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Science fiction, science fact, and all that's in between ...

Last Build Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:17:36 +0000


This metaphor has unexamined implications.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:17:36 +0000

Computer scientists have an aphorism that describes how algorithms relentlessly hunt for patterns: they talk about torturing the data until it confesses. Yet this metaphor contains unexamined implications. Data, like victims of torture, tells its interrogator what it wants to hear. Franklin Foer. Pattern recognition has become pattern imposition.

Hype cycles, heroic journeys and the wizards of innovation

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:45:39 +0000

I think of the Gartner Hype Cycle as a Hero’s Journey for technologies. And just like the hero’s journey, the Hype Cycle is a compelling narrative structure. When we consider many of the technologies in use today, we tend to recall that they were overhyped when they first arrived, but eventually found their way to … Continue reading Hype cycles, heroic journeys and the wizards of innovation

On the Obsolescence of the Bourgeois Novel in the Anthropocene

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:31:24 +0000

If sci-fi convincingly simulates another world, it gives the reader ways of imagining our world otherwise. Science fiction is more, not less, “realist” than literary fiction. It does not produce the fiction of a severed part of a world, as if the rest was predictable from the part. It produces a fiction of a whole … Continue reading On the Obsolescence of the Bourgeois Novel in the Anthropocene

A way to sell selling itself

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 09:41:50 +0000

VR/AR is ad-tech. Everything built in studios (except for experimental projects from independent artists) is advertising something. That empathy stuff? That’s advertising for nonprofits. But mostly VR is advertising itself. While MTV was advertising musicians, the scale and creative freedom meant that it launched careers for people like Michel Gondry, Antoine Fuqua, David Fincher, Spike … Continue reading A way to sell selling itself

Roamin’ roads

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:14:58 +0000

Via kottke, this tube-map-style atlas of Roman roads lands foursquare in a gloriously tangled Venn intersection of Things I Really Love: Subway-style map of Roman roads in Europe by Sasha Trubetskoy If that’s whetted your appetite, the Stanford ORBIS Geospatial Model of the Roman World will take you all the way down the rabbit-hole. Those … Continue reading Roamin’ roads