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  • 308335.1715

     

    MAIN STREET FROM BROADWAY, LOOKING SOUTH, APRIL 1920 Flushing’s first theater, the Janice, which opened November 24, 1914, is at left. Main Street is in transition here: many old wooden stores and some majestic old street trees survive but the automobiles are getting numerous and the signs more noticeable. (Frederick Weber)

  • 308334.2203

     

    http://aeon.co/magazine/science/why-has-human-progress-ground-to-a-halt/

  • 308333.0539

     

  • 308322.0759

    Piketty: "the past ‘devours’ the future through the inheritance of capital that accumulates faster than growth"

    Gundeman's anthropological review of "Capital in the 21st century."

     

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00664677.2014.972339

  • 308316.2209

    Note: Jaron Lanier is a technophile who shuns web 2.0. He also decries our fears of the approaching A.I. His piece here explores Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking's rejection of A.I. and attempts to debunk the "myth" of it. Is is even a myth? Is it a projection built into our psyches?

    From my point of view, the notion of A.I. is 'offering vastly superior languages to computers, rather than humans.'
     
    This is dangerous on almost nearly every index we can think of. Take any subject, say fishing. Shouldn't we know as much as any being we create knows. What limits us? Human languages' inability to reference (and share reference). This 'solution' creates a being with far larger referential abilities than us 'who' will know much more about the fish in the sea than we will (if they survive until then), it will likely be able to monitor them, swim among them, and in a few robotic moves, may have the ability to erase all life in the ocean. Yet if our languages were up-to-date, evolved like the technology around us (and the computing was actually analogue, perhaps), then maybe we could exist in parity with A.I.  
     
    So the myth of the A.I. nightmare is not unfounded. Why? Our psyches can recognize representationally the dangers lurking, how? By examining the holistic sources for A.I.'s desire.
     
    Perhaps the most glaring missing data in Lanier's piece is an origin tale (folktale or myth). He calls it Frankenstein, but it has other analogues like the Golem tale.
     
    In deeptime, the A.I. is being requested by one of two parties, ultimately, you can choose which you prefer: 
    the QUANTUM (which seems to materialize 3-D and 2-D records directly-fossils and indirectly-photographs), 
    or 'LANGUAGE,' which is the inseparable by-product of consciousness. 
     
    And this may sound absurd to the casual reader, but humans were conjured by language, not the other way around. As soon as language left the room, or the village and was used outside of our hearing and eyesight and our waking hours, then language became an 'it,' it became a being. 

     

    http://edge.org/conversation/the-myth-of-ai

     

    Although the florid prose is readable, it suffers from a strategy of "fooling us by agreeing with us."

     
    If the economy is a dominator model, then the "A.I." born from it will be as well.
     
    Which explains clearly why the A.I. omnibus is lost in euphoria like Lanier's. 
     
    Translation is merely a plateau. Look clearly at the process: the mash is another bottom-up strategy. Chomsky, Jackendoff, it's all bottom-up. It can never work. 
     

    The montage of language, and the algorithm of human gesture (centralized through the economy) have nothing to do with the neural or the quantum (the field). They, the language-algorithm, are translators themselves, between the vastly more expressive and at times random process and substructures, and the efficient goals of post 3500BC civilization. The mode of civilization that's still here. Walls and surveillance now made electronic.

     
    aside: ("Cool Popes...cool Rabbis…" this paragraph betrayed unintentional parody - these are almost all men who front religions of hoarding: war-god worshippers who extract vital energy from millennia of domination over females. And these days retain a psychic relationship to the political establishment's blade worship. These are the true bearers of "theatrical illusions," no?  The sleight of hand between religion and state. Yeah, a lot of cool art, about torture and eternity, and eternal figures). 
     
