Articles Archive for July 2010

Reviews »

July 26th, 2010 | 6 Comments | Category: Reviews
Obscured by Crowds: Clay Shirky’s <i>Cognitive Surplus</i>

In The Young & The Digital (Beacon, 2009), Craig Watkins points out an overlooked irony in our switch from television screens to computer screens: We gather together around the former to watch passively, while we individually engage with the latter to actively connect with each other. This insight forms the core of Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age (Penguin, 2010). Shirky argues that the web has finally joined us in a prodigious version of McLuhan’s “global village” or Teilhard de Chardin’s “Noosphere,” …

Reviews »

July 24th, 2010 | 8 Comments | Category: Reviews
Operation: Mindcrime — <i>Inception</i>

In his book Speaking into the Air (University of Chicago Press, 1999), John Durham Peters points out that if telepathy — presumably the only communication context more immediate than face-to-face interaction — were to occur, how would one know who sent the message? How would one authenticate or clarify the source? Planting an idea undetected into another’s mind, subconsciously in this case, is the central concept of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. [Warning: I will do my best to spoil it below.]

Looking down on empty streets, all she can see
Are the dreams …

Reviews »

July 07th, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Reviews
What Means These Screens? Two More Books

Every once in a while our reliance on technology initiates a corrective or at least a thorough reassessment. In a sort of Moore’s Law of agentic worry, the intervals seem to be shortening as fast as the technology is advancing, and the latest wave is upon us.
Sometimes these assessments are stiflingly negative and sometimes they are uselessly celebratory. Jaron Lanier’s recent book flirts with the former, while other current thinkers lean toward the latter. For instance, where Clay Shirky sees the book as an inconvenience borne by an era characterized …

Announcements »

July 06th, 2010 | One Comment | Category: Announcements
Zine Show in Torrance, CA

The skate zine show There Is Xerox On The Insides Of Your Eyelids is headed to Southern California at the Torrance Art Museum. The show opens July 24th and runs until September 4th.

I need to get in on this…
With thanks to Andy Jenkins and The Skateboard Mag.

Marginalia, Videos »

July 04th, 2010 | No Comment | Category: Marginalia, Videos
Laurie Anderson’s National Anthem PSA

Here’s a clip of Laurie Anderson’s classic deconstruction of the National Anthem [runtime: 1:50], with thanks to Richard Metzger: