best when viewed in low light


Gears of War movie could be good?!

Or could it?

I mean, when I read what Len Wiseman has to say for himself about leaving the gaming audience behind and devoting himself to actually making a movie, I get kinda excited. And then I look at Len's directorial record, and I think: What do YOU know about making a good film?


Chalk this one up to another sucky crossover.

But if you actually put wifey in and she gets to kick ass, I'll give you a little respect for that. Underworld wasn't a total disaster. (But it wasn't good.)

Sarah, is it true?

The following quote, which was pulled from a longer breakdown of the current status of Sarah Palin (thanks NPR), doesn't sound to me much like a social conservative:

"But she has also, correct me if I'm wrong, taken on her own party Establishment and been elected as the youngest and first lady Governor of the largest and most beautiful state in the union, raised taxes on oil companies and created a state budget surplus, which she gave back to Alaskans. Her first veto in office was a bill that would deny gay couples health benefits (and you know how those lesbians love Alaskan Cruises. Good call, Sarah!). She appointed a pro choice member of Planned Parenthood to the Alaskan Supreme Court in favor of a bible humping Fundie Blowhard, and she supports funding Head Start. She is, contrary to popular belief, pro-contraception, and has said so many times. She is a Feminist. Her husband is an Eskimo Union man who owns a commercial fisherman business. She is personally socially Conservative, but based on her performance as Governor, does not use her office to inflict those beliefs on her constituents. She has stated that she believes in Science and Evolution. In fact, her father was a Science Teacher and track coach, and her mother was a school librarian, so she likes books too."

Whoever "Littleisis" is, I hope she's right about these things. I'd love to see some rationality strike the actions of the Republicans (who, socially conservative as they might personally be, oughtta get with the times and stop legislating other people's right to choose right out from under them) even if only accidentally.

We act like the rats

Oh, Edward T. Hall, if only you had not been quite so accurate and thorough in your account of rat societies disintegrating under the hormonal stresses of population density!

If you had not, I would not see stories like this one - about the dramatic increase in familicide (that's when good ol' dad comes home, axe murders the whole family, and commits suicide as a response to a desperate financial situation) - and know that this is caused not by the emotional stress of hard times (because hard times are the best times) but due to the disappearance of the barriers between us and others. An undermining of our isolation in these overpopulated cities and suburbs, and the opening of ourselves to the reality of our dependence on one another.

What could be worse?

Make or break

I have a game concept in mind and I don't know how to program it. And I'd really like to enter it into this contest.

What's a girl to do?


I am totally fooled

Thank you, Senator Claire McCaskill, for protecting me from my own stupidity! I don't know how I would navigate this world of sensationalized news stories, government and lobbyist created public health issues, and consumption oriented solutions.

This is going to be a laugh riot

But the question that I have is this: If they're making a movie of World of Warcraft, is the feature just a marketing vehicle for Blizzard, or does the game become the marketing vehicle for the movie?


Blue brain

As in...

"My brain strains so hard to understand what the implications of a virtual organic system actually are that it has turned blue."

But what's wicked is that someone actually made a fake brain that "acts" like a real brain.

Imagine the computing power?!

Then again, imagine what we could do if we knew how to harness our own brains like that?!

This is what really trips me out about our culture: We don't understand ourselves, so we seek to create external models that we can control. One might think that this allows us to see ourselves reflected in these models, but what it really does is relieve us of the responsibility of coming to a better, or more thorough, understanding. And then, of course, control is the problem. Since we don't know ourselves, we can't control ourselves, and so the models simply confuse us - making understanding harder to reach and control a continuing figment of our arrogance and projection.

Ta da!


Hammy knows best

[But I love watching animals - especially cute ones - ignore the contriving bullshit of humans. Keep us in check, Hammy.]


Can I have a job please?

THis Sentient Worldwide Simulation thing is exACTLY the kind of mind-twisting game design I want to be doing!

Dear Mr. Government, if you are following the link-backs on these articles, please check into my resume and hire me. I'm sure you won't find anything you disapprove of... not for a game designer/professional mindf^&#er

Really, this ish is sweeet! I wanna play!

[Especially because the possibilities of a global standard and the practice of dramatically different social and economic incentives could prove to be the really mindblowing part of the whole technological evolution! Don't get scared now!]


First hand

If you know how to speak Greek, and feel like doing a little translation, you can decide what the christian bible means to you!

[Is universal networking our deity now?]


Jerry B Gets It

I "reported" earlier that Jerry Bruckheimer was investing in the creation of videogames, big time.

Well, it seems that he's one of a very few in Hollywood who have some idea about how to get to the future.

Here's to you, Jerry B!

Journalism vs news

The issue now facing newspapers and other forms of traditional journalism is NOT one of medium. Though all the arguments are framed as such, it is NOT a war of Twitter versus News Corp (though it could be).

Since the inception of the newspaper, journalists have confounded what they do with the reporting of news. I would argue that these are two different things, and the rise in popularity of user-generated content has helped us to identify the clearly obvious difference.

Journalists are storytellers. They find facts, contextualize them, and - whether they intend to or not - editorialize on them. What they do is generate narratives about things that happen. They DO NOT "report the news."

News is a steady stream of facts and observations about current events. New media, i.e. the internet and especially Twitter, have demonstrated that the source of these facts and observations are irrelevant; anyone can "report the news."

