skip to main content

Posts tagged “culture”, page 2

  1. He Crossed the Atlantic in a Barrel.
    nytimes.com

    Emily S. Rueb interviews Jean-Jacques Savin, a French adventurer who “spent 127 days alone in a large, barrel-shaped capsule made of plywood, at the mercy of the winds and currents.” It sounds like he had a lovely time:

    If it was nice, I swam, and dove underneath the barrel to catch a fish, sea bream, to supplement my meal.

    I made a breakfast in the morning, and a nice dinner in the evening. I had a lot of time to write my book. I played a lot of bluegrass on my mandolin.

  2. Let People Enjoy Things
    medium.com

    Esther Rosenfield:

    It’s no coincidence that you never see the comic posted in response to criticism of some understated indie drama or underground Bandcamp musician. You only ever see it used to defend the commercial output of mega-corporations; your Marvel, your Game of Thrones, your Ariana Grande, etc. It’s no surprise, either. A recent development in corporate art is the positioning of it as a cultural underdog, constantly under siege from Haters and Trolls. You see it most with the nerd properties mentioned above. They parry the childhood fear of being bullied for liking nerd stuff into the suggestion that those bullies are still out there, waiting to pounce, and they take the form of everyone who dares to not like the IP in question.

  3. Advice to a Young Me
    craigmod.com

    Craig Mod:

    At 23 I was obsessed with minimizing recurring costs of living. They felt like poison to me.

    Obsessing over minimized cost of living has a light-touch hint of Thoreau to it: the calculating, the measuring, the valuing of time.

    “House: $28.12 ½; Farm one year: $14.72 ½ …” and on and on Thoreau wrote in Walden. “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediate or in the long run.”

    Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism devotes a chapter to Thoreau. My favorite quote though is from Frédéric Gros on Thoreau’s processes: “[Thoreau] says: keep calculating, keep weighing. What exactly do I gain or lose?”

  4. Defining Productivity
    jeremy.codes

    Jeremy Wagner:

    It’s easy to slap something up on a web server, but it’s quite another to be a steward of it in a way that makes the web a better place. That starts with redefining our productivity with the goal of serving the interests of others instead of our own.

  5. ‘Game of Thrones’: The Last Show We Watch Together?
    vulture.com

    Matt Zoller Seitz:

    TV doesn’t feel the same when you watch it that way. It’s more of a solitary experience, no matter how many fellow fans discuss it with you on social media. And it necessarily reduces the level of excitement surrounding a season or series finale because the show has been deprived of that measured pace of one episode per week, with six days of contemplation and anticipation in between each chapter, all leading inexorably to that last run of episodes during which the fans, who’ve spent years living and breathing this thing, come to terms with the totality of the accomplishment, and ready themselves for the exquisite and horrible moment when the storytellers swing that sword at our necks and the birds take flight and the credits roll for the last time.

  6. What the Theranos Documentary Misses
    newrepublic.com

    Avi Asher-Schapiro makes some good points about The Inventor that I failed to consider:

    Missing from the film, however, is any sustained effort to understand how Theranos interacted with the larger economic and social forces that nurtured it. In the hands of Gibney, the rise and fall of Theranos is reduced to a sort of personality puzzle, driven by the banal questions like: What was Elizabeth Holmes thinking? Is she a liar? How could seemingly competent investors be so misled?

    That’s a shame, because the story of Theranos is so much more than that. At its root, it’s a parable that cuts to the central dysfunctions in the American economic and political order, one that should dismantle our notions of meritocracy and put a strict limit on our forbearance for elites. It illuminates how the rich and well connected occupy different strata of life, enjoy a completely different set of opportunities from the rest of us, experience a different kind of justice, and are so often immune from consequences. Though the film gives some glimpses of these dynamics, they are always in the background, shadowed by other far less compelling narrative impulses.

  7. Dev perception
    adactio.com

    Jeremy Keith:

    It’s relatively easy to write and speak about new technologies. You’re excited about them, and there’s probably an eager audience who can learn from what you have to say.

    It’s trickier to write something insightful about a tried and trusted (perhaps even boring) technology that’s been around for a while. You could maybe write little tips and tricks, but I bet your inner critic would tell you that nobody’s interested in hearing about that old tech. It’s boring.

    The result is that what’s being written about is not a reflection of what’s being widely used.

