Interpassivity, Reaction Videos, and Emotions as Content: Why Pablo Hidalgo is (maybe) Right

Amidst all the Cyberpunk 2077 discourse over the past month-and-a-half, I was struck by the opinion expressed by gamepressure’s Michael Chwistek that the game perhaps offers more potential as an interactive movie than as an open-world RPG. The article begins thusly: “I don't like games that complete themselves. Take Telltale games, for example. I only … Continue reading Interpassivity, Reaction Videos, and Emotions as Content: Why Pablo Hidalgo is (maybe) Right

Smoke Signals: Buda’s Wagon and Infrastructure Terrorism in Nashville

“The car bomb, in other words, suddenly became a semi-strategic weapon that under certain circumstances was comparable to air-power in its ability to knock out critical urban nodes and headquarters as well as terrorize populations of entire cities. [...] It is the car bombers’ incessant blasting-away at the moral and physical shell of the city, … Continue reading Smoke Signals: Buda’s Wagon and Infrastructure Terrorism in Nashville

Memes, Enthymemes, and the Reproduction of Ideology

In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, biologist Richard Dawkins introduced the word “meme” to refer to a hypothetical unit of cultural transmission. The discussion of the meme concept was contained in a single chapter of a book that was otherwise dedicated to genetic transmission, but the idea spread. Over decades, other authors further developed … Continue reading Memes, Enthymemes, and the Reproduction of Ideology

Media Ecology Monday: Golumbia and the Political Economy of Computationalism

In The Cultural Logic of Computation Golumbia raises questions and addresses issues that are promising, but then proceeds in making an argument that is ultimately unproductive. I am sympathetic to Golumbia’s aims; I share an attitude of skepticism toward the rhetoric surrounding the Internet and new media as inherently democratizing, liberating devices. Golumbia characterizes such … Continue reading Media Ecology Monday: Golumbia and the Political Economy of Computationalism

MISC Monday: MLK media literacy; social media stress; the attention economy, and more

Almetria Vaba of PBS Learning Media has posted a collection of resources for exploring media literacy through the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.: Examine the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement with hundreds of PBS LearningMedia resources.  Here is a sampling of resources from the … Continue reading MISC Monday: MLK media literacy; social media stress; the attention economy, and more

Gentrification and ‘the fucking hipster show’; hostile architercure and defensive urban design

In a post at the Jacobin blog, Anthony Galluzzo considers how the mainstream media's "fucking hipster" show mocks hipsters in the service of capital: [Marxist geographer Neil] Smith offers a dry, but emphatically structural account of this process, which he first theorized in the late eighties with Soho and the Lower East Side in mind. … Continue reading Gentrification and ‘the fucking hipster show’; hostile architercure and defensive urban design

Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

  Immediately following Elliot Rodger's spree killing in Isla Vista, CA last month Internet users discovered his YouTube channel and a 140-page autobiographical screed, dubbed a "manifesto" by the media. The written document and the videos documented Rodger's sexual frustration and his chronic inability to connect with other people. He specifically lashed out at women … Continue reading Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

Fukuyama: 25 years after the “End of History”

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the publication of his infamous essay, "The End of History?", Francis Fukuyama wrote an essay for the Wall Street Journal reflecting on how the world has changed since he declared the end of history: I argued that History (in the grand philosophical sense) was turning out very differently from what … Continue reading Fukuyama: 25 years after the “End of History”

Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

It's been a long time since the last update (what happened to October?), so this post is extra long in an attempt to catch up. I haven't seen the new Ender's Game movie, but this review by abbeyotis at Cyborgology calls the film "a lean and contemporary plunge into questions of morality mediated by technology": … Continue reading Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

Warren Ellis on violent fiction, death of the Western, Leatherface as model vegan

Slate writer Forrest Wickman was recently shocked to discover that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre functions as pro-vegetarian propaganda. Wickman writes that Chainsaw Massacre is "the last movie you'd expect" to be pro-vegetarian, but I thought this had been the general reading of the movie for years. I recall a reviewer's blurb on my video copy … Continue reading Warren Ellis on violent fiction, death of the Western, Leatherface as model vegan