What this presents is a solution that adds value to both forms of delivery:

- Journalists continue to analyze, editorialize and curate the facts that are being reported. They continue to tell us stories about what's happening. AND, they do the more important job of providing context and historical memory in their storytelling (even more so than they do now)!

- Users/Prosumers/Us Regular Folks continue to observe events, share their observations, and report the "facts" to the best of our ability. The beauty of this steady, thick stream of individual observations is that no ONE observation might be "true" or "factual," but MANY observations that overlap can provide the most accurate fact-checking service possible.

BOTH of these activities provide value, but the combination of the two DEMANDS of us that we, the readers, question the source, consider the context, and remember our own historical narrative, placing the NEWS into the frame of reference which we all create already. That's how we discover the most sensible, consistent version of events. And it does NOT assume that any one version is the TRUTH*.

* Because the TRUTH is a whole different thing...


Pop gods: it's all representational

Deepak Chopra says:

"Michael Jackson and the God Feeling

In startling ways pop culture mirrors long-standing spiritual arguments. In an age where the stage has replaced the pulpit -- where the line between the two is all but invisible -- morality is played out in the lives of celebrities. This is an unsettling phenomenon. Princess Diana slips into the role of Holy Mother almost equal with Mother Teresa. Michael Jackson's call to "Heal the World" in a pop song spreads to every corner of the planet and probably touches more people than the Pope's annual Christmas message.

With the sudden, sad death of Michael Jackson, whom I knew well for twenty years, a specific point of theology comes to life and haunts us. I'm thinking of Manichaeism, a Gnostic doctrine born in Persia in the third century, whose central idea is "the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness," as the Wikipedia entry puts it. Manichaeism pictured the destiny of the world, and each soul, in terms of black versus white, and so potent is the idea that it has permeated race relations, cultural divides, wars, and the whole tendency to demonize "them," those people who are different from us and therefore exist outside the light.

It's hard not to see Michael Jackson as a pop martyr to this kind of either/or thinking. His hit song, "Black or White," insisted that "it don't matter if you're black or white," something he deeply believed in. His skin changed from black to white because of vitiligo, but the public and press mistinterpreted this as a conscious attempt to change his skin and took it as the mark of someone who didn't know what world he belonged in. But I don't want to trade in symbols. As a real person, Michael struggled between extremes, and his vulnerability to the shadow side of human nature was very poignant. The tabloids consigned him to the dark side via cheap, sensationalized stories that verged on the ghoulish (stories he fed with behavior that flirted far too much with transgressive behavior). But the other aspect of Manichaeism was also there, an evangelical desire to bring light and healing to the whole world. The paradox of how one person could be so innocent and so disturbing at the same time remains a mystery.

I began to ponder Michael's nature after I received an e-mail that pointed to "the transcendent feeling he inspired in so many people with his music and his dancing. There was almost a religious, ritualistic feeling to it. He seemed to be in another zone when he was performing and took others with him." I agree, but the wider phenomenon is the "God feeling" communicated to millions of people through pop culture. Princess Diana played a key part, as Bono and Sting still do, as Live Aid concerts do. A transient mass communion substitutes for the traditional communion offered in church; a global feeling of oneness transcends the unity of small religious communities.

The flaws in this God feeling are obvious. It doesn't last. Strangers are brought together for a moment, usually through mass media, only to return to being strangers once the moment is gone. The message being communicated is far simpler than the doctrines and dogmas of organized faiths. All of which can make the God feeling seem superficial and sentimental. Did Michael Jackson really heal the world in any meaningful sense? Did it help Princess Diana to be elevated to saintly status when in reality her private life contained more than its share of trouble, confusion, and turmoil?

None of us are in a position to say. Communion is an actual phenomenon, however, and without it, we would feel much more alone and divided. In Afghanistan a pop talent show known as "Afghan Star" is watched by half the country's population. On the surface it looks like any other imitation of "American Idol," until you learn that this show is the most important vehicle for warring tribes and divisive religious traditions to view each other in peace. Via TV entertainment, "they" don't look as dark and ominous to "us." One is reminded that pop communion may, in fact, be the only kind that doesn't exclude anybody. The God feeling is important just because it isn't bound by doctrine and dogma. No one is outside the fold. When an audience lights candles and sways to "Heal the World," a space is created where nobody is unholy, no religion can exercise its imaginary exclusive patent on the true God. To the extent that Michael inspired such a feeling, he healed his own demons and ours, if only for an hour.

In some way that merges psychology and faith, Michael Jackson did play out the ancient split between dark and light; he was deliberately Manichean in his dangerous game with the media but also deeply divided. I come away feeling deeply distressed that he was imprisoned by a theological idea that has caused so much damage and distortion over the centuries. There is no cosmic war between dark and light, as I see it. Only one reality exists, and it's the human mind that judges and categorizes. We blow our own manmade suffering into grandiose cosmic schemes, and then we bow down and worship effigies to our own self-judgment. But that's an argument for another day. Today I linger on the rare thing that Michael accomplished. He inspired the God feeling in millions of people, and even amidst the grief at his sad undoing, a remembrance of that feeling comes through."

By Deepak Chopra | June 29, 2009; 7:48 PM ET

In the past...