  8. Grifters Gone Wild
    nytimes.com

    More on scammers, by Maureen Dowd:

    As Maria Konnikova wrote in her book, “The Confidence Game,” “The whirlwind advance of technology heralds a new golden age of the grift. Cons thrive in times of transition and fast change” when we are losing the old ways and open to the unexpected.

    We are easy marks for faux Nigerian princes now, when chaos rules, the American identity wobbles, and technology is transforming our lives in awe-inspiring and awful ways.

    See also, on Wired: Nigerian Email Scammers Are More Effective Than Ever.

  9. Scammers: They’re Just Like Us
    buzzfeednews.com

    Prompted by the college admissions bribery scandal in the US, the hosts of Do By Friday had an interesting discussion about grifting on a recent episode of the podcast. This article by Tom Gara was mentioned by Max Temkin and caught my attention:

    We are living in a golden age of grifting. For an ambitious scammer in 2018, this is like being a sculptor in 1500s Florence — every major force at play in our world is like a wind at your back. In politics, a team of all-star grifters now runs the United States, and their fake-it-till-you-make-it ethos bleeds into everything it touches and elevates aspirational young con artists into national figures. Technology now allows you to create and maintain an entirely constructed identity, giving you not just the tools to manipulate your image and massage the truth of your everyday life, but also an audience hungry to consume that image and believe in it.

  10. I ruin developers’ lives with my code reviews and I’m sorry
    m.habr.com

    Philipp Ranzhin:

    I was mad that, while I spent my nights learning F#, my daughter started calling everyone around “fathers”. And this guy, instead of getting better at his job, went home to his children. And I wanted to punish him.

    Because I do code review for self-identification. I don’t give a toss about the project or the code. I’m simply a madman who’s allowed to hurt people. I’m a psychopath with a licence to kill. An alpha male with a huge stick.

    When I realized that, I felt ashamed of myself.

  11. Oscars 2019: ‘Burning’ Would Have Won
    gq.com

    Kristen Yoonsoo Kim investigates why Korean films keep getting snubbed at the Oscars:

    At the time, the submission of Age of Shadows made no sense to me. But in early 2017, a government blacklist created by Korea’s former, impeached president Park Geun-hye was uncovered. Thousands of Korean artists and cultural figures were banned from receiving government support, and one of the most prominent figures on that blacklist was The Handmaiden director Park Chan-wook, thought to be too leftist and thus a threat to the government’s agenda.

    The Handmaiden, Okja, and Burning are among my favorite films of the last few years. It’s a shame they’re not getting wider recognition.

  12. FOREVERYONE.NET
    foreveryone.net

    A great little documentary about the birth of the web, featuring Tim Berners-Lee front and center.

    FOREVERYONE.NET connects the future of the web with the little-known story of its birth. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet creating the world wide web.

  13. CERN 2019 WorldWideWeb Rebuild
    worldwideweb.cern.ch

    Digital archeology — a working simulation of the first ever web browser:

    In December 1990, an application called WorldWideWeb was developed on a NeXT machine at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as CERN) just outside of Geneva. This program – WorldWideWeb — is the antecedent of most of what we consider or know of as “the web” today.

    In February 2019, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the development of WorldWideWeb, a group of developers and designers convened at CERN to rebuild the original browser within a contemporary browser, allowing users around the world to experience the origins of this transformative technology.

    It’s amazing just how resilient and backwards-compatible HTML is. My site is already quite usable in WorldWideWeb, but now I’ll have to resist the urge to add some optimizations for 1990 web users.

  14. ‘Apollo 11’ Review: Astonishing NASA Documentary Is One Giant Leap for Film Restoration
    indiewire.com

    David Ehrlich writes about the upcoming Apollo 11 documentary, made using recently discovered 65mm footage:

    It’s rare that picture quality can inspire a physical reaction, but the opening moments of “Apollo 11,” in which a NASA camera crew roams around the base of the rocket and spies on some of the people who’ve come to gawk at it from a beach across the water, are vivid enough to melt away the screen that stands between them. The clarity takes your breath away, and it does so in the blink of an eye; your body will react to it before your brain has time to process why, after a lifetime of casual interest, you’re suddenly overcome by the sheer enormity of what it meant to leave the Earth and land somewhere else.

    This looks absolutely incredible.