AOC invokes McLuhan with “Tax the Rich” Gala dress

Last week congresswoman and media-discourse-lightning-rod Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez kicked off a firestorm of hot takes by wearing a ball gown emblazoned with the message “Tax the Rich” to this year’s Met Gala. The annual super-exclusive social event and big money fundraising soiree typically attracts buzzing commentary over its dramatic displays of eye-catching haute couture. The buzz … Continue reading AOC invokes McLuhan with “Tax the Rich” Gala dress

Thoughts on Nomadland and the 2021 Oscars

I finally got around to watching Nomadland this weekend, just ahead of the film’s anticipated Oscars triumph. My viewing was belated for a number of reasons. For one, the fact that the film was only available to stream on Hulu, necessitating that I create a Hulu account, made it easy to avoid. Secondly, I am … Continue reading Thoughts on Nomadland and the 2021 Oscars

Virtual Horizons & Futurology for 2021: Žižek on The Great Reset

With much ballyhoo and bellyaching about the absurdly miserable year of 2020, our collective calendars have finally turned to 2021. The year-end was marked by effusive declarations of relief and hope, even though these admissions of optimism were often tinged with cynical self-awareness reflecting the continuing complexities of our current moment (i.e. coronavirus vaccines are … Continue reading Virtual Horizons & Futurology for 2021: Žižek on The Great Reset

The Soul in Cyberpunk: Consciousness, Higher Selves, and the Tarot of 2077

“The tarot will teach you how to create a soul.” Jodorowsky, The Holy Mountain Cyberpunk 2077 released last week, and like so many others I’ve been exploring the game (to the best of my ability considering the performance issues on my console hardware...but that’s currently being discussed ad nauseum across the Internet, and I am … Continue reading The Soul in Cyberpunk: Consciousness, Higher Selves, and the Tarot of 2077

Watch_Dogs: Legion, part 1: Open Worlds

I love the Watch_Dogs franchise. Or rather, I want to love it. I certainly love the overall concept. The distinguishing features of the series incorporate some of my favorite elements from video games in general, as well as more particular niche interests. For one thing, the games  are set in contemporary urban open worlds that … Continue reading Watch_Dogs: Legion, part 1: Open Worlds

Fantasy Lands: 5 urban truths I learned at Disneyland

“This book … intends to establish Manhattan as the product of an unformulated theory, Manhattanism, whose program – to exist in a world totally fabricated by man, i.e. to live inside fantasy – was so ambitious that to be realized, it could never be openly stated.” – Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York On July 17, … Continue reading Fantasy Lands: 5 urban truths I learned at Disneyland

Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

I've written about the media ecology tradition, attended the Media Ecology Association's conferences and had an article published in their journal, but up to now Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media and Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death are the only primary texts associated with the tradition that I've read. To broaden my knowledge of the tradition … Continue reading Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

Mind-controlled exoskeleton opens World Cup; AI will crash the stock market; Cortana’s personality

The 2014 World Cup kicked off yesterday with a futuristic twist on the opening ceremonies. A paraplegic kicked a soccer ball using an exoskeleton designed by the Walk Again Project: The exoskeleton -- a system comprising a helmet implanted with a microchip that sticks out from the underside; a T-shirt loaded with sensors; metal leg … Continue reading Mind-controlled exoskeleton opens World Cup; AI will crash the stock market; Cortana’s personality

Graeber on labor and leisure; the perils of hipster economics; and the educational value of MOOCs

Following last month's post of David Graeber's views on "bullshit jobs," this Salon interview with Graeber discusses the failed forecast of universal leisure time: Right after my original bullshit jobs piece came out, I used to think that if I wanted, I could start a whole career in job counseling – because so many people … Continue reading Graeber on labor and leisure; the perils of hipster economics; and the educational value of MOOCs

TV still sucks, we should still complain about hipsters, your job shouldn’t exist

In an article for Salon, Alexander Zaitchik assails the current "golden age" of television, and the resultant binge watching, spoiler fearing, TV-obsessed (pop) culture we're living in: None of this could be happening at a worse time. According to the latest S.O.S. from climate science, we have maybe 15 years to enact a radical civilizational … Continue reading TV still sucks, we should still complain about hipsters, your job shouldn’t exist