TV Shows of the Gods

Friday, April 20th 2012

I have been watching a few TV shows lately. Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, etc.

They all have common characteristics.

They have a superficial nod to the genre - fantasy, sci-fi, zombie movies, etc.

Then they layer soap opera on top:

  • male/female relations;
  • children/breeding;
  • etc.

So essentially they are all human interest stories in various forms of fancy dress.

None them are about ideas.

So, I thought, what about TV shows that aren't interested in humans?

The Skeuomorph Bypass & Protoconsciousness

Thursday, April 19th 2012

Following on from: Slaves of the Skeuomorphs

From Wikipedia:

A skeuomorph [...] is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original. Skeuomorphs may be deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar, such as copper cladding on zinc pennies or computer printed postage with circular town name and cancellation lines.

Everytime I read about "ebooks" and hear all the attendant discussion I always think:

They're just web pages, right? What's the fuss?

And yet we have businesses built around them. Authors make money from them. E-readers are built around them.

But it seems silly to me. Web pages superseded all this stuff didn't they?

But then I thought: the whole legal system is based around words, too. And money is essentially imaginary.

Thought and social organisation is starting to bump into dematerialised digital reality.

ebooks, music albums, even movies, etc ... they are all remnants of the pre-digital era. They are Skeuomorphs designed to make humans feel better about everything being reduced to data.

We are arguing about ideas, words.

And they change at a slower pace than technology. If, as some people say, technology is speeding up, it follows that it will come into more and more conflict with the ideas and words we use to organise ourselves around it.

And that presents a problem: because if something can't be understood it becomes an unknown. A people usually fear the unknown. They try to ignore or control it, to put it one side, to gloss over it.

Religious people do it by labelling it "God". Is it inevitable that most humans will end up in an essentially semantic and emotional conflict with new technology?

No, I think the technology will simply bypass that part of our conscious brain as suboptimal.

Consciousness becomes a skeuomorph.

At that stage, because what we perceive is simply an superfluous anachronism, it is a form of protoconciousness just existing out of sheer momentum :-).

And this may already have happened. You'd have no way of knowing.


The Composite Ideal Based "shit", "okay", "good", "great", "genius" Comparison Derived Equation

Wednesday, April 18th 2012

Nearly everybody seems to have a hero or two. Somebody they consider the real deal. This is particularly prevalent in people trying to develop artistic skills or ... well, any skills that have heroic figures associated with it.

Rockers might have Lemmy, for instance. Keith Richards has Chuck Berry. Eric Clapton has Robert Johnson. Stephen Fry has Oscar Wilde. People who see themselves as economic liberals might be fans of Margaret Thatcher. The people who don't like those people might be fans of Noam Chomsky or Che Guevera. Tom Maxwell has Louis Armstrong. A punk rocker might love Joan Jett. Hardware hackers might laude Steve Wozniak. A mathematician might be a big fan of Benoit Mandelbrot. And artists might be a fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Or maybe you're a body builder and think Arnold Schwarzenegger is the man. Maybe a composer loves Bach or Stockhausen. A country singer might be a big fan of Lefty Frizzel. Basketballers might hail Dr. J, Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan.

Of course, heros can rise and fall. So people become fans of figures of history. Metallica in the mid-80s being a classic. "Before the Black album".

And people mix their ideals together, too. So they create composites.

And so the ideal is created.

Some ideals appeal because there is a twinge of recognition in the person who conceives it. Something clicks. It's as you have some understanding of the ideal that perhaps more casual observers don't feel or don't even notice. Empathy for the hero. A sense of "I could do that!"

When Paul McCartney says he heard Elvis and went:

"That's it! That's it!"

He just knew. And so a bond is created. A bond that is part recognition, part hope or ambition, part unknown ("how does she do that?").

Working Hard?

Tuesday, April 17th 2012

The more skilled you become at something the less hard you have to work at it.

(Certainly, you can keep getting more skilled, but the improvements in skill become less and less impressive.)

What does that mean? If, over time, the amount of hard work is not going down, it means you're doing it in an unskilled way.

Then what? You need to use technology or give up.

And if the technology isn't there to help and you can't give up, then you're going to end up working hard.

But there's nothing good about working hard. That's the result of:

  • compulsion ("you can't give up");
  • lack of skill;
  • lack of technology.


When Spells Go Wrong

Tuesday, April 17th 2012

Draco Pelvisthump's forehead was creased with concentration. His eyes were narrowed into slits of deep cogitation. He held his arms up, his hands, like some magical conductor's, were busy summoning some dark, magical force beyond the ...

"Silence," he cried, "enough description!"

The sky darkened and turned an angry red. An evil force picked up debris and hurled it ferociously around Draco's head like a whirlwind.

Then it all stopped.

There was a slight, tremulous pop sound.

Draco paused. He was confused for a moment.

"No!" he cried, dropping to one knee. He made a crushing gesture with his hands.

The summoning had failed.

After a moment, Draco recovered slightly and stood to his full height.

"Mrollordium," he said, beckoning to his apprentice wizard.

The apprentice came out of his meditative trance and walked to his master's side.

"Yes, master?" he asked.

"Prepare the spell of Ultimate Debugging," said Draco.


Monday, April 16th 2012

Tyrants love disasters.

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