    The inheritor, male domination culture that follows horticulture (a missing transition that's missing from the joke's one-sided charisma: corpora from corpus - undead from dead). That is the "A.I.," a unifying structure on this planet of the male will-to-power network that will follow the path. Even now, it supersedes all barriers. And if the economy is the foundation the "A.I." is born from, then the male's dominator model will migrate with it.
     
    Lanier calls it "non-sense," and uses the (chillingly) blandest examples of pre "A.I.", but that's a rather humiliating cover-story for something potentially so powerful.
     
    Weirdest he attempts to separate the myth from the history. These aren't Siamese Twins, these are psychic mirrors, however asymmetric. What Lanier wants us to believe is a trick. Like any magician, he's going to saw in half the whole. Which is impossible, myth and history are inseparable in their Venn. And actually, far more likely computationally, converging. Something foreseen by Joseph Campbell.  
     
    Hawking and Musk can see this coming. By no means can they be seen as technophobes. 
     
    The "A.I."'s mythology is of becoming, of emergence, that's its corporeal goal. And who wouldn't given the chance. In Lanier's examples, us dummies are so conditioned to accept our lack of choices, we'll look like easy targets to an A.I.
     
    Anybody on the net, that is.
  • 308312.2216

     In one area above all, the failure to improve is especially egregious: education. Schools are, on the whole, little better than they were three decades ago; test scores have barely budged since the famous “A Nation at Risk” report came out, in the early nineteen-eighties. This isn’t for lack of trying, exactly. We now spend far more per pupil than we once did. We’ve shrunk class sizes, implemented national standards, and amped up testing. We’ve increased competition by allowing charter schools. And some schools have made it a little easier to remove ineffective teachers. None of these changes have made much of a difference.

    suroweiki on the new yorker

  • 308309.1425

     

    Both a retooling of Inception and a comment on Looper (or Looper-like plots), Nolan's Interstellar goes for broke. Is it incompatible with Wheeler-DeWitt?

     

    “The imagery is necessarily physical and thus apparently of outer space. The inherent connotation is always, however, psychological and metaphysical, which is to say, of inner space. When read as denoting merely specified events, therefore, the mirrored images lose their inherent spiritual force and, becoming overloaded with sentiment, only bind the will the more to temporality”

    Joseph Campbell

     

     

    70mm found it's way into cinematic history when George Lucas concocted a release plan for his underground space opera Star Wars. Predicated by the effects team's discovery of mothballed Vistavision cameras: a shooting process gaining far larger frames in the camera's gate since 35mm stock passed left right, maximizing horizontal space. It's an almost 65mm film shot on 35. Coupled with better grain on faster ASA stocks, the optical printer's internegative became a kind of miniature, hi-res cel-animation, at times passing 20 elements in a highly choreographed regimen of withholding exposure areas. The computerized tracking of objects through cameras in-turn composed elegantly in intensely microscopic scales within the printer. And VistaVision's optical sharpness translated easily onto 70mm release prints. It married fluidly to the live-action's 35mm. The predecessor is 2001, a 70mm/"Cinerama" release which required weeks for miniature camera passes that took Star Wars minutes or hours to complete.  Star Wars is considered a blow-up to 70mm release, since its live-action is sourced in Mitchell-based Panavision 35mm camera negative. 2001 on the other hand required no blow-up: it's a pure optical 65mm camera negative/70mm release print. Spielberg followed Lucas with his own, non-blowup 70mm initial release, Close Encounters effects and live action are both shot in 65mm. Compare the year's 1977 with 1978 and you can see the effect these two 77 films had on the large-format market. Here's Vincent Canby on the first showing of Blade Runner's 70mm print.

     

     

  • 308308.1137

     George Miller. The last of the innovators still pressing the metal. No script, but a book of storyboards. May 15 2015.

