In the present, personal DNA analysis is becoming commercially viable. More drugs are illegal than ever before, yet new legal variants spring up and are distributed faster and more easily than ever. At the same time, affordable custom synthesis and electronic access to the scientific…
A quick run-down of the kind of world we live in.
Essentially, you are the marriage of data and meat. You can be understood and manipulated and interacted with as either, and the tools to do so are improving exponentially. This has some important ramifications, most of which we’ve only begun to predict.
It’s also a cultural practice of ours to consider individual words in the abstract: we pick out our favorite words, we decide which words are commonly misused, we decry our politicians for making up words or using words with a disagreeable frequency, etc. In some sense, a word carries with it a cultural context, no matter where it occurs. One of the intentions of @everyword was to play with this idea: every word has cultural baggage. What would happen if we systematically exposed ourselves to that baggage?
Even if I concede that the words in @everyword are “simply (python) string arguments,” isn’t that also a context? A computer program is a kind of writing, after all. It means something for a programmer to choose to put one string in a program, instead of some other string, or to feed some set of data to a program instead of some other set. Sure, the Python program that runs @everyword would also work with any other arbitrary data set—@everybaseballplayer, anyone?—but the fact that I chose words, and words in this particular order, is part of the context of the piece.
— Brian Eno, A Year With Swollen Appendices (via volumexii)
Six to eighteen months after it started, the phenomenon died off. The following symptoms were reported on an equally massive scale as the reports of the laughter itself: pain, fainting, flatulence, respiratory problems, rashes, attacks of crying, and random screaming. In total 14 schools were shut down and 1000 people were affected.
Compare to this video of the same phenomenon on a much smaller scale on a train.
Also, Pontypool is a film that applies similar ideas to the horror genre.
I’d write something more thoughtful if I weren’t laughing so hard.
Easy! (Just kidding, please see footnote that obviously complicates things, nothing is easy, you fool.)
This is our V-Day
3D is absolutely analogous to the development of color film, and on that developmental timeline stereoscopic photography is the equivalent of hand-painting color onto black and white frames.
It seems the current iteration of 3D movies might be here to stay. In the last year or so, it’s been gaining legitimacy among some influential directors as a storytelling platform rather than a crowd-pleasing spectacle.
Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) has some solid opinions on 3D and articulates it well. I recommend reading his blog post.
Currently, 3D films fall into a version of the uncanny valley pretty hard, and the way it’s marketed is off-putting to many of us. But if we start to look at it as an important stepping stone in the evolution of cinema (and more broadly, the evolution of storytelling, or the replication of reality in a fairly malleable medium), it’s clear that we should respect it. It has value, and to dismiss it entirely is to ignore a notable development in cinema.