I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Posts in culture:

Goodbyes Are Boring, So Just Leave

Seth Stevens exhorts us, via Slate, to eschew saying good-bye in social situations:

We all agree it’s fun to say hello. A hello has the bright promise of a beginning. It’s the perfect occasion to express your genuine pleasure at a friend’s arrival. But who among us enjoys saying goodbye? None among us! Not those leaving, and not those left behind.

Imagine not having to stand around waiting for someone to look at you so that you can say you’re leaving, only to get wrapped up in a conversation which prevents you from leaving. Conversely, imagine hosting a function without having to drop a stink bomb in order to get people to leave.

If we all hate both sides of the equation, why do we put ourselves through it? I’m taking this to heart. No more lame goodbyes.

Sean Parker Proves Again To Be a Total Jackwagon

Kevin Roose for New York Magazine:

Parker is so upset about his cruel treatment at the media’s hands that he wrote a 9,500-word essay-manifesto for TechCrunch detailing, at great length, the names he was called after the media began picking on him, the philosophy behind his wedding, and his views on the evolution of the media. […] The essay’s title is "Weddings Used to Be Sacred and Other Lessons About Internet Journalism," and lo, it is a masterpiece — a love story, a Greek tragedy, a media rumination, a parable for our times, all wrapped up in one self-defensive package.

If Sean Parker could truly wear an ass for a hat, it would need to have the mass of Jupiter. My favorite bit: someone, somewhere apparently called him a "douche canoe."

Is anyone really surprised that it was TechCrunch who decided to publish Parker’s verbal diarrhea?

ICANN Approves More Strident WHOIS Guidelines

Akram Atallah (President of ICANN’s Generic Domains Division), as quoted in the press release on PRWeb:

In no small way is this agreement transformational for the domain name industry. […] Our multiple stakeholders weighed in, from law enforcement, to business, to consumers and what we have ended up with is something that affords better protections and positively redefines the domain name industry.

First of all, please note the order of his priorities: government, then businesses, and finally individual human beings. I would have thought business would come first.

Second, let’s raise our hands if we’re excited about publicizing even more information about ourselves right now. After all that’s happened in the past few weeks, it’s a great time to put people’s private email addresses and phone numbers on the open Web, isn’t it?

PRISM Can’t Actually Be An Anti-Terror Program

Bloomberg‘s Leonid Bershidsky makes a great point:

The debate over the U.S. government’s monitoring of digital communications suggests that Americans are willing to allow it as long as it is genuinely targeted at terrorists. What they fail to realize is that the surveillance systems are best suited for gathering information on law-abiding citizens.

Think about it for a second: is a Facebook chat or a Gmail conversation the method you’d choose through which to plan an act of terrorism? It doesn’t make any sense.

Phone Booths Are Relics


This phone booth, outside a National Park I recently visited, was as big a photo opportunity for the tourists as the Park itself was. One Australian girl cried, “Oh, look! A Phone Booth!”

One Way The NSA Skirts That Pesky 4th Amendment

According to this recent piece from InformationWeek, attempts to hide your online activities from the NSA will (predictably) make you a target:

When encryption is encountered […] the gloves can come off, with analysts being allowed to retain "communications that are enciphered or reasonably believed to contain secret meaning" for any period of time. […] Since the NSA guidelines say that a person "will not be treated as a United States person" without a positive identification based on name, address, electronic communication addresses or geographic location, encryption users may because classified – at least temporarily – as non-U.S. residents by NSA analysts.

So if they can’t tell where you are, you lose your already dubious "rights." If you close a door behind you, there’s a 100% chance that you’re doing something very, very bad.

The U.S Government Is Shooting Itself In The Foot Over Snowden

Alex Berenson, in an op-ed piece for the New York Times:

We have treated a whistle-blower like a traitor — and thus made him a traitor. Great job. Did anyone in the White House or the N.S.A or the C.I.A. consider flying to Hong Kong and treating Mr. Snowden like a human being, offering him a chance to testify before Congress and a fair trial? Maybe he would have gone with President Vladimir V. Putin anyway, but at least he would have had another option. The secret keepers would have won too: a Congressional hearing would have been a small price to bring Mr. Snowden and those precious hard drives back to American soil.

It’s hard to argue otherwise; of course, Americans are cowboys, and don’t care much for due process any longer.

Ignorant Rednecks Selling Pork-Coated Bullets, For Muslim-Killin’

From the company’s own Web site:

A natural deterrent that prevents violence just by owning it but will strike fear into the hearts of those bent upon hate, violence and murder. Jihawg Ammo is certified "Haraam" or unclean. According to the belief system of the radical Islamist becoming "unclean" during Jihad will prevent their attaining entrance into heaven. Jihawg Ammo is a natural deterrent to radical and suicidal acts of violence. [emphasis mine]

Did you catch that? These bullets are for sending Muslims to hell. I think I’d like to design some bullets that send moronic racist hicks to hell, too. What could I coat them with? Hmmm. Sixth-Grade Diplomas? Shoes? Shirts With Intact Sleeves? Soap?

Google Wants To Sell Your Desires

Maybe there’s some aspect of your life and/or mind that you haven’t given to Google (for free!) yet. Alex Chitu at the Google Operating System blog writes:

Google prepares a new service that’s called Google Mine. It’s integrated with Google+ and it’s a way to keep track of the items you own or you’d like to have and share some of them with your circles. Right now, the service is tested internally at Google.

They want to know what you want, and it isn’t even a little bit creepy. Oh, and also, if you could give them a list of everything you own, that would be pretty great, too. It will help them put ads inside your cornea. In addition, you’ll be helping in the fight against terrorism. It feels good to be a good American.

Ellen Page Sues Over Non-Resemblance To Cartoon

Erik Kain for Forbes:

To be honest, I don’t think Ellie from Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us looks all that much like actress Ellen Page.

I’m going to sue them too. There’s a character that has a nose. I have a nose! It looks just like me!