more apparent than others. Some patterns start out apparent, then become difficult. E.g.: the development of identical infants into vastly different adults. Chaos theory?
There was no after the internet, only during, during, during. The artist could no longer realistically adopt a position on the outside.
In this context, it no longer makes sense for artists to attempt to come to terms with “internet culture,” because now “internet culture” is increasingly just “culture.” In other words, the term “postinternet” suggests that the focus of a good deal of artistic and critical discourse has shifted from “internet culture” as a discrete entity to the reconfiguration of all culture by the internet, or by internet-enabled neoliberal capitalism.