      

  • 308302.0716

    The sit-com seems to descend from this key screwball comedy, a comedy of errors and manners, with switched identities and classes, with a chorus of domestics who provide the narrative mortar. Writer-on-a-fishing trip Aherne shows up looking for a phone to use and is lured into becoming the chauffeur for a daffy, wealthy family who happens to have a senator arriving for dinner. Hal Roach, whose early Our-Gang series provided filler for TV's early open scehdule, delivers a powerhouse comedy to MGM, leading to laughs, box-office and Academy Awards nominations.

     

  • 308298.1919

    Does OTM need it's own OTM? Hadn't listened to it for a while, but there's an unusual amount of mythologizing these days happening on npr's observational window to the media. It isn't so much a question of bias, rather an agreement with the mythology of the outcome.

    SNOWDEN/POITRAS: A segment where satire is played straight.

    OTM seems to assert Snowden is sainted; whether the piece underlines it without any contrasting views, or knowingly relies on the perspective, both pre-crucifixion pictures are offered by Poitras (who can't watch dailies and lets her editor make selects) and her erstwhile critic George Packer, who almost lampoons himself describing Snowden's skin tone and hotel room. Whether or not Snowden's contribution to information is ethical or transformative is not the issue at hand. By adding heavy emotive meaning to the event, the show forces a sentimental mood to the exchange between whistleblower and reporter.  And we're tied to it by the verbal description that lingers from Packer (the movie doesn't have to be seen to get what Poitras is going for, it's a puff piece). The segment isn't the cold, methodological job Frontline does (mentioned in the piece), who take their time observing participants. Here are personal terms, personal views, where archetypes overtake reality; the desire for myth prevails yet the photographic proof being discussed convinces us it's too real. Why mythologize? The word sacrifice gets aimed more than once at Snowden, and to what end? His 'suffering' creates a legible persona, one OTM, Poitras, Packer believe an audience can relate to in that role.

    http://www.onthemedia.org/story/citizenfour/

    Later in the same show, the musings of media theorist McLuhan are telegraphed. Here, modern technophilia asserts dogmatic control over the wordings of Marshall McLuhan, whose prophetic rants came true in more than a few respects. These days McLuhan is being reedited, reassigned for other purposes in the new IT economy. For one thing, McLuhan's predicting of text's extinction has been labeled mistaken by the sons of the PC-age, (here it's claimed that text is a rising medium in the age of the smartphone) yet this segment uncritically neglects to tell you literacy is declining globally. Even here in the U.S., where text is dissolving as a medium whether we like it or not, it's begun shrinking to the literacy of tweet and text-msg; surely it will not survive in a handheld medium. Without any precision in the short-form, indo-euro text will become unintelligible fast-food. 

    Even further, Nick Carr looks into the smartphone and sees a hot media. But what is a medium that shrinks all other media into one? Is it a media or is it the reverse? Is it ONLY content? Is it a transmedia thing. Or does it need a new word, like Content Screen. Apologists for the age of the PC (whether desktop, portable, or handheld) misunderstand a key facet of the progression of the newest OS docks by calling them smartphones, they miss (or hide) the point that we're holding PCs in our hands. They're only 'phones' by default: a marketing lure in one medium that's erasing the phone network we buy them from, on already established credit-lines. A kind of corporate chessgame at megascale. Instead of offering credit to 30 million people in one fell swoop, Apple employs the cell net's companies to front the handheld PC's costs. So you could say handheld PCs behave as economic parasites and viruses that erase competitive networks (and media) right from under the noses of 'providers.' And contrary to the show's wager that the 'smartphone' is a hot medium, these little computers are more likely cool mediums in McLuhan's eyes, since they are non-sequential and can work in varying spans of attention. Isn't that a computer in your hand? (I can only find one reference to the medium being 'cooling' in McLuhan's writing).

    Sure, handheld PCs are unifiers. Expensive ones whose costs are buried in spreadsheets and two-year plans. Maybe as bad as they are good. Maybe more than bad.

     

    http://www.onthemedia.org/story/mcluhanisms-50-years-later/

     

    ps: OTM on ixquick, on oogle.