I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Archive for 2012:

What’s a Name Worth?

Some people will do anything for a WWDC ticket:

WWDC tickets are non transferable this year, so naturally I’m willin to legally change my name to yours in order to buy your ticket. To sweeten the deal I will perform the following duties on your behalf for one year:
– Jury duty
– DMV license/registration
– Any of your court ordered community service up to 40 hours
– Visit your senile grandfather once a month
If your name happens to be Jebodiah there is an extra $500 bonus.

–via Daring Fireball.

Imagine You Have No Arms

Imagine for a moment that you have no arms. You can’t do so, because you definitely have arms. You might think about not having arms for a minute, and pity the armless, and then you pick up your glass of lemonade without realizing the armless do not have such capacity. You might even see an armless man ask someone for a straw, and you might be the one to provide the straw. He’ll thank you. He needed it. He appreciates it. And then you’ll go home and make yourself a sandwich, thinking about how you helped that armless man drink his lemonade. You’ll rightfully feel as though you helped him. Meanwhile, he will lack a sandwich.

He’ll thank you for the lemonade, but will still need the sandwich after you’ve left. He won’t hold your relative resourcefulness against you, necessarily. He’ll just wish he were able to put meat on bread and lift it to his lips.

He can imagine making a sandwich. He can imagine eating it, tasting it, feeling normal.

You’ll never even realize how good your sandwich tastes.

Brown Sheep

Doesn’t “standing out from the herd” when it comes to a mobile phone just mean that you’re the only one who bought that phone?

Le déplaisir du texte

The “beautiful plastic bag” scene from American Beauty has become one of those cultural moments with which we post-millennial cynics bludgeon the bloated corpse of our (former) zest for life. I suspect we mock it not because it has some essentially childlike earnestness in it, but because we sense in it the same kind of calculated self-mockery we all so love to wallow in. It’s an infinitely recursive, intentionally unfunny in-joke. It’s the cultural equivalent of a self-loathing fat kid puking upon his own myriad reflections in a funhouse full of shattered mirrors.

Here again, for your mocking “pleasure”:

Fake Life is Finally Real

I’m not sure whether this excites or terrifies me. Quoth National Geographic:

[N]ew synthetic compounds called XNAs can also store and copy genetic information, a new study says. And, in a “big advancement,” these artificial compounds can also be made to evolve in the lab, according to study co-author John Chaput of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.

On the one hand, it’s unquestionably a triumph of human effort. On the other, it’s what Frankenstein warned us of. On one hand, it provides categorical evidence of the truth of evolution. On the other hand, Christians don’t give a shit about evidence and will now be forced to behave with even less recourse to logic than before.

Star Maidens

Speaking of retro-futurism, check this shit out.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jUPhF0ENjA&w=420&h=315]

Project Ass

Let me just come out and say it: some gadgets are stupid. I’ve been wrong about gadgets before–very, very wrong in some cases–but I just can’t see myself wearing these stupid Google HUD glasses. Do I really want Google to be able to show me Charmin ads while I’m in the bathroom?

The Future Is Retro

And I’d recommend checking it out if that link didn’t point to one of those damned idiotic pageview-pimping “slideshow” articles.

Maryland Stands Up to Employer Nosiness

Way to go, Maryland:

Maryland has become the first state to pass a law banning employers from asking for social media passwords. […] Illinois and California have both introduced similar pieces of legislation, and senators from New York and Connecticut have both asked the US Attorney General to prohibit this practice.

If this whole thing is new to you, see also: this and this

There Is No Digital Ozymandias

Matt Pearce on the ephemeral nature of our digital memories (via a lament of photography’s devaluation in the post-smartphone world for The New Iquiry):

Every picture you upload, every cheap memory tweeted from your friend’s backyard into digital eternity, is also tied to some tendon or ankle of hardware in a faraway warehouse that corporate security would never let you enter. This is risk. Someday these places will be destroyed — by bombs, by cranes, by floods, by history, by all the kinds of things we tend to photograph — and the images will be gone if they’re not also fastened to the world somewhere else. Perhaps you’ll care; perhaps you’re dead by then and won’t.