Thursday, May 6, 2010

links

---life in 2020:

"Computers will be able to track everything we do. Everything. As Frog's Mark Rolston tells it, they'll monitor your health as easily as you might update your Facebook page. They'll shop for you, no need to wade through department-store racks. If you see a great pair of shoes on someone walking down the street, your mobile handset or AR-equipped glasses can identify them, and then do the price-shopping for you. You'll be able to interact with an Xbox 360 without ever touching a control. See Project Natal."

---Get out of there!

---132 instantly available Criterion films

---Ridley Scott's color schemes

---the shortcomings of the superhero genre

---Deciphering the mysteries of Inception:

"Speaking to the LA Times last month, Nolan described Inception as being in the same vein as late 1990s efforts such as The Matrix, Dark City, and The Thirteenth Floor, as well as his own Memento. All of the above share the sense that the reality which we see around us may not be entirely real. Where Inception also seems to differ is that its characters are fully aware of the nature of their surroundings: the film posits the idea that it is possible to enter a shared dream state with other human beings, a sort of virtual reality of the consciousness. Nolan specifically rejected the idea that his film might borrow "second-life" tropes from movies such as Avatar, Surrogates, Gamer, or the Tron movies, however. He said he was inspired to write the story, which took him a decade, by his own experiences with lucid dreaming during the moments in between sleep and wakefulness.

He told the Times:

You can look around and examine the details and pick up a handful of sand on the beach. I never particularly found a limit to that; that is to say, that while in that state your brain can fill in all that reality.

I tried to work that idea of manipulation and management of a conscious dream being a skill that these people have. Really the script is based on those common, very basic experiences and concepts, and where can those take you? And the only outlandish idea that the film presents, really, is the existence of a technology that allows you to enter and share the same dream as someone else."

---the history, meaning, and practice of suicide

---interview with David Foster Wallace

---a handsome trailer for another film that will oblige critics to take a stand: The Killer Inside Me. Jessica Alba also stars in Machete with . . . Robert De Niro?

---Borges on art

---15 great unscripted scenes

---capitalizing on Naomi Klein's No Logo:

"All brands are built around a unique promise or selling proposition, but as Klein argued, whatever a brand is supposed to stand for, it has little to do with the material facts of how the product is manufactured. Nike’s “Just Do It” pledge of individual achievement and Apple’s attitude of hip nonconformity could mask sweatshops, communities damaged by outsourcing, or an exploited environment. The anti-corporate activism chronicled in No Logo used this gap between what a brand promised to consumers and how its corporate parent actually behaved to perform a bit of public relations jiu-jitsu. When their bad faith was revealed to the world, the economic strength of the brand bullies became a major liability. The need to preserve shareholder value forced companies such as Shell and Nike to get their act together and make sure their corporate deeds aligned with their marketing froth.

A decade on, there is no question who won that fight. From eco- to organic, fair trade to locally sourced, sweatshop safe to dolphin friendly, sales pitches that 10 years ago would have reeked of patchouli oil and set the red baiters on full alert are now thoroughly mainstream. Companies like Whole Foods (and its quarterly “5 Percent Day,” when each location donates 5 percent of its net sales to a nonprofit) or the Vermont-based Seventh Generation (a natural soap and detergent company devoted to all forms of sustainability, whose co-founder and executive chairman is known as the “inspired protagonist” of the firm) are massively successful operations."

---time management on the internet

---Facebook's eroding privacy policy: a timeline. Also, Facebook and MacDonalds, together at last.

---lastly, how to eat dinner with Bill Murray

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