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  • 30857.1605

  • 30855.2129

    So what happens? Technologies get stifled a bit, because they have to match our intuitions. One of my favorite examples of this is BMW. BMW got so good at making the cockpit silent by developing new technologies to silence all external noise, that all of a sudden people started complaining that they couldn't hear the engine, and the engine provides actually really good feedback for many people, and they actually enjoy it. What used to be a side effect is something that people now enjoy. So what BMW engineers did is they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to develop an audio algorithm that could generate engine noises to get pumped through the stereo that would be contingent on the conditions in which the person was driving, what gear they were in and how fast they were going. That is now in the BMWs, and there's no way to turn it off, it is not an option to turn it off. So here's a case in which this company had to bend over backwards to accommodate an intuition people had.

    http://edge.org/panel/headcon-13-part-ix

  • 30855.0716

    Twitter's best attribute is its 'newsgroupthink,' which lets the user DJ as many services as possible, unearthing what would be highly stable research individually, and combining it with other sources, even fields. These two articles below both deal with differing ideas of Norse mythology and statistics. One is from a past, histories that actually unfolded (like the Illiad) and was then encrypted into mythology. A recent statistical study deciphered these ancient myth's social structure of its characters and found them to be realistic. The research suggests the myth evolved from real events and real participants whose tales were structured into posterity and have lasted time until now.

    The other is from a highly technological present, the on-line game EVE, which was designed by Icelanders and offers a tabla rasa galaxy as a playing realm where users create their own saga against the vastness of space. Statistics are evidenced at every level of EVE and help users to become leaders and warriors of any number of types and qualities. Mythic events take shape as players evolve the game beyond the basic rules of diplomacy and subterfuge is employed. Both articles have numerous crossovers.

    Viking sagas decrypted through stats: http://nautil.us/blog/vikingstheyre-just-like-us-social-networks-in-norse-sagas?

    Stats help build online game Eve: http://www.polygon.com/features/2014/2/24/5419788/eve-online-thrilling-boring

     

     

  • 30854.1536

     

  • 30853.2053

     

  • 30829.0718

     

  • 30812.1719

  • 30812.1250

     

    TW/FDNY cobranding with the city's new skyline.

  • 3087.2117

  • 309358.1032

    The best film released in the U.S. in 2013 was Upstream Color, its runner-up is the gaudy and relentless Welcome to the Space Show (A-1). Produced in 2010, U.S. premiered a Otakon, finally 'released' for a week at IFC Center's GKids Fest, this anime of insane proportions is a witty, impatient visual overload cramming enough updated Disney gags to fill three movies. Unlike Miyazaki's somber, mouth-covered humor, Koji Masunari paces comedy and tragedy and pet-ophilia unevenly (no joke there), but some of the transitions achieve sublime levels. A mythic "Pet Star" remains unseen, while a mystery surrounding the Universe's biggest broadcast, the titular "Space Show" is slowly uncovered by a dog-like alien named Pochi who is found by five young students on a hike searching for their lost pet rabbit in the hills above their school. Quickly things turn crazy as space travel becomes an option and the film's mad dash for conflict delivers split-second sit-com like moments in the middle of what might be the best space opera since Star Wars. Wise beyond its years. Forget about the plasma, this one deserves a theater. And try for the subtitled version.

    Best of 2013

    Upstream Color

    Welcome to the Space Show

    Room 237 (Rodney Ascher and Tim Kirk's tour de force opens up the next stages of movies: cog-sci)

    Bioshock: Infinite / Last of Us (same two archetype pairings fight through landscapes far too cinematic to ignore, not the best vidgames of the year, among the best movies of the year)

    The Wind Rises

    47 Ronin - a dour, hopeless, antithesis of 2001's Fellowship of the Ring, where in feudal Japan sunlight aides duplicity and darkness reveals it, Ronin strives to evolve past the simplified otherness that's curtailed the blockbuster's psychic growth, but the butchering-by-edit robs most of the set-pieces of their lead-ins, and though the rhythm is obliterated, the probable masterpiece in here still shines at moments. Let's hope Universal sweats out the director's cut for the bluray.  Now to the spoilers: You have to remember that Kira fails his first attempt to kill Asano, using the witch's beast, which creates dishonor, destroys harmony, with Kai not being given credit. And it's obvious that Kai is a demon. A penitent demon. Kai (Reeves) is neither the central character nor secondary, he is a major part of an ensemble. The burden he carries isn't merely otherness, it's his identity as part western. The Buddhist/Tengu underworld demon who procures magical swords Kai goes to meet treats him like an son, owed the rites of any challenge. He beats this demon to a sword.  And the film is essentially about a suicide squadron led by a demon [it's Kai's plan, he spots the troupe]. As suicide assasins, they're disruptors of the power, of the elite's hierarchy, they take revenge and then are offered ceremonial purification by the non-heroic Shogun. They're successful, their target is met, yet their heroism is invisible to western thinking, it's antithetical in our cultural climate. That accounts for the reviewers' bloodbath, who seem to swarm over perceived failures in message (between a failed release strategy that broadcast positivist taglines and a film that held to it's fatalist vision steadfast) and the stagey delivery of lines. This is the same spell cast by reviewers over other gloomy, fatalist visual extravaganzas of the past that have earned their keep, starting with blockbusters like Blade Runner or The Thing. It's hard for the audience, maybe specifically the reviewers, to swallow endings that defy sequalization. Is their connection to movies literary in nature (a connection through the careful crafting and delivery of dialogue), rather than the spectral or visual types of languages? That disconnect of expectation seems to have turned reviewers into assasins, the bloodbath occuring across the internet is the slashing of Ronin with endlessly repeated sentences.

    From the historical view, this Ronin is far expanded past the realist 47 Ronin (a real event that occured), here it's a Lady MacBeth/Throne of Blood ghost-story pieced together with Kaneto Shindo's supernaturalism by way of Lovecraft, the flick is alive visually. It's a true global blockbuster. This is the next pulse of the genre, however fatal. We want more from 47 Ronin, and it appears there's much more on the cutting room floor. It's a film that looks like a film even digitally shot and projected, even in 3-D, and in this day of visual homogenization, these are achievements all by themselves. And Rinsch seems to know it's better to show parts of things. Let us see a detail, then withdraw, he's shaky at times but that's likely the effects of editing, the craft is there. It's building towards a brilliant climax. When the final battle erupts, it happens at the edges of a freewheeling bravura performance as Kira's compound is breached. In other, broader hands, the set-up (the Ronin impersonate a travelling theater troupe) would have made the suave impersonation comedic ("letting us in on the joke"), instead it's played straight. When Kai lights a refracted candle in unison with the other stagehand Ronin, we're only adjusting to how far embedded the Ronin are. The physicality of the performances are dead-on. Rinsch slyly wants us outside full narrative knowledge (while most present day blockbusters work on a 'reveal' hiding one pivotal, lynch pin piece of info e.g: The Mandarin's unmasking in IM3). He's not explaining all his visuals with endless clever one-liners that all other blockbusters rely on. And the final duel pairings are symmetric, in every way, right down to the cuts between them, right down to the sword strokes. We quickly discover the witch's only equal was Kai while Oishi's is Kira. Nothing obvious draws them to one another for their duels, yet the organization and outcome seem effortless, invented in the heat of battle. Maybe the film's deadpan lines are stoic, even out of rhythm with Kai's cadence, but the story isn't there in the dialogue. It's all visual. It's in the gestures. 

    Post Tenebras Lux (Reygada's out of body experience, mistaken as a museum piece; thanks to Bryce for mentioning)

    Blackfish/The Act of Killing (two films about the extremes of human paradox)